Happy Valentine’s Day! Or maybe it’s your favorite holiday to hate?
When I was growing up, I loved all holidays, but as my teen years loomed and passed into my twenties, and I was perennially single, I began disliking Valentine’s Day. So, my sister and I, for many years, had an Anti-Valentine’s Day get together, and we’d eat pizza (we liked Hawaiian) or chow mein, fried rice, and sweet and sour chicken, and lots of chocolate, while we watched anti-romance movies. But, having always been a fan of happily-ever-afters, I never gave up my rom-coms and Hallmark movies. Now I do whatever I prefer, depending on if it’s a day I have my sons or not. If I have them, we might watch a rom-com or Disney classic (okay, not my fourteen year old!) and have a special dinner (this year’s is Chicken Parmesan) and dessert (Chocolate Brownie Cakes with vanilla ice cream).
Do you celebrate Valentine’s, or are you anti-Valentine’s? Either way, here are some movie suggestions for you!
Valentine’s Day Romantic Movies
10. The Lost Valentine (2011): Sweet Hallmark movie starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Betty White.
9. Roman Holiday (1953): A luminous Audrey Hepburn stars with Gregory Peck in this classic about a princess who needs a day off.
8. Southside With You: Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date on Chicago’s South Side features in this beautiful, engaging film.
7. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999): Teen rom-com riff on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.
6. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018): Adorable, touching teen rom-com with one of my new favorite lines: “First things first, we need to have a contract.” [Netflix only]
5. An Affair to Remember (1957): Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant star as lovers who agree to meet at the Empire State Building—but will they?
4. Sleepless in Seattle (1993): Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in a rom-com that takes inspiration from An Affair to Remember.
3. When Harry Met Sally (1989): Rob Reiner directs Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in this quintessential friends-to-lovers film.
2. You’ve Got Mail (1998): Business rivals Hanks and Ryan fall in love via email, but clash in real life.
1. Notting Hill (1999): Bookstore owner (Hugh Grant) and famous actress (Julia Roberts) fall in love amid a quirky cast.
Anti-Valentine’s Day Movies
10. Laura (1944): There’s still some romance in this film noir classic.
9. Cape Fear (1962): A baddie (Robert Mitchum) terrorizes a lawyer and his family.
8. Blade Runner (1982): So I had crushes on Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer.
7. Bubba Ho Tep (2002): What really happened to Elvis is answered in this campy flick starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis.
6. Planet of the Apes (1968): Mostly because we like to yell along: “It’s a madhouse, a madhouse!”
5. Tango & Cash (1989): Buddy (Enemy) cop movie with Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone.
4. Jaws (1975): Scary big great white shark stalks a beach town.
3. Big Trouble In Little China (1986): More campy fun starring Kurt Russell.
2. Twin Peaks (1990-1991): Binge-watch this atmospheric, somewhat dark, quirky series.
1. The Godfather (1972): If you want watch You’ve Got Mail, you should see this. J
Have you seen any of these movies? What are your favorites?
San Francisco Brides, Book One
The last place Vincente DeGrazia wants to be on Valentine’s Day is at a charity bachelor auction. But he participates to honor the memory of his mother, who died of heart disease when he was a teen. His grandpop, who took Vincente in after his parents’ deaths, pushes him onto the stage with the assurance that Vincente’s dream woman is out there. And when Vincente spots a woman in white—who wins the bid for him—he wonders if Grandpop is right.
Gina D’Angelo comes home to San Francisco with one goal—to save her family’s ailing business by uncovering the truth about the DeGrazias. But her plan goes up in flames when her attraction to Vincente burns out of control. After a night together, Gina and Vincente struggle to discover the truth about each other, and to solve the decades-long conflict between their families. As Vincente realizes he needs Gina in his life, Gina sees that Vincente isn’t the man she thought he was—and they’re ready to fight for their always, together.
Celia Juliano learned to read at the age of two, beginning her lifetime love of books, especially those with a happily ever after. As a girl, she made up recipes and stories of fairies and finding love. Now she writes delicious, heartfelt romance where love triumphs. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and occasionally indulges her hobbies of sampling dark chocolate, planning vacations, and procrastinating.
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