Valentine’s Day movie lists remain as predictable as the movies they suggest. Sick of magazines promoting “Love Actually”as a means to bond with your significant other? Want to save “Casablanca” for another day? Here are some excellent movies where romance is not necessarily the main plot:
— “Wonder Boys” (2000) tells the tale of a dysfunctional university professor (Michael Douglas), who is stuck picking up the pieces of his off-kilter editor (Robert Downey Jr.) and mysterious student (Tobey Maguire). During it all, he struggles to deal with his adoration for his boss’s wife (Frances McDormand) with whom he’s having an affair.
— “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004) is about friendship and rivalry more than anything, but TV personality Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) has an on-again, off-again passion with fellow anchor-person Veronica (Christina Applegate) that gives an entertaining, dramatic love angle to a classic comedy.
— “Forrest Gump” (1994) Who hasn’t heard of the life-long love story between Forrest (Tom Hanks) and Jenny (Robin Wright)? From childhood friendship (“Run, Forrest, run!”) to destined romantic rekindling, “Forrest Gump” focuses on the life of well-meaning man and his adventures through historical moments, such as the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal.
— “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004) offers an unorthodox, science fiction look at the emotional struggles behind impassioned relationships and their breakups. Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) take the flirty, fun-loving beginning of romance and turn them on their heads.
— “WALL-E” (2008) Some kid movies, if well-made, transcend age boundaries, and Pixar’s “WALL-E” is one of them. Robotic romance may seem hard to relate to, but trash-collecting machine WALL-E and advanced Earth probe EVE show more emotion than many human characters in romance films. These two machines find in each other adventurous spirits and kindred curiosity about the world around them.
Couples don’t have to resort to “chick-flicks” or sappy sweet plots to watch a film this Valentine’s Day. Movies of every genre include sparks of chemistry between characters, and sometimes a hint of romance is more touching than an obvious portrayal.