Six Movies for Every Type of Valentine’s Day – Technique

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While many couples probably enjoy Valentine’s Day, the holiday can be a stark reminder of relationship status for those who are single. To make matters worse, romances overpopulate virtually every form of popular culture. Television series almost always devote ongoing storylines to the court; the films insert love interests, regardless of their relevance to the plots.

As such, Valentine’s Day can feel particularly lonely. Fortunately, many films include these feelings of isolation, longing and loneliness. For anyone living the Valentine’s Day blues, here are six movie recommendations that fit a variety of circumstances.

500 days of summer

“500 Days of Summer” is a quintessential rom-com for hopeless romantics struggling with heartbreak and heartbreak. The 2009 film, directed by Marc Webb (“Gifted”), stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“Looper”) and Zooey Deschanel (“New Girl”) as misfit couple Tom and Summer. Their relationship is presented in a non-linear fashion, jumping before and after their adventure. The timestamps consistently mark the day of the 500 title the storyline is in, allowing viewers to tell them apart. The first half captures their progression from co-workers to an unofficial couple, while the second half displays a depressed and depressed version of Tom after their breakup.

The film is an absolute blast. From street dance sequences to Tom’s melodramatics, “500 Days of Summer” never fails to amuse and entertain. Its enduring power, however, stems from its universally identifiable presentation of love and romance. Tom’s desire will almost certainly speak to anyone yearning for true love.

lost in translation

While depictions of love are certainly the natural fixture of Valentine’s Day, not all versions of loneliness relate specifically to romance. Sofia Coppola’s 2003 drama (“The Virgin Suicides”) details two lone individuals who are each sadly trapped in a city far from their home – Tokyo. Bill Murray (“Groundhog Day”) plays Bob Harris, an American celebrity who shoots commercials in Japan. Across from him, Scarlett Johansson (“The Avengers”) is a newly married graduate named Charlotte, who was brought to the foreign land by her neglectful and self-absorbed husband.

Staying in the same hotel, the two protagonists cross paths and develop an unlikely friendship, thanks in part to their need for English-speaking friends in foreign lands. Although Bob and Charlotte’s kinship may initially seem superficial and based purely on circumstance, they forge a deeper connection as they wander and explore the foreign town. They turn out to be lonely and isolated individuals, lost in a crowded and noisy world.

For those homesick, isolated or without direction, Coppola’s drama offers solace. It only takes a genuine friendship or connection to attract someone
back to life.

call me by your name

Representation matters. In a world where heteronormative behavior dominates popular culture, having the ability to relate to movies can be empowering for many people. That’s just one reason Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name,” a drama about a teenage boy’s romance with an older man, is important to so many. More than that, however, the former Best Picture nominee happens to be a heartbreakingly beautiful love story.

Set in the 1980s in the Italian countryside, the film stars Timothee Chalamet (“Little Women”) in his breakout performance and Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”) as Elio and Oliver. The pair of precocious and intelligent young men are brought together under one roof by Elio’s father, who employs Oliver as a research assistant. Sharing a palpable chemistry, the men go from subtextual flirtations to secret romance.

While “Call Me by Your Name” turns out to be one of the best LGTBQ films of the 2010s, its beauty is deeply moving for anyone looking for an unlikely romance.

The edge of seventeen

In 2016, Kelly Fremon Craig released her coming-of-age comedy about a socially awkward girl struggling to find her footing in high school. Hailee Steinfeld (“Bumblebee”) shines as Nadine, the film’s energetic and wacky protagonist. Simmering below the surface, Nadine struggles with mental health issues and issues at home — issues that are exacerbated when her best friend starts dating her brother.

The late teens and early adult years are tough times for a lot of people, and “The Edge of Seventeen” understands that. Nadine navigates her way through friendships, school, boys and family, yearning for a connection and a feeling that will make her feel like she fits into her own world.

People who are socially anxious and disgruntled will be able to relate and identify with his struggles.

Swingers

Without a doubt, “Swingers” is the most bro-ey movie on this list. Written by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), the 1996 comedy chronicles a pair of aspiring actors as one navigates a recent breakup. Favreau plays the heartbroken protagonist, Mike; opposite him, a young Vince Vaughn (“Dodgeball”) excels in the role of his effervescent hype-man, Trent. In a star turn for Vaughn, Trent constantly encourages Mike to question himself, frequently shouting things like “You’re so much money and you don’t even know it!”

While most of the film’s development may seem a bit feminist, the magic of “Swingers” comes from the Mike and Trent dynamic. The electric rapport between Vaughn and Favreau ignites the film, prompting Mike — and viewers — to regain confidence and question themselves. Recently, single individuals can gain self-confidence through this comedy.

Frances Ha

This 2012 drama from Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”) isn’t a traditional Valentine’s Day flick. Frances — the animated protagonist, played by Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) — doesn’t explicitly deal with romance or heartbreak. On the contrary, “Frances Ha” celebrates the beauty of independence and finds herself going through a tumultuous and difficult period of early adulthood.

In her mid-twenties, Frances struggles to find her place in New York. Her dancing career stagnates and her friends associate with romantic partners. As her best friend and roommate, Sophie, begins to settle in, Frances is left to fend for herself in the Big Apple.

With gorgeous black-and-white cinematography, the haunting “Frances Ha” proves a remarkable and thought-provoking fit for audiences looking to celebrate their independence on Valentine’s Day.

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