CATEGORIES Columns, Cinematical


The only thing more annoying than all the non-stop coochy-coo romance of Valentine's Day is the endless deluge of complaints from those cleverly cynical folks who just realized that, hey, Valentine's Day is sponsored by Hallmark Cards ... but since I'm single these days, I actually side with the cynical grouches. So in celebration of all things unlovable and anti-romantic, we offer this: Five Flicks to Avoid If You Actually Like Valentine's Day. (Yep, just like in the headline.)

'War of the Roses' -- Still the finest anti-romantic comedy of the modern era, Danny De Vito's twisted masterpiece reunites the three leads from 'Romancing the Stone' and 'The Jewel of the Nile,' but replaces adventure tropes and witty quips with venomous nastiness and overt unpleasantries. Plus it's funny as hell, provided you're watching the flick in the proper (cynical) state of mind.



'Very Bad Things' -- Rare is the black comedy that revels in its slapstick bleakness like this flick does. Feature debut of actor turned action director Peter Berg, 'Very Bad Things' is a celebration of romance like 'Friday the 13th' is an advertisement for summer camps, and while a few of the gags are just a touch too over-the-top, there's something undeniably entertaining about a Hollywood ensemble that leaps into trenchant satire with such classless abandon.



'My Bloody Valentine' -- A horror film about a stalker who chops out human hearts and wedges them into candy boxes? Yeah, that seems anti-Valentine. Whether you're going with the 1981 original, the 3-D remake, or a movie called 'Valentine' because you rented it by accident, you're bound to get a little schadenfraude from all the goofy little lovers who are too silly to get out of the way of a flying pick-axe. Even when it's approaching in 3-D.



'Enter the Void' -- You may never want to have sex again. (Hint: the film's title is a euphemism. And then some.)



'The Last American Virgin' -- So there you are, for some reason about to settle in with the 1982 teen sex comedy known as 'The Last American Virgin,' and you figure the movie might give you a few chuckles, a handful of sexy bits, and a simple segue into the bedroom with the lover of your (and their) choice -- and then you hit the final moments of the movie, which are so stunningly mean-spirited and mercilessly brutal ... it almost feels like a scene from real life. In a more serious film, this truly scizophrenic finale might work, but at the tail-end of a breast-obsessesed leer-fest, it's absolutely surreal.