BootLeg Betty

Movies For Lovers, the Fallen, and the Burned…(and the closeted)

The Oklahoma Daily
Flicks for the cynics and lovebirds alike
Laron Chapman/The Daily
Lunden England/The Daily
Friday, February 12, 2010

No matter what category you fall into, The Daily’s Laron Chapman and Lunden England have just the film for you.

For Those In Love

A romance for the aimless wanderer: “Love Actually”

Richard Curtis’s engaging and cheerful “Love Actually” (2003) is a relentless cannonball into the sea of romantic comedy. Following the love lives of more than a dozen A-list stars including Hugh Grant (Prime Minister), Laura Linney (Sarah), Alan Rickman (Harry), Emma Thompson (Karen) and Keira Knightley (Juliet), the film is chock-full of romance, heartbreak, witty dialogue and spirited direction. With a wonderful cast and heartwarming writing, “Love Actually” is a must-see, sure to have lovebirds everywhere smiling. The film proves that whether you are a vulgar and eccentric radio host or a starry-eyed youth, love can be found in the most unexpected places.

A romance for the committed lover: “The Notebook”

Nicholas Sparks’ tender and heartfelt novel “The Notebook” (2004) was given a luminous and timely adaptation in the hands of director Nick Cassavetes. Those planning on viewing Sparks’s recent novel adaptation, the lame “Dear John,” should quickly reconsider and revisit to the lives of young lovers Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) and Allie Nelson (Rachel McAdams). The film reminds viewers that our devotion to our loved ones is an essential quality to possess. While a certified tearjerker, “The Notebook” earns its sappy moments when they are complemented with elements of real drama and complex characters we care about. As their romance flourishes our hearts grow fonder of the loves in our own lives. While tears and the use of a box of tissues are inevitable, “The Notebook” reveals that love is both fulfilling and everlasting.

A romance for the skeptic romantic: “Hope Floats”

Before Oscar-hopeful Sandra Bullock dazzled us in the inspiring “The Blind Side” (2009), she played the heartbroken, country divorcee Birdee Pruitt in the love story “Hope Floats” (1998). After being dumped by her husband on a popular talk show, Birdee seeks solace in her hometown of Smithville, Texas. Once high school sweetheart Justin Matisse (Harry Connick, Jr) reentered her life, it was only a matter of time before her once shattered spirit was uplifted by the promise of hope. The film demonstrates that there is always a second chance at love. With a great soundtrack, including Garth Brooks’ tender “To Make You Feel My Love,” warm performances and timely values, “Hope Floats” is a romance to inspire the skeptic in all of us.

Laron Chapman/The Daily

For those who have fallen out

For those in complete denial: “300”

Valentine’s Day? What Valentine’s Day? For everyone who has long ago turned a cold shoulder on the romance-saturated holiday, more important endeavors await in director Zack Snyder’s 2007 adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name. Viewers will band together with King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his pack of sweaty, scantily clad soldiers as they make their stand to defend Sparta against Xerxes, the king of Hot Topic, and his massive army of conquered peoples. Stylistically captivating and dripping with action and testosterone (it’s like estrogen — only meaner), “300” becomes the perfect distraction on you-know-what day, and in the oh-so-inviting words of the fearless Spartan king: “Tonight, we dine in hell!”

For those who have been burned: “The First Wives Club”

Director Hugh Wilson’s 1996 comedy has it all for anybody who is reeling in the aftermath of a nasty breakup. The film aptly conveys the anguish felt by its three divorcée protagonists, while still managing to remain lighthearted enough to warrant a bounty of laughter from viewers. Featuring the indispensable talents of Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn (the original, sassier and better Kate Hudson), “The First Wives Club” plays the game of revenge with a new level of delectable spitefulness. This Valentine’s Day, get a little payback through the inspiration of “The First Wives Club.”

Share A little Divinity
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