Three Films to Fall in Love With This Valentine’s Day
Lost in Translation
Taking one of the funniest men in the world and putting him in a film that yields very few laughs is a bold move, but Sofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning screenplay bested the odds to become one of the best modern romances. Coppola said she would never make the film without Bill Murray’s participation, and he more than obliged, turning in some of the best work of his career. Murray plays Bob, an American actor in Japan filming a whisky commercial, and though the film technically belongs in the romance genre, the attraction formed between him and Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte is a love rarely seen in film. They’re two lost souls in an unfamiliar land, forming a friendship that may mean more, depending on what Bob whispered in Charlotte’s ear. For those who aren’t depressed enough on Valentine’s Day, allow Lost in Translation to join your loneliness.
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Before breaking the box office last year with Gravity, director Alfonso Cuaron made a name for himself stateside with Y Tu Mama Tambien, a road trip romance produced in his native Mexico. The film centers on two friends who take to the road with an older woman, making it the perfect viewing for third wheels everywhere. The film went on to obtain the largest opening weekend for a Mexican film in America, being rewarded with an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The late film critic Roger Ebert championed the film from the start, especially defending it from its NC-17 rating. Gather all your loved ones for Cuaron’s explicit breakthrough.
Billy Wilder made a career out of directing films in just about every genre, but he was at his best when he tackled romantic comedy. Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine are Wilder’s stars, with his C.C. Baxter and her Fran Kubelik forming one of the greatest on-screen couples there’s ever been. The two actors excel at delivering Wilder’s crackling dialogue, making such lines as “That’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise” and “Shut up and deal” iconic. C.C. Baxter is an earnest upstart at an insurance company who, in order to climb the corporate ladder, leases out his own apartment to his coworkers for their “after-work entertainment.” The film went on to win Best Picture, Director, Writing, Editing and Art Direction, and is rightly revered as a classic that should be mandatory viewing year-round. To see the best and most realistic couple put on-screen, and one to emulate, seek out The Apartment.