Feb

13

From Netflix’s Heart to Yours

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Picking out a date movie can be tough, and with Valentine’s Day weekend here already, you don’t have too much time left to select something the two of you will both enjoy.

Bwog knows as well as you do that the right movie can make all the difference, and since she has no date this year, there’s been plenty of time for Bwog to comb through the Netflix “Watch Instantly” catalog hunting for titles to help you out.

The following three films are tested and approved for couples’ movie-watching, and perhaps best of all, they’re free to watch if you’re a Netflix subscriber. (Save your money for that expensive candlelight dinner — speaking of which, did we mention it’s still Restaurant Week?) 

SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE



Single father and widower Sam Baldwin finds himself lonely after moving cross-country to bury the painful memories of his beloved wife. After telling his story on a national radio show, Sam receives a letter from Annie Reed, a Baltimore journalist who sympathizes with Sam and regrets the lack of true love in her own life. This glimmer of hope inspires Sam’s son Jonah to play matchmaker — he does his best to get his dad and Annie to meet, no matter the obstacles.

A quintessential romantic comedy in the mode of those 1950s Doris Day flicks, Sleepless in Seattle hits all the emotional high notes. Much of that is due to fellow Upper West Side resident Nora Ephron’s smart, slick script — it was nominated for an Academy Award — which culminates in a grand, dramatic reunion that is sure to stir tears. Be prepared to suspend your disbelief early and often, though, for this is one film that does not score its points through believability.


 


WEST SIDE STORY

Tony loves Maria but can never have her. He’s a member of the Jets, a white gang on New York’s West Side, and she’s sister to a member of the Sharks, a rival Puerto Rican gang. Their romance blooms in secret, but when gang warfare shatters the neighborhood peace, Tony and Maria may have to put their love on hold.

West Side Story is one of the better film adaptations ever made of a Broadway musical. Director Robert Wise expands the story to a grander scale than possible on stage, adding lavish costumes, unforgettable dance numbers, and sweeping views of Manhattan. Although the leading actor Richard Beymer comes off a little insipid as Tony, it’s the music, of course, that truly sets West Side Story apart as a masterpiece. Only Bernstein and Sondheim could start with Shakespeare and yet still manage to top him.


 


ROXANNE

Roxanne Kowalski thinks she’s in love with Chris McConnell, a brawny fireman with the good looks of a model. The problem is, he has brains like one, too. Chris turns to his boss and friend C. D. Bales to help him woo Roxanne, but the witty and utterly romantic love letters C. D. pens are actually the product of his own infatuation with Roxanne. Soon, C.D. realizes he must overcome his own sense of personal inadequacy if he can ever express his true feelings to the woman he loves.

Like West Side Story, Roxanne draws its source material from a much older play, in this case, Edmund Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. Comedian Steve Martin, who also stars in the film as C.D., does a bang-up job of adapting the Neo-Romanticist drama to a modernized movie form, showcasing his many talents as both charming on-screen performer and gifted screenwriter. The hilarious “Big Nose jokes” scene alone is almost enough to merit watching this film, but it’s the old theme of unrequited love that gives Roxanne its real emotional lift.

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