HomeOur ObsessionsLooking for Valentine’s Day movies? Say “I love you” like in cult flicks

Looking for Valentine’s Day movies? Say “I love you” like in cult flicks

If teddy bears, chocolates, and overpriced, sickly greeting cards don’t quite express how you feel, then take your notes from these Valentine's Day movies.

Looking for Valentine’s Day movies? Say “I love you” like in cult flicks

If teddy bears, chocolates, and overpriced, sickly greeting cards don’t quite express how you feel about someone this Valentine’s Day, then you might want to take some inspiration from cinema.

Plenty of mainstream rom-coms and romantic dramas will provide you with grandiose, although somewhat sensible, gestures for declaring your undying love for another. But who wants to be sensible when you’re pouring your heart out to another? Instead, you want to take some notes from some of the unique, strange, and unexpected ways characters have declared their love in cult romance movies.

Some of these might be scientifically and theological implausible, if not logistically impossible, while others are merely a little obscure, specific, and left-field. But all of them are romantic enough to inspire you to say those three little words in a distinctive manner that captures your significant other’s heart forever. Here are ten such ways to say “I love you” or to show it with action, without having to rely on Hallmark sentimentality . . .

Find them the perfect song to listen to (Wild at Heart)

Lula (Laura Dern) has a minor meltdown when all she can find on the car radio is miserable news reports about rape and murder. Luckily, Sailor (Nicolas Cage) has the magic touch and finds some rockin’ tunes to enjoy instead. Which they do – right on the side of the road with some of the most aggressive air-punches and kicks ever committed to music.

Delete your memory of the person, but still find your way back to them (Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind)

Clementine (Kate Winslet) and Joel (Jim Carrey) endure such a rough break-up, they enlist Lacuna Inc. to wipe their memory of each other. However, they find their way back to each other regardless, because true love prevails.

Perform an impassioned queer-cheer at straight-camp graduation (But I’m a Cheerleader)

After being kicked out of a heterosexual boot camp for indulging in some after-hours lesbian activity, Megan (Natasha Lyonne) rocks up to the hetero-graduation ceremony of her love, Graeme (Clea DuVall). Not only does she perform the cutest cheer committed to film, but she also gets the girl and runs away with her. Harah!

Write “you’re so cool” on a hotel napkin and repeat the phrase forever (True Romance)

You could argue Clarence (Christian Slater) killing his new wife’s pimp so they can start their lives anew is as bold a declaration of love that there is. But the way in which Alabama (Patricia Arquette) quietly writes her shorthand for love down and hands it to her hubby in the middle of an ill-fated cocaine deal is equally heartfelt – just far, far simpler.

Miss your flight home (Before Sunset)

After a whole day of walking around Paris, comparing heartbreaks, and enjoying philosophical debates, old lovers Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) enjoy one last moment together at her place. Except, as Jesse watches mesmerized as his old flame sings and dances along to a Nina Simone song, it’s clear this isn’t farewell. “Baby, you’re going to miss that plane,” Celine tells him. “I know,” he responds with a twinkle in his eyes, showing he’s serious.

Make a comic book about how badly you messed up (Chasing Amy)

After a savage break up, Holden (Ben Affleck) finds ex-girlfriend Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams) at a comic convention where he hands her the comic book she inspired him to write. Celebrating who Alyssa is, it also shows Holden accepting responsibility for ruining the relationship, and wanting nothing more than to fix what he had broken.

Save Latin (Rushmore)

Competing for the affections of first-grade teacher Rosemary (Olivia Williams), extra-curricular student King Max (Jason Schwartzman) makes a lot of bold gestures to impress her. However, when she falls for his mentor Herman (Bill Murray) Max, completely confounded by her decision, Max asks him, “I saved Latin. What did you ever do?” Good point.

Say “as you wish” after every request (The Princess Bride)

If you want to score big points with your lover, then simply responding to their requests without question is a great way to go about it. In The Princess Bride, farmhand Westley (Cary Elwes) does everything Buttercup (Robin Wright) asks of him by responding, “as you wish.” The phrase is also how Dread Pirate Roberts reveals his true identity to Buttercup . . . right after she’s pushed him down a tall hill.

Break your honey out of jail with an elaborate musical piece (Cry Baby)

What could be more romantic than hijacking visiting hours with a sultry song and dance number? Especially when it provokes your significant other to smash his way out of jail just to be with you.

Just smile (Wristcutters: A Love Story)

After finding themselves in an afterlife where smiling is forbidden, Zia (Patrick Fugit) and Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon) are given another chance at life. As they wake up in the same hospital room following their respective suicide attempts, a shared, beaming smile expresses all the love that is shared between them.

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Amy Roberts is a freelance writer who occasionally moonlights as a hapless punk musician. She’s written about pop culture for websites like Bustle, i-D, and The Mary Sue, and is the co-creator of Clarissa Explains F*ck All. She likes watching horror movies with her cat and eating too much sugar.

amy@filmdaily.co

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