Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Do we really need rom-coms this Valentine's Day?

The annual event that is St Valentine's Day. A day laced with cynicism as the red balloons start to blanket Dublin and every shop is adorned with teddy bears and red hearts. Valentine’s Day conjures up images of the traditional date night: going to the cinema and a bite to eat, or cuddling up and watching a movie with the fire roaring. But does there really need to be a rom-com in there? Here are my top three, anti-Valentine films.....

A handsome New Yorker with a compulsive addiction and a fear of intimacy, this is the bare faced reality of the wounded shunning his past trying to belong to a world that’s slowly destroying him. Evocatively shot and beautifully directed by Steve McQueen, Michael Fassbender gives a raw and compelling performance, turning any romantic notions of the world he inhabits on its head. Definitely more of a second date movie...

Fatal Attraction
Another theme of obsession, this tense thriller can still make a grown man shudder. Happily married man Michael Douglas has a weekend fling with his co-worker (Glenn Close) which goes horribly sour when she refuses to let  the relationship end.  His life quickly turns into a nightmare with a healthy dose of blackmail, stalking, and kidnapping. A good warning for any intendant adulterer/adulteress. Recommended for a night in with some rabbit stew...

Is this a truly modern love story? In honour of the wonderful John C Reilly who did an exclusive Q&A here at the IFI last weekend, Cyrus has to be on the list. Directed by the stalwarts of mumblecore -  Jay and Mark Duplass - this is the story of a divorced  and lonely middle aged man, who on the encouragement of his ex-wife, finds new love with a single mother, only to encounter a rival in the form of her unhinged son Cyrus. Nobody plays the downtrodden but determined romantic like Reilly with such delicacy and humour.

Shauna Lyons
Public Affairs & Marketing Director

Lucky for us, all three of these titles are available in the IFI Filmshop, so after your Valentine’s dinner at the IFI CafĂ© Bar, grab yourself a copy and leave Sleepless in Seattle for another day.

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