Sickly sweet Valentine’s Day movies

EMILY GIBSON
Staff Writer

Valentine’s Day movies show that the medium may be falling short at each and every attempt to capitalize on the holiday of love

More than the shortest month of the year, February is a sugarcoated, candy flavored construction paper cutout of a heart. Valentine’s Day can serve as an excuse to be overly public with your loved one as well as equally public with the fact that you have a loved one. Then there are always the people who put their bitterness of not having a valentine on display.
For movie companies, however, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to capitalize on the lonely, fragile or naïve hearts of the youth and produce hackneyed, gushy movies meant to make couples fall deeper in love and make single people buy more popcorn. This year, the big, trite Valentine’s Day release is a novel adaption called ‘Endless Love’, starring Alex Pettyfer and Gabrielle Wilde.
Although originally written as a romantic thriller by Scott Spencer in 1979, the 2014 adaption of the ‘Endless Love’ movie appears to diminish the raw, passion of the book to a clichéd plot about a bored, privileged girl who falls in love with a boy upon meeting him, although the pair must fight to be together because their parents forbid it.
Scott Spencer himself wrote for the Paris Review that the movie will be “a Valentine’s massacre,” because the script adaptation is void of the insanity, danger and bizarreness present in the original novel.
Movies, like this one, that are released on Valentine’s Day are generally ill-received by critics and viewers alike. They rely on the eager hearts of teenage girls and lonely young adults who will watch these two beautiful people interact on screen and imagine themselves in their position.
They won’t take into account the unhealthy codependence of such a relationship or the complete lack of talented or imaginative screenwriting because they will be deferred by the veneer of Valentine’s Day, and the movie will do relatively well despite the lack of any actual cinematic substance.
“They’re super sappy and they prey on female emotions,” said freshman Rachel Lambert.
“They never have a strong female lead. Instead, they have a strong male lead who is trying to make a girl happy and make her like him because, apparently, she can’t do that on her own,” Lambert added.
Through the years, there have been many Valentine’s Day releases that have followed the typical romantic comedy formula for success among the lonely hearts and idealistic teenagers.
Last year, the Nicholas Sparks movie adaption ‘Safe Haven’ was released, the year before that, it was ‘The Vow’, and in 2010, we had the appropriately named ‘Valentine’s Day.’ It seems that, as long as these movies will sell well in the box office, we will be subjected to their sugary romanticism year after year.
It’s not all bad, however. Some see the release of these Valentine’s blockbusters as a worthwhile opportunity for fake, clichéd romance to bud into the real thing.
“I think it’s a good way to get brownie points with your woman or at least it gives you an excuse to take the girl you like out on a date,” said freshman Kendall Billups.
The movie industry has been able to strategically release plot-less films on Valentine’s Day and still do relatively well because of the number of couples looking to do something romantic, the preteens who want to dream about their future and lonely people who go out of spite.
Only time will tell whether we will ever realize that watching these movies is basically turning your brain off for an hour and a half; but this realization definitely won’t be coming this year, or the next, as Valentine’s Day 2015 is set to see the release of the highly anticipated ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ film.

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