A long time ago, I stopped trying to make Valentine's Day uber romantic and decided to make it a fun family evening instead, eliminating the desperate search for a sitter, the crowded, expensive restaurants and the pressure on couples to up the ante. (Really, who needs that?) Instead I make spaghetti (it's red) and something chocolate for dessert, then we try to find a "love" movie that we can all watch together.
But you've probably guessed that's not so easy.
So here are 5 movies we've deemed appropriate and not cringe worthy. As always, do your due diligence and look the movie up on IMDB to see why it garnered the rating it did, and if there are things in it that you would not think appropriate for your kids, or yourself for that matter. Movies are so subjective and everyone's threshold of what's appropriate is so vastly different.
But as romantic movies go, these are about as innocuous (without being vapid) as you can get. However you celebrate Valentine's Day, I hope it's wonderful!
Sleepless in Seattle: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan star in Nora Ephron's wonderfully romantic comedy about two people drawn together by destiny. Hanks stars as Sam Baldwin, a widowed father who, thanks to the wiles of his worried son, becomes a reluctant guest on a radio call-in show. He's an instant hit with thousands of female listeners who deluge his Seattle home with letters of comfort. Meanwhile, inspired in equal parts by Sam's story and by classic Hollywood romance, writer Annie Reed (Ryan) becomes convinced that it's her destiny to meet Sam. There are just two problems: Annie's engaged to someone else and Sam doesn't know yet that they're made for each other. Co-starring Rosie O'Donnell, Rita Wilson and Rob Riener.
Return To Me: Who knew that when he ordered the special, he d get the dish of his life? David Duchovny ('the X-Files ) and Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting) ignite sparks in this warm-hearted winner (JeffCraig, 'sixty Second Preview ) about a widower and a waitress who meet and fall in love. Featuring an incredible all-star cast, this hilarious romantic comedy delivers a lot of laughs, tears and joysthat will make your spirits soar. It took a lot of cajoling to get Bob (Duchovny), a recently widowed architect, to go on a blind date at a quirky Irish-Italian eatery. Once there, he's smitten instantly not with his date but with the sharp-witted waitress, Grace (Driver). With unsolicitedhelp from Grace's matchmaking grandfather (Carroll O Connor), Bob asks her out. And as their relationship blossoms, everything seems to be going great, until an unbelievable truth is revealed one that could easily break both of their hearts for good.
You've Got Mail: The stars (Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan) and director (Nora Ephron) of Sleepless in Seattle reteamed for this charming audience favorite. Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey, Jean Stapleton and more great co-stars add note-perfect support to this cinematic love letter in which superstore book chain magnate Hanks and cozy children’s bookshop owner Ryan are anonymous e-mail cyberpals who fall head-over-laptops in love, unaware they are combative business rivals. You’ve got rare Hollywood magic when You’ve Got Mail.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding: Toula is 30. And unmarried. Which means as a nice Greek girl -- she's a failure. All her cousins did the right thing -- married Greek boys and made Greek babies. So everyone worries: what will become of Toula? Then one day she sees the ultimate unattainable guy and realizes the only way her life will get better is if he gets away from her big, fat Greek family. Toula escapes from the family restaurant. She exchanges her seating hostess jacket for a college diploma, convinces her aunt to give her a new job, and trades in her coke-bottle glasses for contact lenses, just in time for "him" to walk back into her life. Ian Miller is tall, handsome but defnitely not Greek. Their courtship is an Olympian culture clash. Can Ian handle Toula, her parents, her aunts, uncles, cousins and several centuries of Greek heritage? Will Toula discover the love she's been missing right in the heart of her big, fat family? One thing is for sure, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, with Ian's proposal Toula is headed for her big, fat Greek wedding.
While You Were Sleeping: You'll fall in love with WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING, the hit romantic comedy that woke everyone up to adorable Sandra Bullock (SPEED, A TIME TO KILL). As Lucy, a lonely subway worker, she becomes smitten with a handsome stranger (Peter Gallagher -- MALICE). But when she saves his life after he's been mugged and fallen into a coma, his hilariously offbeat family mistakes her for his fiancee! Soon, the mix-ups escalate as Lucy fabricates a life between herself and a man she's never met! And when Lucy falls for his charming brother (Bill Pullman -- INDEPENDENCE DAY) the situation really gets uproarious as she's forced to make a choice between the two!