This February, theaters will feature many a flower-bouquet-and-chocolate-box-filled chick flick for the romantics in our midst (and their unfortunate significant others, who may be dragged along to see said films). If your heart doesn’t flutter upon hearing the opening bars of Bette Midler’s “The Rose” or you have a voodoo doll of Nicholas Sparks at home, then this list is for you. Call it your own personal anti-Valentine’s Day agenda. (No Kleenex required.)
At the Box Office
It’s been awhile since Jennifer Lopez gifted us with a predictably painful plot (this one in the spirit of another stalker flop starring fellow singer-turned-actress Beyoncé Knowles: “Obsessed”), so I’m putting her latest entry at the top of my loveless must-sees. If J-Lo’s past films are any indication (think “Enough” and “The Back-Up Plan”), this one won’t be playing for long—get your ticket before it’s gone! Now in theaters
There’s nothing sexy about SpongeBob, so whether or not you have kids, taking in this colorful cartoon is a sure-fire way NOT to celebrate V-Day. The under-the-sea animation is the perfect antidote to the kissy-face rom-com. Opens Feb. 6
Grab your best girlfriends, and get ready to blush. (Good thing you’ll be sitting in the dark.) This highly anticipated flick is more soft porn than romance—call it this year’s “Magic Mike” and a next-generation “Nine 1/2 Weeks.” Even if you didn’t read the books, you won’t wanna miss this much talked-about release. (Good luck getting your man to take you to this one, ladies.) Opens Feb. 13
What We Do in the Shadows (Not yet rated)
This is probably what my boyfriend and I will be seeing Valentine’s Day weekend. (Not kidding.) If you don’t laugh out loud at the trailer for this mockumentary (with a “biting” sense of humor…haha) about vampires living together in an MTV-style “Real World” setting, then you and I can’t be friends. (Sorry.) Opens Feb. 13
Who needs love when you can laugh? Rob Corddry, Clark Duke and Craig Robinson (who cracks me up, even in those “Don’t Touch my Dart” and “Hay Day” commercials) are back in this sequel about childhood friends who travel through time via a magical malfunctioning (never mind disgusting) jacuzzi. The always funny Adam Scott and comedy legend Chevy Chase also star. Opens Feb. 20
Available for Rent
My Bloody Valentine (R)
Nothing says Feb. 14 like a slasher film, especially one that takes place on this national holiday! Choose from the original 1981 release or the 2009 reboot. The latter is led by model-turned-actress Jaime King (from the “Sin City” franchise and TV’s “Hart of Dixie”), Jenson Ackles (star of the long-running WB show “Supernatural”) and Kerr Smith (whom you might remember as Jack from “Dawson’s Creek”—he’s now decidedly older and grayer, and appears on ABC Family’s “The Fosters”).
Fatal Attraction (R)
There is no love lost between the lead characters in this 1987 hit, which needs little introduction. Married man Michael Douglas and sociopath Glenn Close pair off and then face off in this story of a one-night-stand gone wrong, after which no one is safe…not even a family’s pet bunny rabbit. (Spoiler alert for the one person out there who may not have seen “Fatal Attraction” before.)
The Way We Were (PG)
No matter how many times I see this classic starring the one-and-only Barbra Streisand and a dashingly handsome Robert Redford, I tear up…so forgive me if you are forced to sneak a tissue while watching this ONE throwback. In some ways, “The Way We Were” is a romance, but it’s also a story with a more realistic Hollywood ending than most, so I am putting it on the list, people! (Give yourself a manicure like Babs’ while watching, and blame the waterworks on the stench of nail polish remover.)
So bad, it’s good. Released the same year I graduated high school (good ol’ 1995), “Showgirls” famously reveals “Saved by the Bell” cast member Elizabeth Berkley in a G-string…and little else. I’m pretty sure I didn’t see the former Jessie Spano dance naked until much of the rest of the world did, on the small screen some years after this film’s initial release, cuz it bombed at the box office (a la “Gigli” and “Glitter”). Since that time, it has developed a cult following—and I am a cult follower. #GuiltyPleasure
Women in Love (R)
I read this 1920s-era novel by author D.H. Lawrence while studying in England my junior year of college and fell for it hard…so hard that I ended up doing an entire independent study on it upon my return. The narrative was ahead of its time, pitting man versus woman in conversation as all parties struggle to understand/seek/find/fail at love. Happily ever after it is not.
This is one of the most deliciously depressing movies you will ever see. Every time something horrible happens in the cinematically breathtaking drama, you will wonder what could possibly happen next…and secretly hope there’s more death and destruction to follow. The upside: Brad Pitt (pre-Angelina Jolie) on a horse. (Trust me on this, ladies.)
The Strangers (R)
Liv Tyler (Steven’s lovely daughter) and Scott Speedman (best known for one of my favorite TV shows of all time: “Felicity”) are a couple on the rocks in this cabin-in-the-woods thriller with an especially disturbing conclusion. (Consider yourself warned.) You definitely won’t feel all warm and fuzzy after taking in the scare tactics of this horror pic, which boasts no supernatural means (making it all the more frightening). But if you happen to have a loved one to snuggle up with while covering your eyes, more power to ya!