Alibi V.18 No.7 • Feb 12-18, 2009 

Reel World

Reel World

“Love” Stories

So, you wanna surprise your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day with a home-cooked meal and a romantic movie. But there are so many sappy love stories to choose from on the shelves of the local video store. Which one to pick? Allow the Alibi to give you a little assist in navigating the waters of romantic movies.

I Love You (1986)—One-time Highlander Christopher Lambert stars in this French/Italian romantic fantasy about an unhappy womanizer who falls in love with a keychain that whispers “I love you” when he whistles. No, really.

I Love You Again (1940)—William Powell and Myrna Loy (of Thin Man fame) team up for this screwball comedy about a teetotaling businessman who sustains a bonk on the head and remembers he’s actually a heavy-drinking conman. The problem? His knockout wife wants to divorce him because he’s boring--which he isn’t because he had amnesia and ... oh, just watch it.

I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! (1968)—Peter Sellers isn’t actually in love with Alice B. Toklas in this timecapsule comedy. (Toklas, the alleged inventor of pot brownies, was actually a lesbian.) Instead, uptight lawyer Sellers falls in love with free-lovin’ hippie Leigh Taylor-Young, causing him to “drop out” and get all groovy, man.

I Love You, Don’t Touch Me! (1997)—A neurotic, 25-year-old virgin chases after the man of her dreams, only to realize that her perfect match is actually her best friend. Isn’t that always the way? This low-budget indie comedy tries but fails to emulate the wit of Annie Hall.

I Love You to Death (1990)—This comedy from director Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill) isn’t particularly romantic. It isn’t particularly funny, either. Kevin Kline and Tracey Ullman are the husband-and-wife owners of a New York pizza parlor. She finds out he’s cheating on her. Being Catholic, she can’t divorce him, so she hires some bumbling killers to bump him off.

Everyone Says I Love You (1996)—Actually, everyone sings “I love you” in this atypical Woody Allen musical. The cast (Edward Norton, Drew Barrymore, Alan Alda, Natalie Portman, Goldie Hawn, Julia Roberts) is impressive, but the off-key caterwauling is ... odd.

P.S. I Love You (2007)—A young widow (Hilary Swank) discovers 10 tape recordings from her dead hubby (Gerard Butler) designed to heal her heart and get her to move on with her life. The sap runs freely in this unsubtle chick flick.

Paris, Je T’aime (Paris, I Love You) (2006)—Not the hotel heiress, but the city. This anthology features 20 short films from a variety of noted filmmakers, each set in the City of Lights and centered around amour.