13 Films to Watch on Valentine’s Day If You Are in An Anti-Romance Mood

So I wasn’t originally going to post anything for Valentine’s Day, I’m just not in the mood. Some of you know my story, for those who don’t, go to Plot Twist.

Meh.

But then I was looking through my drafts, and I spotted this one. The idea of a list of films to watch on Valentine’s Day when you are not in a romantic mood was born last year, but I never had a chance to flesh it out so I didn’t post it. However, it is perfect for this year! So even though we will not be having our usual Romance is in the Air: 14 Days, 14 Romantic Moments in film and TV, we will still have something.

Some of us just get in an unromantic mood during Valentine’s Day. Sometimes it is because of a bad relationship, sometimes it’s because you aren’t a romantic person, sometimes it is just Valentine’s Day itself that sets you off.

So I decided that instead of doing a romantic moment, that I would list thirteen films for you who are anti-romance this “season” to enjoy.

Now note that I said anti-romance, there will be love in some of the films, but I am choosing ones that are not romantic love, or full of love.

13) Legally Blonde

Elle Woods imagined that when her boyfriend asked her out to a fancy dinner, he was going to propose, but he dumps her because she isn’t the “right image.” Angry, wanting to prove him wrong, and hoping to win him back-she takes her LSATS and enrolls in Harvard Law School. There she surprisingly discovers a love of law and justice.

So it does have some romance in it, as she hopes to get her man back, but as the film continues it really becomes about Elle finding her place and who she is, and not letting anyone keep her down or other’s views of her affect her self-esteem. She does end up with a new boyfriend, but that isn’t really the primary focus in the film or a strong part of the story,

For more on Legally Blonde, go to The Bend and Snap

12) What A Way To Go

I first ran into this film when I was shelving the DVDs at work, and when I saw the cast list I had to watch it! Shirley MacLaine is Louisa May Foster Hopper Flint Anderson Benson who has dreamed of living a poor, simple life with the man she loves. Instead each man she marries gets rich, spends zero time with her, and is killed by their work-leaving her richer and trying again to find love. Each sequence also has a flashback when a “movie type scenario” from a silent film, Parisian film, big technicolor extravaganza, and a musical.

This film is hilarious as all Louisa wants is to be poor, but keeps making each man richer-ending up alone. She and all her co-stars gel so well-you can’t miss this amazing and fun film. Louisa does fall in love again and again, but as she gives her husband’s ideas that make them rich and busy, she actually doesn’t spend that much time with them. It is sooo funny, that all will enjoy and need to watch.

11) Double Jeopardy

Libby Parsons went out for a romantic night with her husband and woke up to him dead! She then finds herself on trial for his murder, convicted and in jail, her son taken and missing, and it turns out her husband is still alive. Libby serves her time and as soon as she is paroled she will do all she can to find her boy and make her husband pay!

There is no romance in this, just a mother’s love and determination to get her son. Plus-revenge and hardcore justice!

For more on Double Jeopardy, go to I Could Shoot You in the Middle of Mardi Gras and They Can’t Touch Me…: Double Jeopardy (1999)

10) Shenandoah

James Stewart is Charlie Anderson, yeoman farmer and father of seven living in Shenandoah, Virginia. Charlie does not own slaves, he has six sons who can help with the work, therefore he does not believe in fighting in the Civil War. Instead Charlie chooses to go on with his daily life, believing that if he stays out of the war, then him and his family will be safe. However, people in his household have conflicting views; one of his sons, Jacob, wants to fight in the war and his son-in-law is an officer in the Confederate army. His youngest boy ends up being mistaken as a confederate troop and captured as a prisoner of war, then causing Charlie and his family to go after him; ultimately thrusting them into the war.

Shenandoah is radically different in its portrayal of the Civil War. It steers away from celebrating, idealizing, and romanticizing war-instead not choosing to not honor a side but vilify war in general. It presents all viewpoints on the Civil War and raises issues concerning the Civil War that are applicable in contemporary times. The way Shenandoah is able to encompass all views makes it a film that is still relatable today. It is a sad film, but powerful. It has no real romantic love, but focuses on the love of a family.

9) Dangerous Crossing

Ruth Stanton has just eloped with John Bowman and the two are going on a cruise for their honeymoon. He goes to the purser while she heads up to the deck. When she returns to her room, it isn’t her room! There is no record of John Bowman, the staff has not seen him and don’t recall seeing them together. Ruth Stanton did have to go to a sanitarium, after her father died, could she be having another breakdown? Or is there a sinister plot against her?

This is a film noir that has mystery and suspense and very little romance. Yes, Ruth is on her honeymoon, but as her husband is missing (or does he even exist?) there is no romance-just her drive to find out what happened.

For more on Dangerous Crossing, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

8) Jaws

Amity Island is getting ready for the summer and what should be a great time on the beach. However, all is not well as a rogue great white shark has decided to make the beach this year’s home. He’s eating up tourists and locals, scaring the crowds away, and causing all kinds of havoc. Soon the sheriff, a marine biologist, and fisher have to team up to hunt the monster down.

Let’s see the film starts off with a couple trying to be romantic and getting turned into shark bait, so you know the romance in this will be zero. A fantastic film that anyone will enjoy.

For more on Jaws, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Screen: Happy 40th to JAWS

7) Night of the Living Dead

Barbara and her brother are visiting their grandparent’s grave when they are attacked by a zombie!! Her brother is taken, but Barbara escapes ending up in a house with several others who are trying to survive this attack and find a way out.

There is absolutely no romance in this film as everything is focused on surviving the dreaded event. There is a teenage couple who try and escape the horror, but they succumb to zombies.

For more Night of the Living Dead, go to They’re Coming To Get You Barbara: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

 

6) The Trouble With Angels

I got this movie as a gift from a friend one year. She said, and direct quote, “I saw it was an old movie so I figured you would like it.” Ha ha.

Mary Clancy (Hayley Mills) is quite the troublemaker, so much that her father has decided to send her to Catholic school. There she teams up with fellow newcomer, Rachel Devery, and they begin to pull pranks on the Nuns and Mother Superior. Mother Superior won’t be outdone, however, and plans to do all she can to tame their temperamental moods.

An adorable film about friendship, faith, and growing up. Not a drop of romance in it.

5) The Beverly Hillbillies

Jed is just an average “hillbillie” trying to keep his family fed. He’s out shooting and finds the biggest oil field in America on record. He takes his daughter Ellie May, cousin Jethro, granny (Jed’s mother-in-law), and a truckfull of animals to Beverly Hills, CA. The try and navigate in Beverly Hills, their ways being a full “fish out of water” scenario. When Jed sees that his daughter is completely unladylike, he decides it is time to get a wife who can raise his daughter right. Enter Woodrow Tyler and Laura Jackson, conmen, who plan to make Jed fall in love with Laura and take all his money. Will their plan work? Or will these Hillbillies prove they are much smarter than they seem at first glance.

This film is hilarious and so much fun to watch, I know I could watch it over and over again. You might think a film that centers around marriage has to be about love and romance, wrong! There is none really at all in this film. It is hilarious as we see the hillbillies trying to survive in ’90s Beverly Hills. There is no real romance as Jed gets engaged not for love but because he wants to help his daughter, no real courting involved. Instead just laughs and hijinks, and fun.

4) She-Devil

Roseanne Barr plays housewife to a verbally abusive husband, and mother to equally abusive children. When her husband cheats on her with romance writer, played by Meryl Streep, Roseanne decides to get even. She systematically destroys all that her husband holds dear-his house, job, etc. She leaves her abusive kids to go to live with their dad and new wife-destroying Meryl Streep as well. Now having to be a mom and wife-Streep finds herself suffering at all of Roseanne’s plotting.

This is a fun comedy where all those who wronged you get their just desserts. A comedic film where revenge is a dish that keeps getting served over and over again. A great film if you want zero romance and see those who deserve it-suffer!

3) The First Wives Club

Three college friends (played by Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler) are reunited after the death of their once close friend. They discover that each one’s husband is leaving them for another woman. Instead of sitting around, they decide to form a group and get back at the cheating losers.

No love here as these women take their spouses down and rediscover the beauty of friendship.

2) The Outsiders

This film has always been a favorite for me. My friends and I used to do a Hunk-a-Thon, where we bring films with our favorite hot guys and marathon watch, and this was always one of my choices. Why you may ask? Well it has Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, and Matt Dillion.

A touching story about boys from the wrong-side of town getting caught up in a situation over their heads. Based on the book by S.E. Hinton, it is poignant, heartwarming, and completely relatable.

There is no romance in the film, only the incredible love of friendship and family. An amazing film-watch if you haven’t yet.

1) 9 to 5

One year, my friend had her heartbroken and we were trying to cheer her up, and I said let’s watch this movie. There is no romance, it is hilarious, and we’ll all be too focused on the hijinks to be sad. No one else had seen the movie, so at first they weren’t sure, but we had a great time watching it.

9 to 5 takes place in the early ’80s and is about three different working women who have to deal with a cheating, lazy, misogynistic boss: Franklin Hart Jr. Violet Newstead (Lily Tomlin) is the senior office manager and the one who really runs the corporation. Unfortunately, she never moves up as Hart takes credit for her ideas. Doralee Rhodes (the amazing Dolly Parton), is Hart’s secretary who he sexually assaults and tells the whole office he is sleeping with, turning all the other staff against her. Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda) has just entered the workforce as her husband has left her for his secretary, Hart yells and threatens to fire her after an office mistake that anyone could make. After a particularly distressing day, the women end up going to a bar, becoming friends, and fantasizing about actually killing their boss. The next day Violet thinks she accidentally poisoned him. The rest is hilarious. You should totally check it out..

This movie is soooooooo funny. It is a must watch! No romance-just comedy, music, justice, and friendship.

For more on 9 to 5, go to Five to Nine

I hope you all enjoy that! Of course of you are in a romantic mood you can always check out one of my previous Romance is in the Air series:

For I Only Want to Be With You: Romance is in the Air, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

For Keep On Loving You: Romance is in the Air Part II, go to Language of Love: Love Actually (2003)

For What I Like About You: Romance is in the Air Part III, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

For Good Lovin’: Romance is in the Air Part IV, go toI Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

For How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You: Romance is in the Air Part V, go to I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For The Power of Love: Romance is in the Air Part VI, go to Who Says I Have to Stop: Fireproof (2008)

Or snuggle up with an Austen film!

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I Could Shoot You in the Middle of Mardi Gras and They Can’t Touch Me…: Double Jeopardy (1999)

I could shoot you in the middle of Mardi Gras and they can’t touch me.

I saw this movie years ago and enjoyed the suspense and the game-of-cat-and-mouse. When I was flipping through Amazon prime, I spotted it and decided to watch it again.

So the film starts out with the very wealthy Parson family, Nicholas (Bruce Greenwood) and Libby (Ashley Judd), hosting a fundraiser for the school their son Matty attends. They seem like the dream couple who have it all with the perfect relationship.

So sweet

Then to top it off, Nicholas surprises Libby with a sailboat. They are going to test it out before buying with a romantic night. Libby’s best friend and Matty’s teacher, Angela Green watches him for them.The two head off and have a romantic night. Everything is perfect.

Aw! How sweet!

When Libby awakes the next day she finds her husband gone! Blood everywhere! And her facing a murder charge.

Help me! I’m confused!

She tries to beat it, but finds herself in prison. She signs guardenship over to Angela, who sweetly visits every week with her son. But then one day Angela doesn’t come.

Soon it is a month.

Libby doesn’t know what to do but gets an idea from one of her cellmates to try and find her. Libby calls the school pretending to be Angela and gets the forwarding address. She then calls Angela, who is shocked that she tracked her down to San Francisco. Libby demands to talk to Matty, Angela lets her, and then Libby hears the last thing she ever would.

Matty: Daddy!

Her husband is alive? Alive?

Help me! I’m confused!

The line goes dead and that’s all Libby has. So here is Libby-imprisoned for a crime she did not commit, lost her son, lost the money, and stuck in prison-with no one wanting to listen to her or help her. All is bleak

But then one of the cellmates comes to her with an idea.

Margaret Skolowski: Pay attention, because this is the best g****** advice you’re ever gonna get. Ever hear of something called double jeopardy? Fifth Amendment to the constitution? [Libby shakes her head left to right] Huh? No? Well, double jeopardy provides that ‘no person may be tried for the same crime twice.’ You got that? Keep stirrin’. The state says you already killed your husband. They can’t convict you of it a second time. That means that when you leave here, and you track him down, and when you find him you can kill him. That’s right. You can walk right up to him in Times Square, put a gun to his head and pull the f****** trigger, and there’s nothin’ anybody can do about it.[Libby makes a slight smile] Kinda makes you feel warm and tingly all over, don’t it? That’s right. keep stirrin’.

So Libby decides that is what she will do. She becomes a model prisoner, works out, and survives on knowing that she can get him and get away with it.

She gets parole and ends up in a halfway house that is run by Travis (Tommy Lee Jones). She then heads on a quest to find her husband, and getting her son; killing him if necessary.

You are going down

***Spoiler Alert***

So Libby breaks into the school her son went to in order to get information on Angela-like her social security number and such in order to find her. She gets caught and arrested, but uses her wit to get out of it while they are ferrying to the city.

She then uses that and her husband’s love of painting to track him down to New Orleans, and to a bachelor auction fundraiser.

She tries to get her son, but Nicholas, now Jonathan Deveraux, tries to murder her again. But Libby won’t give up.

I am not done

One of the best parts is near the end when Travis starts to think that Libby is right and asks for a DMV picture of Parsons to see if he could be Jonathan Deveraux. The picture comes in and it is a picture of someone else.

Hmm…

But later he tells Nicholas how he decided that Parsons is a common name, and ran it again-finding proof of his picture. Then he and Libby plan a way to frame him!

[Libby shoots the painting behind Nick’s head]

Libby Parsons: [Libby smiles] I haven’t felt that good in six years. I don’t want to kill you, Nick. I just want you to suffer like I suffered.

Travis Lehman: What she means, Nick, is, you’re going to prison – For murder.

Nick Parsons: Who did I supposedly murder?

Libby Parsons: Me.

Nick Parsons: All you’ve got is an old fax photo.

Libby Parsons: Which supplies the motive. Your wife, whom you had framed, tracks you down, and to keep her from exposing you, you kill her.

Fantastic scene! The end is great and Libby finally gets her vengeance and justice.

And reunited with her son!!!

So sweet

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Wrong Place at the Wrong Time: Fashion Model (1945)