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Tuesday, April 23, 2024 — Houston, TX

Impress your first date with these Valentine’s Day flicks

Jaclynn Schwander / Thresher

By Arman Saxena     2/14/24 1:36pm

It’s Valentine’s Day, and whether you’re pulling your hair out trying to choose the perfect movie for a date night or wondering how you want to spend your single night in, we got you. From romantic to hilarious to just plain strange, the Thresher’s A&E staff have the perfect film picks for your Valentine’s Day.

Cute and heartwarming

“Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004)

Anime legend Hayao Miyazaki’s most romantic film, “Howl’s Moving Castle,” has everything one could want in a date movie: a couple you can root for, cute animated sidekicks, a lovely, luxurious score and an awe-inspiring fantasy world full of adventure. If that ending shot doesn’t make you swoon, nothing will. — Arman Saxena

“Paddington” (2014) or “Paddington 2” (2017)

“Paddington” is, simply put, one of the most breathtaking films we have ever had the privilege of experiencing. It tells the hilariously fun and emotional story of a young Peruvian bear, Paddington, as he learns to navigate London, lunchtime and love. Although some may claim that it is geared for children, we would vehemently disagree; the quick wit, engaging dialogue and spectacular visuals appeals to moviegoers of all ages. Be prepared to laugh, sit on the edge of your seat and maybe even shed a tear or two as you join Paddington and the Brown family on their wild adventure. — Hamza Saeed

“WALL-E” (2008)

It’s hard to find a quality that “WALL-E” is lacking in. The animation is breathtaking and state of the art. The characters are meticulously designed, with vivid life and whimsy even in the most robotic places. The story is timeless and wholesome, as these robots traverse the solar system in an attempt to restore hope and humanity in the face of apocalypse. This movie makes the ultimate Valentine’s gift, even if a simple plant in a boot would suffice. — Thomas Pickell

For hopeless romantics

“The Apartment” (1960)

THE classic rom-com, Billy Wilder’s “The Apartment” still is as touching as ever over 60 years later. Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine’s endearing chemistry helps bring Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond’s Oscar-winning words to life. Two of the greatest screenwriters of the Hollywood golden age, Wilder and Diamond’s banter remains hilarious, poignant and heated — everything one would want in a date comedy. — Arman Saxena

“But I’m a Cheerleader” (1999)

A ’90s cult classic, “But I’m a Cheerleader” is a satirical romantic comedy that follows Megan (Natasha Lyonne), a high school cheerleader with a football-playing boyfriend that gets sent to gay conversion bootcamp after her parents become suspicious of her sexuality. At camp, Megan meets Graham (Clea DuVall) and slowly starts to fall for her, coming to terms with her sexuality. It’s funny, it’s camp, it’s heartwarming and even includes RuPaul. Try to name a better V-Day watch. — Hadley Medlock

“Chungking Express” (1994)

For the (self-proclaimed) “indie” and “artsy” types, “Chungking Express” is the perfect stylized twist on the rom-com genre for your date night. The film’s narrative is split in two, both dealing with chance encounters and lovesick individuals against the backdrop of mid-’90s Hong Kong. Come for the ethereal, late-night-neon aesthetic and stay for the gorgeous story about finding “the one” in an overwhelming city. — Max Scholl

“Notting Hill” (1999)

I’m a huge romance movie connoisseur and have seen virtually every relatively well known romcom. One that is perfect for a sweet date night is “Notting Hill.” First of all, the cast is amazing, featuring young Hugh Grant (hot!) and the stunning Julia Roberts (even hotter!). The plot is simple: movie star girl meets a sad, wet cat bookstore owner boy. What more could you want? — Caitlyn Ladd

Downright scary

“Midsommar” (2019)

Ari Aster's “Midsommar” makes for a terrific bonding experience. After all, nothing says "quality time" like witnessing a group of unsuspecting grad students stumble upon a pagan commune with more red flags than a Soviet parade. What better way to strengthen your relationships than through joint trauma, amirite? — Jennifer Liu

“Ready or Not” (2019)

No significant other? No problem. Enjoy a nice movie date with yourself and watch “Ready or Not” for a reminder of why you'd never want to be bogged down by a serious relationship anyway. In this dark comedy/thriller, wedding bells quickly turn into alarm bells when a bride's initiation into her new family takes a deadly turn, unveiling a twisted game of survival where "till death do us part" adopts a whole new meaning. Revel in the chaos as you reaffirm your commitment to the bachelorette life. Stay woke, all my single ladies.  — Jennifer Liu

Comedy, or something like that

“The Devil Wears Prada” (2006)

“The Devil Wears Prada” is endlessly fun, flirty and timeless. Anne Hathaway plays the protagonist Andy, who somehow lands a job at a major fashion publication, and Meryl Streep plays her cold, Wintourian boss Miranda Priestly. Beyond the movie’s sheer entertainment value, you’ll find plenty of conversation starters for you and your date. Is Nate an awful boyfriend to Andy? What’s the best outfit from Andy’s iconic mid-movie montage? And is Miranda morally ambiguous or the devil incarnate? — Ashley Wang

“Tall Girl” (2019)

If you and your date have weird senses of humor and/or unconventional ideas of romance, watch “Tall Girl” to better understand the struggles of a … tall girl. The movie is so cringy and poorly written that it circles back to being good (horseshoe theory of film). For at least a quarter of the movie, viewers will be occupied by the thought, “Why is Sabrina Carpenter here?” Fortunately, the bizarreness of “Tall Girl” as a date night movie synthesizes the perfect conditions for you and your date to exchange WTF glances while holding hands. — Alina Zhong

“The VelociPastor” (2017)

You only have a gambling addiction if you’re losing, and one gamble we would take this Valentine’s Day is showing your S/O “Velocipastor.” They’ll either fall in love with you expeditiously, or they’ll leave you for Doug Jones, a man who, through a series of increasingly unlikely and unfortunate events, gains the ability to turn into a crime-fighting dinosaur. Pastor in the streets, Velociraptor in the sheets (literally), Father Doug works with Father Stewart (Vietnam War Veteran), Carol (prostitute) and Altair (exorcist) to defeat a ninja clan, infamous pimp Frankie Mermaid and crime (the concept). This cocaine-fueled adventure is sure to fuel your Valentine’s Day plans. — Hamza Saeed

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