On Valentine’s Day, there are two kinds of people. The first group is full of young couples who are in love, children joyfully passing around little cards at school and married folks who just want to eat a nice meal out on the town. The other group hates this group.
This Valentine’s Day I find myself in the second group which wonders who came up with this silly holiday. But let’s get past accusations of greeting card company conspiracies and hating on people who have a significant other. Today has come to be about celebrating that which you love. For me, that’s sitting in a reclining chair (at the theater or at home) and watching the beautiful artistry of film.
Whether it’s the silent shenanigans of Buster Keaton, the classic romanticism of “Casablanca” or the explosive spectacle of “The Avengers,” these fleeting images can be every bit as captivating as a budding romance. I remember the first time I watched “Saving Private Ryan” or one of Billy Wilder’s films and the kinds of emotions they pulled out of me as I sat mesmerized.
But, like any other relationship, there can be rough patches where you wonder if you’re just wasting your time. I remember the pain of watching “Battleship” just as vividly as any good experience at the theater. However, maybe seeing a really bad film like that makes one appreciate quality filmmaking when they see it. Without knowing how truly horrible a production can go, you’d think the business of making movies is a walk in the park.
For all of its flops, near-misses and money-grabbing mistakes, film is a movement that can speak to all of us in just the right way. No matter what the story is or what differences in taste are accounted for, the right movie at the right time can be as therapeutic or fulfilling as time spent with a loved one.
Or so I hope as I sit in a recliner and wander through my Netflix queue on Valentine’s Day.