Classic romantic movies for Valentine's Day

Looking for that perfect Valentine's Day movie to share with someone special? David Edelstein would just LOVE to offer some suggestions:

I wanted to suggest some less-well-known recent love stories to watch this Valentine's Day, in theaters or on video, but nothing in the Nicholas Sparks Factory Warehouse stirred my fancy.

That said, love, true love, transcends time, right? In the three films I picked, with a vengeance.

I'll start with the most recent, from 2004: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," a sci-fi comedy with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, that begins post-nasty-break-up and shows how impossible it is to purge the love of your life from your mind, even if the technology existed.

And how you shouldn't want to, no matter how much you want to kill them.


Even more transcendental is 1980's "Somewhere in Time," a time-travel fantasy where playwright Christopher Reeve recognizes his soul-mate, an actress played by Jane Seymour -- except she's long dead.

His journey into the past is heart-stirring and heartbreaking. It has one of the most romantic first kisses ever. And, okay, it's kinda drippy. Just go with it.


Finally: When people ask, "What's your favorite movie?" I say Preston Sturges' screwball masterpiece, "The Lady Eve," from 1941. Barbara Stanwyck is the virtuoso steamboat con-artist who snares Henry Fonda as a poor little rich egghead, a sap.

But she falls for him for real ... and loses him ... and gets him back by ---

It's complicated, and hilarious, and nightmarish, too. Because juvenile infatuation is great, but there's more to love than what we see.

Stanwyck: "You see, Hopsie, you don't know very much about girls. The best ones aren't as good as you probably think they are, and the bad ones aren't as bad. Not nearly as bad."

There you are: Three movies about having to jump through a lot of hoops -- cerebral, temporal, logical -- to learn the meaning of love. They'll linger in your mind long after those roses have turned to dust.