Romance On - And Off - Screen

Amy Adams, as Julie Powell, receives applause from her dinner guests as she serves up a roof-top feast in a scene from "Julie & Julia."
AP Photo/Columbia Pictures/Sony
You may not have a Hollywood romance, but you can rent one.

People Magazine explains on The Early Show that there are plenty of romantic movies in theaters and on video-store shelves. But, which should you see this Valentine's Day?

Jess Cagle, a senior editor at People magazine, has some suggestions that include films now in theatres, movies new on video/DVD and a handful of classics.

Here are three picks that are in currently in movies theaters:

  • "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"
    Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson star in this romantic comedy that opens Friday. Hudson decides to write an article for her magazine entitled: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. She plans to get a man to break up with her by committing all possible relationship mistakes. Meanwhile, McConaughey has a bet with his buddies that he can make any woman fall in love with him in just 10 days. The two meet at a bar and soon the game is on. Cagle says it's light, it's funny, it has big names and it has gotten a lot of positive reviews.
  • "All About Eva"
    This is another romantic comedy. LL Cool J's latest film is loosely based on The Taming of the Shrew. Eva, played by Gabrielle Union, rules the lives of her three younger sisters with an iron fist. Fed up, the girls' mates pay the biggest ladies' man (LL Cool J) in town to woo Eva. They assume she will be so distracted with her love life that she will stay out of theirs. Of course, the two wind up falling in love. Cagle says the film has received decent reviews so far. It's light, funny and cute.
  • "Far From Heaven"
    Cagle says this is definitely not a comedy. It's not even your traditional romance. But the message is: You'll come to no good end if you don't follow your heart.

    Julianne Moore's name is being tossed around as an Oscar contender in this 1950s drama about a Connecticut housewife who discovers that her husband is gay. She then proceeds to fall in love with her black gardener. Homosexuality and interracial relationships are two subjects that would never have been discussed in the '50s, but they are presented in this film.

Cagle says renting may be the way to go this holiday. There are more films to choose from, and curling up on the couch can prove romantic.

Here are some new releases that you can rent — just in time for Valentine's day:

  • "Sweet Home Alabama"
    Last summer's romantic comedy has earned $126.7 million so far. Reese Witherspoon plays a New York fashion designer who has it all. After her boyfriend proposes, she heads back to her Alabama past to obtain a divorce from her childhood sweetheart. The movie hit video stores Tuesday.
  • "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
    Cagle says this movie is just as charming the second time around. The most successful independent film of all time comes to video next Tuesday, and it's hitting the small screen as a televison spinoff debuts on CBS Feb. 24.

Cagle says a good romantic film must appeal to both men and women, so his lists contain more than just "chick flicks."

Here are a few of Cagle's favorite classics:

  • "The Way We Were" (1973)
    Cagle admits this is the ultimate "chick flick." But, he says, it's iconic as a romantic movie. The man who is resistant to watching this will probably be surprised by how much he likes it. Who can resist Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand?

    Keep in mind, however, that this isn't a cheerful movie. It's a weeper, and the stars don't end up together at the end. Cagle suggests keeping another Streisand hit, the comedy "What's Up Doc" (1972), next to the VCR too, just in case you need some romantic laughs.

  • "Rocky" (1976)
    Cagle says action can be romantic, too. Plus, the guys will love their partners for choosing this one as a date movie. Cagle says many probably haven't seen the Academy Award's Best Picture in a long time. It's powerful and moving.
  • North by Northwest" (1959)
    This movie has good suspense and great sexual imagery to get you in the mood, says Cagle. If you're a guy who's confident enough to let your partner watch Cary Grant in his prime for two hours, then you're automatically a stud. Confidence is sexy.
  • "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
    If you decide Valentine's Day calls for a musical, this the most romantic of the bunch, according to Cagle. It's a good choice if you don't want anything too heavy, and it will have you itching to swing around a light post by the end.
  • "Woman of the Year" (1942)
    You can rent this one for the story on screen and off screen. The comedy about two married lawyers was the first collaboration between Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Between scenes, they fell in love. Cagle says another great movie starring real-life lovers is "To Have and Have Not," starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. It's the movie where she says, "You know how to whistle, pucker up your lips and blow."