Valentine's Day Affliction

Feb 8, 2010 at 7:56 pm

In 2008 there was Definitely, Maybe. Last year, there were Confessions of a Shopoholic. And now, with only six days left before Valentine’s Day is actually upon us, a movie baring the same name is set to hit theaters. 

Valentine’s Day, this year’s most blatant bid for romantically charged girls to drag their boyfriends down to the theater, and spend gobs of money to found out whether or not Ashton Kutcher, Julia Roberts, and a fistful of other stars will live happily ever after. For anyone with a remotely decent sense of cinematic taste, this would be something to avoid. And yet, in the deep recesses of my otherwise logical brain, there lives a tiny little blob of girly power that screams, “Go see this movie!”—-

I know it’s just a cheap Valentine’s Day ploy, I know in the end I will probably be mourning another $10 lost to satisfy an inexplicable curiosity. But despite all this, I can’t help it!

This Sunday, when the Godiva smeared masses line up to see Valentine’s Day, I will be right there with them. And with this in mind, I can’t help but wonder: What is it about this type of movie that appeals to my girly side so strongly that it overpowers all reason?

In my movie rack at home, just a few titles that have won the privilege of a permanent seat there are Fight Club, Shaun of the Dead and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. If they could talk, they might ask me why they have to share a space with movies like Notting Hill, Sex and the City and Bridget Jones’s Diary.

From the very beginning, you’re almost certain of how the movie is going to end. One person will be almost uncomfortably quirky but still endearing enough to win over the man or woman of their dreams by the two hour mark. And still, years and years of this formulated story telling has only made me come back for more.

There's something about a romantic comedy (read: chick film) that both satisfies and repels different parts of me. It's similar to my love-hate relationship with new horror movies, wanting something suspenseful but walking away with buckets of blood. In this way, I’m usually sure that I will end up seeing red, only this time it’ll be from heart shaped boxes of candy.

In its opening weekend, Definitely, Maybe brought in $11,472,255 in the U.S. alone. Similarly, Confessions of a Shopoholic made $17,809,053 according to Both were released Valentine’s Day weekend. Now Valentine’s Day is set to open on its namesake.

Obviously, Hollywood knows what it’s doing. And even with more recognizable names than actual plot advertised, it is sure to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors and make away with an obscene amount of money. Hopefully, this time I'll be rewarded for my blind attraction to this genre.

Perhaps Valentine’s Day will offer more than pretty faces and one-dimensional story lines. Maybe it will prove to be the Citizen Kane of romantic comedies and more than just my girly side will enjoy the film. Of course, this is the same sort of thinking that made me keep watching even beyond Saw II.

So we shall see. And to all my fellow moviegoers out there ruled by this girly affliction and to the patient boyfriends who are dragged along, I feel your pain.