editor’s Note: Rob Braithwaite and Ricki C. have been doing a great job of reviewing the Oscar noms this year. Check out what they have to say about La La Land. In the meantime, here’s Wal Ozello, our “Holiday Reporter,” with some ideas on Valentine’s Day.
If you haven’t seen La La Land yet, there’s no doubt your loved one is going to drag you to the movie theatre on Valentine’s Day to see this overhyped movie. I hope Emma Stone got paid millions for this one, and received a lifetime pass to Massage Envy because she totally carried this beast on her shoulders. My two cents is to save your money, stay home, snuggle up on the couch and watch one of these amazing romantic rock movies instead. It’s a diverse list and you and your loved one are bound to enjoy at least one of them.
This Cameron Crowe film features the Seattle Grunge music scene so much that it might as well be credited as a cast member. In fact, there’s cameos from Chris Cornell, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains. Featuring Bridget Fonda, Matt Damon and Kyra Sedgwick this movie depicts Gen X’ers looking for love while discovering who they are… infused with the angst of grunge music. Make sure to check out how tough it is to pick up girls in the Seattle in the clip below.
Pair with: Decaf Café Mochas, Hamburgers and Fries
If Soul and Blues is more your thing, then see Alan Parker’s, The Commitments. The twist is the band is a bunch of white working class stiffs from Ireland playing a traditionally black American music form. Egos come into play and so does romance, but of course there’s a big huge music number at the end. Classic scene is watching back-up singers with thick Irish accents try to sing “Ride, Sally Ride.”
Pair with: Guinness and Fish & Chips
Arguably in my Top Five All-Time Romantic Movies, this movie is about a guy who owns a record store and revisits all his past relationships. Starring John Cusack and Jack Black in a supporting role, it’s a little bit of comedy, some angst from unrequited love and a whole lot of music. Don’t blink or you’ll miss out on a slew of cameos, including one from The Boss.
Pair with: Malbec and Rosemary & Garlic crusted Lambchops
This coming-of-age story from Cameron Crowe is more about the lead character getting exposed to life through the eyes of rock n roll than a love story. The romantic edge to the story explains how love isn’t always puppy dogs and fairy tales, especially in the ego and passion filled world of rock n roll. A little darker than La La Land, but more fulfilling. Kate Hudson gives a brilliant performance and the fake band, Stillwater, comes across so real that you’ll be searching for them on Pandora.
Pair with: Budlight and a Pizza
If you’re a child of the '80s and you haven’t seen this movie, then download it immediately and start watching. Next to This Is Spinal Tap, it’s the best rock comedy you’ll ever see and the '80s references come a mile a minute. Adam Sandler plays a wedding singer that falls in love with Drew Barrymore’s character, who’s getting married to another guy. He helps her plan her wedding while all the time trying to figure out a way to profess his love and keep her from becoming “Mrs. Julia Gulia.” Make sure to stick around to the end for Steve Buscemi’s rendition of Spandau Ballet’s True.
Pair with: Cheap champagne and Baked Chicken
If you’re looking for something more on the cheesy side, then go with this one. Tom Hank’s directorial debut is a homage to the '50s one-hit wonders. The romance comes in the form of the band’s drummer falling for the lead singer’s girlfriend, played by Liv Tyler. It’s filled with fun music and a few cameos, include Kevin Pollack as Boss Vic Koss, a local DJ celebrity from Pittsburgh.
Pair with: Iron City and Stew
Yeah, I’m putting this one on the list. Prince is an amazing guitarist and performer. While his acting is a bit lacking and the story line is simplistic, it’s filled with a bunch of great R&B pop rock songs by the man himself. For those of you that love real music that you can dance to, put in your DVD of this and relive your high school days. Make sure you cuddle up next to your loved one on the couch for some extra fun. Here's a particularly hot scene.
Pair with: Chardonnay and Steamed Lobster
If Country is more your thing, and you’ve actually made it this far down on my list, then may I remind you of this gem of a movie. Joaquin Phoenix does such an awesome job in this movie, you believe you’re actually watching Johnny Cash. Likewise, Reese Witherspoon nails it as his soulmate, June Carter. This movie is full of demons (what country story isn’t) but true love conquers. I dare you to watch this proposal scene and tell me you don't want to see the rest of it.
Pair with: BBQ Ribs and Jack Daniels