My favourite romance films for Valentine’s Day 🙂
I’ve tried to pick films that aren’t soppy or sickly, so there are a couple of more unusual films on the list, and some where the romance isn’t the main focus of the film.
Wall-E is one of my favourite films, I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched it. It has robots, spaceships, adventure and a romance running through it. It’s a lot of fun and the romance is sweet and charming.
Slightly cheesy, a bit daft, this is an 80’s fairytale parody that has become a cult classic.
Endlessly quotable, romantic and funny, and also makes a great drinking game. What more could you want?
A Wes Anderson film set in the 1960’s about two twelve-year-old children that fall in love and run away together, camping and exploring the wilderness in New England.
Charming and funny, it’s similar in style to Wes Anderson’s other films The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel.
“How will you die, Joan Wilder? Slow, like… a snail? Or fast, like a shooting star?”
Shy and quiet romance writer finds adventure, love, and confidence in the Colombian jungle. One of the best films of the 1980’s.
“You’re gonna be all right, Joan Wilder. You always were.”
The word quirky could have been invented for Amélie. A true feel good film that deserves its cult status.
A Cinderella retelling with Drew Barrymore in the lead role.
It’s set in Renaissance-era France and manages to sidestep the normal soppiness by making Cinderella an intelligent woman that enjoys reading and has strong opinions on how the ruling class should treat their people.
Worth watching for the role of Leonardo da Vinci as the Fairy Godmother alone.
“Why, that was pure genius!”
“Yes, I shall go down in history as the man who opened a door!”.
Ever had a break up so painful that you wish the relationship had just never happened? The couple in this film use a new technology to start erasing their memories of each other.
It sounds bitter and maybe some of it is, but it also has moments of sweetness. It’s definitely not sentimental anyway!
One of my favourite Studio Ghibli films this anime is about a young woman transformed into an old woman by a witch’s curse. She runs away from home and on her journey to break the curse she encounters the great and scary wizard Howl.
A man and a woman living at opposite ends of the country start to telepathically connect with each other. Slowly they start to realise that they have been in each other’s minds their whole lives.
In Your Eyes is a slow burner romance and I’m glad I gave it a chance on Netflix.
I nearly cry at the start of this film every time I watch it. If you can make it through the first 10 or so minutes the rest of the film is sharp, clever, and very very funny.
It’s maybe not an obvious one for a list of romance films, but really it’s about an old man that is looking for a reason to keep living after his wife dies.
A playlist I made for Valentine’s Day! My boyfriend and I always stay in and have a cosy evening together ever since the year we tried to go out for a meal and had an awful experience. It’s just far too busy for us in restaurants on Valentine’s day, and they always seem to bump the price up or try to rush us through. Instead we make food, watch films and eat chocolate together at home.
So this is a playlist for if you’re staying in with your partner, or if you’re taking the day to show yourself some love.
Any suggestions to go on it, please do comment and let me know 🙂
Valentines Day should be about celebrating love, not how much money you spend, for me the best gifts are always those that we put a bit of thought and effort in to. I love the idea of making your own valentines day gifts, but if your life is too busy for that I’ve put a few quicker but still thoughtful ideas in here.
Go old school and make a mixtape 🙂 Burn it to a CD and design your own case, or create them a Spotify playlist.
Bake some cupcakes or brownies. I think the best brownie recipes are ones that are gluten free, flour dries them out too much for me they need to be fudgey! Try these Ooey Gooey Gluten Free Brownies from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.
Hand made Valentine’s day flowers are a lovely alternative to roses. The Craft Fantastic will make them from paper tailored to your favourite geeks interests. How about flowers made from comic books, sheet music or maps?
A knitted or crochet scarf will almost literally wrap them in your love! Use chunky yarn with big needles for a quick gift, like this Tasseled Garter Stitch Color Block Scarf from Love Knitting.
Well buy them a book (or a book token), what would make them happier!? If you need help choosing a book, comment and tell me what genre they like and I’ll think up some suggestions for you!
Candles are always a nice little gift, or plan an evening with some nice food you both like, and a good film 🙂
If you have suggestions please comment and share your ideas!
Unsplash is full of free high-resolution images that you can do what you want with. It’s always my first stop when I’m looking for stock photography and their already large collection is growing constantly. They are very easy to download too, just one click and they’re yours! You will need to edit them before using on your website though as the files are massive – around 2mb normally.
They also offer unsplash.it a service for generating placeholder images. Put your image size (width & height) after the URL and you’ll get a placeholder. If you just want a header for a website and you’re not too bothered what it looks like this is a great tool. For example https://unsplash.it/2000/300 would look good at the top of a website. Change the numbers slightly for a different image – https://unsplash.it/2000/301.
Gratisography offers free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects, with new photographs added weekly. If you’re after something a bit different, something a bit modern and definitely something that stands out then try this one. Another easy one-click download, but again you’ll have to resize and compress a bit to use on websites.
Pixabay is free, and also includes videos. Easy to search and you can download at different sizes, which can save time on editing them yourself.
Free images for creatives, by creatives, Mourguefile is a community-based free photo site with professionals and amateur photo hobbyists submitting photos. All photos are free for you to download and re-use in your work, be it commercial or not. Quality can vary here so you might have to search, but it’s a good site for if you want something that looks more realistic than professional but posed. One click to download, but these will need editing before use.
Stockvalut has free photos and artwork created by photographers & artists all over the world. They also have free textures and illustrations. Free to download, or you can buy them a coffee!
IM Free is “a curated collection of free web design resources, all for commercial use.” You might have to give attribution to the creator with these so check the licence text next to the photo before using them.
Coverr is a free video site, but very specific in that it has videos for website homepages, with 7 new videos added every Monday. It’s a modern trend where short videos that loop, and usually blurred out, sit behind your homepage text. You will need to know a bit of code, or a web developer, to get these up and running on your website.
Zan wakes up injured and with amnesia. She does not know who or where she is. The world to her, and to us, seems to be half mad. We are swept along with Zan and told as little as she is as she tries to piece together who she is.
Zan is on one of many worlds / spaceships that are actually living creatures. The walls and the floors are spongy, and they move between levels by using the umbilical cord. They have to cut open the skin to get outside! The further into the middle you go the more visceral and sticky the world gets.
These worlds, collectively known as the Legion, are stuck in their orbit around the false sun. They are slowly dying. Cancer eats away at them, and with each new generation the inhabitants are losing their knowledge on what they are and where they came from. They can barely control them and don’t know what half the equipment on them does.
The different worlds are in conflict with each other, fighting for resources, each of them salvaging what they can to heal their own worlds at the expense of the others.
One world, the Mokshi, has managed to leave it’s orbit and now everyone wants to board it and control it, to find out how it does it and hopefully create a new future for themselves.
The world building here is impressive and original. It reminds me of Iain M Banks space opera stories in its scope. Hurley creates the same sort of atmosphere and strangeness in her unique universe.
The characters are interesting if not always likeable, with realistic emotions and believable actions. Zan travels to the centre of the world and the people she picks up along the way are from different cultures with different life experiences, and each has their own distinct personality.
In the middle of the book, when Zan reaches the centre of the world it suddenly becomes a blend of sci-fi / horror, before bringing in elements of fantasy. I thought this was very well done, it didn’t feel out of place to me. I loved the sci-fi side, and the space battles, but this journey through the centre of the world was my favourite part of the book. Hurley’s imagination ran wild here, and there are some very inventive ideas as we learn more about what the world is and the different social and cultural groups in it.
As Zan struggles through the world trying to make sense of it and piece herself back together Hurley doesn’t shy away from showing us the darker side of humanity. There is love in this world, but also betrayal, fear, cowardice and prejudice as we see the things people are capable of doing to others and to themselves to get what they want.
There is a hopeless feel at times, the world is dying, the leaders rule by fear, and even if Zan gets back her memory where can she go from there? But just as it starts getting overwhelming for me Hurley shakes it all up again and reminds us there are good things in people too, when they are given the chance to show them.
There are answers given eventually, but not all of them are concrete ones. Some things are hinted at but left for you to fill in the gaps yourself. It might be very confusing at first but stick with it because Hurley’s world is worth the effort of getting to know!
I received a free copy from the publisher in return for an honest review.
After reading this collection of short stories Lauren Beukes is now firmly on my favourite authors list. Clever and very relevant, the stories are a mix of sci-fi, weirdness, and commentary on modern life.
None of the stories here are very long so it’s easy to dip in and out of. Though saying that, normally I find myself having to stop between stories in short story collections but with this book I couldn’t do that, I had to start the next straight away. I think that was partly because they are short and I knew I wouldn’t have to stop reading half way through one (I hate having to do that), and partly because these stories are just that good I didn’t want to stop reading.
There weren’t any stories that I disliked, but my favourites were:
Slipping – about a contestant in a futuristic Paralympics event where the athletes can have exosuits, implants controlling their hormones, remote controlled bodies, or they can even remove their organs to make them run better.
Confirm/Ignore – a look into the mind of someone that creates fake online personas by copying other people’s photos and quotes.
The Green – pure sci/fi! Workers on a remote planet searching for plants or chemicals the company they work for can make money with.
Unathi Battles the Black Hairballs – a lolita punk pilots a Japanese fighter robot and battles monsters to save Tokyo.
Dial Tone – a story that’s about loneliness really.
Ghost Girl – a teenage girl haunting a university student.
I received a free copy from the publisher in return for an honest review.