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Movie Selections - DVD & Video Valentines

Something's Gotta Give
(2003) DVD
As upscale sitcoms go, Something's Gotta Give has more to offer than most romantic comedies. Obviously working through some semi - autobiographical issues regarding "women of a certain age," writer - director Nancy Meyers brings adequate credibility and above average intelligence to what is essentially (but not exclusively) a fantasy premise, in which an aging lothario who's always dated younger women (Jack Nicholson, more or less playing himself) falls for a successful middle-aged playwright (Diane Keaton) who's convinced she's past the age of romance, much less sexual re-awakening. As long as old pals Nicholson and Keaton are on screen discussing their dilemma or discovering their mutual desire, Something's Gotta Give is terrific, proving (in case anyone had forgotten) that Hollywood can and should aim for an older demographic. Myers falls short with the sitcom device of a younger lover (Keanu Reeves) who wants Keaton as much as Nicholson does; it's believable but shallow and too easily dismissed. Myers also skimps on supporting roles for Frances McDormand, Amanda Peet, and Jon Favreau, but thankfully this is one romantic comedy that doesn't pander to youth. Mature viewers, rejoice! --Jeff Shannon 
Notting Hill 
(Collector's Edition) 
(1999) DVD
They don't really make many romantic comedies like Notting Hill anymore--blissfully romantic, sincerely sweet, and not grounded in any reality whatsoever. Pure fairy tale, and with a huge debt to Roman Holiday, Notting Hill ponders what would happen if a beautiful, world-famous person were to suddenly drop into your life unannounced and promptly fall in love with you. That's the crux of the situation for William Thacker (Hugh Grant), who owns a travel bookshop in London's fashionable Notting Hill district. Hopelessly ordinary (well, as ordinary as you can be when you're Hugh Grant), William is going about his life when renowned movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) walks into his bookstore and into his heart. 
--Mark Englehart
The Horse Whisperer 
(1997) DVD
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Starring: Robert Redford, Kristin Scott Thomas
Redford stars as the title character, a Montana rancher named Tom Booker, who possesses the specialized talent of healing traumatized horses through careful and affectionate rehabilitation. He gets his most challenging case when he's sought out by a fast-lane New York magazine editor (Kristin Scott Thomas, in a role modeled after former New Yorker editor Tina Brown) whose daughter (Scarlett Johansson) was injured and traumatized by an accident that nearly killed her favorite horse. When mother, daughter, and horse arrive at Booker's ranch, the big-city editor falls in love with the serene rancher and faces the painful decision of whether to stay in Montana or return to her husband (Sam Neill) in New York. 
The Bridges of Madison County (1995) DVD
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Some called it a snooze-fest, while others tearfully clutched their Kleenex. In any case, Clint Eastwood was an unusual and (as it turned out) perceptive choice to direct and costar in this lush adaptation of Robert James Waller's phenomenally bestselling novel. Meryl Streep costars as Francesca, the lonely Iowa farmer's wife who is instantly attracted to Robert (Eastwood), the photographer from National Geographic who is in the area to photograph the bridges along Iowa's rural roadways.
French Kiss (1995) DVD
Ryan plays a woman whose fiancé (Timothy Hutton) leaves her for a Parisian beauty. She jets over to the City of Lights to fight for her man, but an incapacitating fear of flying forces her to seek help from a fellow passenger, a French thief played by Kevin Kline, who then tutors her in the ways of getting her beau back.
Pretty Woman-10th Anniversary (1990) DVD
This is the movie that made Roberts a star; the charm of her personality helping tremendously to carry viewers over the rough spots in the script (which was originally a cynical tale about prostitution called 3000--after the amount of money Richard Gere's character pays the prostitute to stay with him for the week). Gere is the silver-haired Wall Street knight who sweeps streetwalker Roberts into a fantasy world of room service at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel and fashion boutique shopping on Rodeo Drive. The supporting cast is also appealing, including Laura San Giacomo as Roberts's hooker pal, Hector Elizondo as hotel manager, Jason Alexander, Ralph Bellamy, and Hank Azaria. --J. Emerson
Love Story (1970) VHS
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One of the classic films of this era! Starring: Ryan O'Neal, Ali MacGraw
A New England college is the setting for this study of a love affair that is tinged with the tragedy of illness. Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best Picture, Best Director Best Actor, Best Actress, Best (Adapted) Screenplay. Academy Awards: Best Original Score. 
City of Angels (1998) DVD
City of Angels (1998) VHS
The Wedding Singer (1998) DVD
The Wedding Singer (1998) VHS
The Matchmaker (1997) DVD
The Matchmaker (1997) VHS
'Til There Was You (1997) VHS
The Mirror Has Two Faces DVD
The Mirror Has Two Faces VHS
Jerry Maguire (1996) DVD
Only You (1994) DVD
Only You (1994) VHS
Sommersby (1993) DVD
Sommersby (1993) VHS
Wuthering Heights (1939) DVD
Wuthering Heights (1939) VHS
Love Actually (2003) DVD
With no fewer than eight couples vying for our attention, Love Actually is like the Boston Marathon of romantic comedies, and everybody wins. Having mastered the genre as the writer of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones's Diary, it appears that irst-time director Richard Curtis is just like his screenplays: He just wants to be loved, and he'll go to absurdly appealing lengths to win our affection. --Jeff Shannon
Someone Like You (2001) DVD
Based on Laura Zigman's novel Animal Husbandry. Someone Like You is an agreeable romantic comedy about how people construct elaborate defenses to cope with emotional anguish.
My Best Friend's Wedding (1997) DVD
Julia plays a prominent Chicago restaurant critic whose best friend (Dermot Mulroney) is a former lover from her college days with whom she'd made a binding pact: if neither of them were married by the age of 28, they'd marry each other. Just when they're about to reach the deadline of their agreement, Mulroney arrives in Chicago to introduce Roberts to his seemingly perfect fiancée (Cameron Diaz) and announce their wedding in just three days. That leaves the shocked Julia with just three short days to sabotage the wedding and marry the man she now realizes she's loved all along. With potential heartbreak waiting in the wings, she'll either get what she wants or pay the price for her selfish behavior, and Ronald Bass's cleverly constructed screenplay keeps us guessing to the very end.
--Jeff Shannon
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The Bodyguard (1992) DVD
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A high-wattage star vehicle as only Hollywood can make. The Bodyguard stars Whitney Houston as a pop-music diva and Kevin Costner as the stern bodyguard who is assigned to protect her after the singer receives some nasty death threats. Solid film debut for Houston, who's most effective singing Dolly Parton's old song ``I Will Always Love You. '' 
Romeo and Juliet (1968) VHS
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Narrated by Laurence Olivier. One of the best cinematic versions of Shakespeare's immortal tale of two young lovers kept apart by their families. Unique for its casting
leads who were only 17 and 15, respectively, this exquisitely photographed film (by Pasquale de Santis, who won an Oscar) has a hauntingly beautiful musical score by Nino Rota and Oscar-winning costumes by Danilo Donati.
 
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