Nick's picks of flicks for your Valentine's kicks

Nick's picks of flicks for your Valentine's kicks

Love, desolation, anger or apathy: one of these emotions will likely be present once the calendar hits Feb. 14. Whether you’re cuddling up next to that someone special, hanging out with friends or in bed alone, you’ll probably end up in front of a screen somewhere ready to get lost in a movie.

 Here are four movies that you should watch this Valentine’s Day:

 “SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED”:

–          This 2012 comedy stars Aubrey Plaza as Darrius Britt. A cynical college graduate in her mid-twenties, Britt lives at home with her father, interns at Seattle Magazine and is unhappy about the direction that her life is taking. Staff writer Jeff Schwensen (Jake Johnson) pitches a story idea to investigate an unusual classified ad. The ad-writer is seeking a time travelling companion. Schwensen gets the story approved and selects Britt and another intern, Arnau (Kara Soni), to join in the hunt. Hijinks ensue once the group locates the ad-writer, Kenneth Calloway (Mark Duplass).

Aside from some familiar faces, the movie’s message resonates. Belief is a powerful motivator in a cynical world. Moving performances and quality dialogue put this film over the top. Find someone to cuddle with and be prepared to laugh. It’s quite the journey.

“(500) DAYS OF SUMMER”:

–          This 2009 romantic comedy tells the story of  hopeless romantic Tom Hansen (Joesph Gordon-Levitt) and his failed relationship with Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel). Following the end of their relationship, Tom is distraught. The non-linear narrative structure documents their past as Tom tries to piece together why Summer left him.

It’s not cynical nor is it sentimental. It’s a raw and unapologetic look at a relationship, the all-consuming power that comes when someone walks out of your life and the eventual recovery that follows. The powerful evolution of Tom’s character will resonate with audiences.

“AMERICAN BEAUTY”:

–          Don’t let the rose petals fool you. Want to feel good about being single? Here is your movie. “American Beauty” chronicles the story of Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey). Lester, a middle aged magazine writer and family man, despises his dull suburban life. He becomes infatuated with his 16-year-old daughter’s best friend and vain cheerleader, Angela Hayes, after watching her perform a halftime routine. Lester shirks his adult responsibilities, and the world around him descends into chaos.

Apparently, being married, living in the suburbs and working a 9-5 office job is hell on earth. The film is a kaleidoscopic adventure that leaves you feeling conflicted once the credits roll. Not to mention, Kevin Spacey’s performance is magnificent.

“SAY ANYTHING”:

–          Whether or not you recognize the title, its pop culture impact is undeniable. The film follows the relationship between the trenchcoat-wearing, boombox-lifting Lloyd Dobbler (John Cusack) and the high school’s Valedictorian, Diane Court (Ione Skye), during the summer following their graduation.

It’s a classic. Who doesn’t want someone outside their window with Peter Gabriel pouring through the speakers? This film’s young soul and humane qualities appeal to a mass audience. It’s a must-watch that will soften the hardest of hearts.