As a college junior and senior, I was responsible for a dorm floor and quickly learned that nothing makes single and lovestruck college students more nervous, stressed, or miserable than Valentine’s Day. As a result, I hosted Anti-Valentine’s Day-themed movie marathons with great success.
The theme attracted a steady crowd with varying relationship statuses and many brought their favorite movies to add to the schedule. The event began in the early morning (as soon as after 12 a.m. as possible) and lasted until my cellphone alarm rang out that it was midnight the following day. I recommend serving different types of popcorn throughout- chocolate covered, caramel coated, slathered in butter, cheese flavored, etc.
Why Anti-Valentine’s? I do not dislike Valentine’s Day, nor do I observe it in a traditional way, despite being in a long-term relationship. This theme seems to appeal to the masses by celebrating the off-beat and quirky, while cutting back on bitterness and overly commercial romanticism. It’s fun.
Suitable movies cross many genres but must meet one strict criterion: The film cannot focus on a typical relationship or end in a clear cut happily ever after. Also, the more action films, the better (but that’s a personal preference).
Tweak the details as needed, and feel free to use in a crowd or with your special someone this February 14th.
Here are the Top 5 from past Anti-Valentine’s Day film fests to help you get started:
Starring Guy Pearce, this mystery thriller focuses on a man hunting down his wife’s murderer. He follows clues throughout the film to a notable, surprising end.
4. V for Vendetta
This 2005 film is an adaptation of Alan Moore’s famous graphic novel saga. Hugo Weaving plays a masked anti-hero, a terrorist fighting for Great Britain’s freedom from a totalitarian government. Along the way, he stumbles across Evey (Natalie Portman). A dystopian classic filled with wit, action, politics, and plenty of blood.
3. Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge of the Sith
This movie does not need a description, but Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Padmé (Natalie Portman, again) epitomize a love gone wrong (don’t forget about the lightsabers!). Alternatively titled: Darth Vader’s Hotter Days.
2. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Based on the hit Broadway musical, Benjamin Barker, reinvented as Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp), establishes a London-based barber shop and begins a dark business with his business tenant, Mrs. Lovett (Helena Carter). Revenge, singing, heartbreak, and meat pies abound.
1. Kill Bill I & II
These two must be seen sequentially; there is no other acceptable way and anyone who fights you on it must be able to argue successively against a Quentin Tarantino film and incredible katana sword fighting skills. They will undoubtedly lose. The Bride (Uma Thurman) was put into a coma on her wedding day by a team of assassins, people she worked for and with in a life she left behind. She awakes a long time afterward to find her unborn child and remembers that her wedding party- groom and guests, are all dead. She proceeds to enact justice against her attackers and ex-lover in a methodical way that spans across two movies (with a Kill Bill III set for release in 2014) and is worth every minute.
Which movie(s) would you add to the list?