I Love You, Movie: 6 Critics Declare Their Cinematic Valentines

Ancohrman Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is a day to let that special someone know just how much you care and how important they are to you. It’s also the only day one can purchase a four-foot teddy bear and not be thought of as creepy or possessed of serious emotional problems. For cinephiles, this is a day to further declare our love for our favorite films.

We gathered a group of film critics from around the web, asking them to write their Valentine’s Day cards directly to the movies that won their hearts. It… got a little mushy.

Eric D. Snider, Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider

The Object of Your Affection: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

When Did The Infatuation Begin? Tuesday, July 6, 2004: I remember it well. ‘Twas an evening promotional screening; you were to open theatrically later that week. From the moment I laid eyes on you, Anchorman — from Ron Burgundy’s opening lines (“Mmm. I look good. I mean, really good. Hey, everyone! Come and see how good I look!”) — I was in love. Witnesses said they had never heard me laugh so much at a movie. They may have been right. Rarely had a film so perfectly catered to my fondness for absurdity, pomposity, the 1970s, and TV journalism. Unable to satiate my newly aroused desires for you, I saw you again two nights later at another promotional screening. Several months later, on the day when a dear friend moved away, and I was about to move to a different city myself, and my life was melancholy and in flux, where did I seek comfort? In the arms of you, Anchorman, a film I knew could always lift my spirits.

Has the Romance Endured? I’ve seen you four or five times since then, mostly on DVD except for one special big-screen showing in 2008 of the original theatrical cut. You never fail to delight me. Your dialogue floats across my mind regularly. One time it was 105 degrees in Portland, and I went to Voodoo Doughnut with an out-of-town friend, and I got a little carton of milk with my doughnuts. I then got to say aloud as I walked down the hot sidewalk, milk dripping from my beard, “Milk was a bad choice!” What a happy moment that was! I’ll always cherish you, Anchorman. Always.

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Scott Weinberg, Twitch/Fearnet

The Object of Your Affection: The Blues Brothers

When Did The Infatuation Begin? It was your first TV screening, so probably late 1981 or so.

Has the Romance Endured? One cool thing about a musical that you love is that, even when the “movie stuff” gets a little old, the music and the dance numbers are always there to lift you back up. It’s like listening to a great album you love. Fortunately for me, Blues Brothers, you have no movie stuff that gets old. I love every damn frame of your weird, manic, sweet mash-up of buddy comedy, chase flick, and old-time musical. Not one of your musical numbers falls flat, there are endless cameos from people worth remembering, there’s a lovably dry wit buried amidst all your absurd weirdness, and despite being 133 minutes long, you coast by like a well-oiled machine. Plus you were the very first SNL sketch to become a movie — and you’re still the best by a country mile. I love you.

Kate Erbland, Film School Rejects

The Object of Your Affection: Dirty Dancing

When Did The Infatuation Begin? I was but six years old—far, far too young for such a mature and consuming love. Too young for our love.

Has the Romance Endured? While I think we’ve both moved on—myself to actual human affection and you to Havana Nights we do like to meet up occasionally to check in on each other. I’m always surprised by how mature and deep you remain, how utterly human, and how wonderfully filled with incredibly sexy dance moves. Also, delicious watermelon.

Jeff Bayer, Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider

The Object of Your Affection: Back to the Future

When Did The Infatuation Begin? 9 years of age. For my ninth birthday I had a choice to make. I would take five friends to the theater to see either The Goonies or Back to the Future. I picked the Truffle Shuffle and it was a good time. But when I finally saw you a week later, I fell hard. When you finished with me that first time, and I read “To Be Continued…” on the screen, I was desperate for more. For the first time, I began reading the entertainment section in our newspaper, searching for information on when Part 2 would come. Every time the Summer Movie Preview came along, I quickly scanned, hoping to see you there. Finally, after four long years (which is equivalent to 237 years for a pre-teen), the sequels came to be.

Has the Romance Endured? It’s you. It’s always been you. For a while, I even claimed Back to the Future Part IIwas better. Luckily, I eventually matured, and I resumed believing the first is the best. Even if they remake/reboot/reimagine you, I know that you will never be tainted. You are my butthead. You are my nobody calls me chicken. And while I will always wonder why Marty couldn’t just go back a couple hours earlier, or the science behind images slowly disappearing from a photo, I will never stop loving you.

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Germain Lussier, /Film

The Object of Your Affection: Swingers

When Did The Infatuation Begin? I’ll never forget the first time I saw you, Swingers. I was a young boy working in a video store. Back in the Nineties, indies like you didn’t come to the suburbs too often, so I saw most smaller movies on preview cassettes sent to the store. You looked so sexy; that yellow box, Vince Vaughn in sunglasses. Wow. I took you down to my parent’s basement, remember? When I finally popped you in, I’ll admit, it wasn’t great at first. You sort of struggled finding your stroke but, once you did, and Trent and Mike get back to LA, it was instant love. Watching you, at the age of about 16, was the first time I had a true connection with a film. I’d watched tons of movies but suddenly, finally, here was a movie about those movies. We clicked on a deep, deep level. We both loved Reservoir Dogs, Goodfellasand NHL 94. I knew how good Jeremy Roenick was. And while I didn’t love swing music like you did, you made me learn about something new. In you, I found everything I wanted in a movie.

Has the Romance Endured? These days, you and I are old lovers. Anytime I want to be transported to the days of 90s nostalgia and the birth of my film enlightenment, you get popped in. Sure you’re a little shinier now, on DVD instead of VHS, but every year or so when we kick back with some Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and it’s like that night in my parent’s basement all over again. Why do you think this New York writer moved to Los Angeles to fulfill his dreams?

Sean O’Connell, Cinemablend/Movies.com

The Object of Your Affection: Die Hard

When Did The Infatuation Begin? In theaters in 1988. Yes, I’m that old, though I was barely 14 when you were released, and I had to beg my parents to let me see you—an R-rated, obviously violent movie—in the theater. They bought me a ticket. I went by myself as they shopped in the adjoining shopping mall. I was smitten.

Has the Romance Endured? That’s like asking, “Is John McClane a thorn in a terrorist’s side?” I revisit you every few years, , when I’m able to watch you from start to finish, and not merely catch chunks as you air on a cable channel. Lately, I feel like I’ve seen you close to four or five times in your entirety. I’ve noticed that you, , like a vintage wine, only improve with age. The airtight script holds up to scrutiny. The action is as riveting now as it was in ’88, and the commendable lack of digital wizardry helps your blue-collar realism remain intact. Outside of a few hairstyles, nothing about you feels dated. McTiernan’s direction, Jan de Bont’s cinematography, Michael Kamen’s score and the editing are contemporary. You are timeless; the high-water mark for action cinema. You created the quintessential smart-ass hero, launched a massive movie star (Bruce Willis), and you remain my personal favorite film of all time. And no, Live Free or Die Hardcan’t take that away from me; from us.

Now it’s your turn: profess your love for a movie in the comments below!

[Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures]