Candlelit dinners, romantic nights out, dancing, strolls on a moonlit beach. Sure you could spend Valentine's Day doing the usual thing.
Or you could watch movies featuring good looking actors pretending to do those things.
As romances go, here's a wonderfully unconventional entry from Hollywood legend Warren Beatty. Beatty, who will turn 80 next month, wrote, directed and stars in a curiously strange role as Howard Hughes in Rules Don't Apply.
Set in Hollywood in the 1950s, it features Beatty as the legendary billionaire whose eccentricities keep his employees on their toes. That includes an aspiring actress signed by Hughes (Lilly Collins) who falls for her boss' chauffeur (Alden Ehrenreich).
Deeply committed Christians, both youngsters have to learn how to navigate their budding romance without transgressing their moral code.
Worse still, they must contend with their boss's mercurial moods and his attitude to romance on the job. After all, his number one rule is that his employees can never date a contract actress. Annette Benning, Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Candice Bergen and Haley Bennett costar.
Rules Don't Apply is available today, Feb. 14, on VOD, iTunes and Amazon Video; and due Feb. 28 on Vudu and on DVD/Blu-ray.
Other titles of note
The Student and Mister Henri. A big hit in its native France, this sweet romantic dramedy from playwright and filmmaker Ivan Calbérac (Irène) is about an aging misanthrope (Claude Brasseur) who lets a female student (Noémie Schmidt) live rent-free in a room in his large apartment in exchange for a rather odd favor. He wants her to use all her guile and her feminine charm to ruin his son's marriage. In French with English subtitles. See the trailer here. Available today Feb. 14 on iTunes and Feb. 21 on VOD and other digital platforms from Distrib Films US. No information yet when it will be available on DVD/Blu-ray.
The Babymoon. A love story of an entirely different kind, this lovely indie dramedy from director Bailey Kobe (The Caterpillar's Kimono) is about a couple who take a unique vacation that has become all the rage for young expectant mothers and their partners. Called a babymoon, the holiday is supposed to bond parents with each other and with their unborn child. Featuring an ensemble cast led by Julie NcNiven (Mad Men, Supernatural), Shaun Sipos (Vampire Diaries, Melrose Place), Jessica Camacho (Dexter, The Flash) the adventure comedy is about a couple who take their babymoon in a country undergoing a violent revolution. See the trailer here. Available today Feb. 14 on VOD and select digital platforms, due March 14 on DVD and Blu-ray from Gravitas Ventures.
Deadly Virtues: Love. Honor. Obey. Dutch director Ate de Jong (Drop Dead Fred) cranks up the tension in this British-made shocker about a couple whose home is broken into by a disturbing criminal who forces them to play humiliation games for his gratification. Give the trailer a gander here. Available on all platforms from Artsploitation Films.
Havenhurst. Julie Benz, Belle Shouse, Danielle Harris and Josh Stamberg star in this haunted house-slash-house of horrors entry. Benz plays an emotionally scarred woman just out of rehab who moves into a creepy, Gothic apartment building that seems to be inhabited by a dark presence. For the trailer, click here. Available now on VOD and digital platforms, due March 7 on DVD/Blu-ray from Brainstorm Media.
I Am Jane Doe. Jessica Chastain narrates this hard-hitting documentary from director Mary Mazzio (Contrarian, Underwater Dreams) which follows the legal war waged by several American women whose underage daughters have been bought and sold for sex through the classified ads on Backpage.com. The trailer is available here. The film has been released on all platforms.
For more information
Most TV providers have their own On Demand and Pay-Per-View services. Here are some of the major providers:
Xfinity On Demand: www.xfinity.com/xod.html
DirecTV On Demand: www.directv.com/technology/on_demand
Dish TV On Demand: www.mydish.com/perks/on-demand