It’s the week of Valentine’s, but I’m not sure if love is in this frigid, arctic air. While there’s certainly no lack of romantic films slated to play in the Twin Cities, there’s no real surplus of them either. And that’s cool with me. After all, date movies don’t have to be about heartache or passion, right? They could be about having a good time, sharing laughs…even Legos. Our main movie blogger, Eric Henderson, reviewed that little gem last Friday, and I saw the LEGO Movie over the weekend. It’s got all the momentum of a particle accelerator, and the jokes alight almost as often as the kaleidoscopic brick explosions. Seriously, consider it. And since I suppose many of you are too cool for toys, here are my other pics for the week.
All Week: The Great Beauty (St. Anthony Main Theatre)
Speaking of romance, I couldn’t help but mention this. My most beloved movie of last year, the Great Beauty is a picture poem, set in Rome, about lost love and the possibility of starting over. Director Paolo Sorrentino guides the film through a Mediterranean dream course, with impossible amounts of pomp, and yet it just cruises. In fact, the first time I saw it, I had to pace myself. Within minutes, it had me swooning, trying in vain to tear out Cupid’s arrows with cold, hard reason. But alas, there were too many. Far too many. I’d recommend this to couples, but it’s also pretty powerful when watched alone.
Tuesday, Feb. 11: Pit Stop (Walker Art Center)
In this low-budget flick, director Yen Tan shows us the dreary lives of two gay men in small town Texas. Both are dealing with crumbling relationships while carrying the baggage of even more distant ones. But not all is lost: a one-night stand offers hope that even though things fall apart, they may also fall into a new place. I haven’t seen it yet, but the film is described as eloquent and elusive, if perhaps a little obscure. Tan is nominated for the John Cassavetes Award.
Thursday, Feb. 13: My Bloody Valentine 3-D (Mall Of America)
It wouldn’t be a holiday unless the folks at the Mall of America were offering up a seasonal horror movie viewing option. This week, get romantic or thereabouts with a screening of My Bloody Valentine in 3-D. This is one case where some men may end up making passes at girls who wear glasses.
Friday – Sunday, Feb. 14-15: Wild At Heart (The Trylon Microcinema)
The easiest way to make a weekend memorable is to add David Lynch to it. In Wild At Heart, an erotic fairy tale of sorts, we have Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern on a runaway road trip full of love-making and various weird side characters. While it might frustrate you in its strangeness, it’s never boring. If anything, the ending — “Don’t turn away from love, Sailor” — will have you thinking about what a real declaration of love might look like.
Friday, Feb. 14: A Field In England (St. Anthony Main Theatre)
Last year, Ben Wheatley’s grisly little serial killer comedy Sightseers caught me off guard. Wheatley got the horror-comedy mix just right. So when I heard his next project was coming here, I was definitely interested. A Field in England is about three soldiers in 17th Century England who go nuts in a field after being sent on a quest by some alchemist. Mushrooms are involved. It’s in black-and-white, and all signs point to sweet psychedelic weirdness. My review will go up on Friday, but I think you should keep this on your radar considering it’s got a 90 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with some 50 reviews.