For the Single Ladies: Past & Present Movie Stars to Cure the Valentine's Day Blues Essay
Love. What is it? How can you clearly define it? According to The Beatles, love is the only thing you need to get through the day. It makes a bad day at work disappear and paying your bills seem silly. For many, love often is paired with a significant other bearing romantic gifts. For others, love is sitting in front of your flat screen television munching on popcorn and starring at your favorite matinee idols for a few hours.
Sadly, not everyone can be lucky enough to have someone to share Valentine’s Day with. It’s harder to find your ideal soulmate than to find a job these days. You have to skim though the frogs and scams to get to the decent material. In the meantime, you should watch movies from a list of 8 male celebrities, past and present, to help alleviate your holiday blues. Choose from the four categories (from bad boys to good guys) to find your cinematic cure for the day, and for future holidays as well.
Humphrey Bogart- In his films, Bogart’s appeal was always about how he approached a person or situation. His characters faced danger and flirtacious women with ease, even the ones he was in love with. Bogart allowed his characters to flirt with his own mortality in films like The African Queen. He also suffered from unexpected heartbreak when he watched his sweetheart go in 1942’s Casablanca and forever showed he was more than a tough guy.
Robert Mitchum– Through out his career, Mitchum often portrayed intense characters who were always close to exploding if something didn’t go their way. He used his eyes and physical presence to project his rage against the world. Mitchum’s onscreen unpredictability was especially appealing to female moviegoers looking for adventure, even if it ended in disaster. A prime example would 1962’s Cape Fear because he used his character’s intense instability to show he knew how to get a reaction out of just about everyone watching.
George Clooney- Since he made television audiences swoon on ER, Clooney had made a career of playing lovable rogues taken aback by love. A modern day Cary Grant of sorts. He has played criminals with a penchant for trouble and scoring dates in Ocean’s Eleven and 1998’s Out of Sight. His chemistry with Sight costar Jennifer Lopez was electric because it was hard to tell whether she was going to arrest him or sleep with him first. Clooney made an attempt at sacrificing his trademark charm in last year’s The American with mixed results. He should stick with charming ladies instead of doing anything else.
Brad Pitt- Pitt has been making waves in Hollywood since 1991’s Thelma & Louise as a sexy drifter sparking with Geena Davis. He has been People’s Sexiest Man Alive twice and was once part of being two pairings with famous leading ladies. Sure, both marriages ended up heartbreaking divorce, but his appeal has never waned. Repeat viewings of 2005’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith because his heated chemistry with Angelina Jolie at that time made women wish they were Mrs. Smith.
Men on a Mission
Gregory Peck- A cinematic everyman of sorts who projected a sense of integrity in all of his characters. The most memorable, of course, being Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. He gave Finch an extra layer of honesty as he struggled to help an innocent man wrongfully accused of a crime. When he failed to do so, his sadness was profound as he watched him be taken away to jail. A perfect movie to watch on Valentine’s Day would be 1954’s Roman Holiday when he watched Audrey Hepburn ascend to her royal destiny and left him in the dust like she was meant to.
Robert Redford- An actor always known more for his appearance than his movie credibility. His early films did nothing to help his cause. He tested the political waters with such films as All the President’s Men and The Candidate, but he made more of an impact in 1973’s The Way We Were as Barbra Streisand’s love interest. His chemistry with Streisand’s Katie was powerful, but doomed in the end due to their differences. Even though Redford always tried to do films with a message, he made a larger impact as a man looking for love and losing it for no real reason at all.
Ryan Reynolds- A movie cut-up who used humor to sometimes briefly distract the audience from his overwhelming sex appeal. His signature film was 2009’s The Proposal, which worked largely due to his chemistry with costar Sandra Bullock. Incurable romantics should watch this film to watch them come together at the end.
Paul Newman- A movie star with the most piercing blue eyes in Hollywood. It was hard to watch anyone else onscreen whenever Newman entered a scene. He even occasionally overshadowed Robert Redford in 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, especially when he threatened to steal Redford’s love interest in the film with an innocent bike ride that could’ve been much more.
In the end, love is one of many things people need to function in today’s society. Logic is an essential component to make any relationship work, onscreen or otherwise. Of course, you also need a television, DVD player and movies to swoon over realistically. Just make sure to keep your swooning to yourself to prevent people from looking at you the wrong way.