By Maristela Romero

Celebrating Valentine’s Day has come to mean a range of different things that no longer resemble the traditional, romantic candle-lit dinner that many of us heard about growing up. And if you have a significant other, it goes without saying that showering them with sweet gestures is the top priority when the calendar hits Feb. 14.

But what’s this? You’re in college and have little to no budget to treat your love to every single one of their cliché desires?

In this generation it’s perfectly acceptable to grab their favorite snacks in preparation for a Valentine’s Day movie marathon. Your significant other may even prefer staying in for a lowkey celebration.

Her (2013)

This romantic sci-fi film features actor Joaquin Phoenix, who plays a lonely man tasked with writing love letters on behalf of those who are incapable of conveying their heartfelt emotions through writing. He finds love in artificial intelligence after forming a deep connection over their conversations about life. The AI, who names herself Samantha, helps him find understanding and forgiveness in his previously failed marriage.

It may sound a bit too bleak to watch with your loved one, but “Her” contains a heart-wrenching story that forces us to see a different perspective on love and how future technology plays a part in finding it. The film’s soundtrack was nominated for Best Original Score in the 86th Academy Awards and for good reason; it allows us to grasp the human sentiments that Phoenix’s character develops for an artificial intelligence that we traditionally perceive as being incapable of love.

50 First Dates (2004)

Although Adam Sandler is typically known for his raunchy comedies, he does a fine job of portraying Henry Roth, a womanizer tamed by an amnesiac woman (Drew Barrymore) whose memory is confined to the day of her accident. He commits himself to wooing her every day despite her not being able to remember their romantic endeavors during their next encounter.

“50 First Dates” falls under the feel-good category and tells an unusual story of love that must be recreated and recorded on a daily basis for the relationship to remain. The steadfast devotion portrayed in the film is arguably one of the most wholesome characteristics one would hope to find in their own relationship.

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

It wouldn’t be a Valentine’s day movie marathon without a classic romantic comedy featuring an A-list cast which include Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Kevin Bacon and Steve Carell.

The film revolves around the Weaver family and their individual struggles with love. The chemistry between each couple undoubtedly adds charm to the unraveling of the plot as each character encounters the ups and downs of love. From middle school crushes to the recent ruin of a marriage, these portrayals encompass multiple generations which surely make it a relatable film for all.

Begin Again (2013)

A recently washed-up music producer, Dan Mulligan (Mark Ruffalo), is entranced by Gretta James’ (Keira Knightley) lyrical abilities as he discovers her performing an original song pertaining to a recent heartbreak with her musician boyfriend Dave Kohl (Adam Levine).

They form a close relationship. As Mulligan helps her establish her musical career, they grow an indescribable intimacy that doesn’t quite fit the romantic label. Dan and Gretta, as the title of the film suggests, act as a crutch in each other’s lives to “begin again” in terms of cleaning up their respectively messy relationships.

Other than the natural affinity that exists between Ruffalo and Knightley’s friendship in the film, Levine’s musical cameo and performance of Gretta’s “Lost Stars” is not something to miss.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Eleazar’s Flickr account.

Maristela Romero is a freshman journalism and public health science major and can be reached at

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