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Movie tips for Valentine’s Day

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Fellas, forget flowers and chocolates. They're both played out and only really impress if they're unexpected. What every girl truly wants for Valentine’s Day is for a hot guy she met the night before to take her heli-boarding all day, then have a quiet dinner in an alpine hut full of fine wine, chocolate roses and a steaming gourmet meal, followed by incredible sex as moonbeams filter through the gossamer curtains.

After that she wants him to leave and never come back.

Since you guys probably make minimum wage washing dishes and I spend all my money on popcorn and video late charges, I guess we've only got one choice this week: take our dates to the movies, sit in the dark and don't talk to each other. Good times.

But that's what the fine folks at Colombia Pictures expect you do. They're releasing 50 First Dates , the latest Adam Sandler/ Drew Barrymore romantic comedy, just in time for everyone's favourite day, Feb. 14.

The last time these two teamed up was 1998's The Wedding Singer , a decent flick. So maybe the Hollywood mantra of "stick with what works and rehash it to death" could be a good idea in this case. Then again, maybe not.

Directed by Peter Segal ( Anger Management – funny, I thought) 50 First Dates is about a guy afraid of commitment who falls for the perfect girl. She's sweet, charming, and hot in that wholesome kind of way. The only problem is she's got a brain condition as a result of a car crash. She's fine except her short term memory is quite hooped. Every morning she wakes up and it's a blank page. So Sandler has to woo her over and over and over because he's suddenly realized that there's more to life than just balling hot chicks and then pretending you're a secret agent, rushing off at the crack of dawn. The right girl can give you feelings you've never felt before. Commitment is the answer. Sure.

Drew Barrymore is really good in this movie, all the time actually, and Adam Sandler can mix humour and cheeseball romance well, but 50 First Dates dips heavily into the low-brow humour bucket. You know, puking, walrus dicks and lots of gay jokes – quality stuff.

The final verdict is this: Both Sandler and Barrymore still rule even though this movie kinda doesn't. It's not their fault; the script is weak.

If you want a good every-day-the-same/amnesic romantic comedy for Valentine’s Day rent Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, get some decent wine, some takeout sushi and do it up right. Call your woman over, light some candles and hopefully you won't remember the end of the movie either.

But If you still want to take your date out to the movies on Valentine’s Day and you're into really bad ideas. Take her to see Monster , and prepare to get in shit. Monster is based on the true story of Aileen Wuornos (played phenomenally by an ugly Charlize Theron) a Florida hooker, abused as a child, who almost kills herself but instead falls in love with Selby Wall (Christina Ricci) a young lesbian with uber-religious parents. Hooking to support them both, Wuornos ends up killing a john who'd intended to rape and murder her. She then decides to keep ’er going and ends up killing six men, including (accidentally) a cop. This is all based on true stuff so I'm not giving anything away.

The movie is pretty grim and doesn't portray down-home America too kindly either, but it is an interesting look at what motivated America's first female serial killer. Hell, if I was raped continuously since age eight by my dad's buddy, then beaten when I complained, I'd probably feel like capping a few losers as well. The film is harsh and raw but first time director Patty Jenkins plays it safe with her camera work and doesn't really invoke the dark mood the subject matter would have allowed. As well, the Shelby Wall character and the love story aspect could have been fleshed out a bit more.

Still, though dark, grim and with a killer soundtrack, Monster is a good social commentary shedding light on some of the societal and judicial problems occurring down there in the greatest country on earth.

Seriously though, a crappy date movie, especially for Valentine’s Day.

At Village 8 Nov. 13-19: Monster, 50 First Dates, Barbershop 2, Butterfly Effect, Cold Mountain, Last Samurai, Big Fish, Catch That Kid, Lord of the Rings, Miracle, Along Came Polly.

At Rainbow Theatre Nov. 13-19: The Big Bounce, The Perfect Score.

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