By Alicia Glass, contributing writer
Ah, Valentine’s Day. Whether you spend far too much money on an ungrateful Significant Other, or far too little time with your spouse, the holiday can be stressful for everyone. So let’s find some comfort in love and romance movies that span across time and space to save whole universes!
So the world is screwed now. Zombies have taken over a good portion of the earth and pockets of human survivors are waging a bitter, endless and unforgiving war against the walking dead. But these zombies have started to evolve (de-evolve?) into separate categories of monster, and when the daughter of a resistance leader meets our hero, a newer breed of zombie, big changes are coming!
So utterly adorkable. In this instance, love literally saved the world from the zombie plague. One moment where a teenage girl found herself caring about our cute and bumbling teenage zombie R, which flowered into love, spread the ability to care and eventually revert to human-like status for the good guy zombies like a virus. Interesting thought, to think of love as a plague, but for this film it totally worked.
The Time Machine
Dr. Alexander Hartdegen has lots of problems, like non-conformism (he refuses to wear a bowler hat and be like the rest of the drones), research and dreams instead of business, and an absent-mindedness that is almost legendary. But none of that matters when his beloved Emma is killed by a mugger. Now Alex is determined to build the, say it with me, time machine that will allow him to prevent such an ugly thing from happening!
But then, he can’t do it. Every time Alex goes forward or backward to try and save his precious Emma, something happens and poof, our hero is else-when! The sadly inescapable feel that Emma is fated to die drives Alex through the future and the past, against terrible foes and futuristic fatalities, to rail against destiny and time, proving that one stray cog in the machine can change the whole works!
Oh look, another time travel movie. Well hey, what ass-kicking time travelling cop wouldn’t risk the whole of space and time to save his beloved woman and unborn child? It’s Jean-Claude Van Damme, which means even if you don’t much care for the films plot, it’s always a joy to watch him kicking the butts of the bad guys everywhere!
So this is the alterna-future, where time travel is a real thing and regulated by an officially sanctioned government police force. But Senator McComb is intent on becoming President of the U.S. and for that you need one thing, money. What easier way to get a lot of it than by going back in time and stealing it? This is the very thing that is Walker’s (JCVD) job to prevent, so he and his wife Melissa get tangled in the time travel spaghetti and have to fight their way out! True unrelenting love and the idea that this isn’t the proper future and isn’t the way things were meant to be, and therefore we must fix it, is a beautiful Hero’s Journey notion.
The Fifth Element
The future doesn’t have to be all Bladerunner-bleak on us. The flying cars, the concealing fog, the alien races and our human relationships with them, boil down to one major truth that is the main theme of the movie: protect life, until death. Our heroic cab driver Bruce Willis, who happens to be a former war veteran, finds himself with a surprise fare that turns out to be the savior of the earth, all wrapped up in a perfectly vulnerable Milla Jovovich package.
Tossing together a very different Gary Oldman bad guy, an aquatic operatic that turns into hip-hop, Chris Tucker as the worlds most annoying DJ, all together in a melting pot of a future that’s full of life that needs to be saved, brings out our heroes! Leeloo and Korben forever!
An American Werewolf in Paris
Andy and his pals are touring Europe on the college-guy circuit, raising hell and doing stunts to amuse each-other as they travel across country. And of course Andy wants to impress his friends by bungee-jumping off the Eiffel Tower, only to have his world turned upside-down when he just has to save a mysterious beautiful woman who has her own plans for jumping off the Tower – without a rope!
Whole gangs of nasty European werewolves who love Americans (to eat, right?!), ghosts that haunt you even in the bathroom, lycanthropy serums that let the werewolves change without the moons influence, and bloody-heart smoothies aside, the romance between Andy and Serafine is beautiful and transcends simple notions like humanity versus lycanthropy. We’ll make it work!
Earth Girls Are Easy
Valerie is your typical L.A. valley girl: it’s all about her nail salon, her wild outfits, the forever-parties, and most important, her romance and hopefully-soon wedding to Doctor Ted. All of it comes to a screeching halt when a trio of furry aliens crash-land their spaceship into Val’s pool! After a poodle-shave-job from her friend Candy, the now-smooth Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and Jeff Goldblum hit the town with our heroines! But then, hey yknow, the cheating Doctor Love figures out that Val’s friends are actually aliens and wants to use them for all the fame he can get, so Val has to figure out how to get Mac and Wiploc and Zeebo off the planet before they get caught!
I adore me this movie. All about cheerful California excess, there are several singing and dance numbers that are just wonderful. Once again the chemistry onscreen between Geena Davis as Val and Jeff Goldblum as alien leader Mac, is breathtaking and genuinely lovely to watch. These aren’t aliens that have come to take over our world, or want our water or anything, nope, they just want to party and get laid, like a lot. When was the last time you saw a fun alien movie that wasn’t a stoner comedy?
Ah, robot love. The earth is empty, humanity left on an arc-type ship awhile ago, leaving behind trash everywhere and some few robots left to clean up the mess. Eventually all that’s left is just poor Walle, all by himself with only a roach pal to keep him company, finding treasure among the trash and building himself his own little actual personality. Because that’s what Disney robots do! But then a scout ship brings a newer, more sleek robot with a directive that’s more prime than anything else, including burgeoning love!
Walle and Eva don’t get more than a few words apiece, including their own names said in aggrieved tones or loving exasperation, but Disney makes it work in the most wonderful way possible. That a robot, any robot, from the broken-down fifty-years-ago-it-was-brand-new junker to the sleek I’m-so-shiny-and-new model could find love, means that there’s still hope for humanity out there somewhere among the stars!
Regardless if you think V-Day (saying it that way does make it sound a bit of a bummer, doesn’t it?) is a scam put on by candy and stuffed toy companies or a holiday to celebrate the genuine feelings for your loved ones, everyone should take a moment to remember the universe-changing and always fascinating concepts of life and love.
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