Corny candy hearts, fresh flowers, and toddler sized teddy bears aside, what could possibly be more cringe worthy on Valentine’s Day than watching a sappy-crappy Rom-Com with your significant other? If you love watching high quality films then you probably wouldn’t appreciate The Notebook being slipped into the DVD player. My recommendation to keep both parties happy is to watch the most unconventional love story of all-time — Two for the Road.
The 1967 classic starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney was directed by Stanley Donen, primarily known for his musical masterpieces such as Singin’ in the Rain, and received one Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Story, and Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. It non-sequentially follows a couple’s marriage through all their best and worst moments all the while on the road. The editing was superb and I’m not exactly sure why the Academy snubbed it but there is nothing comparable. Memento was cut in reverse chronological order and fascinated people, but Donen’s film completely captivates; intercutting various points of their lives differentiated by the quality of cars they drive (or didn’t drive) and clothes they wore.
The dialogue isn’t sappy or silly. It actually feels natural to the way a couple would treat each other after the initial excitement of a relationship fades and you drift into the land of boredom. It’s only when outside parties intervening that they realize the old cliché, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” You will like the characters, you might even love them. But not Ruthie, no one likes Ruthie. With amazing acting and directing it would be hard not to fall in love with this British comedy-drama. So ditch the inflated dinner menu prices and make 2/14/18 your most unconventional Valentine’s Day yet!
Craig Joseph Pisani is an avid moviegoer and aspiring screenwriter with Bachelor’s degrees in both Cinema and English.