Blockbuster just issued a press release delving into the “movie dos and don’ts” for at-home Valentine’s Day festivities. I have a couple problems with it.

First and foremost, Blockbuster has a disturbingly limited selection – good luck trying to find some of you classic romances in any Lake Highlands-area Blockbuster. Case in point: About a month ago I wanted to rent Close Encounters of the Third Kind for a family movie night at home.

Zero out of three Blockbusters (Northwest at Plano, Mockingbird at Abrams, and Skillman at Walnut Hill stores included) carried the classic Spielberg flick. And it gets worse. At least two of the clerks had no clue what movie I was talking about. Sure they’re young, but that’s no excuse (not like I was movie-going age when it came out either!). Casablanca came out long before I was born but it would be a shame if I hadn’t seen it. I digress though. The second problem I have with Blockbuster’s survey: perpetuating a stereotype. Just because I’m a girl, I have to love Steel Magnolias? Only men appreciate Godfather?

I’m not the only chick who loathes “chick flicks” and loves mobster movies. I’ll have you know I have a sister and we agree No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood (both bloody, violent tour-de-forces of melancholy) are “awesome” – either deserving of Oscar’s best picture trophy. Neither of us wants to see Fool’s Gold, contrary to what Blockbuster would have you believe. So, I talked it over with my Valentine (my husband) and we came up – after a little debate (I didn’t think Leaving Las Vegas exactly qualified as a “date movie”) – with our own list of cool modern V-day movies (I can’t say favorite because we inevitably left something out). A couple of them are sweet feel-gooders, others are edgy and dark — but they all include love stories and you can rent or buy them cheap at Movie Trading Company (5809 Greenville Ave.) or Premiere Video (5400 E. Mockingbird Ln.):

Once – a new musical that gives you a look inside the beautiful creative process.
Punch-Drunk Love – an unconventional love story with Adam Sandler as you’ve never seen him – good.
Love Actually – a Christmas movie but a sweet and optomistic look at love.
Look Both Ways – an artsy Austrailian flick in which tragedy gives way to romance.
Buffalo ’66 – a freshly released convict kidnaps a young women and uses her in his plans to kill an NFL kicker who missed a Super-Bowl winning field goal. She falls for him. A move recommended only for those with a deep dark sense of humor.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – a trip into the world of "what if".
In America – a heart-wrenching family love story.
Stranger Than Fiction – Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal make a strange couple in a funny fantasy.
War of the Roses – watch only if your date doesn’t show.