This article previously ran in February 2014. We’re reposting for Valentine’s Day.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so that obviously means we’re supposed to watch syrupy romantic comedies and eat licorice and write love letters and make mixtapes and do anything and everything seen in a John Hughes movie. Truth? I love all that stuff. I’m a cynical bastard about pretty much everything — you should see me when the brunch line’s too long and my friends insist we wait; it’s like 10″ nails on a chalkboard — but when it comes to sensationalized love? I eat it up.
No surprise then that one of my favorite films remains Cameron Crowe’s Singles. Or that long before Napster and AOL, I once created an entire cassette of songs taped from similar fare I would catch on HBO or Cinemax by holding my Talkboy up to the TV speakers. (How else was I supposed to get The Boombox Song, as I once called Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”?) Of course, I’m a long sufferer of the Cusack Syndrome, where I remain convinced that the only way to a girl’s heart is through music.
So, tired of all the think pieces and negative lists around this time of year, I decided to focus on something positive: 10 songs that I’ve always thought could be solid romantic comedies. Like an idiot, I dreamed up a cast for each entry, wrote up a story based on the lyrics, and even included some smarmy taglines for good measure. It was fun playing Hollywood producer, okay?
If there’s anyone to blame for this, an editorial that some might consider a crime against humanity, I point to my mother and father. I’m pretty convinced my mother would cry at any of these films and that my father would even revisit a few repeatedly, sort of like he already does with Bandits, Wedding Crashers, and Bridesmaids. See where I get this obsession?
Happy Valentine’s Day, folks.
“Spin the Bottle”
The Juliana Hatfield Three
Cast: Emma Roberts, Channing Tatum, Billy Crystal, and Eric Roberts
Story: Struggling to pay college loans, Diana Lawrence (Emma Roberts) juggles three different jobs: a daytime waitress, a fashion writer, and a late-night bartender at a night club. When rising film star T.J. Banks (Channing Tatum) throws an event at the club, his party jokingly starts a risque game of spin the bottle. Seeing her advantage, Diana tosses a secret note inside the bottle, which tips off a rags-to-riches affair that lasts more than just five minutes in the closet. Naturally, his middling agent, Jackie Greaser (Billy Crystal), does not approve.
Tagline: “Bottom’s up!”
Does the band make an appearance? Hatfield plays the single mother of Emma Roberts and has a great scene with her estranged father, Eric Roberts, who charms critics in a telling role.
Happy ending? It’s up to the bottle.
Fun fact: This song appeared on another romantic comedy’s soundtrack — Ben Stiller’s Reality Bites.