• Jeff South

10 Movies to Watch With Your Sweetie: It Happened One Night.

It Happened One Night (1934)

Clark Gable: Peter

Claudette Colbert: Ellie

Screenplay by Robert Riskin (based on a short story by Samuel Hopkins Adams)

Directed by Frank Capra

The lineage of the romantic and screwball comedy can be traced back to It Happened One Night. All the hallmarks of the genre are there: beautiful co-stars have a meet-cute (she's running away from her fiance), witty banter, sexual tension, crazy situations. How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days to When Harry Met Sally, to Annie Hall to What's Up, Doc? to The Apartment to His Girl Friday. They and countless others have elements of Frank Capra's classic in their DNA.

But, I know what the dudes reading this are thinking. I'm already watching a romance with her. Isn't that enough? I gotta watch an oldie in black-and-white, too? No, dudes. It's not. And, yes, you do. Step up your game. Impress your Valentine by expanding your horizons. Look, I know how women think. I read the memes they post. They want you to wow them and think outside the box. They also want wine and tacos, if the memes are to be believed.

I recommend buying a fine bottle of wine, perhaps something slightly more expensive than Boone's Farm. Pick up some tacos and set up a spread on a blanket in the middle of the living room floor. Rent It Happened One Night (it's available on Amazon Prime) and impress your special person with your creativity. I also recommend watching it by yourself first, so you know can plan some talking points about the film's plot, characters, and style. Here are some discussion questions:

  • Clark Gable, what a stud, amirite?

  • Claudette Colbert, what babe, amirite?

  • How do you feel about the pre-Code banter in the film's dialogue as viewed through our 21st century, #MeToo lens?

  • If we were stranded on the side of the road, would you raise your skirt a little to get us ride or would you make me do it?

  • Who would win in a fight over Clark Cable, Claudette Colbert or Vivian Leigh?

Once you've finished the film are you're both in the mood, you can move your evening to the bedroom. To complete the evening's theme, collect the blanket you spread on the floor, take it to the bedroom, and hang it between you and your lover in tribute to the film's iconic scene. Your sweetheart will be bowled over by this Valentine's Day to remember.

You're welcome, dudes.

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