Ah, Valentines Day – when young men’s thoughts turn to hopes of young women’s thoughts involving said young man. Personally, I find it interesting that a day known as much for massacres as it is love has become the day of romance across the globe. Think about it, how many massacres are you aware of? Sure, there’s the Boston Massacre which we all learned about in elementary school* but everybody knows about the Valentines Day Massacre, even if they have no idea who was killed or why or where. Granted, people in Burma probably have never heard of the gangland shooting at the SMC Cartage garage, but as an American, it is my obligation to impose my cultural standards on other peoples, so I’ll just assume that General Than Shwe knows everything about the Moran vs. Capone rivalry and its violent climax.
What I find amusing about Valentines Day these days is the support industry that now surrounds it. Not just the regular stuffing of the seasonal aisle at Walgreens with cards, chocolate, and stuffed animals, but also all the roadside stands** on the way home selling arrangements of roses and teddy bears and balloons. Seriously, yesterday I drove by at least six and expect to see even more tonight. Even more interesting is how every newspaper in the country tries to come up with an original idea for a Valentines Day special feature. Case in point is my favorite (The Minneapolis Star Tribune) who apparently hired the same woman who wrote that infernal “Top 5 John Cusack Movies” article to write a “top 10 movie kisses” feature. I mean, honestly – picking the climax to “Never Been Kissed” over the Neve Campbell/Denise Richards “Wild Things” smootchfest in the pool? Or the Bogie/Bacall scene in “To Have and Have Not” with it’s “Whadja do that for?” repartee? Granted, she did get some of them right, but her mentioning Burt Lancaster and Debra Kerr in “From Here to Eternity” and Carrie Fischer and Harrison Ford in “Empire Strikes Back” is about as obvious as mentioning Lance Armstrong on a top 5 professional cyclist list.
So here’s my list of the top 10 movie kisses for Valentines Day:
10) Roger Rabbit and Eddie Valient (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) – To this day I’m fascinated by how they kept the handcuffs taught in this scene, and I’ve even seen the “behind the scenes” special.
9) Burt Lancaster and Debra Kerr (From Here to Eternity) – “Wait, is that seaweed in my hair or…oh…nevermind…”
8) Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler (The Wedding Singer) – I know, I know, I just ripped the woman for picking a Drew Barrymore movie, but a) Drew was really cute in that movie; and b) that kiss made it completely obvious that they wanted each other, you can almost feel the plot shifting and read what’s in her eyes. Awesome.
7) Lady and the Tramp (Lady and the Tramp) – Come on, the flirty way Lady turned her head after the “spaghetti incident”? That was hot!
6) Tobey Maguire and Kirstin Dunst (Spiderman) – Hot, wet, and upside down. ‘nuff said.
5) Jake Gyllenhal and Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain) – I’m straight, but even I thought their first kiss when Jack comes to visit Ennis for the first time at Ennis’ place was wowsers. Of course, so did Michelle Williams…doh!
4) Valerie Golina and Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man) – I never thought I’d be jealous of an autistic character. And you have to love Hoffman’s description of it afterwards as “Wet”
3) Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions) – Made even more memorable by the parody of this scene in “Not Another Teen Movie”
2) Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall (To Have and Have Not) – I’ve only seen this scene once and it’s no wonder these two hooked up, sheesh…
1) Harrison Ford and Carrie Fischer (Empire Strikes Back) – Ladies love the scoundrels
* Damn those Redcoats and their infernal stamp taxes!
** Of course, they are more likely to be selling out of their car than in actual “stands”.