Looking for that perfect movie to watch with your valentine snuggled up on the sofa? Two titles you may not know achieve romantic comedy perfection. The first is Steve Carell's best film, a 2007 gem titled "Dan in Real Life." The second is 2003's "Love Actually," a star studded affair that has been growing in popularity and finding a larger audience over the last decade.
Dan Burns (Carell) is a widower advice columnist trying his best to raise three daughters on his own. Deeply in love with his deceased wife and still missing her every single day, the last thing he expects is to ever fall in love again. However, a chance meeting at a bookstore with a woman named Marie (Juliette Binoche) changes everything. These instant soul mates part company to head to assumed separate family gatherings. When Marie pops up at Dan's family home, things get hilariously and heartbreakingly complicated. Dan finds himself in an uproariously funny shower scene, taking the kids on a disastrous field trip, being forced into a date with Ruthie 'Pigface" Draper and murdering his middle daughter's love before everything resolves itself just as it should.
"Love Actually" begins several weeks before Christmas and it's a must-see for that holiday. But you can and should watch it again for Valentine's Day as its multiple characters and love stories run the gamut of a recent widower's (Liam Neeson) young son dealing with his first painful love to Bill Nighy as an aging rock star finding his true love. There's also a beautiful language barrier romance with Colin Firth and Hugh Grant makes a charming prime minister who falls for a delightful staff member. There's something for everyone in this laugh a lot and cry a lot brilliant film that proves that love really is all around us.