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Love it or loathe it, there’s a Valentine’s Day movie for you

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Every week, Kristopher Pollard from Milwaukee Film and Radio Milwaukee’s Dori Zori talk about movies — because that’s what you do when you’re Cinebuds.

When you’re a kid, Valentine’s Day is pretty great. You make a flimsy mailbox in school, your parents buy a pack of cards with your intellectual property of choice, there’s usually candy involved, and you’re good to go.

Then you get older.

Now, it’s possible you’re a grown-up still harboring those warm feelings about Valentine’s Day. And that’s great! It’s also possible you’ve matured to the point at which you view the holiday more like homework or see it as a crass money grab by the Hallmarks and Hersheys of the world. Regardless of which camp you call home, the Cinebuds have a gift with your name on it: this episode packed with movies to watch on Valentine’s Day.

Kpolly and Dori cover a lot of love and love-adjacent ground, from reminiscing about first-date movies to more modern entries in the heart-shaped genre. And we’re not just talking about lovey-dovey goo-goo eyes films, either. Yes, there are a few of those among their selections. But if you’re looking for something to spite Valentine’s Day rather than celebrate it … hoo boy, do they have some doozies for you.

In fact, for those in that latter category, Milwaukee Film has a whole month of doozies lined up at the Oriental Theatre as part of its “Love Hurts” series. You’ll hear a little about that on the podcast, but you can dig into the full lineup of movies and showtimes over at the Milwaukee Film website. We also included a quick list of a few films mentioned in this episode below so you can dial one up depending on your current feelings about the day.

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Valentine’s Day movies

Love Actually (2003)

Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London. With Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth.

Untamed Heart (1993)

A waitress hardly notices a shy busboy who secretly loves her, until one night she's attacked and he comes to her rescue. From there, a relationship sparks, but one secret could mean disaster for these fated lovers. With Christian Slater, Marisa Tomei, Rosie Perez.

Pump Up the Volume (1990)

Mark runs a pirate radio station and causes an uproar when he speaks his mind and enthralls fellow teens. With Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis.

End of the Century (2019)

Two men meet in Barcelona and after spending a day together they realize that they have already met twenty years ago. With Juan Barberini, Ramon Pujol, Mía Maestro.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories forever. With Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo.

Moonlight (2016)

A young African-American man grapples with his identity and sexuality while experiencing the everyday struggles of childhood, adolescence, and burgeoning adulthood. With Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

A young woman embraces her pregnancy while she and her family set out to prove her childhood friend and lover innocent of a crime he didn't commit. With KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King.


Anti-Valentine’s Day movies

Heathers (1988)

At Westerburg High where cliques rule, jocks dominate and all the popular girls are named Heather, it's going to take a Veronica and a mysterious new kid to give teen angst a body count. With Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty.

Jesus’ Son (1999)

A young man, often high on drugs and alcohol, careens through life and makes his way toward recovery and redemption. With Billy Crudup, Samantha Morton, Denis Leary, Jack Black.

True Romance (1993)

In Detroit, a pop culture nerd steals cocaine from his new wife's pimp and tries to sell it in Hollywood, prompting the mobsters who own the drugs to pursue the couple. With Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer.

Alfie (2004)

A cockney womanizer learns the hard way about the dangers of his actions. With Jude Law, Sienna Miller, Susan Sarandon.

Before Sunrise (1995)

A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together. With Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy.

Her (2013)

In a near future, a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need. With Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams.

Jumbo (2020)

Jeanne, a shy young woman, works in an amusement park. Fascinated with carousels, she still lives at home with her mother. That's when Jeanne meets Jumbo, the park's new flagship attraction. With Noémie Merlant, Emmanuelle Bercot, Bastien Bouillon.

The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

Three single women in a picturesque village have their wishes granted, at a cost, when a mysterious and flamboyant man arrives in their lives. With Cher, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jack Nicholson.