Library 101: Valentine's Day

Posted on: Sunday, February 14th, 2016 by Jody Hanshew

A book never written: “Guide to Love” by Val N. Tines.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Kelly Library! Little is known about the historical Saint Valentine, but he is believed to have been a Roman priest who was martyred on around 270 CE. Valentine’s Day might have been the Church’s attempt to Christianize Lupercalia, a pagan festival held around the middle of February, though there is some debate about that claim. (Holidays, Festivals & Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Kelly Reference GT3925 .H64 2005, also available electronically in Credo Reference) Regardless, the holiday became associated with courtly love in the 14th century, mostly due to its inclusion in a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer.  Over time the holiday became linked with the giving of gifts and cards, Valentine’s Day cards became popular enough to be mass produced as early as the 1800s and more cards are sold during this season than any other.  

If you are trying to get in the Valentine’s Day mood here are some romantic films that are available in the DVD section of Kelly Library.

Casablanca (PN1997.C2882 2003) Set in Casablanca, Morocco during the early days of World War II, an American expatriate (Humphrey Bogart) meets a former lover (Ingrid Bergman), with unforeseen complications.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (PN1997 .E578 2004) When their relationship turns sour, a couple (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.

Gone with the Wind (PN1997 .G653) A manipulative Southern belle (Vivien Leigh) carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner (Clark Gable) during the American Civil War.

Romeo and Juliet (PR2831.A23 L82) Shakespeare's famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue (featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes).

When Harry Met Sally (M1527.C66 W54) Two Manhattan careerists (Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan) take 12 years to figure out they love each other, directed by Rob Reiner.

Before Sunrise (PN1997 .B36492) A young man (Ethan Hawke) and woman (Julie Delpy) 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. There are two sequels, Before Sunset and Before Midnight, that trace their relationship from their twenties into their forties.

(500) Days of Summer (PN1997 .F57 2009) An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn't believe true love exists (Zooey Deschanel), and the young man who falls for her (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).

Moulin Rouge (PN1997 .M6912) A poet (Ewan McGregor) falls for a beautiful courtesan (Nicole Kidman) whom a jealous duke covets in this stylish musical, with music drawn from familiar 20th century sources.

Annie Hall (PN1997 .A660) Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer (played by Woody Allen) falls in love with the ditsy Annie Hall (played by Dianne Keaton).

Titanic (PN1997 .T5958) A seventeen-year-old aristocrat (Kate Winslet) falls in love with a kind, but poor artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

Say Anything (PN1997 .S2995) A noble underachiever (John Cusack) and a beautiful valedictorian (Ione Skye) fall in love the summer before she goes off to college.

Love Actually (PN1997 .L6798 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, England. The cast includes Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightly, and Liam Neeson.

The Princess Bride (PN1997 .P7425) A cult classic, a storybook stable boy (Cary Elwes) turns pirate and rescues his beloved (Robin Wright), kidnapped by a prince.

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