February 14 is not only Valentine’s Day, but also the very heart of midterm season. As our minds are busy concocting ways to fit as much information as possible into a cheat sheet, it might be hard—and time–consuming—to come up with romantic plans. I think we all agree that movie theaters are the go–to option for uninspired dates, and watching Netflix with your Valentine is, honestly, just sad. If, however, you still want to incorporate films into your tryst, here are five quicker but equally charming options:
Till Human Voices Wake Us
If you like Carl Jung, T.S. Eliot, and Celtic mythology, this one’s for you. The film tells the story of a Selkie, a mythological creature who lives as a seal in the sea, but takes the shape of a beautiful maiden when on land—and falls for a man drowning under the Brooklyn Bridge. Blending images of an ethereal nature with the bright lights of New York City, Till Human Voices Wake Us is a modern fairytale that is sure to give you some food for thought.
Two Cars, One Night
This 12–minute masterpiece was nominated for Best Short Film at the Oscars in 2005, and after watching it, it’s not hard to understand why. The incredibly funny Two Cars, One Night will remind you of simpler times, when falling in love was as easy as talking to another kid in a parking lot.
Directed by Tom Tykwer (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer) and starring Natalie Portman, True is part of a project in which 20 acclaimed directors each tell a story in one of Paris’ arrondissements. The movie, emotionally charged and melancholic, recounts a couple’s most intimate moments, which unfortunately lead to their inevitable demise.
To Die by Your Side
Spike Jonze—the director of this six–minute animation—is the master of unusual love stories, as proven by the success of Her. In To Die by Your Side, his experimental tendencies are once again obvious: the sweet tale of two paper figures is set on the backdrop of a bookstore, and is filled with literary references.
The Voices of a Distant Star
The longest film on this list is a Japanese animated romance that will appeal to your inner nerd. It tells the story of high–school students Mikako and Noboru, whose bond is at risk when the former travels to a distant universe to fight aliens. In this short sci–fi flick, you’ll easily recognize the difficulties and beauties of a real–life long–distance relationship.