Hey, guys, Valentine's Day is right around the corner.
(Before we go any further, don't I sound just like a Hallmark commercial?)
Here's an idea that can save us all a lot of headaches -- and money.
Do not fry your brain trying to find the perfect Valentine's Day gift for the leading lady in your life. As men, we really have no concept of things like perfume, specific kinds of imported chocolate or the latest in French-lace lingerie. Besides, remember how embarrassing it is to walk into some of those female-themed stores and try to act like you've been there before? (Except the ones with specific kinds of imported chocolate, because I probably have.)
Here's my foolproof plan for Valentine's Day, and it's actually an idea that works. And it's much more budget-oriented than trying to figure out the perfect restaurant to take her to, topped off by "the present," which is required to be perfume, a specific kind of imported chocolate or lingerie with some sort of international theme.
A common denominator for all women is they love a good movie, but not just any movie. They love the proverbial chick flick, the kind with a lot of emotion and complicated relationship issues.
(Guys, this does not translate into one of the old "Rambo" films or one of those ill-conceived "Die Hard" efforts.)
So ask that favorite lady if she would like to spend Valentine's Day evening with the man of her choice -- hopefully, she would pick you -- in your softly lit living room, enjoying a movie you have picked out just for the two of you. Then end that request with the idea you will "cook" for the two of you, which, of course, means you'll either bring home or order the pizza. She will chuckle at that afterthought, hug you and say, "Oh, sweetie, how thoughtful."
Or something like that.
The movie, however, is the key. It has to be one that will -- at some point -- bring a tear to her eye, yet leaving her feeling all warm and fuzzy by the final credits.
Guys, here are three solid-gold choices. Pick any of the following, and she'll love you forever ... or at least until next Valentine's Day:
º "The Notebook (2004)": Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are a perfect couple in this period piece that spotlights Southern life in the 1940s. It is adapted from the book by the same name, written by the chick flick author of the decade himself, Nicholas Sparks (the favorite writer of Mrs. Steve, so you know which movie I will be picking). This film has been labeled "pure escapist cinema, especially for married ladies who'd love to go back in time and experience falling in love all over again." Guys, you cannot miss with this one.
º "Message in a Bottle (1999)": Another film derived from a Nicholas Sparks novel. A woman discovers "a tragic love letter in a bottle on a beach and is determined to track down its author." Add Kevin Costner, when he was still a relevant actor, plus a superb performance by Robin Wright. This is can't miss, part two.
º "When Harry Met Sally (1989)": It is absolutely impossible not to laugh, cry and enjoy this movie with a wife or girlfriend. It features Meg Ryan in her purest, most innocent form and a young Billy Crystal before he became annoying. All facets of a relationship become topics, accented by a spirit within the film that you can almost feel. Chick flick or otherwise, this is a great movie.
Guys, no need to send a thank-you note. We simply need to stick together this time of year.