It’s Valentine’s Day. And for many people, this is a magical day for romance, love and comparing material gains in order to measure the strength of your relationship against other people’s.
For the rest of us, it’s a day to swing between nausea and knowing condescension as a parade of ostentatious blooms make their way around the city.
I’ve never been one for Venereal Day, having always viewed it as a poxy celebration created to sell ugly stuffed teddy bears and false promises. I prefer Leslie Knope’s version of the holiday, Galentine’s Day*. Not only an excuse to drink champagne before 10am, it’s a celebration of the beautiful platonic love a woman has with her favourite gals.
And the best part about Galentine’s Day is that it doesn’t discriminate based on relationship status! Who cares if you’re single, shacked up or ‘complicated’ Not your Gals, that’s for sure! So for this Galentine’s Day, I thought I’d list the five best Galentine’s movies to watch with your special ladies. You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! You may drive off a cliff at the end, but the important thing is that you’ll be together!
*Technically speaking, Galentine’s Day is celebrated on February 13. But I love the holiday so much, I’m electing to move it to the 14th.
1. Fried Green Tomatoes
Although the movie is a santised version of Fannie Flagg’s book ‘Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe’, it’s still a great contender for the best Galentine’s movies. Not only is it a romantic love story between two women (because, to put it bluntly, Idgie and Ruth were all up in each other’s business) but it’s an exploration of the friendship that can exist between two women of completely different ages.
It would be remiss not to mention the troubling depiction of race relations – Idgie and her family are painted as benevolent employers to the African Americans who’ve served their family for generations, with one of them even prepared to be hanged in order to save Idgie from a murder charge. And the film’s admission of homosexuality was vague at best; the lesbian relationship at its core was only suggested by the masculine clothes worn by Idgie. So sure, it’s not without it’s many problems. But I defy anyone not to cry when Ruth, in her dying moments, asks Idgie to ‘tell me about the lake’. Also, there’s this to watch on repeat whenever you’re feeling troubled.
2. A League of Their Own
Oh, Madonna! Of her vast and regrettable movie ouvre, ALOTO is a rare jewel. Who didn’t want to be a Georgia Peach when they were growing up In backyards around the world, little girls set up diamond pitches and practiced sliding into first, yelling, ‘Dirt in the skirt! Dirt in the skirt!’
This movie had everything – sibling rivalry, the underdog coming good and heroic triumphing over sexism. It’s also probably one of the few movies you’ll see which explores a platonic romance between two heterosexual leads that’s never really about sex. Oh, ALOTO. You used to be my playground. You really, really did.