Marquee’s Valentine’s Day Spectacular

Best Love Songs

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“In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel

I don’t know when I decided that Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” would be my wedding song, but it’s been set for a few years now. I also don’t know why I have a “wedding song” since I’m not planning on getting married. I think I’ve revealed way too much in this short paragraph, so I’ll stop now. I remember my parents blasting Peter Gabriel’s album, and I just thought it was such a beautiful song. “In your eyes, I am complete” may be totally cheesy, but it’s simple and sweet at the same time. No complicated analogies, no wordiness.

— Eva Sotomayor

“I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain

I didn’t want to write about this song, the cliché high school slow dance from a one-hit wonder. I tried to come up with other options, but none of them felt the same. So I surrendered to the soulful sound that is Edwin McCain. The lyrics are sincere, sweet and tender. Plus, its ¾ time signature makes it the perfect song for swaying with that special someone (cough Chad Michael Murray cough).

— Claire Nowak

“At Last” by Etta James

“At Last” is the woozy elation of falling in love. It’s when you want to go up to strangers and say “Love is real!” (or some other treacly thing to get you punched.) “At Last” captures the pure beginnings of a relationship– before you realize the person is not perfect. It’s before you see that they have, say, an annoying way of repeating stories again and again. This is the song you sing when all the stories are new. For those in a new relaionship, this is your anthem. For the rest of us, “At Last” can bring us back into the dream – if just for an instant.

— Erin Heffernan

“Your Song” by Elton John

As far as love songs go, “Your Song” isn’t really that special, musically at least. It doesn’t have an elaborate chorus, dramatic backup singers or a large orchestra. “Your Song” is special because it’s simple. The lyrics have no grand proclamations or promises. It’s just a man expressing love at its core. The song is stripped of love’s drama and complexities. It is a simple, beautiful song about how special it is to care deeply for another person. The message is timeless, and because of this, Elton John’s 1970 hit has become not just “Your Song,” but also THE song for many couples.

— Maddy Kennedy

Best Love Movies

“Beauty and the Beast”

Obviously a movie with the tagline “The most beautiful love story ever told” is tops in terms of love movies. Not only does “Beauty and the Beast” warm the heart, it also teaches that true love lies within despite exterior appearances. A film that attempts to portray love as something that is not bound by superficial entities – as well as a terrific soundtrack – is a love story worth seeing this Valentine’s Day.

— Peter Setter

“High Fidelity”

Normally I reserve my love for “High Fidelity’s” pitch-perfect portrayal of nerd friendships, from the way they rip on one another’s taste to their conversations that involve more obscure pop culture references leaving their mouths than oxygen. But the film’s knowing, realistic look at love is sweet and genuine. When John Cusack’s charachter professes his love at the end of the film, it’s so wonderfully awkward and earnest, without a pretense of romance, that it warms my soul. Plus, Jack Black sings Marvin Gaye. You don’t know how much you want to see and hear that.

— Matt Mueller

“The Notebook”

Ryan Gosling.

Now that I have your attention, I will explain my choice. I am a hopelessly romantic teenage girl. Therefore, I am a fan of Nicholas Sparks. When it comes to romance, you want a story that tugs at the heartstrings. Noah and Allie’s unlikely romance starts tugging from the very beginning. Raging emotions and innuendos keep you engaged, but most importantly, there is a lot of Ryan Gosling. That really doesn’t need any further explanation, does it?

— Claire Nowak

“All About Eve”

So this movie is not really a romance. It’s mostly a delicious revenge story set in the high society of theatre in the 1940s. When a young actress, Eve Harrington, tries to usurp the aging but unequaled star Margo Channing – played marvelously by Bette Davis – a barrage of drama, classic one-liners and Bette Davis being fabulous erupts. But there is also a great love story amid relationships in the movie built out of ambition or weakened by Eve’s tricks – Bill and Margo are the film’s One True Pairing. Though they tease and fight, and Margo has a theatrical egotism, they are perfect for each other. There are so many great lines about love, such as: Bill: “We have to go to City Hall for the marriage license and blood test.” Margo: “I’d marry you if it turned out you had no blood at all!” The line is a great glimpse into their dynamic: pithy, confident and in love.

— Erin Heffernan

Best Heartbreak Songs

“Dancing On My Own” by Robyn

Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” is a great song about heartbreak. The Swedish pop-star’s song about a woman watching her ex with a new girl. The synth-pop electronica track is also great to dance to – on your own in your room, of course. It’s a great cheer-up song when you’re feeling down or brokenhearted. At some point or another we’ve all been in that position, dancing on our own.

— Eva Sotomayor

“It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” by Celine Dion

If you are looking for a bitter Valentine’s Day, have a listen to the 7-and-a-half minute Celine Dion power ballad “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” The bombastic operatic song presents a crestfallen woman who has just had her heart broken. She remembers the jubilant highs and dismal lows of a failed relationship. All these emotions, you guessed it, come back to her. I enjoy this song any time of year when I am upset about my love life and need Celine’s validation for what I am feeling emotionally. Feel free to use this song as therapy, as I have learned to do.

— Peter Setter

“Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri

In the midst of making myself a heartbreak playlist, I found myself consistently going back to this song. In four minutes and six seconds, Christina Perri breaks your heart with despairing verses and lifts your spirit with an ever-hopeful chorus. The music encompasses the raw emotion in her lyrics, giving grief-stricken listeners the strength to crawl out of holes of self-pity and move on with their lives. The words are simple, but they can be all you need to get a positive perspective on a bad breakup.

— Claire Nowak

“Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan

Dylan’s thinly veiled contempt in “Don’t Think Twice” is perfect. The lyrics seem simple, but manage to say “I want you to think I don’t care,” and “I really, really care” simultaneously. Who can’t relate to the last lines? “I ain’t saying you treated me unkind/ you could’ve done better, but I don’t mind/ you just kinda wasted my precious time/ but don’t think twice it’s alright.”

For me, the song’s pretense of indifference is better than any full-tilt breakup song. Don’t get me wrong, “Rolling in the Deep” is still my jam for eating ice cream and crying. But this is the one that feels real. In short, it gets me every time.

–Erin Heffernan

Best Heartbreak Movies


“Casablanca” holds the top spo on many “best-of” lists. For me, it stands as one of the only three movies that have made me cry, the other two being “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “Toy Story 3.” There’s nothing more tragic than two people who deserve to be together forced apart because of  life. They’ll always have Paris, and thankfully, we’ll always have this classic.

— Eva Sotomayor

“(500) Days of Summer”

This movie, referred to as “(500) Days of Hipster” by a few of my friends, follows a young man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who falls in love with a woman (Zooey Deschanel) who doesn’t believe in true love. With a premise like this, one might assume that the woman would change her mind about love and fall in love with the hero, as in a traditional love movie. Wrong. ZD crushes JGL’s heart, along with my belief that love is some gratifying experience. Paired with one of the finest movie soundtracks, the film trounces all pre-conceived notions about true love prevailing and creates an emotionally exhausting experience.

— Peter Setter

“Annie Hall”

“Annie Hall” is a hilarious movie about a relationship’s sad death. These two elements probably shouldn’t exist in the same movie together, but they do with terrific results. Woody Allen and Diane Keaton are a match made in heartbreak movie heaven; they’re funny, sweetly romantic (yes, there was a time when Allen was romantic) and heartbreakingly tragic.

It’s a special movie that can feature both one of the funniest scenes in film history – Alvy and Annie standing in line for a movie with an person blabbing behind them so annoyingly that Alvy has to stop the movie to silence him – as well as some of the most heartbreaking. It’s proof that the best medicine for a broken heart is laughter.

— Matt Mueller

Any Nicholas Sparks movie

When was the last time you walked out of a Nicholas Sparks movie happy? Answer: never. There is no man on Earth more hell-bent on ruining your movie night than Nicholas Sparks. Depending on how much depression and predictable romance you can endure, Sparks either has a long list of successes or failures including “Dear John,” “The Notebook” and recently “Safe Haven.” Each Nicholas Sparks movie is a twist on the classic boy-meets-girl tale, just with more unnecessary drama and death. Oh, what’s that? You have a favorite character? Well brace yourself, because in 90 minutes they’re either going to be diagnosed with cancer, abandoned by their love, hit by a car or just plain dead.

Each movie is more heartbreakingly repetitive than the last, so prepare yourself for lots of tears, chocolate eating and gaping plot holes. Nicholas Sparks is living proof that anyone with enough time and prescription-grade painkillers can write a semi-acceptable romance novel.

— Maddy Kennedy