It’s that time of year again. Valentine’s Day.
Unfortunately, I am among the ranks of the romantically-challenged.
There are those of us who have special people in our lives—people who we love with all of our hearts, people who we are madly, passionately in love with—but our attempts at cooking up a romantic evening come to about the same ending as the Titanic.
And I am not talking about the movie here.
So, with that holiday where I feel pressured to come up with an original idea for a romantic evening coming up on me faster and surer than an iceberg, my first reaction was: Shoot me now, Cupid.
But then, while I was wishing I could channel Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Celine Dion into a perfect romantic evening but was unable to escape the sense of impending doom and premonitions of another tragedy of the same proportion as that sunk ship…inspiration struck.
Oh. And by inspiration, I really mean stealing.
Yep. The epiphany I came up with was: This Valentine’s Day, why not steal romantic scenes from movies and recreate them right here, right where I live, for a literally ‘picture perfect’ romantic evening?
Then I remembered: it is wrong to steal.
Unless you’re Robin Hood. And stealing was only okay for him because he shared his goodies. So, to soothe my conscience, I am sharing with you four romantic movie scenes that I came up with that can be recreated (with some adaptations) right here in Detroit.
10 Things I Hate about You. Heath Ledger serenades Julia Stiles with “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”
Okay. So the movie is inspired by The Taming of the Shrew andLedger gets hauled off to detention by security guards at the end…but this is still a romantic movie scene that you can steal! Replace the high school bleachers with the steps of the Detroit Institute of Arts; the marching band with your iTunes; and then take your date to Maccabees At Midtown to check out Midtown’s new restaurant and their deli-inspired dishes that can evoke more a grown-up version of that old high school standard: sharing a burger and fries.
Sideways. Maya asks Miles why he is so ‘into’ Pinot and he replies: “I don’t know…It’s not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and… ancient on the planet.”
Well, you probably want to leave out that part about being ‘the most ancient on the planet’…unless you are very clear that you are referring to your love and not your date. But you can tell that special person in your life that you find them haunting, brilliant and thrilling by taking them to MotorCity Wine and exploring wines from around the world together while tucked away in this cozy wine boutique.
The Clock. Even though Robert Walker has only just met Judy Garland, he is sure ‘she’s the one’… she agrees to break her date for that evening, and they meet under the clock at the Astor Hotel in Times Square…and the soldier and his sweetheart are married in 48 hours.
Never heard of this one? Well, that might be because it is from 1945. But let your date know that your love is timeless by arranging to meet under the Kern’s Clock on Woodward at 7. (Oh. You won’t be the first to make this date: after its placement above the Ernst Kern Company Department in 1933, Detroiters would often agree to “meet under the Kern’s Clock.”) Then capture that romantic 1940s feeling with a stroll through Campus Martius Park and then heading to either American or Lafayette Coney Island…or better yet, get those ‘dogs’ to go and eat them, curled up on the couch together, while watching the movie!
An Affair to Remember. The premise: Cary Grant meets Deborah Ker aboard a ship and they agree to reunite at the top of the Empire State Building in six months if they have ended the relationships they are currently in and have started their new careers.
Ummm, skip everything about this movie except the premise. (Cary Grant believes he is stood up for their rendezvous because Deborah Kerr is hit by a car en route to their meeting and ends up paralyzed from the waist down.) Instead, capture that heavenly feeling of being on top of the world while overlooking the city with dinner at Coach Insignia at the top of the Renaissance Center or cocktails at SkyBar & Lounge on the 33rd floor of the historic David Stott Building.
By the way, Grant and Kerr do get together in the end: Grant hasrealized his dream of being an artist and Kerr says, of looking up at the Empire State Building on the day they were to meet, “It was the nearest thing to heaven. You were there. Oh darling. Don’t worry darling. If you can paint, I can walk. Anything can happen. Don’t you think?”
And, while it may be a tad melodramatic, isn’t that the whole point of Valentine’s Day? Celebrating the fact that when you are together anything is possible…even a successful romantic evening!