It’s Valentine’s Day and you want to watch a romantic movie but all you can find on cable is “Love Story” and, really, how many times can you watch Ali McGraw die?  Why not check out one or more of the below movies? We’ve given you choices from each decade since the 1930s to switch things up.


1931 – City Lights (Charlie Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill)


Don’t be afraid of black and white films and especially, in this case, silent films. With “The Artist” getting so much good publicity this year, why not check out a funny, romantic, silent film made by the master of silent films: Charlie Chaplin?  In this film ultimately about unrequited love, The Tramp spends most of the movie trying to make money to woo a blind flower girl who thinks he’s a rich suitor.  They meet when he buys a flower from the girl and she assumes he went off, leaving her the change.  He quietly leaves her but throughout the film the two continue to meet up with humorous but non-romantic results.  The Tramp is befriended by a drunken rich man who embraces him (and shares his wealth) while drunk and turns him out when sober, making his quest to continue to lavish the blind girl with gifts more desperate.  Chaplin’s portrayal of the love-struck and penniless man hoping for the best and getting slapped down every time things start to look up is heartbreaking, but the final scene is a wonderfully romantic payoff for all the trouble he goes through.  No spoilers, but every cornily romantic movie made after 1931 has the ending of “City Lights” to thank for their ideas.