Guardian Date Night

Whether you’re with someone else or a pint of ice cream for Valentine’s Day, just know that you’ll always be A&E’s valentine <3. And that means we really know how to treat you right. Here are our playlists and movie recommendations for a lovely evening.

ROMANTIC RECORDS

“PINING”

You like someone obviously. If you have a crush or whatever, unrequited love, or you just got the feels that you aren’t doing anything about, jam to these babies. These songs definitely know what it means to fall for someone, hard, and you are definitely going to resonate with a lot that they have to say.

  • “Omen” – Disclosure, Sam Smith
  • “A Song About Being Sad” – Rex Orange County
  • “In My Feelings” – Kehlani
  • “Ugotme” – Omar Apollo
  • “needy” – Ariana Grande

“IN DREAMS”

In love with love? Waiting for your future soulmate? These dreamy songs will sweep you off your feet and into the romantic fantasies of your dreams.

  • “Frozen” – Sabrina Claudio
  • “Fool for You” – Snoh Aalegra
  • “Teenage Blue” – Dreamgirl
  • “Bloom” – The Paper Kites
  • “Temptation” – Raveena

“HONEYMOON PHASE”

You’ve been together for three days. But hey, it’s called the honeymoon phase for a reason. The smoothness of these oldies are like honey out the bottle, a never-ending stream of love. Enjoy it while it lasts.

  • “Natural High” – Bloodstone 
  • “La La La Means I Love” – The Delfonics 
  • “Sitting in the Park” – Billy Stewart 
  • “My Guy” – Mary Wells 
  • “Living for the Love of You” – The Isley Brothers

“DATING YOUR BEST FRIEND”

When you’re dating your best friend, even grocery shopping is a date. These songs reflect love in small and mundane moments of life that you share with your No. 1.

  • “Can We” – Michael Carreon
  • “Always Be My Baby” – Mariah Carey
  • “Still into You” – Paramore
  • “Every Night” – Tyrone Wells
  • “Better Together” – Us The Duo

“ESTABLISHED”

You’ve been together for a while, and you know that things are going to continue this way for the foreseeable future. Even though it’s been a hot minute, you still get butterflies when you’re with them. These oldies reflect just how timeless these feelings are, so cuddle up and enjoy the good vibes.

  • “Let’s Stay Together” – Al Green
  • “Wouldn’t it be Nice” – The Beach Boys 
  • “How Sweet it is to be Loved by You” – James Taylor
  • “Fly me to the Moon” – Frank Sinatra 
  • “You Make Loving Fun” – Fleetwood Mac 

“LDR BLUES”

 Missing your special someone this Valentine’s Day? You can beat the distance! Keep the heartache at bay with these sweet songs for when you’re missing your SO.

  • “The Girl” – City and Colour
  • “Oceans Away” – A R I Z O N A
  • “Love on the Weekend” – John Mayer
  • “All of the Stars” – Ed Sheeran
  • “My Dear” – Kina Grannis

“;)”

Get ready for some real bangers.

  • “Champagne & Sunshine” – PLVTINUM, Tarro
  • “Play” – SoMo
  • “Sexual Healing” – Marvin Gaye
  • “Hot Stuff” – Donna Summer
  • “Breathe on Me” – Britney Spears

“LOVER’S TIFF”

Had an argument with your honey but you still love ‘em? Swallow your pride and use these songs to cathartically release your frustrations so you can get back to lovin’.

  • “Mad” – NEYO
  • “Hard Place” – H.E.R.
  • “Love Again” – Brandy, Daniel Caesar
  • “Cheap Love” – Victory
  • “Easily” – Bruno Major

“BREAKUPS”

For when your significant other becomes an other. Deep down, you know you don’t need them … but sometimes the emotions come.

  • “Dead to Me” – Kali Uchis
  • “La Canción” – Bad Bunny and J Balvin
  • “Pristine” – Snail Mail
  • “Cellophane” –  FKA
  • “Better Off” – Ariana Grande

“SIMPIN’ SINGLE”

All aboard the train to Simp City.

  • “SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK” – Joji
  • “Bags” – Clairo
  • “Nights” – Frank Ocean
  • “Pink in the Night” –  Mitski
  • “we fell in love in october” – girl in red

“SURVIVIN’ SINGLE”

Listen, sometimes you just like to listen to the lovey dovey songs and the fun songs that have nothing to do with a relationship.

  • “Hero” – Frank Ocean
  • “Piece Of Mind” – Kehlani
  • “Water Me” – Lizzo
  • “Best Thing I Never Had” – Beyonce
  • “wish u the best” – blackbear

VALENTINE’S & CHILL

“Whisper of the Heart” 

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than with a Studio Ghibli movie and the “lo-fi hip hop radio-beats to study with” girl herself? Shizuku is a precocious writer who would rather have her nose deep into a book than focus on schoolwork. One day, she discovers a recurring name in the checkout cards for every library book she has borrowed, fashioning an image of a noble male counterpart to her bookworm self. One day, by the hand of Ghiblian fate, Shizuku comes across a fantastical antique store whose owner happens to be the grandfather of Seiji, the boy from the library books, who she had previously encountered in an embarrassing exchange. But as Shizuku and Seiji grow closer, they divulge each other’s aspirations — Shizuku’s of becoming a writer and Seiji’s of traveling abroad to study how to make violins. The two begin a beautiful friendship of mutual support, with Shizuku planning to finish her manuscript before Seiji returns from Italy. It’s chicken soup for the cynical college student soul — a feelgood tale of aspiration and the innocence of young love that remains invigorating on every successive viewing. 

— Justin Nguyen, Senior Staff Writer

“Her”

You might not have either the girl or the latest iPhone this Valentine’s Day, but you could always watch Spike Jonze’s “Her,” a film portraying an amalgamation of everything you (may) lack. A love story between a human and an A.I. that is surprisingly touching in its narration of a romance, viewers will find themselves reflecting on what it means to fall in love and experience heartbreak. Although the central premise of the plot regarding falling in love with one’s computer may seem off putting at first, this film touches on real life connections more accurately than most romance narrative genres. The essence of an individual’s soul is exalted in importance over physical appearance, and the focus of the story is shifted from the actors to their relationship effectively through the metaphorical use of artificial intelligence. “Her” guides the audiences to feel a range of emotions alongside Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) and Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) as we intimately follow their relationship through Samantha’s conception, to their growing connection, to their first shared turmoils, and finally, to their inevitable separation. This unorthodox love story manages to be both a realistic timeline of modern day relationships and a refreshing way to view love, and is a film I strongly recommend for this Feb. 14.

— Hemmy Chun, Senior Staff Writer

“Kal Ho Naa Ho”

If you happen to be the kind of person with three hours to watch a movie on Valentine’s Day and an interest in non-Western movies, consider putting on the modern Bollywood classic from 2003 “Kal Ho Naa Ho.” Never has Stefon’s catchphrase from Saturday Night Live applied better than here because this film has everything: a star-studded cast including Shah Rukh Khan, Jaya Bachchan, Preity Zinta, and Saif Ali Khan, a love triangle, culture clashes, family feuds, terminal illness and, of course, multiple elaborate and melodramatic dance numbers. All of this is wrapped up in the story of Indian-American Naina Kapur, as she navigates tensions within her family and falling for her new neighbor Aman as her best friend Rohit realized he’s in love with her too. The film is a true journey, leaning into every emotion from the rush of early love to the tragedy of life loss but never doing so to the point where it’s laughable. It invites us into a world that is familiar but heightened, allowing the audience to feel like their every moment might be just as cinematic. The music and dances are big, colorful, and catchy as always (if you find a way to get “Maahi Ve” out of your head, please let me know). Some of the sequences do feel dated to the early 2000s, so this is a good Valentine’s Day pick if you want to watch something a little cheesy but completely sincere.

— Asiyah Syed, Staff Writer

“Moonlight”

This film follows a young man named Chiron through three pivotal stages of his life as he deals with growing up gay and black in a Miami neighborhood. The story begins in his elementary school years, where he is set apart from his peers for being different. The movie then moves on to his life in high school, where he has his first taste of love, or what feels like it at the time. The final act sees him as a grown man, at peace with who he is and reconnecting with those he left behind in his past life.

The film ultimately tells the story of a young man coming to terms with who he is. As the film progresses we see him trying to reconcile his sexuality with the culture that surrounds him. He’s subject to harassment and ostracization at school. He finds solace in Juan and his girlfriend Teresa, who act as surrogate parents for him when his mom is unable to fulfill that role. He finds comfort and understanding in his longtime friend and one-time lover Kevin, with whom he reconnects as an adult. 

This film is as much about Chiron’s love for Kevin as it is about his search for self-love. The film puts Chiron’s relationship with himself at the forefront, letting the audience see him grow in his understanding of who he is. Starting as a confused kid running from what he is and growing into a man that’s learned to embrace who he is.

— Elias Roman, Staff Writer

“Little Women”

All too often, Valentine’s Day is viewed as a holiday strictly celebrating romantic love. For those looking to celebrate love in all of its forms, director Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” brims with messages of sincerity, friendship, family, and sisterhood. Centering on the four March sisters and their dedicated mother, Marmie (Laura Dern), the story follows their family as each of the sisters grow up and determine the paths they want to take in life. Meg (Emma Watson) finds herself yearning for marital bliss, while Jo (Saoirse Ronan) struggles to make her way independently as an author and a woman. Meanwhile, Amy (Florence Pugh) attempts to define herself as a painter and remove herself from the shadows of her sisters. Throughout the tumult of childhood and early adult life, their affection and support for one another remains unwavering. 

“Little Women” recognizes the deep love shared between sisters, regardless of their ultimate interests and differences, and honors that bond. It also speaks to the love experienced between mother and daughter, and the way that relationship evolves with growing up. And while the March sisters face their own romantic interests, each one approaches her relationship choices with agency, expressing that love should be an experience that supplements, rather than suppresses individuality. “Little Women” displays love in a multidimensional, timeless manner, imparting important messages for Valentine’s Day and beyond. 

—Daisy Scott, Editor-in-Chief 

“One Day” 

Now if you aren’t ready to cry, you might need to move to the next suggestion. “One Day,” starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, is the perfect depiction of two people who are meant to be but can never seem to get the timing right. This film captures the pureness of the “chase” and shows that love transcends time. As you watch each counterpart grow and develop their own lives apart, the agonizing pain and anticipation that festers in your soul will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire film and wondering when they will meet again. Each year of their life is a teeter-totter of happy and sad moments and accurately presents the legitimate uncertainty life has on its own. Not only is the writing a wonderful redeeming catch of the film, the film’s UK scenery and imagery captures the eye and easily entices you to daydream of your own European fantasy. Of the many films about a lost love found, this is definitely one to add to any hopeless romantic’s film list.

—Hanaa Moosavi, Contributing Writer

“The Wind Rises”

This film is the epitome of following your dreams and falling in love. “The Wind Rises” is a must see animated film where a young boy chases after his dream of becoming an aeronautical engineer and, in his pursuit, finds the woman of his dreams. Through beautiful Italian influenced instrumentals and a wonderful color palette of bright blues and greens, the film is captivating and sends the audience into an entirely new universe of possibility and creativity. The added dynamic of capturing Japan during World War II adds desperation to the film, in the way the different characters interact and the underlying anxiety all the characters maintain, while not completely overtaking the film or its message. It takes a true storyteller to enhance the story of the birth of the A6M World War II Fighter Plane with different moments of character development and a touching love tale. With the beautiful work of Hiao Myuzaki, and the amazing plot development of two people who are so meant to be the world couldn’t let them miss their opportunity, “The Wind Rises” is a film you have to cuddle up with your sweetheart to. 

—Hanaa Moosavi, Contributing Writer

Images courtesy of The Underground, Otaku USA Magazine, JustWatch, News18, Britannica, Entertainment Weekly, Coral Gables Art Cinema.

One thought on “Guardian Date Night

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