My most memorable trip to the movies on Valentine's Day was in 2004. I took a day trip to NYC to see the Barbarian Invasions. A wonderful Canadian film that won an Oscar that year. Before the film, I went to Sardi's for a cocktail and a snack. As it was lunch time, there were only a few people at the bar, but the eavesdropping was worth the stop. The bartender was seasoned and full of Broadway stories. One woman was from Ohio, and treating herself to a weekend of theater and dining. Another couple had tickets for Wicked that afternoon. The best story was the buzz about a couple who had just been married at the top of the Empire State Building, and had stopped in for a post-nuptial drink. I missed them, but it was the talk of the bar.
This year, my Valentine's Day film was the last of the Oscar nominated films of 2008 I needed to see, Bolt. This animated piece, from Disney, is a cute story of finding your way home. The theater was crawling with kids and their families. The kids were pretty vocal through most of the film, but at the most emotional part of the story the theater was noticeably quiet. A good sign. The animation is pretty cool, the story, a bit labored, but it worked. I liked the music. A better film than I expected, and now the project is complete. Bring on the Oscars!