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Romance, Recess Style

"Now, that was when people knew how to be in love," Meg Ryan sighs in Sleepless In Seattle, referencing 1957's saccharine Cary Grant tearjerker An Affair to Remember (itself a remake of 1939's even more lachrymose Love Affair). Plainly, she's right: Tracking firm ConsumerData ranks all three films as top Valentine's rentals this year. And don't discount the glut of mid-February froth currently playing in theaters: The Wedding Planner, in which Jennifer Lopez relieves an Adonis statue of its penis; Hannibal, with its Beauty-and-the-Beast-on-chianti vision of romance; and the horror entry Valentine, featuring a crazed slasher and Denise Richards getting nailed-literally-in a hot tub. See, Meg? Romance ain't dead!

But such traditional fare won't tempt you bolder couples-the ones too jaded for Wings of Desire and Moonstruck, too modern for Casablanca and Brief Encounter-to whom all love stories become the fearsomely titled While My Best Friend's Pretty Woman Was Sleeping on Notting Hill, the English Patient and Shakespeare French Kissed. For these steelier souls, Recess has collected a cache of less-obvious V-Day candidates-titles which, while certainly straying from the beaten and sweetened path, aren't without their charms.

Below, the ten least likely Valentine's movies of recent history. Each of these films provides at least one line sure to score you points... and, on the off-chance the evening goes awry, we've also included some alternative dialogue samples to bail you out. Either way, the subsequent selections are guaranteed to test the tenacity of your union: If you can make it through Showgirls together, love and marriage will be cake.


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