A Brief (Yet Informative)
History of Saint Valentine's Day!!
By Mimi Shahzad

Everyone knows about the illustrious holiday of Valentine’s Day, a day of candy, presents, and romance, as well as the second most popular and celebrated holiday next to Christmas! But what is the real story behind Valentine’s Day? Is it a day of passionately professed affection that could determine the future for many young couples across the globe? Or is it an industrial hoax for Greeting Card companies to mass produce and sell Valentine’s Day Cards to couples who are zealously willing to express their affection for one another? 

The tangible truth is that none of the above is historically accurate, but the origin of Saint Valentine’s Day is partially related to the enthusiasm of young couples to get married against the will of the Emperor. Our story begins in third century Rome, where there once existed a brutal and vindictive Emperor named Claudius II, who had an obsession with his empire’s military power. At this time and age, the Roman Empire was declining from its once-known prominence, which led to instability all throughout the empire, including trade and military strength, as well as high taxation. Claudius II believed that soldiers who had no marital ties were much better warriors and had less trouble fighting vigorously and valiantly, while those who had families were more diligent in staying alive rather than fighting. This led him to ban marriage for all young soldiers.

In another variation of the story, it is said that God had given Saint Valentine the power to restore and cure people’s illnesses. He was able to established a strong friendship with the warden’s daughter by curing her of blindness. On the day of his execution, he asked the guard for a writing utensil and something to write on and penned a note to the warden’s daughter, signing it: “From Your Valentine.” 

After many years and different variations, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th Saint Valentine’s Day, circa 498 A.D. after the holiday of Lupercalia, and the martyr of Saint Valentine, who was rumored to have died on that day. Although there are many opinions as to what people believe is the “real” Valentine’s Day, there is no tangible evidence to prove that there is one single correct theory. No matter the theory, it is still a holiday that celebrates affection, understanding, and candy -- and that should prove to be as worthy a holiday as any!



Watch the trailers for Charlotte's top 3 romantic movie picks!

The Notebook


Titanic


A Walk to Remember



Famous Films I've Fallen For

By Charlotte Whalen

When somebody says, Hey what is your favorite kind of movie?" some of the typical responses would be something like, comedies all the way!" or definitely an action film can get me pumped" or simply, I don’t know! I love all movies!" When a question like that is thrown out there, I can’t seem to retain myself from saying romance movies!" and then blabbing on about my absolute favorites (which seems to be every one ever made). Thankfully, I do have friends who share the same love for the type of movie genre, and can listen and relate all day long as well! With Valentine’s Day coming up, watching these movies can really make me bounce off the walls---but I love every minute of it! Here are three of my all-time favorite love movies that I could literally, watch day and night:

1.     THE NOTEBOOK (#1!)

I can’t even describe how I feel about this movie on paper because when I just think about it, my heart is absolutely swamped with love for it.

The Notebook is based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, which shares the same name. The film stars Ryan Gosling (don’t even get me started on him) and Rachel McAdams (my favorite actress) who play a young couple who fall in love during the early 1940s. Noah, (Ryan Gosling) is a local country boy who falls immediately for Allie (Rachel McAdams), who is portrayed as a wealthy city girl, at first site. An elderly man who tells the tale to a “close” nursing home resident narrates their story from the present day. This is not only my favorite romance movie, but also my favorite movie! It is definitely a movie you will want to see-but watch out, it will make you go crazy! Join the club! 10/10!

2.     TITANIC

If you haven’t seen this movie, or even heard of it, I swear you are living under a rock. This movie was one of the biggest blockbusters of the 90’s and still today, loved and watched by all. It is based on the tragedy that occurred in 1912 when the Titanic sank due to hitting an iceberg. Over a thousand people had lost their lives. This movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, is about two lovers who come aboard the Titanic as complete strangers to one another. Rose (Kate Winslet) rides as a first class passenger with her mother and her fiancé, Cal, who she is being forced to marry by her mother to protect her status of wealth. Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) wins third class tickets for the Titanic in a poker game. He is a poor country boy whose method for life is to take it day by day and live to the fullest, whereas his lover, Rose, wants to end it as soon as she can (before she meets Jack). I recommend seeing this too because not only is young Leo in it, but the amount of romance and action makes the three hours go flying by. It is almost impossible not to be engaged the entire way through. 10/10

P.S. If you haven’t seen this movie at all but want to, I recommend waiting until it comes out in theaters again April 6, 2012. The experience will be ten times more amazing in 3D. You will definitely be seeing me there, squealing in line…

3.     A WALK TO REMEMBER

This movie is the definition of a chick flick, so it might not be a favorite to all. This is a cute movie also based on the well-known novel by Nicholas Sparks (he is my go-to guy) about a high school couple in the 90s. The movie starts out with Landon Carter, a popular student who is known to be a big rebel, pulling a prank on a student that goes terribly wrong and puts the student in the hospital. As a punishment for his actions, he is forced into doing the school play where he meets Jamie Sullivan, the awkward, quiet girl of the school. Both did not expect for sparks to fly between them, but when a heart-breaking secret becomes known that puts their relationship to the test, it is then that Landon and Jamie realize the true meaning of love and fate. This is an adorable movie that can bring tears to your eyes! 8/10

Some other of my die-for favorites are:
Love Actually (I should have written about this one!)
Romeo and Juliet
Dear John
(500) Days of Summer
Footloose
One Day
Jane Eyre
Valentine’s Day
Ghost
Breaking Dawn
The Last Song
Leap Year
The Time-Traveler’s Wife
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Beauty and the Beast
The Art of Getting By
Rebecca
A Cinderella Story
The Princess Bride  

The list never stops! Listing all of these is making me nervous that I am going to forget one that I would have thought I could never forget! Hopefully all you readers see my perspective. There are so many amazing love movies out there that not enough people have watched yet, and it is a shame to me! Do you recognize any of the movies I have listed? If yes---I’m so proud; if no---you’re missing out!

I am that person who marks her calendar for the next romantic movie to come out! Example A: The Vow---starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, February 10, 2012!  Example B: The Lucky One---starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling, April 20, 2012! (Also based on the Nicholas Sparks book.) Be aware that watching all of these chick flick, romance movies are extremely addictive and can cause girl overload. Besides that, sit back, relax and don’t forget the tissue box!