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Pick your favorite valentine treat

Films, food and fun to put you in a romantic mood

Hollywood has a long love affair with love.

Classic romances fueled such cinematic blockbusters as "Gone With the Wind" (1939), "Casablanca" (1942), "Dr. Zhivago" (1965), "When Harry Met Sally" (1989) and "Titanic" (1997).

And the box office typically flourishes during the lucrative Valentine's Day weekend. This year even sees the release of a new romantic comedy titled — unoriginally — "Valentine's Day." (See review here.)

Unfortunately, a 3-D rerelease of Disney's 1991 animated musical "Beauty and the Beast," originally scheduled this weekend, has been postponed. The Mouse House will now rerelease the film in that format in 2011 to coincide with its 20th anniversary.

Here are the Deseret News feature staff's picks of a few beloved movies for Valentine's Day — as well as television shows, books, songs, food and other favorites:

Brooke Brown, feature staff

Food: Chocolate fondue

Movie: "Amelie" (2001)

Song: " 'Til There Was You," by the Beatles

Todd Curtis, assistant feature editor

Book: "The Princess Bride," by William Goldman

The movie is good — but the book is better.

Movie: "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967), starring Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier.

I dare you to not get misty-eyed as Spencer Tracy talks about the love of his life toward the end of the film. Isn't that what it's all about?

Television show: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003)

Song: "Somebody," by Depeche Mode

Food: Anything Italian

Angelyn N. Hutchinson, feature editor

Book: "Rebecca," and other books by Daphne du Maurier

Strongly influenced by the Bronte sisters, du Maurier was a prolific British "romantic novelist" whose works included suspense and intrigue. "Rebecca," which was made into a 1940 Alfred Hitchcock movie plus a stage play, revolves around the young second wife of Maxim de Winter who must do constant battle with the other woman — the memory of her husband's dead wife, Rebecca.

Movie: "Charade" (1963), starring Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy

A romantic comedy-thriller set in Paris, it has plot with twists and turns and witty dialogue. It also has some chase scenes for the male valentines in your life.

Song: "My Funny Valentine," sung by Barbra Streisand; "As Time Goes By," sung by Jimmy Durante in "Sleepless in Seattle"; Puccini operas "Madame Butterfly" and "Tosca"

Television show: PBS version of "Pride and Prejudice" (1995 miniseries). Ah, Mr. Darcy.

Food: Dark chocolate or popcorn

Scott Iwasaki, music editor/dance editor

Book: "Gone With the Wind"

It won the Pulitzer Prize and was the basis of a romantic movie, but there is so much more that didn't make it to the big screen.

Movie (tie): "Bell, Book and Candle" (1958) and "Under the Tuscan Sun" (2003)

"Bell" has witches, warlocks, a black cat, Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, what else do you need? "Tuscan Sun" has Diane Lane, Diane Lane, Diane Lane, Diane Lane and some scenes of Tuscany.

Song: Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender"

It's simple, low key, but says volumes.

Television show: "What About Joan" (2001-02)

The chemistry between the manic star, Joan Cusack, and her long-suffering boyfriend, played by Kyle Chandler, is charming.

Erica Hansen, theater editor

Play: "Cyrano de Bergerac," hands down. No questions asked.

Musical: Wow... that's like asking a mom to name her favorite kid. Romantic musicals include "Aida," "Miss Saigon," "The Fantastiks" (I like this one because not only does it show the wonderful young stages of love, but also a more mature, experienced look) and "The Most Happy Fella."

Movies: "The Sound of Music," "Dirty Dancing" (be quiet... it WAS romantic) and "Return to Me."

Song: Most things by Frank Sinatra and the always classic "The Way You Look Tonight" — preferably Tony Bennett's version.

Book: "The Bridges of Madison County" and "The Confessions of Max Tivoli."

Amanda Mears, feature staff

Book: "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," by Milan Kundera

This book explores love in different forms and has of my favorite lines: "When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object."

Movie: "(500) Days of Summer" (2009), starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel

While it may not be a classic yet, this movie's realistic portrayal of love and all the complexities associated with it make it more endearing than other saccharine-soaked romantic comedy flicks and can satiate both hopeless romantics and Valentine cynics.

Song: "Home," by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

This folky love song is simple and sweet without feeling contrived, not to mention it's one of the catchiest songs about love I've ever heard.

Kari Morandi, feature page designer

Book:"Pride and Prejudice"

Movie: "Romancing the Stone" (1984), starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas

Television show: "Bones" (2005-current)

Song: "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off"

Hmmm … guess I like my romance a little funny and at cross purposes. And I guess that's why my marriage works. We make each other laugh and don't totally understand each other, even after 27 years. (It's that tomato, tomahto thing).

Valerie Phillips, food editor

Book: "The Children of the Promise" series, by Dean Hughes

The story is set during World War II. I love it for the realistic characters and their relationships and romances; my husband enjoys the war history. Nice to have some fiction that we can enjoy together.

Movie: "While You Were Sleeping" (1995), starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman

It's funny and sweet, and nobody has to die like they do in Nicholas Sparks movies.

Song: "Saturday in the Park," by Chicago

As a teenager, I loved singing, "A Saturday in the park, I think it was the Fourth of July" with my friends during our magical summer of 1972. Years later, I went out on a first date with a guy named Kim Phillips. It was a Saturday on the Fourth of July, and he took me miniature golfing at Cherry Hill Park. A Saturday in the park, and I think it must have been fate, since we've been married 26 years.

Food: Cheesecake

It's smooth and sweet, but with a little sass to keep it interesting.

Jeff Vice, movie critic

Book: "High Fidelity," by Nick Hornby

Ladies, do you want to know how the male mind really works? This hilarious tale has all those secrets.

Movie: "The Princess Bride" (1987), starring Cary Elwes and Robin Wright Penn

A fairy tale that's as romantic as it is funny and charming.

Song: "Your Love is the Place Where I Come From," by Teenage Fanclub

The Scottish power-pop combo's catchiest, sweetest number.

Television show: "Scrubs" (2001-current)

While the focus for this sitcom is on medicine, it also depicts several loving, committed relationships between its characters.

Carma Wadley, feature writer

Book (tie): The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien; the "Anne of Green Gables" series

Whatever else it is, and it is a lot, the trilogy is also a love story. And as great as the movies were, there's so much more, especially about Eowyn and Faramir, in the book. Anne and Gilbert are made for each other, although it takes them time and adventure to realize it.

Movie: "Beauty and the Beast" (1991)

The Disney version. It's sweet, fun and romantic.

Television show: The eight-hour A&E version of "Pride and Prejudice" (1995 miniseries)

There's no better Darcy than Colin Firth.

Song: "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's "Turandot"

Especially when sung by Luciano Pavarotti.

Food: Gotta be anything chocolate.

e-mail: jeff@desnews.com, features@desnews.com