The first romantic movie to hit theaters the week of Valentine’s Day was the 1927 silent film “IT” starring Clara Bow, who was known, thereafter, as the “It Girl.”

One might think the week of Valentine’s Day would traditionally have romantic movies. I sure used to, but that hasn’t always been the case.

In fact, of the top 50 romantic films of the 1980s, only four were shown during February (“Love Sick,” “Hero At Large,” “Some Kind of Wonderful” and “Mannequin”). And of the top 50 romantic films of the 1990s, only three were shown during February (“He Said...She Said,” “Once Around” and “Simply Irresistible.”)

However, the 1940s were the exception. The ’40s had the largest number of romantic films (which included romantic comedies) of any decade in American film history. Wikipedia has stated that it has over 200 pages of listed romantic and/or romantic-comedy American films for the 1940s. It was these films that WWII soldiers watched, and, if home, took their girl to see.

Last year, the only romantic picture that opened on Valentine’s Day was “Isn’t It Romantic.” It was a comedy starring Rebel Wilson. And, although funny, it didn’t have that soulful love story that lingers with us.

But, this year, AMC is showing on Feb. 12 the film “Love Story.” (Check date and time in case they have changed since this writing.) Yes, it is the one that is 50 years old. Yet, the storyline is as endearing as ever. And seeing it on the big screen brings such a depth to the film. If you go, take Kleenex.

Jo Laney-Branine is a Louisburg resident who has written movie reviews for multiple newspapers.

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