Everyone could use a little inspiration when it comes to gift-giving, and just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up 10 novel gift ideas inspired by some of the most popular romantic comedies of all time.
Think the era of romantic comedies are over? Think again. As the massive success of 2018’s “Crazy Rich Asians” proved, love stories with happy endings will always resonate, both with movie audiences and, hopefully, gift recipients alike. Here’s how to stream some of our favorite romantic films, along with ways to pick up the unique gifts that these fairytale flicks inspired.
1. The Notebook
“The Notebook” follows the love story of Noah and Allie (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in flashbacks; James Garner and Gena Rowlands in present day), as the elder Noah reads from his journals to try and jog Allie’s memories of their past. Leave your love notes for your partner in this elegant Connor x La Fleur bouquet, which features 16 real roses that have been specially preserved to last up to three years. The flowers are accompanied by a custom-designed notecard, hand-stamped with the word “Love” in gold foil. It comes packaged in a mini 8” x 7” keepsake box that’s ready for gift giving. Stream: “The Notebook,” $3.99 on iTunes / Purchase: Connor x La Fleur Bouquet, $265.00 on Barneys.com.
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“Bridesmaids” opens as Kristen Wiig’s character, Annie, mourns the closing of her bakery, while bouncing around from one relationship to the next. When she meets Nathan (Chris O’Dowd), he encourages her to start baking again, in an effort to help her re-discover her passion for life — and for love. The same sugar-sweet premise helped inspire the “Baileys Love Bird Jar,” a new collaboration between Texas-based Bird Bakery and Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur. The limited-edition treat combines Baileys Strawberries & Cream-Infused Buttercream with the popular vanilla cupcake from Bird Bakery, a San Antonio institution founded by Elizabeth Chambers and her husband, Armie Hammer. Chambers says there’s nothing like food — especially dessert — to bring couples together on Valentine’s Day.
“No matter how crazy our work schedules are, my husband and I always make sure that we’re together and doing something that involves amazing food,” she says. “For Valentine’s Day, the ‘Baileys Love Bird Jar’ is an indulgent dessert perfect for sharing with your significant other while watching a romantic movie.” Chambers’ favorite rom-com: “‘Love Actually’ is the first one that comes to mind and I just watched it at least six times over the holidays,” she says. “Still, my favorite of all time is ‘True Romance.‘”
The “Baileys Love Bird Jar” is available at both Bird Bakery locations in Dallas and San Antonio or can be shipped nationwide via BirdBakery.com. Stream: “Bridesmaids,” $3.99 on Amazon / Purchase: Baileys Irish Cream Strawberries & Cream, $26.39 on Drizly.com.
3. Sleepless In Seattle
If you’re among the millions of listeners who tune into late-night radio programs every evening, upgrade your experience with a Bose Wave SoundTouch, which delivers crystal clear AM/FM connectivity along with Alexa voice controls, letting you control your stations, stored music and streaming services using just your voice. Use the SoundTouch as your alarm clock in the morning, to play CDs and to stream content from your phone or tablet using its built-in Bluetooth settings. Bose’s reliable audio fills the room with crisp, full sound, whether you’re listening to a call-in talk show, or setting a playlist for your next romantic rendezvous. Stream: “Sleepless In Seattle,” $3.99 on Amazon or stream free on CBS.com / Purchase: Bose Wave SoundTouch With Alexa, $599.95 on Bose.com.
4. Fifty Shades Of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey was one of the most successful film trilogies of all time, taking home more than $1 billion at the global box office and steaming up theaters with its daring and provocative plot lines. The three accompanying soundtracks were also a hit, spawning a number of charting singles, including ZAYN and Taylor Swift’s smash duet “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” and Annie Lennox’s haunting cover of “I Put A Spell On You.” New this month is a deluxe box set that contains all three film soundtracks, along with a disc of rare remixes, bonus tracks and selections from each movie’s score by Danny Elfman. The four CDs are presented alongside a hardcover collectible coffee table book with images from the series. Stream: “Fifty Shades of Grey,” $3.99 on Amazon / Purchase: Fifty Shades Of Grey: Complete Soundtrack Collection, $50.59 on Amazon.com.
5. Pretty Woman
As the place where Julia Roberts’ and Richard Gere’s characters fall in love in 1990’s “Pretty Woman,” the Beverly Wilshire Hotel — and its prime Rodeo Drive location — is almost a central character in the film itself. Now part of the luxe Four Seasons chain, the hotel is offering a “Pretty Woman Hotel Experience,” which gets you a two-night stay in one of the hotel’s “Specialty Suites,” along with a couples massage and romantic room service dinner for two. The hotel also touts “VIP” offerings, like being chauffeured around Rodeo Drive in a Mercedes sedan to go shopping with your own personal stylist, and access to a private dining experience at THE Blvd, the hotel’s celeb-approved restaurant and lounge. Stream: “Pretty Woman,” $3.99 on Amazon / Book: Beverly Wilshire Hotel, from $595 at Hotels.com.
6. Dirty Dancing
Get “Dirty Dancing” fans tickets to the “Dancing With the Stars: LIVE!” tour, which runs till the end of March. This year’s tour featured a number of pros from the ABC show, including Witney Carson, Val Chmerkovskiy, Gleb Savchenko and Jenna Johnson. Also making a special appearance: former “Bachelor” hunk, “Grocery Store Joe” Amabile, who quickly became a fan favorite, and surprised judges by making it all the way to the semi-finals on the last season of “DWTS.”
The “Dancing With the Stars: LIVE!” tour is creative directed by the show’s resident choreographer, Mandy Moore, along with the show’s executive producer, Ashley Edens-Shaffer. Stream: “Dirty Dancing,” $2.99 on Amazon / Purchase: Dancing With the Stars: LIVE! tickets, from $50 on StubHub.com.
7. Say Anything
“Say Anything” will always be remembered for the iconic scene of John Cusack’s character, Lloyd, holding up the boombox to profess his love — through Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” — to the object of his affection (played by Ione Skye).
It’s been almost two decades since that film came out, and these days, Bluetooth speakers are the new boombox. Play your favorite love song – or stream a personalized playlist – through this handsome Bluetooth speaker from American audio brand, Cavalier. The battery gets up to 10 hours of playback, and the sturdy base doubles as a charging stand. The speaker works with Alexa, letting you control your music and smart devices (I.e. the Nest Thermostat or Ring Doorbell) with your voice. It’s not a 90s-era boombox, but retro features abound, from the Japanese indigo acoustic fabric, to the wood trim and genuine leather, which will patina beautifully over time. Stream: “Say Anything,” $3.99 on Amazon / Purchase: Cavalier Maverick Wireless Smart Speaker, $249.99 on Amazon.com.
2001’s “Serendipity” was a meet-cute film that explored the themes of fate and finding “the one.” The Kate Beckinsale-John Cusack film also spawned real life lineups around the block at Serendipity 3, the Upper East Side cafe where their characters meet up for a “Frozen Hot Chocolate.” Get the restaurant’s famous Frozen Hot Chocolate mix for $20 on Amazon, to make the drink for yourself – or a loved one – at home. The film has also spawned a new line of ice creams, with flavors that correspond to some of the iconic desserts served in the restaurant. The pints are now available nationwide at select 7-Eleven stores. Fans of the film will also want to try the Serendipity 3 Eau de Parfum spray, which, fittingly, features notes of chocolate, Tahitian vanilla, and blood orange, to mimic some of the most popular desserts on the cafe’s menu. Stream: “Serendipity,” $2.99 on Amazon / Purchase: Serendipity 3 Eau de Parfum, $44.99 on Amazon.com.
9. Crazy Rich Asians
Last summer’s breakout hit, “Crazy Rich Asians,” set its modern-day star-crossed lovers tale amidst the glamorous sights and sounds of Singapore, with the country’s Marina Bay Sands Hotel featuring prominently in the final scene. For the ultimate “Crazy Rich Asians” experience, book at stay at this sprawling, five-star resort, which features the world’s largest atrium casino and the iconic rooftop infinity pool, overlooking the scenic harbor (rooms start at $405 on Booking.com).
Prefer a cultural experience closer to home? Sample the Singaporean food scene (showcased so beautifully in the film) and cuisines from dozens of other countries from around the world with this new “Takeout Kit” subscription box. The delivery service sends you ingredients to cook an authentic meal from a different country each month, along with a recipe card and background information on the dish you’re preparing. Optional drink pairings can be sent over as well. Watch: Crazy Rich Asians (Blu-ray), $22.99 on Amazon / Purchase: Takeout Kit, $29.99/month via Cratejoy.com. BONUS: use code VDAY19 right now to get $5 off your order.
10. Love Actually
2003’s “Love Actually” remains one of the most popular romantic films of all time, and for something equally memorable — and truly unique — this Valentine’s Day, get your partner a custom art piece from Saatchi Art. Known as one of the leading curators of high-end art, as well as a champion for independent artists, the company’s website offers thousands of pieces that you can search by theme, color palette or medium, from paintings, to illustrations, sculptures, ceramics and more.
We like this piece, “Love Matters,” from Brazilian artist, Cicero Spin. Inspired by the work of John Baldessari, this mixed medium collage features acrylic, spray paint and stencil on recycled paper, and captures the feelings of love in all its moving forms. The original piece (note: this is not a reproduction) measures approximately 58 x 37 cm and comes with a certificate of authenticity. Stream: “Love Actually,” $3.99 on Amazon / Purchase: $605 on SaatchiArt.com / See more original art pieces for sale at SaatchiArt.com. BONUS: Use code SOULMATE10 to get 10% off any purchase on the site.
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