Screengrabs from the Chronicle staff
If you're feeling suffocated with red roses, heart-shaped candy, and pink teddy bears lining the store aisles, don't worry. There are streaming remedies for the impending Valentine's Day blues, with matching booze pairings either to get you in or out of the mood.
Dark (Netflix)This German gem plays like a love letter to Stranger Things, It, Donnie Darko, and Back to the Future, filled with allusions and familiar plot points. While the story centers around kids disappearing from a small town, and time travel across three distinctively different decades, the overall tone and complexities within the characters' dynamics are ... well, dark. A multi-dimensional horror and sci-fi tale that philosophically addresses time and identity, Dark is both visually stunning and intellectually stimulating – perfect traits for a cinematic date.
Booze pairing: Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock
Buffalo '66 (Hulu)If you're looking for a man who can do it all, look no further than Vincent Gallo. This dreamboat serves as writer, director, composer, and star of the 1998 comedy-drama about a man who kidnaps a young tap dancer named Layla (Christina Ricci) and forces her to pretend to be his wife. Gallo creates characters that shine through their insecurities while counterbalancing a tone of romantic longing and acceptance with a subplot of revenge. Shot on 35mm reverse stock, the cinematography alone will make you swoon with its vintage Polaroid aesthetic and dreamy color palettes.
Booze pairing: Kahlua hot chocolate
The End of the F**cking World (Netflix)I'm usually not a fan of teen romance, but one can't help but to be intrigued by an atypical love story between a foul-mouthed girl and a self-proclaimed psychopath who is secretly plotting to kill her. The two misfit lovebirds decide to run away together and quickly become entangled in a series of crime-induced antics. Voiceover narrations provide insight into their past traumas and hopes for the rocky relationship while they explore how fleeting the world is through the lens of their newfound rebellion and eccentric adoration.
Booze pairing: The Velvet Devil Merlot
– Account Executive Marisa Mirabal