Hatched is getting in the mood for love this week as we countdown to February 14. We’ll be celebrating St. Valentine with a Live Sound Cinema event to Buster Keaton’s The Navigator but, until then, we’re engaging in a little “staff favorites” foreplay with of our favorite loved-up flicks.

From Kris, a love story with leeches

african_queenWhen I was asked what my favorite romantic movie was I drew a great, big blank. I don’t really respond to romantic movies, they’re too polished, often too silly, and, I don’t know, they’re too “girly,” I guess. Chalk it up to still thinking like a 5-year-old and thinking that girls are gross, but if I had my choice between watching Love Story and never watching another movie ever again, I guess I’d have to take up reading. Because, blech.

Still, I do have a soft spot for John Huston’s malaria-drenched, dirt encrusted romance The African Queen. It’s a film that puts two rough-around-the-edges, unlikely lovers (Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn) together and sends them off on an adventure to blow up a German war ship.

Even though the movie does end up blowing up that boat real good, the adventure and spectacle take a back seat to the folksy chemistry between Bogart and Hepburn. Both unlikable in their own way — one a no-good drunk, the other a snobby spinster — the circumstances of the movie force the two together and, really, the only way they make it out alive is because of the love that they grow to share.