Saturday, February 7, 2009

Shakespeare the Romantic on Valentine's Day

One of my all-time favorite movies, and certainly one of the most romantic, is Shakespeare in Love. And the best thing about this movie is that it's not really a "chick flick" the way many others are -- there's enough wit and humor in this movie that many men will like it too (my husband thought it was great). It did win the Oscar for Best Picture, after all! And it's downright laugh-out-loud funny in places.

Then it occurred to me that Shakespeare in Love offers a wonderful opportunity for a themed Valentine's Day gift basket. First, I'd start with a heart-shaped basket, which should be easy enough to find at Target or a Hallmark store, or maybe even a dollar store. I'd layer in some Valentine-colored tissue paper, and then I'd pop in a DVD of Shakespeare in Love (Miramax Collector's Series), which can found on Amazon and elsewhere for under $10.

So what else? How about the music CD for Shakespeare in Love? Stephen Warbeck's score also won one of the many Oscars the film picked up in 1999. (It also won for best screenplay, best costume design, best actress, and best supporting actress, in case you were wondering.) It really is gorgeous music, and I picture the movie any time I listen to it.

And finally, since I'm a book lover, the pièce de résistance: Shakespeare in Love: The Love Poetry of William Shakespeare. Admittedly, this is just a repackaging of Shakespeare's sonnets that was brought out in an attempt to cash in on the movie's success. But I loved the movie so much I just had to have this version, so I could picture Will and Viola as I was reading. Sadly, this edition is technically out of print, but the link above goes to the Amazon page where there are still many new copies available from Amazon Marketplace sellers for under a dollar (and shipping is usually $3.99, making this quite inexpensive). Personally I've had very good experiences using Amazon Marketplace sellers to purchase out-of-print items, but if you're not comfortable with that, there are always editions of Shakespeare's sonnets still in print.

And if you really want to go all out, you could throw in the luxury item I posted about back on December 26, the Shakespeare sonnets silk scarf available from the Museum Store Company.

Now it just may happen that Shakespeare isn't your favorite thing, but don't forget this could also work for other romantic movies -- what about the recent version of Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley? There's the DVD, the CD of the score, and the book. Even if there's not specifically a book edition with the movie art on the cover, any nice little copy of Pride and Prejudice would work just as well. You could even throw in the Jane Austen action figure I mentioned in mid-January, or the Jane Austen tarot deck featured back in November 2008.

What other romantic combinations of DVDs, CDs, books, and related items can you think of?

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