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Get in on the act this Valentine's Day
By Li Anlan

You know it’s almost Valentine’s Day when just about everywhere you look you are confronted by displays in various shades of pink of love hearts, roses and chocolates.

Love is in the air and what better time for watching romantic comedies. Or better still ... acting out some of their most memorable heart-melting, tear-jerking and funny moments.

So this year, rather than getting comfy on the sofa with your valentine to watch your favorite rom-com movie or television show, try recreating some of their most romantic and timeless scenes.

Sounds a bit cheesy? Yep, but don’t worry about that. February 14 is one day in the year when you can get away with corny behavior.

In tune with your sweetheart

A song from the heart can be worth a thousand words and singing scenes often provide a rousing finale to romantic movies.

When you can’t find the words to express complicated feelings, find the right song for the right moment and sing it out loud.

Say Anything (1989)

Director: Cameron Crowe

This focuses on the relationship between average student Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) and Diane Court (Ione Skye), the year’s valedictorian, immediately after their graduation from high school.

The Scene: When Lloyd holds a boom box above his head outside Diane’s bedroom window playing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.”

The Wedding Singer (1998)

Director: Frank Coraci

Wedding singer Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) and waitress Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore) are engaged to the wrong people but eventually find their way to each other.

The Scene: Robbie buys a plane ticket and discovers that Julia is on the same flight with her fiance. He sings a song he’s written for Julia, “Grow Old With You,” and announces his true feelings toward her. Although Julia’s fiance tries to stop him, Robbie succeeds, with the help of the flight crew and rock musician Billy Idol.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Director: Gil Junger

Adapted from Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” this movie tells the story of outsiders Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) and Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) who get tricked into dating because new student Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) wants to date Kat’s younger sister but, under the rules of the sisters’ father, can only do so if Kat also has a date.

The Scene: When Patrick sings “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” to Kat in front of everyone to get her attention but ends up in detention. Kat gets him out and the two spend the day together, realizing they have feelings toward each other.

Feasting on love

Food brings people together, and in the world of rom-coms, love can be found in restaurants, kitchens and dining rooms.

No Reservations (2007)

Director: Scott Hicks

Packed with delightful food scenes, “No Reservations” is a remake of the 2001 German film “Mostly Martha,” about two top chefs.

The Scene: Chef Nick (Aaron Eckhart) asks head chef Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) to try his tiramisu, Kate says she’s not a dessert person, but changes her mind after trying a bite.

Or the ending scene when Kate and Nick are cooking together in the bistro that they’ve opened.

Annie Hall (1977)

Director: Woody Allen

The relationship story between stand-up comic Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and Annie Hall (Diane Keaton).

The Scene: When the couple boil live lobsters for a meal together — though it might work out quite expensive recreating this.

Modern Family (2009 to present)

Season 3 Episode 14: “Me? Jealous?”

Set in Los Angeles, this popular sitcom follows Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill) and his family.

The Scene: Jay plans a Valentine’s Day surprise for his wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara), hiring a chef to prepare a sumptuous meal at their home.

Something special

Prepare a romantic gesture by planning a fun activity. Create something special, find somewhere special to go or organize a mystery tour or treasure hunt.

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (2011)

Director: Johnnie To

A classic love triangle story that takes place in Hong Kong.

The Scene: Sean (Louis Koo) uses colorful Post-it notes to stick smiley faces on office building windows every day to catch the attention of Yen (Yuanyuan Gao) who works in the building opposite.

Friends (1994-2004)

Season 2 Episode 5: “The One Where Ross and Rachel... You Know”

Many people grew up with this classic rom-com TV series about six young friends living in Manhattan.

The Scene: Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Ross (David Schwimmer) have their first official date — at the planetarium. As stars fill the ceiling, Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” plays in the background.

Elizabethtown (2005)

Director: Cameron Crowe

Shoe designer Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) has lost his job and decides to commit suicide when his sister calls to tell him that their father has passed away. On the flight home, he meets flight attendant Claire Colburn (Kirsten Dunst).

The Scene: Claire gives Drew a road trip kit with CDs and instructions. It leads him to “the world’s second largest farmer’s market” and he finds “the girl with a red hat” — who is, yes you guessed it, Claire.

Out of this world experiences for city dates

Stars watching

While the Shanghai Planetarium is not set to open until 2018, there are a few spots in the city where it’s dark enough to view the stars in all their glory.

Dongtan Wetland Park in Chongming

Not only one of the best birdwatching spots in the city, but a great place to see the stars.

Address: Dongwang Rd, Chongming District


Nanhuizui Guanhai Park

In this park by the sea, you can watch the stars while listening to the waves.

Address: East of Dishui Lake, Pudong New Area


Tianhuangping, Anji County

This is China’s first dark sky reserve. It’s similar to a nature reserve but instead of protecting animals, it “protects” views of the night sky by keeping out light pollution.

Address: Anji County, Zhejiang Province

Swimming Pools

There are some great swimming pools in hotels with unbeatable views and great pool side bars.

Park Hyatt

Located on the 85th floor of Shanghai World Financial Center, this sky pool is one of the highest swimming pools in the world and offers a breathtaking view of the city.

Address: 100 Century Ave


JW Marriott

In the People’s Square area, this top-floor pool boasts glass walls and a glass ceiling.

Address: 399 Nanjing Rd W.


Four Seasons Hotel Pudong

This 41st floor pool offers panoramic views of the Lujiazui skyline.

Address: 210 Century Ave

Pottery making

Revisiting the stirring moment in the film “Ghost” by making your own pot.

Shanghai Tao Fang

Address: Rm 103, Bldg C, 1053 Dalian Rd


As U Wish pottery workshop

Address: 1039 Changle Rd


Le Yao Pottery Bar

Address: Bldg 2, No. 26, Tianzifang, 274 Taikang Rd

Make some chocolates

Customize some sweet treats for Valentine’s Day at some local baking and chocolate making studios.

SIN CERA DIY creative chocolate and cakes

Address: 46 Daxue Rd


Loving You Baby creative handmade chocolate

Address: 95A, 2/F Metro Town, 890 Changning Rd

Dinner at home

Booking chefs to come to your home and cook a meal is a recent trend in China, with a number of companies offering this service, including www.idachu.com and www.chushi007.com.

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