The Seven Cinematic Sins of Valentine’s Day


Seven Deadly Sins


You’ve run the gauntlet of romantic comedy.

You’ve seen Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan stare adoringly at each other on top of the Empire State Building.

You witnessed Bill Murray, whisper a silent caring goodbye to Scarlett Johansson, in a brightly lit Tokyo suburb. 

You swooned as the regal Robin Wright fell for the swashbuckling Cary Elwes inside of a storybook.

You’ve experienced beautiful moments of love in cinema, brimming up a sense of warmth in your heart and at times fatigue. There is no question of the power of romance in film. However, on occasion, we all need a break from the norm of love that is often portrayed.

There are many facets to love in this world. It comes in different forms, as true as the fact that we are all different as individuals, through our emotions and experiences. We can create passions from every topic that we explore, so why stick to the one concept of what love can be?

This Valentines Day, we celebrate love in a different sense. The love of sin on our screens — Passionate feasts for the eyes and the mind to satisfy your cinematic cravings.

The Love of Gluttony

Michael Bollner in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Michael Bollner in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

There’s no earthly way of knowing, which direction we are going and yet, we find the river flowing — back to an old familiar factory. The longing for a golden ticket never truly stops even into adulthood. Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) always presented a chance to live out our food fantasies. A world of pure imagination with a glossy coat of sugar. Everything is not always as it seems in Willy Wonka’s factory, his concoctions can be confounding and his confectionary is confusing. All the same, it remains enticing and mouth-watering to think of the prospect of trying out his treats.

For the lovers of story, we are given important life lessons on the dangers of indulging our desires.

For the lovers of food, we are given indulgent pieces of candy to satiate our needs. Musically marvellous all-time kids classic to treat yourself with this Valentines Day.

The Love of Wrath

Colossal (2016)
Colossal (2016)

Spectacles of the screen rarely get as large as kaijus. These beasts of Japanese film tend to enjoy wrecking apart your city, for the goal of getting to smash up their rivals. Its often stiff competition among them, whilst the human race is left merely trying to survive.

Thankfully, Colossal evens up the odds. Vicariously stepping into the skin of a giant monster is now within your grasp.

Gloria (Anne Hathaway) has discovered a newfound ability at a particular spot in her hometown. She finds that she is in control of a destructive kaiju that mysteriously appears in Japan. Fresh off a break-up, she gleefully embraces this gift that makes her feel larger than life. The charm offensive of this film comes from having a strong cast with funny moments and serious consequences.

For the lovers of wrath, This is one power trip you will not forget.

The Love of Greed

Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in Trading Places (1983)
Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in Trading Places (1983)

Money makes the world go round, so they say. Whether your cash-strapped, well-to-do or just floating above water, a bit of extra pocket change is always desirable. While naturally, it isn’t what our main priority should be, it is the simplest of dreams to strive beyond our current means.

Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) knows about this dream, crooked though he is, he seeks a better life as many of us do. A unique opportunity befalls him when two rich millionaires place a bet involving him.

Does a person’s upbringing truly affect their success in life? An experiment was made.

The aim — to propel the unemployable Billy Ray Valentine into a position of privilege whilst stripping it from one of their own high-society workers, Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Akroyd).

The chemistry here is notable as one of the all-time great comedy pairings of cinema — and it is complemented with a story of empowerment, in the form of a true fantasy of untold wealth, for little work. A perfect film to scratch your itch for cash flow that shows the value in being humble and respectful regardless of your status.

For the lovers of greed, there are many stacks to see in Trading Places.

The Love of Envy

Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jack Davenport in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jack Davenport in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Jealousy often goes hand-in-hand with spiteful feelings. Just ask Macbeth.  It is not so much a sense that any of us would want to experience, but a taste of on-screen drama involving this kind of emotion can be a guilty pleasure. The lasting appeal of these stories can be attributed to the scary realisation that we all have experienced these thoughts at one stage.

Take Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) for example. A man fearful of having an identity of his own, a con artist who will take careful measures to assure his own personal needs as opposed to others. In The Talented Mr. Ripley, we see a calculated youth assessing a prime target that has everything that he wishes to have. Herbert Greenleaf, the man about town, the millionaire, takes in Tom believing him to be a former classmate of his son, showing the wide-eyed phoney a life to strive for. A psychological experience that delves into the pure essence of envy when we learn of how far a person will go to have a perfect life.

For the lovers of envy, Inquire for The Talented Mr.Ripley.

The Love of Lust

Kathy Bates in Misery (1990)
Kathy Bates in Misery (1990)

Lust is dangerous. It is a rigid and consuming version of love without substance. It can lead to obsession and fascination with an individual that borders on the terrifying. Lust can be illustrated by the need for validation from a celebrity that you admire.

Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) often fancied herself as a leading lady of romance. A royal in a Victorian novel written by her favourite author, Paul Sheldon (James Caan). To think that fate would give her a chance to live out a reality that was merely a told her through his novels was the true fantasy — until the creator himself, fell right into her lap. A fateful blizzard leading him off course and unconscious in his car led to their meeting. A perfect harmony of coincidence and Annie was ready to make the most of it. Paul couldn’t leave, for if he was to get away, she might not get the ending that she was dreaming of.

For the lovers of lust, Stephen King brings you Misery.

The Love of Sloth

Idiocracy (2006)
Idiocracy (2006)

Relaxation is a necessity for the mind, body and soul. Over-relaxation is a stepping stone to complacency. There is no ill-will in having a marathon on Netflix or spending time alone to reconnect with your own company, these are not signs of sloth. It is more specific in the nature of willingness not to improve ourselves or the world around us.

A clearer view of sloth cannot be seen than in our interpretations of what our future could be. Idiocracy sheds light on a number of topics of contention in our modern world. It asks the question, what if our inaction causes the worst case scenario to occur?

The future highlighted in Idiocracy is one told through the eyes of Corporal Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), a man who emerges from suspended animation to find a grim reality.

While exaggerated in its portrayal, the bleakness of running out of our natural resources for energy and food production stands as a very real topic worthy of contemplation. Thankfully, the director Mike Judge tells it all through the veil of comedy and there is no judgement. It is less of a call to action and more of a reminder of what inaction can cause.

For the lovers of sloth, lean into a world where laziness is king.  

The Love of Pride

Jamie Bell in Billy Elliot (2000)
Jamie Bell in Billy Elliot (2000)

Confidence is key. If we are confident in ourselves, we feel pride. If we are comfortable in our skin, we feel pride. It is not a feeling that is always positive, it is the sibling of stubbornness. Pride is strength and it is also the ability to admit and show weakness.

When we negate our passions in favor of what others want us to do, we damage our own pride. Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) is a boy who struggles with identity in a period of time where there was an expectation for what masculinity was. He found love and a sense of pride in a hobby. One, in particular, that was not meant for boys nor men according to his father. There is no greater representation of defiance than a film that marries — a coming-of-age story of overcoming bigotry — and a downtrodden workforce attempting to see justice from their employers — all set to the music of progressive 1980’s rock band, T-Rex.

For the lovers of pride, Billy Elliot soars and leaps with glee with a cinematic spring in its step.


Thank you for taking this journey down a sinful path this Valentines Day!

Feel free to comment down below if you would have picked other choices to represent each sin. Please don’t forget to let us know what your favourite sinful cinematic moments in history are and what your big Valentines Day movie is.

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About the author

Daniel Kelly

Proud beard grooming enthusiast with a background in writing about not beard-related topics.

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