Valentine’s Day means hearts, chocolate and another flick pulling a “Love Actually.”
Famous names and intertwining short stories – 10 of them, to be specific – abound in the anthology movie “Berlin, I Love You” (in theaters and on digital platforms Friday), the fourth in the city-centric themed franchise that’s also given us “Paris, Je T’aime,” “Rio, Eu Te Amo” and “New York, I Love You.” (Think “Fast & Furious” but with all the feels.)
Berlin and its complicated history obviously play a role throughout the movie, and like with “Love Actually,” romantic love is only one aspect that gets explored through its various chapters, connected through characters interacting with one another. (Also, for being set in Germany, there are way more Americans than you’d expect hanging out in this thing.)For example, Keira Knightley plays a compassionate social worker who brings home a refugee boy (Liam Gross) for the night and leaves him in the care of her mom (Helen Mirren) in the story called “Under Your Feet.” And “Me Three” features a Laundromat full of women who break into sisterhood and song after telling off a sexist dude.
Some stories work, some really don’t, and some just kind of stop before they ever get going. (You can only do so much with 10 tales in two hours.) But for those who want to embrace the lovey-doviest stuff, here are the five most romantic “Berlin” tales.Jim Sturgess plays a suicidal British man who’s lost his beloved to his best friend when he gets a car that happens to have an especially helpful female onboard assistant (voiced by Katja Riemann). Things get a little strange for him when the vehicle goes all “Knight Rider,” conversing with him and showing the beauty of the city around him – and inspiring him to give another look at a crazy neighbor (Charlotte Le Bon).
For those who like their dance numbers old school, this is for you: Jenna Dewan is a lost tourist who shares a passing glance with a street drummer (Nolan Funk) but a twilight walk finds her discovering a secret dance party with a swinging big band, sure-footed magic and another chance meeting.