Picks of the Week: Tips and tricks for enjoying and escaping Valentine’s Week

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Happy Valentine’s Week, Berkeley!

By virtue of being a single gal for the past several Valentine’s Days I often avoid customarily “Valentine’s Day” content but I invite you to engage in all of the picks this week in pairs, or trios or even quads if you so wish — you do you.

Ariana Grande is back in action mere months after her last album release, Sweetener, with her new album thank u, next which was released Feb. 8. Be sure to spend Monday listening to the album, which is going to have everyone talking over the next week (and by everyone I mean definitely by me and my friends). The album is a mere 41 minutes long, but if you don’t have the time I will abridge it even further. “needy,” “ghostin” and “fake smile” are the only real must-listens from the album, which in general pales in comparison to Sweetener, in my humble opinion.

Spend Tuesday working on a crossword. The New York Times offers full access to a daily crossword and access to their entire archive of crosswords for less than five dollars a month. Tuesday is the second-easiest day of their crossword and they increase in difficulty leading up to Saturday. This week I was able to make it to Thursday before crumbling and Googling almost every single answer. This past week of puzzles included clues like “Somebody That I Used to Know, singer, 2011” and “comment made while yawning.” The Thursday puzzle had the clue “____ Cinemas, second-largest theater chain in the U.S.” which I was thrilled to know off the top of my head because it was my former place of employment, and it is moments like that, my friend, that make everything a little more bearable.

Speaking of Regal Cinemas, on Thursday, “Isn’t It Romantic” will be playing at United Artists 7 on Shattuck Avenue. As someone who loves romantic comedies, I can comfortably say I would adore a loving parody of the genre just as much. That is exactly what “Isn’t It Romantic” will be. Although the filmmakers continue to make “Pitch Perfect” movies despite my pleas for an end, I do still think Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine are excellent together. They both star in this new rom-com (or anti-rom-com?) about Wilson’s character who wakes up one day inside of a romantic comedy.

Beyond what’s in the theater, there is a plethora of romantic movies both new and old begging to be watched during this corporate holiday of sorts. For the romantics, “Notting Hill,” “The Princess Bride” and “Juno” are some of my favorites. For a more anti-love love story “Waitress,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “500 Days of Summer” are seminal classics of the genre. I, for one, will be spending my Valentine’s Day watching a double feature of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Call Me By Your Name” and then heading over to St. Valentine’s grave, located in the lovely Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin, Ireland.

As for the past week at The Daily Californian, our always funny and often unforgiving film beat, Jackson Murphy, reviewed “Velvet Buzzsaw,” skewering it in customary fashion. Shannon O’Hara wrote an excellent piece about the misguided Maroon 5 halftime show. This and some tweets about Tom Brady giving off “kisses-son-on-the-lips energy” have been the only Super Bowl related content I’ve consumed this season. Grace Orriss’ review of “She Persisted, the Musical” at the Bay Area Children’s Theater made me well up just reading it, because we stan musicals that lift up young budding feminists!

For some news from sources other than the illustrious Daily Californian, The New Yorker just published an absolutely startling investigation into the lies and manipulations of author A.J. Finn, who wrote last year’s bestselling thriller “The Woman in the Window.” Meanwhile, the newest edition of radio program “Wartime Radio,” “This American Life” has an absolutely stunning and heartbreaking first act this week that reminded me of all of the reasons I fell in love with the show in the first place. In lighter news to match the Valentine’s Day theme, Vogue profiled Hailey and Justin Bieber for its newest issue that certainly changed the way I viewed the couple, though I’m not sure if it was for the better or worse. Also featured is Justin Bieber saying “baby boo” twice, which is two times too many.

Onwards,

Kate

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Kate Tinney writes the picks of the week newsletter. Contact her at [email protected]. Tweet her at @katetinney.