happy hoffadays

The Irishman Is a Valentine’s Day Movie

Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Netflix and Getty Images

February 14. A day of chocolates, roses, romance, and teamster organizing. If you are in love this coming Monday, well, bully for you. But for the rest of us lonely souls, February 14 can mean only one thing …
… Jimmy Hoffa’s birthday! Duh! Everyone knows that the mid-century labor leader with mob ties who made trucker strikes a virtuous union thing before they were alt-right was born on February 14, 1913. People shouldn’t be handing out valentines that say, “I choo-choo-choose you”; they should make ones that say, “Happy Hoffadays!” Knowing this fun fact, we think there’s no better Valentine’s Day movie than Martin Scorsese’s 2019 film The Irishman. Sure, it might be one of the least romantic movies ever made; it doesn’t even romanticize violence, let alone have smooching in it. But bear with us here.

For one, this thing is three and a half hours long and available on Netflix. If you want to know if your partner really loves you, just see if they’re able to sit through 209 minutes of uncanny de-aging technology. After staring into the icy-blue soulless video-game-character eyes of Robert De Niro’s Frank Sheeran, they’ll be desperate to gaze into your real human eyeballs. So romantic!

Second, The Irishman is full of people giving each other thoughtful little presents. The men let their wives buy jewelry at a mob-owned store on their little murder road trip. “Uncle Russell” (Joe Pesci) gives baby Anna Paquin figure skates for Christmas; Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) gives Frank a gold watch at his party. And, in the most romantic gesture of all, Russell gives Frank a mafia ring, tying him to the Bufalino crime syndicate and ensuring his loyalty. If you want to be presented with a special ring representing loyalty, or if your love language is gifts, this might give your partner a hint and a nudge.

Furthermore, you can take all kinds of special Valentine’s Day dinner inspiration from the meals in this movie. Not only does Hoffa indulge in some decadent fudge sundaes (sexy), but Frank and Russell share all kinds of intimate meals together. You can have bread wine and a pre-murder salad with the good vinegar for two. There’s also a built-in romantic soundtrack. The movie opens and closes with the doo-wop song “In the Still of the Night,” by the Five Satins. Sure, its haunting echo in the lonely halls of the retirement home signifies sadness, regret, and loss … but it’s still slow-dancing material.

Finally, The Irishman models good relationships of all types. Peggy distancing herself from her hit-man dad? That’s called setting healthy boundaries. Hollywood heartthrob Jesse Plemons delivering a fish to his friend, no questions asked? That’s an act of selfless dedication. Russell’s mafia-royalty wife offers to dispose of his murder clothes for him because the two of them are on the same wavelength. And throughout the film, Jimmy Hoffa expresses how it’s not okay to be late for a date; it’s disrespectful. “You don’t keep a man waiting,” he says, and it’s a good lesson for everyone. So this Valentine’s Day, snuggle up, watch Martin Scorsese’s mournful mobster movie full of short elderly hotties, and paint your house … with love!

The Irishman Is a Valentine’s Day Movie