You may not be aware of this, but we’re living in a bissextile year. What does that mean? Well, it means today’s date, Feb. 29, didn’t exist last year. Or the year before that. In fact, you have to flip the calendar back to 2008 to find the last time February had 29 days.
But how to celebrate the year’s extra day? If you are Ja Rule, Antonio Sabato Jr., or Tony Robbins, all leap year babies, you could throw yourself a birthday party, but if not, why not rent or download (legally of course!) a movie about those rare years with 366 days?
The Amy Adams rom-com Leap Year is based on an old Irish legend that says that women can propose to men, but only on Feb. 29.
She travels to Ireland to ask for her longtime beau’s hand, only to get sidetracked in Wales by a tall handsome stranger played by Matthew Goode.
You can likely guess the rest (and if you can’t you need to go to romantic comedy school and learn how this works) but the proposal Amy finally gives is much different than the one she originally intended.
Also on the romantic side is The Leap Years, a Chinese film about a woman who meets her lover once every four years on, you guessed it, Feb. 29. The main character, Li-Ann, is played by three actresses. Beatrice Chia handles all the narration, Wong Li-lin ushers her through her 20s with Joan Chen playing her in middle age.
Rounding out our look at leap year movies are two films with nothing whatsoever to do with romance.
The strange and disturbing Ano Bisiesto was the first Mexican film to win the Camera D’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival.
The story of a lonely woman (Monica del Carmen) who marks off the days on a calendar as she reveals her true self to her lover was called “a blind leap into the void of art-house cinema du extreme, South of the Border division” by Time Out but is also a deeply felt psychological drama.
On the scary side is The Curse of February 29, a Korean horror film about a blood stained bus ticket, a vengeful ghost and a leap year murder.
Leap years at the movies offers something for everyone – love, ennui and even ghosts!