I recently watched Love Affair, starring Annette Bening and Warren Beatty, the remake of An Affair to Remember. It held up even worse than I remember, with the two leads coming across as cold and smug. The original makes it all look easy. The remake? Like pulling teeth.

An Affair to Remember, the classic story of two star-crossed lovers overcoming the odds against them, hardly even attempts at any kind of plot. Instead, Terry and Nickie (Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant) engage in banter, make eyes at each other and, generally, flirt up a storm.

That’s a difficult feat to keep up for the length of a feature; but of course, Grant and Kerr manage effortlessly, gliding smoothly along on pure charm and verve. The film works as anunadulterated fairy tale, letting you suspend disbelief and get carried away with the onscreen romance.

Basically, you need two actors who you’re willing to watch execute a pas de deux for two hours straight. Kerr and Grant have it in spades; Bening and Beatty, not so much.

An Affair to Remember may just be the perfect Valentine’s Day movie for couples and singles alike. It fills you with yearning, hope and a sense of possibility – the chance of becoming your better self, even if you “missed the spring.”

Extras: audio commentary by Marnie Nixon and Joseph McBride, featurettes on Kerr, Grant and director Leo McCarey and an “AMC Backstory” on the film.

Grade: A

An Affair to Remember (50th Anniversary Edition) is currently available.