"As any man knows only toon well, the approval of a potential girlfriend's mate is crucial" writes James Luxford

The last couple of weeks have largely been about my job, but I thought, as tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, I’d talk a little bit about ‘lurve’.

Of course, given the nature of the column and the fact that this is me we are talking about, movies have played a big part in all my romantic endeavours.

As you can imagine, growing up with an Empire Magazine and a Halliwell’s Guide To The Movies in the other didn’t make me a ‘chick magnet’. There were other factors too (I was painfully shy, and went to an all-boys school), but in an era before ‘geek chic’ it was hard to parlay a passion for American indie cinema into romance.

By the time I had my first ‘proper’ girlfriend, however, cinemas were almost exclusively the date of choice. Sadly it was mainly romantic comedies or dramas, a genre I’ve never enjoyed that much, but when your goal is to get a snog during the dull bits, I suppose The Big Lebowski was never going to be a good choice.

Moving swiftly along from my teenage years (a period of my life I find it best not to dwell on), and this year is, of course, my first Valentine’s Day as a married man. As I’ve explained before, movies are ever present in our relationship.

The first time I took her to a press screening is still talked about today – The Coen Brothers’ True Grit at the plush Paramount screening rooms (sadly no longer there). I’m not sure if she was more impressed with the quality cinema or the plush seats and free drinks! The first film we watched together, however, was oddly fitting for this time of year. It was in the early stages of our relationship, and the first time I’d visited her house. There we sat, nervously on either end of a sofa, with her flatmate at the time, Eliza, sat opposite.

As any man knows only too well, the approval of a potential girlfriend’s mates is crucial, so I had to prove to two ladies to impress. After a while, the suggestion goes up – “shall we watch a DVD?” With my presence as the film expert, it was decided I would choose the film.

No pressure there then!

I looked through her collection – Gladiator? Too epic; Wayne’s World? too silly; To Kill A Mockbird? not silly enough; then I came across it – Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet. A corny choice I grant you, but one that I thought was a credible choice, and a film with enough visual pizazz to please two theatre lovers.

Did It work? As it turns out I needn’t have worried about Eliza; she’s as friendly and kind a person as you will ever meet, and has become just as good a friend to me as Lauren (she was in the crowd at last week’s Ralph Fiennes Q&A).

As for Lauren, well, we’ve been married six months, what do you think?