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A vote for "Love" and "Lovesick" on Valentine's Day

If you are looking for a romantic comedy to enjoy on Valentine's Day, all you need is "Love" or "Lovesick."

I stumbled into the two comedies about modern love on Netflix in the past month and was pleasantly surprised by how goofy and charming they were.

"Love," which starts its second season shortly, is a Judd Apatow co-creation that stars Paul Rust as Gus Cruikshank, an awkward Woody Allen-type character looking for love in Los Angeles. Rust also is a co-creator with his wife, Lesley Arfin.

Gus finds love in all the wrong places, including a convenience store and the trailer on the set of a television show where he works as the tutor of a spoiled child actress. The depiction of the child actor would be funnier if it didn't feel like it was so accurate.

Hardly leading man material in the looks department, Gus has surprising romantic success after an initial painful breakup. His best attribute is he is a good, creative guy with a decent sense of humor, which eventually attracts a pretty woman, Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), and a beautiful lonely actress in the first season.

Mickey isn't only pretty, she also is pretty much a mess at home and at work, where she buys some job security by having sex with her boss.

Mickey also takes advantage of her English roommate, Bertie (Claudia O'Doherty), a lovable female version of Gus who goes out with him to prove opposites attract.

"Love" is a sweet comedy with a healthy dose of sex and sex games that Apatow's movies and programs have become known for over the years.

Because I liked "Love," Netflix advised me to try "Lovesick," a British comedy that premiered in 2014 and has some elements of the Fox program "Girls" and this year's NBC hit "This Is Us."

British musician Johnny Flynn stars as Dylan, a handsome, lovesick, caring and carefree romantic who has to find all the women he has slept with over the years to tell them he has a social disease. How many? Let's just say this show may be able to run as long as "Two and a Half Men."

He is living with a beautiful woman, Evie  (Antonia Thomas), he adores and a best friend, Luke (Daniel Ings), who couldn't have a more different attitude about women. Dylan is a romantic, Luke a shallow womanizer who is afraid of showing any feelings. (Joshua McGuire) also is aboard as Angus, an agreeable, goofy-looking, friend whose marriage to a controlling woman is doomed from the start. She snores, which might be her most endearing quality.

"Lovesick" uses the "This Is Us" approach to storytelling in that episodes go back and forth from the past to the present to reveal how these mostly adorable characters deal with the confusion, awkwardness and joy of love.

Viewers know Dylan and Evie belong together much earlier than their characters do, which leads to the typical sitcom hope that they'll eventually find each other.

Otherwise, "Lovesick" isn't a traditional sitcom loaded with one-liners. The comedy is much subtler and more lovable than that.

One more love note.

Constance Caldwell and Guy Tomassi will perform "Love Letters" at 7 tonight at WBBZ-TV in its studio in Eastern Hills Mall. The play by Buffalo's A.R. Gurney about a 50-year correspondence between childhood friends is directed by Javier Bustillos. Admission is $15, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the American Heart Association.


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