By Gerri Miller

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we asked several small-screen beauties for their best advice on what’s cool, what’s lame, and how to make her night—and yours—a memorable one. Thankfully, they answered! (Otherwise it could have gotten awkward.) From what we can tell, they are really into this whole “listening” thing. Read on for details.

Laura Vandervoort (V)
“Just put some thought into it. You don’t have to buy anything. Give a little thought to what the woman wants. If it’s early in the relationship, a big gesture can be a little scary, but it can also be romantic—it depends on how it’s done. Something romantic but not overboard that I would love would be having some red wine, music and relaxing on the couch with a blanket. Overboard would be hiring a string quartet. Simpler is better.”

Taylor Cole (The Event)
“A Valentine’s text is probably the lamest. I like the more thoughtful gift. For example, if I said my feet were cold in the morning and he got me slippers –something to show he’s listening. Show me that you listen.”

Alison Brie (Community)
“Chocolates are lame. It’s like you stopped at 7-11 or Rite-Aid. I love flowers even though they die. All women love flowers and guys should just know that. I think it’s more about the gesture — a photograph of the two of you that’s framed in a cool way or a dinner, not necessarily somewhere very expensive, but somewhere you know she’ll like or something interesting you know she wanted to try. Women like to know that guys are listening to them when they’re speaking, that guys are taking note. Any little thing to show that you listened to what I may have said a month ago.”

Moon Bloodgood (Falling Skies)
“I actually don’t like Valentine’s Day. I always ask that we not do it because I think it’s too contrived. I feel it’s a holiday created by Hallmark.”

Odette Yustman Annable (Breaking In)
“Doing something personal is always the way to go — making me a scrapbook or cooking dinner. A box of chocolates? Come on! Let’s not do that. Keep it simple. Just some flowers and a little personal touch and you’re good to go. [My husband] Dave gave me the best Valentine’s present last year: my engagement ring. I don’t know if he could ever top that. After that he’s like, ‘Sweetheart, I’m tapped out.’”

Rachelle LeFevre (Off the Map)
“I’m actually opposed to Valentine’s Day. I think it’s a Hallmark-generated holiday to make men have to buy overpriced flowers and to make women have unrealistic expectations. I do have one thing to say about it, though. If you expect flowers from your man you should do something equally romantic for him.”

Jeri Ryan (Body of Proof)
“I want heartfelt. If you want to make me something, great. My husband is a chef so he’s always working on Valentine’s Day. We celebrate on other days. But he’s made a lot of heart-shaped things for me over the years, which is really sweet.”

Erica Durance (Smallville)
“A cool gesture is anything that lets a woman know that you know what she wants. Don’t try too hard. Just know your chick. You just have to show her where your heart is.”
(Gerri Miller is an entertainment journalist who writes a weekly Ecollywood celebrity column for MNN.com and contributes frequently to Vivmag.com, TV Week (Canada), and Wild Blue Yonder.)