If your idea of a perfect date on Valentine’s Day is staying in and watching a movie while you cuddle with your partner, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve curated a list of must-watch romantic films for a month-long celebration of love. From classics like The Notebook, P.S. I Love You, and When Harry Met Sally, to new-age rom-coms like To All the Boys I've Loved Before, you’ve got a lot to choose from!
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Can a man and woman be 'just friends'? When Harry Met Sally answers this question brilliantly. The story revolves around the relationship between Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan), which begins with a car ride from Chicago to New York, where they argue if men and women can have a platonic relationship. Ten years later, the two reconnect and despite their best efforts to stay 'just' friends, they end up being together. This romantic comedy is thoughtful, funny, and an absolute entertainer. Plus, it leaves you with a thoughtful reminder about everything that love is—genuine, unconditional, and unexpected.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
A modern-day adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew, this movie follows two sisters, Bianca (Oleynik) and Kat Stratford (Stiles), and their experiences with love and relationships. Kat is beautiful and smart but also independent and has a sharp tongue which rarely attracts the attention of men. Her sister Bianca, on the other hand, is an energetic soul, who wants to date and go to prom but can’t do so until Kat agrees to go too. She then hatches a plan along with newbie student Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)—who has a crush on her—encouraging the handsome Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to woo Kat. The movie captures the essence of high school romance with all its ups and downs while exploring the complexities of relationships and the importance of being true to oneself.
Never Been Kissed (1999)
Drew Barrymore plays Josie Geller, a 22-year-old copy editor for the Chicago Sun-Times who has never been kissed. As part of a story assignment, Josie is forced to go undercover at a local high school which turns out to be a nightmare at first. However, with a little help from her brother Rob (David Arquette), Josie not only manages to fit in and make friends but also finds her first love in an English teacher, who, unfortunately, can't date her. So, does Josie get her first kiss? You’ll have to watch this one to find out!
Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
Bridget Jones's Diary centres on a 30-year-old single, Bridget Jones, who decides to turn her life around—lose weight, cut down on drinking and smoking, get a sensible boyfriend, and also pen the entire experience in her diary. But it's not all that easy. She has an affair with her boss Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) only to realise that he doesn’t feel the same way (he gets engaged to another woman). On the other hand, her family friend Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) is attracted to Bridget although she finds him repulsive. But only after getting to know the two men better, she realises whom her heart really beats for.
The Notebook (2004)
By far one of the most popular romantic movies ever, The Notebook follows the summer romance of Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling), who are absolutely crazy about each other. However, Allie's parents don’t approve of Noah as he comes from a poor family. They decide to end their summer early and take Allie back home, far away from Noah. The two cross paths 14 years later, after Allie goes to visit Noah a few days before her wedding. While she’s happily engaged, seeing Noah brings up past feelings, and she chooses to go with Noah. Filled with a whole lot of drama and palpable chemistry between the lead pair, this is the perfect Valentine’s Day movie.
Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight (1995, 2004, and 2013)
There are very few romantic trilogies out there, and fewer are as impressive as the Before trilogy. At the core of these films is the relationship between Jesse and Celine, set against the backdrop of three cities (Vienna, Paris, and Greece). The first movie, Before Sunrise, is the most popular and the most romantic of the trio. The story focuses on the two meeting and walking through the streets of Vienna, planning a life together and it seems nothing less of a fairytale. In Before Sunset, the two are separate beings, who are in happy and committed relationships with other people. The third and final film, Before Midnight, shows them as a married couple with two daughters, grappling with the fact that their relationship is coming to an end. The trilogy is truly heartwarming, seeing them go from young and free to mature, responsible adults. Although these are three separate films, the experience of seeing their lives come together, makes it one of the best romantic movies.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Imagine a world where you could forget all your traumatic experiences and erase the memories of the person who broke your heart. But what if the person who hurt you also happens to be the love of your life? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is about Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) who first meet at a beach and fall in love. Unfortunately, with time, they grow to hate each other, so much so that Clementine decides to seek the help of an organisation that can help erase the memories connected to a particular person, in this case, Joel. When Joel finds out, he decides to undergo the same procedure. However, in doing so, he begins to remember that Clementine is the love of his life. Delving deep into the themes of loss, regret, and the desire to forget painful memories that haunt us, this is a movie that’ll show you the bittersweet side of falling in love.
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice has seen quite a few film adaptations, however, it's the 2005 version that is our favourite, owing to the comedy, wit, and sexual tension between Lizzie (shouldn't it be Elizabeth) Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Mr Darcy (Matthew Macfayden). Elizabeth Bennet, who lives with her parents and sisters in the English countryside, faces a lot of pressure to get married given that she is the oldest of her sisters. When she meets Mr Darcy at a ball, sparks fly between the two, but Darcy’s reserved nature threatens to spoil the blooming romance. The movie is a classic tale of love and misunderstanding with meticulous attention to detail, making it a favourite of many.
P.S. I Love You (2007)
This heartbreaking movie features Hilary Swank as Holly Kennedy, a grieving widow who finds a series of letters written by her late husband Gerry (Gerard Butler). The letters arrive one at a time, starting on her 30th birthday, and are a way to lessen her grief, encourage her to move on, and look forward to a new life—one filled with a lot of fun and adventure. This is a movie about love, but it's also so much more—it’s about death and survival, it's about loss and finding your feet, and how two people can continue to be united even after one of them is no longer in this world.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)
A popular rom-com today, To All the Boys I've Loved Before is a Netflix original centred on an introverted high school student, Lara Jean (Lana Condor). When her sister mails out her secret love letters to her five crushes, Lara finds her quiet high school existence turned upside down. One of the boys, Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), derives a plan to use the letter to his advantage. He negotiates with Lara the terms of a fake relationship to make his ex-girlfriend, Gen, jealous. All goes well until Peter and Lara start to really fall for one another. The movie is light-hearted and relatable, allowing the audience to identify with the characters and understand why they behave a certain way. The movie was followed by two other films in the franchise—To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020) and To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021).
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