Ah, Valentine’s Day. A day to either celebrate romance in all its magnificent glory or whisper hexes under your breath at every happy couple you see on the streets. If you find yourself in the mood to watch something romantic, Netflix has plenty of movies to get you in the holiday spirit. Whether you’re looking for lighthearted rom-coms or heartbreaking love stories, there’s something for everyone. (Or just watch the best horror films on Netflix. I won’t judge.)
Look, I know some of you have strong feelings about Gwyneth Paltrow and her fake English accent. But I’m going to ask you to put those aside for what is, in my opinion, a truly delightful romantic comedy. John Hannah is easily one of the most lovable, charming leading men to ever star in a rom-com. And John Lynch should get credit for his very memorable supporting role. It may not be perfect, but Sliding Doors is definitely a rom-com I’ll continue to watch over and over again.
You can just watch this film for Ryan Reynolds. No one’s here to judge you. While Definitely, Maybe has never been my favorite film, I know at least half a dozen people who swear up and down that it’s their all-time favorite rom-com. And why not let those folks continue to wear their Ryan Reynolds’ rose colored glasses?
Silver Linings Playbook
This rom-com was nominated for eight Academy Awards. Jennifer Lawrence even won Best Actress for her role. It’s not every day that a film in this genre receives so many accolades. It’s a well-written and well-performed film that’s probably worth your time.
I’m just going to level with you. Sixteen Candles has a lot of problematic content including racism and date rape. Setting that aside, it’s an iconic teen romantic comedy and one of my favorite John Hughes films. Molly Ringwald is a truly gift to all of us.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Not all Netflix original films are created equally. However, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a very charming teen romance. Lana Condor makes for a fantastic young leading lady. Definitely my pick for something sweet and lighthearted.
The Kissing Booth
Remember how I just said not all Netflix original films are created equally? Yeah, The Kissing Booth is a strange film. But, as always, who am I to deny you options?
The English Patient
This is my absolute all-time favorite film. It would take me pages upon pages to write down all the reasons I adore this movie. Also it’s nearly 3 hours long, so this one is not for the faint of heart. The English Patient may also completely wreck you, emotionally speaking. So don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Between this film and Funny Girl, I’ve pretty much been convinced for my entire life that Omar Sharif is the perfect man. If you’re looking for a classic epic (and very tragic) love story, Doctor Zhivago is the clear winner.
I really love The Graduate, but I feel like I usually recommend this film more for the Simon & Garfunkel music than anything else. And for Mrs. Robinson. Anne Bancroft, you are missed.
Todd Haynes makes beautiful, poignant movies and Carol is absolutely no exception. All six of Carol’s Oscar nominations are rightfully deserved and Cate Blanchett’s performance will probably move you to tears. But this one can definitely be filed under the tragic romance genre; you’ve been warned.
In my ideal world, Juliette Binoche and Lena Olin would make me gourmet chocolate every day. Sadly, that will probably never happen. But this film is incredibly sensual, and an easy pick if you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day mood setter.