Culture / Film

The best Valentine’s Day movies we’re watching this year

Once again the promise of staying home this Valentine's Day seems evident. With so much streaming content out there it almost feels blasphemous to go down the rabbit hole of an old romantic favourite. Consider this your excuse to get your cliche out. Whether you're tuning in and snuggling down with a partner, a close friend or on your own, these are the best Valentine's Day movies – we assure you no fighting necessary.

 

1. Dirty Dancing

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The classic of all classics. When Baby is set to holiday at a sleepy resort in the Catskills with her parents, she is ready to rebel until she meets the resort's dance instructor, Johnny. Johnny enlists Baby as his new dance partner and things heat up between the two until Baby's father, who forbids her from seeing Johnny, causes a rift in the romance.

 

2. 10 Things I Hate About You

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The teen romance dream we never had. The heartthrob of a story follows sisters Bianca and Kat who couldn't be more opposite. When popular Bianca is told she isn't allowed to date until her older, anti-social liberal sister Kat has a boyfriend, Bianca enlists the help of a grungy loner boy (and potential arsonist) to seal the deal.

 

3. Romeo and Juliet (1996)

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You know the drill! The Verona's two well-established Capulet and Montague families, The rivalry between the two, and the tragic relationship of their children Romeo and Juliet.

 

4. Notting Hill

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Before Hugh Grant looked like he melted, he starred in one of the best British rom-coms in history. When famous actress Anna bumps into a doting English bookseller named William, he somehow ends up in an unlikely, awkward romantic entanglement with her.

 

5. Moonrise Kingdom

The sweetest film to ever grace screens. Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom follows Sam, a 12-year-old orphan, who falls in love with Suzy. The pair run away to a secluded island, prompting the children's entire town to search for the missing pair.

 

6. A Single Man

Tom Ford's cinematic masterpiece takes its shape as it follows George, a depressed middle-aged man who is on the verge of taking his life after his partner died in a car accident. As he plans his day to get his affairs in order, a series of events occur to make him question his decision.

 

7. First Wives Club

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For those on the other side of the Valentines Day fence, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, and Bette Midler, will inevitably bring you reprieve. The trio play wives suddenly put out to pasture by their husbands experiencing midlife-crises, and plot to take them out with the trash for it.

 

8. Singles

In Seattle during the grunge era, the lives and relationships of a group of young people all living in the same apartment building begin to shift as the film follows the flux of their realities.

 

9. Before Sunrise

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For those of us who wish to be swept away abroad. When Jesse an American expat meets Parisian student Celine on board the Eurail, on an impulse the two decided to spend the next twenty four hours together roaming the cobblestoned streets of Vienna. Linklater produces some of the most realistic cinematic conversation between two lovers, including one of the most romantic non verbal scenes we've ever seen involving a record shop. Come for the poetic chemistry and stay for the beautiful cityscape.

 

10. Roman Holiday

A classic always worth revisiting. overwhelmed by her duties, princess Anne played by Audrey Hepburn makes a break for it and heads to the Eternal city, there she meets American reporter Joe Bradley played by Gregory Peck who takes her under his wing as she hides in plain sight. The fashion, the history and the undeniably heartbreaking chemistry between the two leads is enough to make you weep. A heartfelt option for those who always have a moment for black and white cinema.

 

11. Valley Girl

If you grant yourself one pass to see Nicholas Cage in a romantic lead, please let it be this. After dumping her narcissistic boyfriend, Val girl Julie meets edgy Hollywood Punk Randy. The two quickly embark on a whirlwind teen romance at the blatant distaste of her too cool Encino friends. If you love LA nightlife, New Wave and niche 80's slang this is the one for you.

 

12. Thelma & Louise

Not technically a conventional love story, but for those of us out there celebrating a rogue Galentine's Day this is the film for you. When mild mannered Thelma joins her wild waitress friend Louise on a short trip, things very quickly go south when they kill a man and embark on a run from the law. We know what you're thinking, but young shirtless Brad Pitt, sexy female solidarity and an American road trip backdrop is too good to refuse.

13. Portrait of a Lady on Fire

A symphonic unfolding tale of two women in love. In 18th-century France young painter Marianne, is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse without her knowing. Marianne must observe her model by day to paint her portrait at night. The two begin to get closer as the impending wedding looms. It's a beauty speaking to all, done with refinement and delicate modesty, showing in detail the longing courtship of love.

14. Destination Wedding

Knowing full well we couldn't keep our personal favourite heartthrob Keanu off this list we had to have this romantic duo inclusion of him and Winona. In a kismet twist of fate the two leads were actually wed without their knowledge during the filming of Dracula, which makes this later film all the more whole heartedly romantic. In Destination Wedding the two are together once again, this time as two disgruntled singletons taking part in a weekend getaway wedding. It's funny, a little offbeat and the two still have wonderful chemistry.

15. Schitt's Creek season 4, episode 6, "Open Mic."

Not a movie, but a worthy opponent all the same. If there is one show worth bingeing with a loved one over this time it should be the comedic genius that is Schitt's Creek. This episode in particular which explores the very meaningful relationship between David Rose and his boyfriend Patrick. When Patrick humbly expresses his love to David in song form, to "Simply the Best" it sends hearts aflame. Yes, it really is simply the best.

 

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