If the thought of having to stand in line with a bunch of strangers while waiting to see a movie loosely tied to the BDSM community is not your idea of a good Valentine’s Day, we have the most ideal alternative for you. Kick back and save the trouble of paying for overpriced tickets and popcorn because there are many exceptional options to see in the comfort of your own home.
Last year, we provided you with films such as Amélie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Ghost, Populaire, Grease, Drinking Buddies, The Apartment, Clueless, and Pretty in Pink, among others, and they are all still available to watch on Netflix Instant. But we don’t want to duplicate efforts here. We wouldn’t lead you astray like that.
Here are 14 Perfect Movies for Valentine’s Day available on Netflix Streaming:
Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell) Rated R [122 min] – After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own. Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Julia Stiles, John Ortiz, and Paul Herman
For the Gals: Silver Linings Playbook is one of the best romantic dramedies of this decade. It’s heartfelt and has the right emotional edge that cuts deep with its flawed and realistically human characters. The performances from every actor is superb, practically embodying their roles and their issues to a tee. Down to its core, it’s not your average romance, but the path it takes is enchanting to be a part of. Bradley Cooper is just a bonus.
For the Guys: For one, there’s Jennifer Lawrence, America’s sweetheart. But there is also true bromances between the male actors as they all bond over football. Additionally, there is some high-stakes sports betting that reaches a very amusing climax.
Don Jon (Joseph Gordon Levitt) Rated R [90 min] – A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends, and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Tony Danza, Brie Larson, and Julianne Moore
For the Gals: As Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s directorial and writing debut, I believe that he captures an interesting facet of love. This is another dramedy that isn’t your atypical romance either. Don Jon explores the idea of what love versus infatuation. JGL definitely captures a unique perspective of today’s America and how media has fabricated a false sense of love.
For the Guys: Scarlett Johansson. Enough said. No, but honestly Don Jon is largely funny and has many redeeming qualities. It may hit closer to home for guys than for the ladies, and not just from the GTL perspective. You can also get away with watching porn since it’s littered throughout various scenes, tastefully of course. (Read my full review)
Safe Haven (Lasse Hallström) Rated PG-13 [115 min] – A young woman with a mysterious past lands in Southport, North Carolina where her bond with a widower forces her to confront the dark secret that haunts her. Starring Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders, and David Lyons
For the Gals: To fulfill your Nicholas Sparks quota for the year, Safe Haven presents another one of his tales that pits two beautiful people from different walks of life that mutually attract because of their flawed pasts and chiseled jawlines. Josh Duhamel is sweet, humble, and the kind of everyman you’d want to fall in love with.
For the Guys: This one is a little rough to get through, but at least the chemistry between the Duhamel and Hough is believable enough. There is a murder-mystery element that keeps it at an up tempo too.
Hitch (Andy Tennant) Rated PG-13 [118 min] – While helping his latest client woo the fine lady of his dreams, a professional “date doctor” finds that his game doesn’t quite work on the gossip columnist with whom he’s smitten. Starring Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valletta, and Adam Arkin
For the Gals: A truly unconventional romance that hits the right notes. Will Smith is absolutely charming, knowing the right answer for every situation. Eva Mendes crushes it with her fierce attitude and sharp wit, depicting a strong working woman who takes no prisoners. But with how flawless their characters may seem, they have their imperfections. Seeing each other for who they truly are, and opening up to one another, only makes their bond even stronger.
For the Guys: Hitch hits the right balance for both men and women. Kevin James provides the yin to Will Smith’s yang, giving us a male character that grounds the movie to a level that isn’t all about the pretty boy getting the pretty girl. It proves that anyone can be the right person for someone, you just have to have the right intentions and be yourself.
Dirty Dancing (1987) (Emile Ardolino) Rated PG-13 [100 min] – Spending the summer in a holiday camp with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor Johnny Castle. Starring Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, and Jerry Orbach
For the Gals: A true classic. I think we both know I don’t have to say anything more.
Romeo & Juliet (2013) (Carlo Carlei) Rated PG-13 [118 min] – Romeo and Juliet secretly wed despite the sworn contempt their families hold for each another. It is not long, however, before a chain of fateful events changes the lives of both families forever. Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti and Laura Morante
For the Gals: For the timeless romantic in you, this new version of Romeo & Juliet isn’t the end-all and be-all of this tale as old as time, but the production is well done. And if you want the real take, not the Leonardo DiCaprio version, or something newer than the 1968 version, this Romeo & Juliet update is just right.
For the Guys: This one is also a bit tough to endure, especially if you’re not a Shakespeare fan. Paul Giamatti hams it up really well at least.
Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis) Rated PG-13 [142 min] – Forrest Gump, while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him. Starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Sally Field, Gary Sinise, and Mykelti Williamson
For the Gals: While this is mainly a story about Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), as the title suggests, we cannot forget about Jenny (Robin Wright). Through all her hardships, there is at least one constant in Jenny’s life that she can always depend on, that will love her unconditionally, no matter what. Forrest Gump is a truly touching and tender film, that isn’t just about the romance between Jenny and Forrest, but also his love for others, whether that be toward Lt. Dan (Gary Sinise), Bubba ( Mykelti Williamson), or his mama (Sally Field).
For the Guys: Aside from the slew of memorable quotes, Tom Hanks is brilliant. And Forrest is definitely a man’s man. He is an all-star college athlete on Alabama’s football team; he’s awarded the Medal of Honor for his tour in Vietnam; is a ping-pong pro; and he loves his mama. What have you done with your life?
Blue is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche) Rated NC-17 [179 min] – Adele’s life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself and ultimately finds herself through love and loss. Starring Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, and Salim Kechiouche
For the Gals: Like Don Jon, Blue is the Warmest Color is a fascinating look at how we find love. However, Blue delves deeper into the exploration part, as we follow Adéle (Exarchopoulos) across the span of 10 years. We follow our lead as she comes into being her own woman, discovering her sexuality, as well as the ups and downs of being in love and how that shapes her personality. It’s a very beautifully and passionately told story that requires patience and an open mind.
For the Guys: There’s a lot of graphic sex between the two female leads. Like a lot, a lot. Like you’re better off watching this than Fifty Shades of Grey because it’s more erotic and has a better message to takeaway.
Much Ado About Nothing (2012) (Joss Whedon) Rated PG-13 [109 min] – A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words. Starring Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Clark Gregg, and Nathan Fillion
For the Gals: And here we have the polar opposite of the aforementioned Romeo & Juliet, where we have a classic Shakespeare story told in the present day. Harnessing the power of Joss Whedon‘s comedic sensibility, this retelling of Much Ado About Nothing is hilariously charming.
For the Guys: Once you get past the Shakespeare speak, Much Ado has that Joss Whedon quirk that excels the Shakepseare source material. This isn’t just a sappy romance, but it also has familial deceit, hidden agendas, and of course Nathan Fillion.
The One I Love (Charlie McDowell) Rated R [91 min] – Struggling with a marriage on the brink of falling apart, a couple escapes for a weekend in pursuit of their better selves, only to discover an unusual dilemma that awaits them. Starring Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, and Ted Danson
For the Gals: The One I Love proposes an interesting “what if” scenario that I cannot divulge due to its spoilery nature. This is a love story that challenges all positions of relationships and can be fun once it hits its groove. Sometimes a little mystery can be better than the predictable rom-com.
For the Guys: The same can be said for the male viewer. The One I Love presents an intriguing premise that will make you think and keep you invested in its bizarre scenario.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee) Rated PG-13 [120 min] – Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman’s daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life. Starring Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, and Ziyi Zhang
For the Gals: For those seeking something more out-of-the-box this Valentine’s Day, look no further than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Disguised as a wonderfully-telling martial arts masterpiece, filled with forbidden love and strong female leads, Crouching Tiger delivers one of the most compelling tales of our time. Everything about this movie is breathtaking.
For the Guys: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one of the most beautifully, well-crafted martial arts films of all time. Its captivating action is only a small fraction to the full enjoyment you’ll get out of this movie. And perhaps it will give your hidden dragon a little extra attention. Get it? Penis joke!
Sleepless in Seattle (Nora Ephron) Rated PG [105 min] – A recently widowed man’s son calls a radio talk-show in an attempt to find his father a partner. Starring Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Ross Malinger
For the Gals: If there ever was a film that encapsulates the idea of the traditional rom-com, and done to perfection, it would be Sleepless in Seattle.
For the Guys: Although Sleepless in Seattle is definitely targeted more for the enjoyment of hopeless romantics, Nora Ephron expertly tailors this cinematic romance with a spark and allure that makes it enjoyable for everyone.
Jerry Maguire (Cameron Crowe) Rated R [139 min] – When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent with the only athlete who stays with him. Starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger, Jonathan Lipnicki, and Jerry O’Connell
For the Gals: Jerry Maguire is romance at its finest. You have a broken man, trying to do his all to not only support himself, but also the one women in his life who believes in him. As they become more invested in each others’ lives, their flourishing love ballad becomes one for the ages.
For the Guys: This is Tom Cruise at his best. I actually see Jerry Maguire as a dramedy more geared toward men. You have a sports agent who is working to make his one athlete happy, all the while trying to balance his love life with his secretary and her son. The humor is ripe for the general male audience and there are a lot of solid life lessons to be had.
Mr. Deeds (2002) (Steven Brill) Rated PG-13 [96 min] – A sweet-natured, small-town guy inherits a controlling stake in a media conglomerate and begins to do business his way. Starring Adam Sandler, Winona Ryder, John Turturro, Allen Covert, and Peter Gallagher
For the Gals: And finally, we have something that’s not entirely gushy and intense. Mr. Deeds is a silly, lighthearted romp that keeps things fairly simple and fun.
For the Guys: The one romantic comedy where you can get away with childlike humor and that both you and your partner can laugh at. One of Adam Sandler‘s better, post-Waterboy era films that isn’t a complete waste of time.
And here is an extended list of romantic choices also available on Netflix:
- Ever After
- Annie Hall
- Y Tu Mama Tambien
- Pulling Strings
- She’s All That
- Vanilla Sky
- Guess Who
- Notting Hill
- Mystic Pizza
- Along Came Polly
- Picture Perfect
- Forces of Nature
- My Boss’s Daughter
- A Knight’s Tale
- Sense and Sensibility
- Shakespeare in Love
- Steel Magnolias
- Notting Hill
- Funny Face
- An Affair to Remember
- Chasing Amy
- Terms of Endearment
What are some of your favorite romantic movies to watch on Valentine’s Day? Share with us in the comments section below.
Find me on the Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus
All synopses courtesy of IMDb.com