Believe me, no one wants to think about Valentine’s Day any more than myself, but it’s never too late to plan ahead if you prefer a more intimate, quiet night in with that special someone. Dinner reservations? Show your love you care by making a nice meal for the two of you. Spa packages? You’re plenty capable of massaging your significant other than allowing someone else to do it for you. And why sit in a dark room with a bunch of strangers watching Endless Love or Winter’s Tale when you have so many better options in the comfort of your own home? Check out 14 movies perfect for Valentine’s Day that you can find available on Netflix Instant after the break.
West Side Story (Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise) A musical about two youngsters from rival NYC gangs who fall in love. Starring Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, and Rita Moreno
I never truly appreciated musicals until I saw West Side Story. It’s the perfect amount of flair and spectacle. The music and performances are fantastic, and the story is a creative spin on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet tale. Sweeping the Academy Awards with 10 Oscars, there’s no denying that West Side Story is one of the best romantic and entertaining films out there. With all of its passion, West Side Story will have you dancing, singing, and snapping the night away.
Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet) Amelie, an innocent and naive girl in Paris, with her own sense of justice, decides to help those around her and along the way, discovers love. Starring Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, and Rufus
The most playful and lighthearted film out of this bunch, Amélie is a wonderful, special kind of story that steals your heart. There are so many dower romance stories that it’s refreshing to find something so innocent that it will leave you feeling very positive about the world and of others. Audrey Tautou is a darling, quirky actress that embodies the spirit of Amélie so well. If you’re looking for the one movie that will bring a warm, fuzzy feeling Amélie is just for you.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Blake Edwards) A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building. Starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam, and Mickey Rooney
Who doesn’t need a little Audrey Hepburn in their life on Valentine’s Day? Discover the tale of Holly Golightly, a classic among the hopeless romantics out there. A clever mix of humor, drama, and romance. The dynamic between Hepburn and Peppard is challenging and engrossing to unfold. Although the intricacies of the characters are bit melodramatic, there are so many layers to Breakfast at Tiffany’s that it continues amaze even to this day.
Ghost (Jerry Zucker) After being killed during a botched mugging, a man’s love for his partner enables him to remain on earth as a ghost. Starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg
For those who need a little cheese with their wine on their romantic holiday, I suggest Ghost. Even if you haven’t indulged in the film yet, the scene between Swayze and Moore with the pottery has so many iterations of parody that it immediately comes to mind as soon as you hear the title. It’s a silly, yet fun love story, romantic in all the right sense, and it doesn’t ever take itself too seriously. Plus Whoopi Goldberg as a psychic is just the icing on the cake.
Populaire (Régis Roinsard) 1958. Rose is a terrible secretary but a demon typist. Her handsome boss resolves to turn her into the fastest girl in the world. Starring Romain Duris, Féodor Atkine, Déborah François, Bérénice Bejo, and Shaun Benson
This little French foreign film flew under the radar last year, and its existence needs to be known. Populaire is a cute movie that harkens back to the love stories of the time period it’s set in. The story between Louis Echard (Romain Duris) and Rose Pamphyle (Déborah François) is very endearing. Their quarrels and flirtatious confrontations are organic and builds great tension on their complicated relationship. François is absolutely adorable and a pleasure to cheer on as this romantic comedy has a competitive sports movie edge.
Grease (Randal Kleiser) Good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer. But when they unexpectedly discover they’re now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance? Starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Barry Pearl, Didi Conn, and Jamie Donnelly
We all know the songs, “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “Beauty School Dropout,” “Summer Lovin’,” as well as the rest. Grease is arguably the most popular mainstream musicals to ever hit the big screen. Energetic and damn catchy, this love story between Danny Zuko (John Travolta) and Sandy Olsen (Olivia Newton-John) is one that will be passed down from generation to generation. Every character, every moment, and every song is filled with energy as the sparkle in everyone’s eyes shines through to put on one helluva show.
Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg) Luke and Kate are coworkers at a brewery who spend their nights drinking and flirting heavily. One weekend away together with their significant others proves who really belongs together and who doesn’t. Starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron LivingstonThey
Valentine’s Day doesn’t necessarily mean you have to celebrate the love of a romantic relationship. Enter Drinking Buddies, an indie dramedy about Luke (Jake Johnson) and Katie (Olivia Wilde) who are involved in an extremely close friendship together. One always knows what the other is thinking or doing. These BFFL have a very personal and cheeky relationship with one another that doesn’t go beyond a kiss on the cheek, flirtation hitting, or a hug. And the flirtation of something more is what makes this story of friendship so honest and resonating. Drinking Buddies presents an all too real depiction of the dilemmas we face among male and female friendships and whether or not it is worth the risk of losing that awesome friendship for something that may or may not work out.
The Apartment (Billy Wilder) A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue. Starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray
As I was searching for movies to add to this list, it was to my surprise The Apartment has been available to stream. It’s been on my shame list for quite some time and I have always heard it was a really charming movie. Once I sat down to embark on this journey I was blown away. The plot alone was ahead of its time. There’s something genuinely touching about the bond shared between C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) and Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) that speaks volume of the characters. The drama and the romance so absorbing you forget that this film was made over a century ago.
Clueless (Amy Heckerling) A parody of Jane Austen’s novel Emma, about Cher, a popular girl who spends her days playing matchmaker, helping friends with fashion choices, advising the new girl at school on a makeover, and looking for a boyfriend. Starring Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, and Brittany Murphy
And who needs a significant other when you can share a night out with the girls. Clueless is a witty, teen romantic comedy that perfectly captures young love and the revelation of finding your own place in the world. Alicia Silverstone is absolutely fantastic as Cher, and what comes out of her mouth is some of the most quotable dialogue that has withstood the test of time. And who could forget about everyone’s favorite actor Paul Rudd?
Love Actually (Richard Curtis) Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely and interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. Starring Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Gregor Fisher, Martin Freeman, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andrew Lincoln, and Kiera Knightley
Sure you can catch Andrew Lincoln slaying zombies this February on The Walking Dead, but you can also find a more tender side of Rick Grimes in Love Actually. If you hadn’t had enough of this revered Christmas nugget, or needed an excuse to watch it again, now’s your chance. Love Actually is the best opportunity to engage in every romantic cliché all bundled up at once to have your fill on love until December… or until The Fault of Our Stars comes out this summer.
Pretty In Pink (Howard Deutch) A poor girl must choose between the affections of her doting childhood sweetheart and a rich but sensitive playboy. Starring Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, and Harry Dean Stanton
What’s a list of romantic movies without some John Hughes involved? Pretty In Pink is another strong and effective narrative about young love, but also friendship of the best kind. We’ve all been in their shoes, whether we’re a Duckie, Andie, or Blane. Highly relatable and deserving of all the praise, Pretty In Pink is a truly sweet film that completely understands its audience.
Safety Not Guaranteed (Colin Trevorrow) Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, and Jake Johnson
Not your ordinary romcom, Safety Not Guaranteed is an amusing mash up of indie quirk and textured romance. In fact, you would never have known it had a romantic bone in its body if you solely believed what the marketing was trying to sell. Safety Not Guaranteed explores the rich idea of trust in a very unusual way. The chemistry between Mark Duplass and Aubrey Plaza is gentle and hilarious, together they make a triumphant, kooky pair.
Say Anything (Cameron Crowe) A noble underachiever and a beautiful valedictorian fall in love the summer before she goes off to college. Starring John Cusack, Ione Skye, and John Mahoney
Here’s another iconic film that has sparked a wave of parodies in its wake. Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” will forever be remembered for playing out of a boombox – for those who are old enough to know what one of those are – above John Cusack’s head. Say Anything is a very grounded and loving piece of cinema. The conflict and affection between Lloyd Dobler (Cusack) and Diane Court (Ione Skye) is very balanced, providing audiences with a couple you hope end up together in the end.
The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius) A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions. Starring Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, and John Goodman
Affectionate and one of the most ambitious movies of recent years, The Artist hosts brilliant charismatic performances by its lead stars Jean Durjadin and Bérénice Bejo. Their fondness for one another is natural and radiant, and the fact that the filmmakers were able to pull off a silent film at this day and age is impressive. The Artist will sweep you off your feet and keeping running with its elegant dance numbers, lively music, and beautiful cinematography.
What are some of your favorite romantic movies to watch on Valentine’s Day? Share with us in the comments section below.
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All synopses courtesy of IMDb.com