The restaurants are booked, you want to save a bit, but you still want to impress the love of your life. What better way than the comfort of a couch, remote, and a great romantic film. This will be playing it safe while enjoying the top 10 romantic films fit for the day of love!
10. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)
The Netflix movie that could. This teen rom-com follows Lara Jean (Lana Condor) finding out that five love letters she secretly kept have found their ways to the boys she had previous crushes on. One of them being a jock named Peter (Noah Centineo). Coming from a messy breakup, Peter and Lara Jean agree to pretend they’re dating to make his ex-girlfriend and her recent crush, Josh (Israel Broussard), jealous. It’s all fun and games until one, or both, fall in love.
It’s made aware that the third installment, To All the Boys: Always and Forever, will be debuting this Valentine’s Weekend. But there couldn’t be a third without appreciating the first. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a sweet and modern take on the teen rom-com concept. The film highlights what every will they/won’t they couple faces; do they feel the same or is this all just a game? Yes, it has cliché’s but it’s sweet and gives much appreciation to the classics like Sixteen Candles and Fight Club.
9. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
You’ve Got Mail cashes in on the new age of technology, the internet. Primarily, American Online email. A small bookstore owner Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) finds herself in an ongoing email pen-pal relationship with Joe Fox (Tom Hanks). Little does she know, he’s her biggest competition in the bookstore industry with his corporate-driven store set to put her out of business.
The strongest Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan collaboration. Audiences would immediately fall in love with their characters’ dynamic and witty banters. Their nothing but sharp, smart, and heartfelt when the two of them share a scene. It’s the love/hate relationship mixed with their infectious chemistry. It’s yet another classic to add to Valentine’s list of a feel-good hit mixed with the nostalgia of ‘90s tech.
8. The Big Sick (2017)
A love story that’s actually true! The Big Sick tells the true story of how comedian, Kumail Nanjiani (who recently got abs), met his wife, Emily Gardner (Zoe Kazan). Their love affair goes about casually until they’re faced with family issues and customs, and a mysterious illness that Emily contracts.
The Big Sick is the heaviest love letter on the screen. Kumail is brave enough to let everyone in on his personal and professional challenges for success. This meant showing his strict upbringing, the pressures of arranging marriages, and dealing with the fear of losing the love of his life. However, he still brings the funny into the film. It takes a lot of him to be this honest, which makes this love story even more endearing.
7. True Romance (1993)
It can’t just be the chick flicks and rom-com hits. The guys must have a Valentine movie. Thus, they get True Romance. It follows a guy, Clarence (Christian Slater), armed with the biggest pop culture archive. He falls for and marries Alabama (Patricia Arquette), a call girl hired to be his birthday gift. Their whirlwind romance turns them into Bonnie and Clyde when they find themselves selling cocaine they accidentally stole from her pimp, Drexl Spivey (Gary Oldman).
True Romance isn’t your average love story. It was written by Quentin Tarantino, so he gets rid of most romantic story tropes. Both characters start off on equal footing when it comes to social class. The audience watches these two succeed, fail, and succeed again. If there was a definition of a “ride or die” story, True Romance is a perfect choice. Plus, it’s a hilarious trick to pull on girlfriends as the title makes it seem like a romantic movie!
6. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
How does 10 Thing I Hate About You win a spot on this list? The love story starts with an overly complicated bet. Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) wants to date the sweet and popular Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik). But he must get her sister Kat (Julia Stiles) to get on the dating scene. So, he gets his enemy, Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan), to pay Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) $50 bucks to get Kat to date him. $50 may not sound like a lot now, but it did get a pre-fixe dinner back in the ‘90s.
In all seriousness, 10 Things I Hate About You isn’t just another teen rom-com. The story doesn’t feel the need to have Kat go from outsider to popular girl. Or even Patrick going from scary guy to Freddie Prince Jr. It firmly sticks with loving what doesn’t need to change.
5. Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Always Be My Maybe proves that love takes its time and is never too far from home. Celebrity Chef, Sasha (Ali Wong), heads back home to San Francisco for her restaurant opening. She reunites with her childhood friend, Marcus (Randall Park) and their connection reignite. To get to that happily ever after, both must settle their previous misunderstandings, different career paths, and Keanu Reeves.
This romcom has a bit of Notting Hill, Sweet Home Alabama, and every Asian soap opera. What carries it is the comedic genius and chemistry between Wong and Park. It tugs in the heartstrings of family values and learning to love what scares you. Plus, and this needs to be reiterated, “breathtaking” Keanu Reeves is in it.
4. Notting Hill (1999)
“[She’s] just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” Before Always Be My Maybe, this blockbuster highlighted the challenges of an average Joe falling for someone in the limelight. William Thacker (Hugh Grant) is this failed travel book shop owner whose life changes once Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) visits his store. Throughout her time in London, William finds himself caught up in the pursuit and excitement of dating a celebrity.
She finds solace in a humble home life with William’s family and roommate. He, in return, finds excitement out of his boring life with Anna. The best is that he never tries to exploit her or gain a profit. He’s a nice guy, something that the world needs more of. If there had to be a choice between every Julia Roberts rom-com in the ‘90s, Notting Hill is the most charming one to press play on.
3. Say Anything (1989)
The film that makes you hold up a boombox while blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”. And that’s just to say sorry or anything!
Say Anything (no, not the band) is the purest form of courtship shown on screen. Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) makes it his ultimate mission to date Diane Court (Ione Skye). He succeeds and is faced with various challenges to be enough for her.
Say Anything reflects what almost everyone has experienced with falling in love. Everyone wants someone who seems unattainable. Lloyd became every lovesick person’s hero. Even if Diane’s life is just as complicated, Lloyd’s love and dedication to making it work radiates throughout the film. He’s the one to thank for the ultimate plea for love. Granted, it’d be a Bluetooth speaker today.
2. Romeo + Juliet (1996)
What most high school students would probably use as cliff notes for their English classes. 1996’s Romeo + Juliet takes the famous Shakespeare play and modernizes it in time and setting. Starring the teen heartthrob of the ‘90s, Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo and up and coming darling, Clair Danes as Juliet. The story doesn’t just hit the beats of the original play, but it even retains the original dialogue.
This adaptation of Romeo + Juliet gives a unique spin to the classic play. However, it’s careful to never butchers the original telling. It does enhance the tail for the modern generations. At this point, everyone’s familiar with the story of these two doomed lovers. They are the original blueprint to most of the films on this list. Forbidden love, but love so true.
1. The Notebook (2004)
It’s that time of the year again! The Notebook has blue-collar Noah (Ryan Gosling) falling in love with the rich Southern belle, Allie (Rachel McAdams). Their love affair gives Allie a sense of freedom. However, they split immediately due to their opposite upbringings and her parents’ dismay. Three years go by until they find themselves rekindling their magnetic relationship. It gets messy, passionate, and sweet all at once. Need another reason why it’s the ultimate Valentine’s Day flick?
Most girls won’t admit it, but Allie and Noah’s love/hate dynamic is what they secretly want to experience. It illustrates the romantic aspects of craving for the bad boy; rough around the edges; the wrong side of the tracks kind of guy. They feel like Allie while experiencing the euphoria of being rebellious and having limitations pushed. It’s just immediately sexy. Realistically, this couple shouldn’t last. However, this is Nicolas Sparks world, and women want to live in it.