Lights, Camera, Romance: The Top 10 Hollywood Films for Your Valentine’s Day Watchlist
Love stories for all ages, from teenage crushes to 20- and 30-something mishaps to second chances after a breakup, are also on the menu.
Thinking about Valentine’s Day plans? Instead of the usual romantic dinner, why not snuggle up at home and put on a super-romantic movie? We’ve got you covered with 47 of the best Valentine’s Day movies to set the mood.
No matter if you’re celebrating with a long-time partner, a new flame, your favorite girlfriends, or flying solo, we’ve got the perfect movie for you. Craving something light, cheesy, and laugh-out-loud funny? Dive into our collection of rom-coms. Or maybe you’re in the mood for a tearjerker—no judgment! Our list includes plenty of dramatic, emotional, and heart-wrenching films. Love stories for all ages, from teenage crushes to 20- and 30-something mishaps to second chances after a breakup, are also on the menu. And if you’re not feeling the love vibes (totally understandable), we’ve thrown in a couple of breakup stories and some eye-candy films (hello, Channing Tatum’s abs).
So, gather your valentine or galentine, grab some snacks (check out our snack suggestions), and fire up Netflix, Amazon Prime, Max, or Hulu. Need even more options?
1) The Half Of It
Alice Wu puts a fresh spin on Cyrano de Bergerac in a small Massachusetts town, where high schooler Ellie (played by Leah Lewis) makes some extra cash by writing essays for her classmates. Things take an interesting turn when she agrees to assist Paul (played by Daniel Diemer) in crafting love letters, not just out of kindness but because she’s secretly in love with the same girl and prefers to express her feelings undercover.
What sets “The Half of It” apart from typical romantic comedies is its refusal to stick to the usual clichés. Instead, the movie beautifully embraces various forms of love—be it romantic connections, family ties, or friendships—without giving precedence to one over the others. In a world that often prioritizes one type of love, this film celebrates them all.
2) Brokeback Mountain
If you’re into romantic movies that tug at your heartstrings, this one’s a must-watch. Picture this: a tale of forbidden love between two cowboys in 1960s Wyoming, who find themselves entangled in a secret affair they must keep hidden from their wives. The movie scooped up three Academy Awards, with director Ang Lee clinching one for his outstanding work.
3) Always Be My Maybe
Get ready to swoon with this irresistible Netflix rom-com! Ali Wong and Randall Park take the lead as childhood pals who reunite with some unresolved feelings. When Sasha (played by Wong) returns to San Francisco, she and Marcus (played by Park) find themselves reconnecting. But with Sasha being a renowned chef and Marcus still living at home, can they bridge the gap between their lifestyles? And hold onto your hats because Keanu Reeves makes a cameo appearance that’s nothing short of legendary!
4) Crazy Rich Asians
Prepare to be dazzled by the extravagant glitz and glamour, along with some seriously swoon-worthy romantic gestures, in this rom-com. Rachel (played by Constance Wu) accompanies her boyfriend, Nick (played by Henry Golding), to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. Little does she know, Nick’s family is ridiculously wealthy… and they’re not exactly thrilled that he’s fallen in love with someone from outside their social circle.
5) The Big Sick
The sweet meet-cute between Kumail (played by Kumail Nanjiani) and Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) is just the beginning of the magic in this wonderful clash-of-cultures movie. “The Big Sick,” based on Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon’s real-life story, also beautifully shines a light on Pakistani and Muslim culture, bringing refreshing depth to the narrative.
6) Juliet, Naked
“Juliet, Naked” serves up a delightful blend of zany love-triangle antics and heartwarming depth. Annie (played by Rose Byrne) finds herself stuck in a relationship with Duncan (played by Chris O’Dowd), who’s more fixated on Tucker Crowe (played by Ethan Hawke), a ’90s rocker who vanished after releasing just one album, than he is on her. But when Annie and Tucker unexpectedly strike up a transatlantic correspondence, the quaint seaside town of Sandcliffe becomes the backdrop for some seriously tangled romantic entanglements. If you’re on the hunt for a rom-com that’s both uplifting and grounded in reality, look no further—this one’s a winner.
7) Southside With You
If you finished reading Michelle Obama’s enlightening memoir “Becoming” and craved more insight into her relationship with Barack Obama, this movie is for you. Starring Tika Sumpter and Parker Sayers and produced by John Legend, the film delves into the details of their very first date, offering a glimpse into the early days of their iconic romance.
8) Fire Island
Coming to your screens on Hulu and Disney is “Fire Island” (2022). This film, inspired by Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” takes you on a journey with a group of friends as they embark on their annual trip to New York City’s Fire Island. Starring Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang as best friends who find themselves smitten with two guys who are a bit out of their financial league, just like in Austen’s novel. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, funny, and a tad raunchy, this is the perfect pick for your movie night.
9) 50 First Dates
In this heartfelt romantic comedy, Henry Roth (played by Adam Sandler) faces a unique challenge in his relationship with Lucy Whitmore (played by Drew Barrymore). Lucy suffers from short-term memory loss, causing her to forget their shared experiences and even who Henry is. Despite the heartbreak, Henry refuses to give up on their love story. He embarks on a series of creative and touching attempts to recreate their first date, hoping to keep their connection alive. It’s a touching tale that’s sure to sweep you off your feet with its heartfelt moments.
10) To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Meet Lara Jean (played by Lana Condor), a shy and bookish teenager whose world gets flipped upside down when five love letters she penned, never intending to send, somehow find their way to their intended recipients. But what unfolds is a charmingly sweet tale of first love, with two more movies to follow! Gather your gal pals and get ready to squeal with delight at the cheesiness of it all as you watch this trio of romantic films.