Love is in the air, and it’s streaming on Netflix. Valentine’s Day is almost here, and that means you can unabashedly watch the all those romantic movies that make your heart swell. From the all-time classic love stories like Sense and Sensibility to modern romps like Silver Linings Playbook, we’ve picked the 14 best romantic movies to watch on February 14. The best part? Whether you’re happily single, blissfully in love, or somewhere in between, all of these movies will strike a chord in one way or another. Oh, and there’s a good chance a few of them will star Hugh Grant.
Silver Linings Playbook
If you love off-kilter romantic comedies about off-kilter lovers, you’re in luck. If you love off-kilter romantic comedies about off-kilter lovers, and Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, football fanaticism, wacky dance contests, and Chris Tucker as the funny sidekick, well then you’ve hit the mother lode.
Lars and the Real Girl
Ryan Gosling plays a loner named Lars, who falls in love with a life-size doll named Bianca that he bought over the Internet. Yes, the preemies seems as unsettling as Gosling’s mustache, but the quirky, thoughtful dramedy actually strikes a very real nerve. A movie about love, acceptance, and letting go, Lars and the Real Girl may be an unconventional romance, but a romance nonetheless.
“When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.” This Oscar-winning Norman Jewison classic starring Cher and Nicolas Cage as a spirited widower and a baker with one hand, respectively, is still as hilarious now as it was utterly sexy and romantic when it came out in 1987. If there was any movie that perfectly captures how utterly inconvenient and messy true love can be, it’s Moonstruck.
Heading out to see Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend? Rita Ora fills us in on her role in the film.
Oh, you know, just the classic famous girl (Julia Roberts) meets humble travel bookshop owner boy (Hugh Grant), famous girl falls in love with humble travel bookshop owner boy, famous girl almost ruins things with humble travel bookshop owner boy, famous girl stands in front of humble travel bookshop owner boy just asking him to love her.
Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel gets its umpteenth adaptation, but director Cary Fukanaga’s (True Detective) especially tugs at the heartstrings thanks to moving performances by leads Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender.
Sense and Sensibility
Keep the romantic period dramas going with Emma Thompson’s spot-on adaptation of Jane Austen’s iconic novel. Thompson, who also plays one of the Dashwood sisters, won the Oscar for Best Actress and Best Screenplay, which makes us love her even more.
The English Patient
Some people really hated this romantic World War II drama, but if you’re a sucker for sweeping sagas, it definitely does the trick. Just maybe don’t watch it if your valentine this year is an Elaine Benes type. (However, if you really want to keep your weepy war movies by Anthony Minghella vibe going, you can watch Cold Mountain, which is also available on Netflix.)
Tim Burton’s dreamy fantasy about tale tails isn’t just about the strained, but ultimately loving relationship between a dying father named Edward (Albert Finney) and his skeptical son Will (Billy Crudup), it’s about great love and great love stories. It’s about unrequited love, and love that lasts a lifetime, and love that makes you believe anything is possible.
To call this beloved French romantic comedy whimsical would be something of an understatement. A painfully shy, but sweet waitress named Amélie (Audrey Tautou) does adorable things to make life better for all those around her, all while she’s pining after a handsome stranger named Nino. Can fate (and some clever scavenger hunts) bring them together?
It’s hard to watch Woody Allen movies nowadays, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that he set the romantic comedy bar with Annie Hall, the timeless classic about the ups and downs of a relationship between a neurotic and a free-spirit.
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Because you simply cannot have a romantic comedy marathon without Hugh Grant (see: Notting Hill), his finest outing, Four Weddings and a Funeral is pretty much essential viewing. A shy Brit (Grant) and a charming American (Andie MacDowell) begin to fall for each other after their chance encounters at, you guessed, four weddings and a funeral. Genuinely funny and lovely, it also features a rom-com must: a kiss in the rain after a declaration of love.
Dirty Dancing is such a quintessential love story that the iconic final dance scene set to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” becomes the iconic scene in other romanic movies. (See: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone emulating it in Crazy, Stupid, Love..) Nobody puts baby in a corner: then, now, or ever.
Speaking of romantic movie scenes that have become pop culture staples: interrupting a wedding to declare your love to someone at the altar, just like Dustin Hoffman does in the classic The Graduate. (And, yeah, yeah, it got in on the whole cougar romance trope long before everyone else did.)
Five little words: “You had me at hello.”
[Photo Credits: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (2), Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Columbia Pictures, Miramax Films, The Weinstein Company, Columbia Pictures, Miramax Films, United Artists, Gramercy Pictures, Vestron Pictures, Embassy Pictures, TriStar Pictures]