As a hopeless romantic, I’d like to think that I know a little bit about romantic movies.
Whether you are celebrating with a significant other, spending it with your Galentines or even treating yourself, this Valentine's Day movie guide will put you in the mood for a little love.
Dumped by her long-term boyfriend, Gina Rodriguez stars in “Someone Great” as an aspiring music journalist who turns to her two best friends for one last hoorah in New York City before moving to San Francisco. This 2019 film focuses on the love found in friendships, rather than in the arms of a significant other.
Following a fling in their teenage years, “Always Be My Maybe”, tells the story of childhood sweethearts Sasha and Marcus, played by Ali Wong and Randall Park, who lose contact for nearly two decades. However, when Sasha, now a celebrity chef, moves back to her hometown, the two reconnect and the old sparks are still there. The 2019 romantic comedy has become a go to love story in my collection of favorites.
Although it breaks my heart every time, “My Best Friend's Wedding” continues to be one of my go-to romantic comedies. Julianne Potter, played by Julia Roberts, and her childhood best friend Michael O’Neal, played by Dermot Mulroney, make a pact to get married if they are both single by 28. However, as O’Neal announces his engagement four days before his 28th birthday, it causes Potter to realize she has been in love with him this whole time.
From “Sleepless In Seattle” to,“You've Got Mail”, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks will always be my favorite romantic duo. “You’ve Got Mail” remains my favorite rom-com of all time. The film stars Ryan as a struggling local book store owner who hates Hanks, the owner of a new chainbook store, across the street. However, the two neighborhood bookstore rivals unwittingly become online email pen-pals.
A 2018 Academy Award winner, “Shape of Water,” took me by surprise the first time I watched it — but for all the right reasons. With beautiful visuals and an entrancing soundtrack, the film showcases Elisa, played by Sally Hawkins, as a mute woman who works at a high-security government lab. After discovering a mysterious fish-like man, the two fall in love; however, the fate of the creature's life remains in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist.
My favorite rom-com trope is watching two best friends fall in love, and “Love, Rosie” is no exception. The film follows childhood best friends, Rosie and Alex, played by Lily Collins and Sam Clafin, as they are suddenly separated when Alex and his family move from England to America. As time passes and the two navigate the complexities of life, the pair always find their way back to each other — whether it be as friends or something more.
Released in 2020 with a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, “Sylvie’s Love” is a case of “the right person, wrong time.” Evoking old Hollywood, the film stars Sylvie, played by Tessa Thompson, who spends the summer of 1962 at her father’s record store, waiting for her fiancé to return from war. When Robert, played by Nnamdi Asomugha, a saxophonist, takes a part-time job at the store, the two create a friendship filled with passion and love. However, their relationship takes a turn when Robert’s music career takes off.
A love story in reverse, “Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind'' explores the complexities of losing relationships. Clementine, played by Kate Winslet, undergoes a procedure after a painful breakup to remove the memories of her ex-boyfriend, Joel, played by Jim Carrey. After Joel learns of Clementine’s procedure, he undergoes it as well, forgetting everything about the woman he loved. While some might consider this film to be anti-love, to me though, the film showcases all aspects of love, including the bad and the hurt that comes along with the emotion.
Adapted from Jane Austen’s beloved novel, the 2005 version of “Pride and Prejudice” stars Kiera Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet. The film tells the story of her tempestuous relationship with the wealthy aristocrat landowner, Mr. Darcy, played by Matthew MacFadyen. Despite the two’s obvious feelings for each other, Mr. Darcy’s reserved and rather arrogant nature threatens their potential relationship.
Bianca Stradford is a pretty, popular girl who unfortunately can’t go on a date until her older sister does. Her older sister, Kat, played by Julia Stiles, is smart and beautiful, but ill-tempered, which in turns, does not attract many boys. In “10 Things I Hate About You,” strings are pulled to set up the more aggressive sister who soon finds herself crossing paths with the handsome Patrick Verona, played by Heath Ledger.
“Princess Bride” is one of those timeless films you can never go wrong with. This 1987 fairytale adventure tells the story of Princess Buttercup, played by Robin Wright, and her one true love, Westly, played by Cary Elwes. After Buttercup is kidnapped, it is up to Westly to battle the evils of the mystical kingdom of Florin to save her.
Though this Valentine’s Day looks a little different, there is no better way to spend the romantic holiday than with a movie that will make you believe in happy endings. As someone who is a self-confessed romantic, there is sure to be at least one film here that will hit you right in your feels.