25 Best Romantic Movies to Watch This Valentine’s Day
Come Valentine’s Day, throw those action movies, horror films, and sci-fi flicks to the side—this day is all about romance, and your date night (or girls’ night or me-time night) should unabashedly be treated as such. But romantic movies aren’t one-size-fits-all. When picking the best Valentine’s Day movie, it’s best to read your audience, whoever it may be. Are we more into classic cinema? Modern love stories? Soul-crushing sagas? There’s the rom-com type that makes you laugh until your belly hurts before sealing it all with a end-of-movie kiss. There’s the emotional kind that leaves your eyes puffy, nose runny, and heart achey. And there’s the coming-of-age sort that makes you want to walk off the scene, raising your hand into a triumphant fist like Bender at the close of “The Breakfast Club.” Whatever your style or V-Day plans may be, make sure to fit in one, or two, or a marathon, of these 25 best Valentine’s Day movies ever.
You’ve Got Mail
It’s a love story for the internet age. Unbeknownst to them, two rival business owners fall in love over email.
Why we love it: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are the rom-com couple of the 90s. Between this film and Sleepless in Seattle, this duo sells us that heart-warming brand of unexpected love every time.
In 1940s South Carolina, a young couple falls in love before getting torn apart by Allie's disapproving family. What follows is an epic romance for the ages.
Why we love it: Let’s not forget—Noah wrote love letters to Allie every day for a year. Watch this movie to serve up some major motivation, hmm?
Pride & Prejudice
This historical romance follows the relationship between Elizabeth Bennett and the incredibly rich (and prejudiced) Mr. Darcy. In other scenes, Elizabeth's mother tries tirelessly to marry her and her four sisters off with as much grace as an elephant in skates.
Why we love it: Between the meddling mom and swoon-worthy romance, this classic never gets old.
The life of a simple bookshop owner changes when he meets the most famous film star in the world.
Why we love it: We’ll watch Hugh Grant pine over Julia Roberts any day, but especially on Valentine’s Day.
A noble underachiever and a beautiful valedictorian fall in love the summer before she goes off to college.
Why we love it: We've all dreamt of a boy standing outside of our window, holding up a boom box that’s playing “In Your Eyes.” Goals.
A nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco. Its lead characters, memorable lines, and theme song make it one of the most iconic films of all time.
Why we love it: “Here’s looking at you, kid.” Give your Valentine’s Day a touch of cinematic magic.
10 Things I Hate About You
This late 90s teen romance just screams angst. A smart girl avoids boys her age, deeming them too immature, but her younger sister doesn’t get to date unless she does. Enter: a mysterious new boy getting bribed to take the older sister on a few dates, and maybe even getting her to fall in love.
Why we love it: Spoiler alert—Heath Ledger is the “mysterious new boy.” That’s really all we needed to know. Oh, and he serenades Kat on the bleachers in front of everyone at their high school, which she secretly thinks is super cute. So much angst.
A businessman hires an escort that comes complete with wild hair, an infectious laugh, and a dose of much-needed fun. Between shopping sprees and etiquette lessons, the couple ends up falling in love.
Why we love it: “You work on commission right? Big mistake. Big. Huge!” For us, that scene rivals the whole romance thing.
Shakespeare in Love
This follows a young, rich woman who poses as a man to star in one of William Shakespeare’s plays. Shakespeare finds his new muse, and she gets to give a swift kick to the gender roles of the day.
Why we love it: It’s got the history, drama, and forbidden love characteristic of Shakespeare’s plays, but it’s set on the other side of the page.
Romeo & Juliet
This quirky take on the classic Shakespearean play follows two star-crossed lovers as they navigate the drama between their two “mafia” families, the Capulets and the Montagues.
Why we love it: We're suckers for star-crossed lovers. And a young Leonardo Dicaprio...need we say more?
Bridget Jones’s Diary
At the start of the New Year, 32-year-old Bridget decides it's time to take control of her life, starting by keeping a diary. This movie is full of her hilarious takes on everything from dieting to dating your boss.
Why we love it: Bridget Jones is every woman’s spirit animal, and we’ll always honor her on the most romantic day on the year. Girls need to stick together, right?
Sweet Home Alabama
A young woman reinvents herself as a New York City socialite and designer, but must return home to Alabama to coax a divorce from her husband after seven years of separation. There, she finds her Southern roots (and love) again.
Why we love it: “Why would you want to marry me, anyhow?” “So I can kiss you anytime I want.” Swoon.
An European princess takes on Rome and ends up with an American reporter who finds her asleep on a park bench. Romance soon gets in the way of the reporter’s exclusive.
Why we love it: It’s an international romance set in one of the most romantic cities in the world. What’s not to love?
During a sleepy summer in the Catskills, a teenage girl learns about love, adult responsibility, and how to do the Dirty Boogie from a handsome dance instructor.
Why we love it: “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” is very much our aesthetic for 2019.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
A magazine writer and advertising executive both play a game. She’s trying to drive him off in ten days, and he’s trying to get her to fall in love in ten days. It’s an early 2000s rom-com classic.
Why we love it: Matthew McConaughey is the ultimate dreamboat, but Kate Hudson gives him quite the run for his money. Ladies—”frost yourselves.”
When Harry Met Sally
Spanning over a decade, two friends navigate a platonic relationship that gets a little complicated.
Why we love it: It’s the ultimate “falling in love on accident” story, and we’re here for the very real depiction of how relationships evolve in not-so-fairytale ways.
Crazy Rich Asians
Revolutionary and fresh, this romantic drama takes you behind-the-scenes of the richest of the rich while a young woman struggles to get the approval of her fiance’s elitist family. Expect laughs, love, and plenty of couture dresses.
Why we love it: It’s the perfect girls’ night film. Call your best ladies and have yourselves a Galentine’s Day.
This cult classic is loosely based on Jane Austen’s Emma, but gets a Beverly Hills twist. Cher, a somewhat shallow rich girl, finds her purpose in setting up those around her, all the while ignoring the perfect guy sitting right in front of her face.
Why we love it: The plaid skirt sets? Yeah, we still wish we could rock those. Cher and her gal pals give a fun dose of friendship goals for Valentine’s Day.
Ah, young love. A boy and girl from different social classes fall in love aboard a grand ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage.
Why we love it: We couldn’t leave this epic romance off the list. It’s a long one, but worth every minute (and tear).
A Star is Born
A young woman is discovered by a hard-drinking rockstar, and the two embark on a musical adventure of a lifetime that’s paired with a tumultuous relationship. This new classic also has two older versions for movie buffs wanting to compare and contrast.
Why we love it: The music alone is worth the watch. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper make the perfect on-stage duo. It might not have the happiest ending, but it feels incredibly real.
Gone with the Wind
Set in the South during and after the Civil War, Gone with the Wind follows sassy Scarlett O’Hara as she pursues a turbulent romance with a roguish gentleman by the name of Rhett Butler.
Why we love it: Who doesn’t love a feisty Southern belle? She serves her sweet tea with a splash of whiskey.
The Way We Were
Opposites attract when a political activist and an aspiring screenwriter marry and move to Hollywood. From there, things get a little tricky.
Why we love it: Streisand stars as a passionate, zingy woman that feels like an “ugly duckling” next to handsome-as-ever Robert Redford. We’ll never top her ending line: “Your girl is lovely, Hubbell.” Here, lovely means boring. And Hubbell knows it.
My Best Friend’s Wedding
Two friends makes a pact to marry each other if they aren’t married by age 28. Just days before her 28th birthday, Julianne realizes she’s in love with said friend, Michael, just as he announces he’s marrying someone else. All sort of sneakiness ensues.
Why we love it: First of all, he’s marrying a 20 year old (who happens to be played by Cameron Diaz). So honestly, we’re on Julia Roberts' side from the beginning, anyway. Ah, we just adore an unrequited love story.
The Longest Ride
This romance transcends time, following two couples through two love stories, one set in modern-day and one set in the 1940s.
Why we love it: Nicholas Sparks does it again, but this time with a handsome bull rider named Luke...who happens to look just like Paul Newman’s “Cool Hand Luke.”
A Princess Bride
A young man must save his one true love from three dopey outlaws, embarking on a drama-filled journey across the mythical kingdom of Florin to be reunited with his fair maiden.
Why we love it: With both a taste of fairytale love and “manly” adventure, this film appeals to both sides. Not to mention, it’s funny. Consider this a never-fail Valentine’s Day pick.