The 20 best Valentine's Day movies and where to watch them | Finder

The 20 best Valentine’s Day movies and where to watch them

Hubba hubba. Light a candle, fire up Menulog and start your streaming engines; things are about to get steamy this Valentine's Day.

Couple on Valentine's day, in the bedroom and having romantic moment together on bed, watching a movie

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It's that time of year when some of us snuggle up and spend some quality time with a significant other and some of us snuggle up with a family-sized margarita and a bottle of wine. Both options are just as romantic as the other. Whatever your plans, there's no better time to Netflix and chill.

Contrary to what we're led to believe, shared interests are not essential in a successful relationship. Whether it's opposites attracting or you're just not going to watch The Notebook again, most people don't hook up and turn into a Nicholas Sparks fan overnight. This leads to a war for command of the remote control in order to monopolise the best television in the house before your significant other does.

However, on Valentine's Day, a peace treaty is signed and an amicable decision has to be made.

We've rounded up the most universally loved romance films available that anyone can enjoy.

Palm Springs

1. Palm Springs


  • Year: 2020
  • Cast: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons

A deliciously funny rom-com with a sci-fi twist, Palm Springs follows a pair of oddballs who strike up a romance… while stuck in a time loop. Add a wedding into the mix and some past mishaps that will eventually catch up with them and you've got yourself a tremendously good time. Plus, Samberg and Milioti have the kind of chemistry that makes you root for them from the get-go.

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Sylvie's Love

2. Sylvie's Love


  • Year: 2020
  • Cast: Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha, Eva Longoria, Aja Naomi King

If you're looking for fewer laughs and more old-fashioned romance, you can't go wrong with Sylvie's Love. A beautiful movie with excellent music and great performances, it's set in the 50s and centres on a young couple who has to part ways when life takes them in opposite directions. When they reconnect years later, they find that the passion is still there, but their circumstances are quite different. Will they find their way back to each other? Find out for yourself.

Sylvie's Love is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. You can watch for free using this 30-day trial.

Carol

3. Carol


  • Year: 2015
  • Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson

One of the most touching and well-acted romantic dramas to come out in the last decade, Carol follows an aspiring photographer who meets an intriguing older woman in 1950s New York. As the two grow closer, their intimate relationship turns into a love story with complex consequences for everyone involved. This is the kind of timeless movie that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

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The Lovebirds

4. The Lovebirds


  • Year: 2020
  • Cast: Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Paul Sparks

The Lovebirds is the rom-com version of a classic buddy cop movie – and a hilarious one at that. At the centre of the action are Jibran and Leilani, a couple who gets unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery that tests both their bond and their guts. They're desperate to clear their names and get the police off their backs, but being novices at crime solving comes with a decent amount of challenges. Fun!

The Lovebirds is available on Netflix.

The Half of It

5. The Half of It


  • Year: 2020
  • Cast: Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire, Wolfgang Novogratz

Not every love story is a romance – that's the premise behind this heartwarming teen movie. When a straight-A student who is strapped for cash agrees to help a jock woo a girl, she doesn't expect to become his friend or fall for his crush. Oops! Part coming-of-age story, part romantic dramedy, The Half of It is an all-around delight.

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The Photograph

6. The Photograph


  • Year: 2020
  • Cast: Issa Rae, LaKeith Stanfield, Chanté Adams

A lush romantic drama, The Photograph is all about love stories, past and present. When a famed photographer dies unexpectedly, she leaves her estranged daughter, Mae, full of questions. Once Mae starts looking for more information about her mother's early life, she gets more than she bargained for, including an unexpected romance with a rising journalist. It's a movie that celebrates love, making it a wonderful pick for date night.

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After

7. After


  • Year: 2019
  • Cast: Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Khadijha Red Thunder, Dylan Arnold

Based on the popular novel by Anna Todd, After is all about a "good girl" who falls for the brooding, rebellious guy when she heads off to college. Is it good? Debatable, but the performances are solid and the melodrama is welcome on Valentine's Day. Especially when you just need something to run in the background while… you know.

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Stargirl

8. Stargirl


  • Year: 2020
  • Cast: Grace VanderWaal, Graham Verchere, Giancarlo Esposito, Maximiliano Hernández

A charming story about young love, Stargirl revolves around a shy boy who finds himself drawn to the free-spirited new girl at school. Once they begin dating, he learns more from her about the importance of staying true to who you are, despite what everyone else may be saying. Stream it when you're in the mood for a feel-good story that will leave you grinning.

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Emma

9. Emma


  • Year: 2020
  • Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth

Anya Taylor-Joy shines in this lovely adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel. A lavish period dramedy, the movie is set in 1800s England and follows a well-meaning but selfish woman who likes to meddle in the love lives of her friends. Engaging and aesthetically pleasing, this version of Emma is a must-see for not only Austen fans, but romance enthusiasts in general.

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Long Shot

10. Long Shot


  • Year: 2019
  • Cast: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen

Theron and Rogen make an odd couple, but that’s exactly what makes this movie stand out from the crowd. Long Shot revolves around Charlotte, the US secretary of state, who decides to hire a journalist she used to babysit as a speechwriter when she runs for the presidency. It’s light, it’s funny and it’s smarter than your average rom-com. Perfect for a Valentine’s night in.

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Lady and the Tramp

11. Lady and the Tramp


  • Year: 2019
  • Cast: Tessa Thompson, Justin Theroux, Janelle Monáe, Sam Elliott

This charming live-action version of the beloved 1995 classic follows a pampered house dog and a loveable stray who embark on an unexpected (and romantic) adventure. The movie wins bonus points for featuring real dogs and the story is just as sweet as you remember. If you watch it while enjoying a delicious spaghetti dinner, even better.

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Always Be My Maybe

12. Always Be My Maybe


  • Year: 2019
  • Cast: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito, Michelle Buteau

Always Be My Maybe revolves around two former childhood sweethearts who reconnect as adults. The sparks are still there, but the two live in completely different worlds now. Will they be able to bring their relationship to the next level? Tune in to find out. You’ll be treated to a delightful cast, smart social commentary and plenty of hilarious scenes.

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Moonlight

13. Moonlight


  • Year: 2016
  • Cast: Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Mahershala Ali

Admittedly, 2016's stellar Moonlight isn't a straight-up romance flick. It's a coming-of-age story about a young boy named Chiron living in Miami told in three parts: as a young boy, a high-school teenager and an adult. Over three chapters, Chiron grapples with his identity and sexuality while also dealing with adverse living circumstances and bullies. At times, Moonlight is absolutely heart-wrenching but it's also one of the sweetest films ever made. Don't take my word for it, Moonlight won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in the Drama category and the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2017.

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Four Weddings and a Funeral

14. Four Weddings and a Funeral


  • Year: 1994
  • Cast: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas, James Fleet, Simon Callow

Essentially the movie that kicked off Richard Curtis's career, Four Weddings and a Funeral follows Charles (Hugh Grant), a loveable but bumbling Englishman living in London (classic Grant). Across four weddings and one funeral, Charles develops a long and tempestuous relationship with an American friend of a friend. Thanks to a stellar cast, it's a fun, romantic and sometimes heartbreaking romp that everyone can enjoy.

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To All The Boys I've Loved Before

15. To All The Boys I've Loved Before


  • Year: 2018
  • Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, Madeleine Arthur

To All the Boys I've Loved Before centres on Lara Jean, a quiet girl who finds her high school existence turned upside down when a bunch of secret love letters she's written to her crushes are mysteriously sent out. One of them was meant for her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. When Josh confronts her, Lara Jean starts fake-dating one of the school's popular kids, Peter, to avoid a lengthy conversation about her feelings. Cute!

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The Big Sick

16. The Big Sick


  • Year: 2017
  • Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano

Based on the story of real-life lovebirds Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick tells the incredibly sweet and heartbreaking story of when the couple first met. After cultural differences push the couple apart early in their romance, Emily falls sick and is placed in an induced coma.

Much of the movie is spent at Emily's bedside, with Kumail getting to know Emily's parents (Ray Romano and Holly Hunter), who are none too happy about the young couple's messy break-up.

The Big Sick is wonderful for many reasons but right up there is the fact that Ray Romano's stand-out performance almost absolves him for nine years of Everybody Loves Raymond.

The Big Sick is also available on Netflix now.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

17. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist


  • Year: 2008
  • Cast: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Aaron Yoo, Rafi Gavron

Based on the novel of the same name by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is a quirky comedy about two teens who barely know each other going on an exciting adventure. Nick is busy obsessing over his ex-girlfriend Tris until Tris's friend Norah asks him to be her fake boyfriend for five minutes. However, the two seem to have a real connection, so they go off to explore New York looking for a secret show and a drunken friend.

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall

18. Forgetting Sarah Marshall


  • Year: 2008
  • Cast: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand

Jason Segel stars as loveable oaf Peter Brenner, whose long-time girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristin Bell), leaves him for rockstar/self-proclaimed sex god, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). After a series of failed dates and sexual encounters, Peter goes to Hawaii with the intent of clearing his head aka forgetting Sarah Marshall. He runs into Sarah and her lover and struggles to cope in their presence. Segel is endearing and hilarious as Peter Brenner and Russell Brand is at his best (he's essentially playing himself).

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Brooklyn

19. Brooklyn


  • Year: 2015
  • Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent

From the keyboard of legendary romance and comedy writer Nick Hornby, Brooklyn follows Irish immigrant Ellis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) to 1950s Brooklyn where she meets and falls for a strappin' young lad (The OA's Emory Cohen).

However, just as romance blooms, Ellis's home comes calling and she's torn between her two worlds.

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Slumdog Millionaire

20. Slumdog Millionaire


  • Year: 2008
  • Cast: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal

An 18-year-old "slumdog" participates as a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and is interrogated by the police when his success is mistaken for cheating. As the movie unfolds, each answer to the quiz questions reveals a chapter in Jamal's life that led him to this point and we begin to realise that there's a specific motive to his appearance on national television. Adapted for screen by Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire is a gritty and heartbreaking adventure that will put a smile on your face.

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Looking for more romantic flicks to stream? Head over to our complete list of romance titles on Netflix.

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