10 movies to set the mood this Valentine’s Day
Hubba hubba. Invite your lover over to "seriously just watch movies" with our top 10 films to stream this Valentine's Day.
It's that time of year when some of us snuggle up and spend some quality time with a significant other. The rest of us snuggle up with a family-sized margarita and a bottle of wine. 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 that you're just not going to watch The Notebook again, we like to retain our individual identities and hobbies in a relationship. This can lead to wrestling for remote control command or monopolising the best television in the house before your significant other does. However, on Valentine's Day, when the universe forces us to spend some (ugh!) quality time together, an amicable decision has to be made.
We've rounded up the most universally loved romance films available that anyone can enjoy.
1. Four Weddings and a Funeral
Essentially the movie that kicked off Richard Curtis's career, Four Weddings and a Funeral follows Charles (Hugh Grant), a lovable 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.
- The romance: Hapless pom Charles (Hugh Grant) and dry-witted American Carrie (Andie Mcdowell)
2. True Romance
Sure, True Romance isn't your typical saccharine-sweet romance film, but it is romantic in a slightly twisted way (what else would you expect from an up-and-coming Quentin Tarantino?). True Romance is the story of an immediate attraction between two kung fu fans that live on the fringe of society and the dangerous lengths they go to stay together. Arquette and Slater are perfect in their respective roles as a manic call girl and a man seemingly haunted by the ghost of Elvis Presley.
- The romance: Kung fu fans Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) and Alabama Whiteman (Patricia Arquette)
3. Annie Hall
When it released in 1977, Annie Hall was marketed as "a nervous romance". After so many years exposed to Woody Allen's neurotic genius, you can probably imagine why. Allen plays 40-year-old comedian Alvy Singer, who reflects on his relationship with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), from the factors that brought them together to what ultimately caused them to part ways. Although it's more bittersweet than lovey-dovey, Annie Hall is an in-depth analysis of the mechanical innards of relationships and is insightful and entertaining in equal measure.
- The romance: Woody Allen as Woody Allen (well, Alvy Singer) and Diane Keaton as the titular Annie Hall
4. High Fidelity
Adapted from the brilliant Nick Horby novel, High Fidelity is a romance for the musically minded. Record store worker, Rob Gordon (John Cusack) spends most his days berating customers and coming up with top 5 lists for any situation, romantic or otherwise. In his downtime, Rob longs for his ex-girlfriend Laura, but his aloof lifestyle and outlook on life stops him from making any real commitments.
- The romance: John Cusack as Rob Gordon and his top 5 failed relationships
5. Silver Linings Playbook
A P.E. teacher (Bradley Cooper) is released into the care of his parents after spending two months in a mental health facility. In a delusional attempt to turn his life around, he begins exercising every day to win back his wife (whom he caught cheating, which led to his nervous breakdown). An enigmatic woman with her own problems (Jennifer Lawrence) promises to help him get his wife back if he helps her with something first. Cooper and Lawrence are magnetic as a couple who unwittingly form a bond while their sights are set elsewhere.
- The romance: Bradley Cooper as Pat and Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany
6. The Princess Bride
If you're over the age of 20, it's highly likely this fantastical tale of romance and treachery was a big part of your childhood. Luckily, it still holds up today, making it a surefire hit for Valentine's Day. One of Rob Reiner's most notable films, The Princess Bride is the story of two lovers, Buttercup (Robin Wright) and Westley (Cary Elwes), who become separated for five years and must fight various pursuing forces to be together.
- The romance: Robin Wright (Claire Underwood) as Buttercup and Cary Elwes as Westley
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
With a screenplay by Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry in the director's chair, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was bound to mess with your mind, and it does. Two ex-lovers, Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet), undergo a procedure to have every memory of each other erased. During the procedure, Joel experiences each memory they have together, both the blissful and turbulent times. As he delves further into their past, he begins to regret his decision to forget it all.
- The romance: Jim Carrey as Joel and Kate Winslet as Clementine
8. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Jason Segel stars as lovable 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. 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).
- The romance: Jason Segel as Peter, Mila Kunis as Rachel, Kristen Bell as Sarah and Russell Brand as Aldous
2014's Her is many things. On the one hand, it works as a scarily relatable science fiction. On the other, it shines as one of the most romantic films ever made (between a man and an operating system). Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is an unhappy writer who meanders through life while his divorce looms on the horizon. In an effort to better organise himself, Theodore purchases an operating system that learns and adapts with time. Named Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the operating system rapidly develops a personality and an attachment to Theodore, kicking off an unconventional romance between man and machine.
- Cast: Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore and Scarlett Johansson as Samantha
10. Slumdog Millionaire
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 is specific motive to his appearance on national television. Adapted for screen by Danny Boyle, Slumdog is a gritty and heartbreaking adventure that will put a smile on your face.
- The romance: Dev Patel as Jamal and Freida Pinto as Latika