30 of the Best Valentine’s Day Movies That Will Make You Swoon
Cuddle up for a night of the most romantic Valentine's Day movies you can stream right now.
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Valentine’s Day movies for a romantic night
The perfect Valentine’s Day doesn’t need a fancy date at a romantic restaurant. You could have just as much fun snuggling up with your significant other or best friends—or even flying solo—for a night of romantic flicks. And, no, romance isn’t synonymous with happily ever afters. In fact, our list of Valentine’s Day movies goes beyond cookie-cutter rom-coms.
Sure, some of these picks will make you laugh, but others will bring on the waterworks. After all, romance doesn’t always have a happy ending. No matter how you’re feeling on V-Day, there’s a movie out there to match your mood on February 14.
We came up with our list by including a diverse range of movies from different genres, including romantic comedies (naturally), dramas, and period pieces. We chose some for their relatability, some for their Oscar wins, and others for their cult status or influence on the genre. We also aimed to include a wide range of experiences and representation. No matter what, these flicks are sure to entertain, whether they’re among the best movies of all time, the most romantic movies, the best romantic comedy movies, or the top romantic movies on Netflix.
What you’re in for: An all-star cast in interconnected story lines
We’re launching our list with the most appropriately titled film out there, named for the holiday itself. There’s no better way to start our list of Valentine’s Day movies than with a film named for the holiday.The title alone qualifies it as the best Valentine’s movie. In it, a seemingly endless series of romantic stories intertwine à la Love Actually (itself one of the best romantic Christmas movies), with many different kinds of love represented among its cast of characters. The star-powered film features Jennifer Garner, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Shirley MacLaine, Taylor Swift, Julia Roberts, and more.
Sleepless in Seattle
Memorable quote: “You don’t want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.”
Meg Ryan, the queen of romantic comedies, stars in this flick with Hollywood’s favorite everyman, Tom Hanks. (The pair would later star together in the equally classic rom-com You’ve Got Mail, and if you have the time, it’s worth watching a double feature.) While poking fun at the theme of fate in romantic movies, Sleepless in Seattle plays into that notion itself, with a Baltimore journalist (Ryan) seeking out a Seattle architect (Hanks) who she heard on a radio call-in show talking about his deceased wife. Will they meet on the top of the Empire State Building in New York on Valentine’s Day, just like in the movie An Affair to Remember? It’s a rom-com, so you can bank on the happy ending—and a killer movie soundtrack.
Bringing Up Baby
What you’re in for: The original screwball comedy
If you and your significant other are old-movie buffs—or you just love to laugh together—check out this classic movie from the early 20th century. One of the first-ever madcap rom-coms, it stars Katharine Hepburn as a flighty heiress searching for her lost pet leopard, Baby, with the reluctant help of an uptight paleontologist played by Cary Grant. There’s also a case of mistaken leopard identity, a dog that steals a dinosaur bone, and endless refrains of Baby’s favorite song, “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love.” Make it a double feature with the Hepburn/Grant classic romance The Philadelphia Story.
Love & Basketball
What you’re in for: A decades-long love story that also celebrates female athletes
Here’s a Valentine’s Day idea you can both get on board with: Skip the Cupid-themed presents and give each other time spent watching a film that’s both a great love story and a great sports movie. The cult-classic flick follows Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) from their first kiss as children to their high school basketball teams, their college romance, and their professional careers. This multi-genre movie centers the experience of a female athlete in a way that is, unfortunately, still fairly rare.
Bridget Jones’s Diary
What you’re in for: English wit, much cursing, and Bridget’s many instances of “verbal diarrhea”
Based on Helen Fielding’s hilarious novel of the same name, itself based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, this flick isn’t your typical romantic comedy. Bumbling Bridget (Renée Zellweger) can’t seem to get anything right as she finds herself in a love triangle with the dashing devil Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) and misunderstood Mark Darcy (Colin Firth, who portrayed Mr. Darcy in the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice). Perhaps the best aspect of Bridget is how relatable she is: She’s flawed yet lovable, “just as she is,” as one of the movie’s best lines states. It’s a rom-com that’s perfect for a Galentine’s Day get-together.
Bride and Prejudice
What you’re in for: A feast for the senses, with colorful Bollywood music and dancing
Another take on Pride and Prejudice combines the classic English love story with the glorious tradition of Bollywood musicals. From writer-director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) comes a film focused on the will-they-or-won’t-they relationship between Indian Lalita Bakshi (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) and American Will Darcy (Virgin River‘s Martin Henderson), interspersed with insightful cultural commentary and energetic, get-you-out-of-your-seat numbers that make it one of the best movie musicals.
Memorable quote: “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”
A film for hopeless romantics based on the book by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook sweeps viewers off their feet with a nostalgic 1940s love story between rich girl Allie (Rachel McAdams) and poor boy Noah (Ryan Gosling). When their difference in social standing threatens to tear them apart, can they make their summer romance last? Expect one of the best kisses in the rain in film history, plus perhaps an even more genuine parallel romance between nursing home residents played by James Garner and Gena Rowlands. Far from the cheesy film it could’ve been, The Notebook ranks among the few Valentine’s Day movies that take you from reciting love quotes to bawling your eyes out.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
What you’re in for: An updated take on the teen romance genre
One of the best things about streaming services is that you get easy access to older movies as well as tons of new films, like the totally adorable To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Based on the teen novel by Jenny Han, this Netflix original includes familiar rom-com themes, a relatable heroine, and charming male supporting characters. It has a modern feel and centers on a half-Korean teen. The concept couldn’t get more fun: When someone mails Lara Jean’s secret love letters to her crushes, she’s mortified. That is, until one of them suggests they pretend to date. Two sequels followed in the trilogy.
The English Patient
What you’re in for: Forbidden romance, wartime love, and an ending that requires tissues
This sweeping epic won a Best Picture Oscar, and star Juliette Binoche took home the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the film. Told in flashbacks, the story focuses on the grievously ill title character, who’s really not English at all. The titular patient is a Hungarian count and cartographer (Ralph Fiennes) who had an affair with a married woman (Kristin Scott Thomas) in Africa at the start of World War II. The nurse tending to him (Binoche) has her own romance in the ruins of war with a Sikh bomb defuser (Naveen Andrews). Based on the book by Michael Ondaatje, the cross-genre film blends the romance you want in your favorite Valentine’s Day movies with the intrigue of historical pieces and the deft storytelling of the best drama movies.
The Princess Bride
Memorable quote: “As you wish.”
The original meta romance, this self-referential ’80s movie makes fun of itself and the conventions of the genre as a genial grandpa (Peter Falk) reads the title tale to his sick grandson (Fred Savage). The beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright) loves farm boy Westley (Cary Elwes), but when she thinks him dead, she becomes engaged to cruel Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). Will true love prevail? Featuring memorable performances by Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Wallace Shawn, and André the Giant, this is one of the few Valentine’s Day movies that double as age-appropriate family movies to enjoy with the kids.
Memorable quote: “I’m the blues in your left thigh trying to become the funk in your right.”
When it was released in the late ’90s, Love Jones was original in telling a messy love story about Black intellectuals in Chicago’s poetry scene. Even now, the film’s unique sensibility makes it stand out from other Valentine’s Day movies. A poet (Larenz Tate) and a photographer (Nia Long) embark on an on-again, off-again relationship set among blues clubs, artists, and spoken-word performances. Even if certain aspects of the flick are undoubtedly dated (stealing her address to show up at her home wouldn’t fly today), the film remains a cult classic.
When Harry Met Sally…
Memorable quote: “I’ll have what she’s having.”
This Nora Ephron–penned film set a new standard for the modern romantic comedy with its whip-smart dialogue and winning performances from stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan (plus a standout comedic turn by the late, great Carrie Fisher). Romance aside, where funny movies are concerned, When Harry Met Sally is the GOAT. Who can forget the classic line “I’ll have what she’s having,” delivered by director Rob Reiner’s mother during the famous deli scene? New York City makes a gorgeous setting for a film that strives to answer an age-old question: Can men and women truly just be friends?
Memorable quote: “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
When Harry Met Sally pays homage to this classic romantic drama and Best Picture Oscar winner. Like other Valentine’s Day movies on this list, Casablanca is set against the dramatic backdrop of World War II. The original heartbreaking love story, it’s one of the best breakup movies, so cue it up if you’re single this Valentine’s Day. “It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world,” says expat bar owner Rick (Humphrey Bogart) to his lost love, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman). Moviegoers’ enduring love for their tale proves his assessment quite incorrect. By the close of the nearly two-hour film, their problems amount to a whole lot.
10 Things I Hate About You
Memorable quote: “But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.”
The late Heath Ledger first stole our hearts in this late-’90s teen comedy as he sang “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” from the school bleachers. An updating of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew set in a Seattle-area high school, this rom-com has aged surprisingly well, thanks in large part to feminist, antisocial Kat (Julia Stiles), one of the genre’s best heroines. Kat’s younger sister, Bianca, can only date once Kat does, so Bianca’s aspiring suitor hires bad boy Patrick (Ledger) to woo her—easier said than done. Love this flick? Follow it up with the (admittedly less-impressive) teen TV show that was based on the film.
Memorable quote: “I wish I knew how to quit you.”
Just six years after his star-making turn in 10 Things I Hate About You and three years before his untimely death, Heath Ledger starred with Jake Gyllenhaal in this Western, which broke boundaries in its depiction of a romance between cowboys. The iconic Academy Award–winning movie—an adaptation of an LGBTQ+ book that was itself adapted from an award-winning short story—tells the tragic love story of two men in 1960s Wyoming who have a closeted gay relationship over many years, even after they both marry and have children.
Malcolm & Marie
What you’re in for: One night, one location, and two actors in black and white
Zendaya and John David Washington give amazing performances in Sam Levinson’s black-and-white original Netflix drama, which finds the title characters, a filmmaker and his girlfriend, figuring out their romantic relationship over the course of one night in their home. The actors’ intensity is amazing to watch—even if viewers hope their own date night will prove less volatile than this couple’s.
Memorable quote: “Snap out of it!”
Cher earned a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Loretta Castorini, a Brooklyn widow who falls into a passionate affair with her fiancé’s brother, played by Nicolas Cage. A love letter to New York and the Italian American experience, Moonstruck is at once dreamy and down to earth: One of the best scenes has a starry-eyed Loretta kicking a beer can down the street after a night at the opera. It also contains one of the funniest movie quotes of all time, proving romance and comedy go together like Valentine’s Day and chocolate. The film will have you humming Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” and craving Grandma’s pasta and meatballs.
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Memorable quote: “Do you think not being married to me might maybe be something you could consider doing for the rest of your life?”
A favorite of ’90s romantic comedy movies, Hugh Grant is at the height of his charm in this, one of the most memorable Valentine’s Day movies ever. Charles (Grant, playing his trademark bumbling, endearing Englishman) is attending the titular events with his motley crew of equably lovable friends—a who’s who of British acting talent, including Kristin Scott Thomas, Simon Callow, and Rowan Atkinson. But when he meets a beautiful American (Andie MacDowell), might he take the plunge as well? Full of bawdy British humor and nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, the film is a V-Day must-watch—as is the 2019 Hulu TV show based on it.
What you’re in for: Long walks on the beach, fossils, and a same-sex period romance
Kate Winslet stars as real-life 19th-century paleontologist Mary Anning, who has a fictionalized romance with Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan), the wife of a geologist visiting Mary’s seaside town. For audiences who love period romance, this acclaimed film gives the genre a twist by portraying the sensual relationship between two women, and it’s beautifully shot on the coast of England. It’s one of the best LGBTQ movies everyone should watch.
Memorable quote: “Isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?”
The first in the Before trilogy, this mid-’90s modern romantic classic follows an American traveler (Ethan Hawke) and a French college student (Julie Delpy) who meet on a European train and decide to get off in Vienna, Austria, where they spend one day and night wandering the city, deep in conversation. What the film lacks in plot it makes up for in its lovely European setting, realistic dialogue about love and life, and genuine chemistry between its leads. Two sequels, Before Sunset and Before Midnight, followed.
Like Water for Chocolate
What you’re in for: Expect to be hungry after watching this delicious concoction
Based on the novel by Latinx author Laura Esquivel, this romantic Mexican movie is one of the all-time greatest book-to-movie adaptations and even broke box office records as the highest-grossing foreign-language film in the United States when it premiered. A woman in Mexico is tasked with taking care of her aging mother instead of marrying, so her true love marries her sister. But as she cooks for the family, her recipes have magical effects on those around her. As the years pass, will the lovers be reunited?
The Best Man
What you’re in for: A modern classic wedding melodrama
Friends from college reunite for a wedding in this smart romantic dramedy featuring a Black ensemble cast. Little do they know that one of them has written a novel based on their lives. As old flames are rekindled and each character confronts unresolved feelings, will the big event be called off? Taye Diggs leads an all-star cast that includes Nia Long, Terrence Howard, Morris Chestnut, Sanaa Lathan, and Regina Hall. A sequel, The Best Man Holiday, followed in 2013.
Memorable quote: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
Although the advice from this film’s most remembered line is questionable, viewers will definitely get a sense of nostalgia while watching this classic 1970s romantic drama. When rich Harvard student Oliver (Ryan O’Neal) falls for poor Radcliffe girl Jenny (Ali MacGraw), will the world—or a terminal illness—get in the way of young love? This is one of those sad movies that will have you whipping out your tissues, and it’s set to an Oscar-winning score that will make your heart weep as well.
Crazy Rich Asians
What you’re in for: You’re cordially invited to a gorgeously over-the-top wedding in Singapore
When Rachel (Constance Wu), a Chinese American professor, travels to Singapore with her boyfriend for his friend’s wedding, she learns that his family is actually rich. Like, crazy rich. As she struggles to fit in with his social circle and earn the respect of his mother (Michelle Yeoh), Rachel also must decide whether she really wants to be part of this extravagant, beautiful world. Awkwafina has a hilarious turn as Rachel’s friend Peik Lin Goh in this rom-com based on the book by Kevin Kwan. Even if you’re not into Valentine’s Day, it’s one of the best feel-good movies to get you through any day of the week.
Fifty Shades of Grey
Memorable quote: “I exercise control in all things, Miss Steele.”
If you’re in search of a movie to get you in the mood this Valentine’s Day, look no further than this erotica-themed flick. Naive Ana Steele (Dakota Johnson) enters into a relationship with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), a wealthy man who is into bondage (but only with partners who sign a consent contract). Whether their relationship is healthy is definitely up for debate, but it presents some of the raciest on-screen dalliances ever. Two sequels followed, logical choices for a sexy-film marathon.
Memorable quote: “I will return, find you, love you, marry you, and live without shame.”
What starts as an English country-house drama morphs into an epic wartime love story between the wealthy Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and Robbie (James McAvoy), the son of one of her family’s servants. After their new love is discovered, the two are separated by false accusations and then World War II…but will they be reunited? At once a romance and a war movie, this film—based on the book by Ian McEwan, one of the best romance novels of all time—appeals to both men and women.
Something’s Gotta Give
Memorable quote: “You are a woman to love.”
Love at an older age isn’t often explored in Valentine’s Day movies, but this flick is a wonderful exception. Starring screen greats Diane Keaton (as a successful playwright) and Jack Nicholson (as a womanizing record company owner), the film highlights the quest for love when you’re over 60 with a hate-to-love romance for the ages. With a jazz soundtrack, a lovely Hamptons locale, and a stellar supporting cast, including Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet, and Frances McDormand, this is a movie to love at any age. Keaton even received an Oscar nod for her role.
Memorable quote: “I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go!”
If you like a side of disaster with your romance, there’s always this modern classic, a love story between rich girl Rose (Kate Winslet) and poor artist Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) aboard the ill-fated ship. An exploration of social class in the early 20th century, the Best Picture winner is rich with period detail, buoyed (pun intended) by performances by DiCaprio and Winslet, who won a Best Actress Oscar for her role. The second half of the film enters action-movie territory as the ship goes down. Was there room for both of them on the floating door? Debate this age-old movie controversy with your significant other after viewing.
La La Land
What you’re in for: Lots of singing and dancing with Los Angeles as the “City of Stars” backdrop
This homage to Hollywood and jazz reinvigorated the romantic movie musical genre with charming new song-and-dance numbers. With engaging performances by Emma Stone (who won an Oscar for her role) as an aspiring actress and Ryan Gosling (hearkening back to his Notebook romantic leading man persona) as a musician, it is gorgeously filmed, costars John Legend, and features tunes that will stick in your head long after it’s over.
Rated: Not rated
What you’re in for: A tour of Rome with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck
If you and your partner or pals are big fans of classic TV, you’ll appreciate older Valentine’s Day movies like this one. In it, a feisty princess (Audrey Hepburn, who won an Oscar for her role) visiting Rome sneaks out and meets a journalist (Gregory Peck) who doesn’t know who she is. If he finds out, it could be the scoop of his career. Will he sell her out? This classic romantic movie takes viewers to Rome itself, with memorable scenes shot on the Spanish steps, at the Mouth of Truth, the Colosseum, and all around town. For a Hepburn double feature, follow it up with Breakfast at Tiffany’s.