Top 10 Romantic Films for Valentine’s Day

Chocolates? Flowers? Flowers & chocolates? The Valentine’s Day conundrum. Thankfully, when it comes to choosing what romantic movie to watch on Valentine’s Day, we’ve got the answers…

Love is in the air, the chocolate boxes are stacked in the aisles, and you’ve got to face that ever-challenging conundrum again of which flowers to choose. Thankfully, some Valentine’s Day decisions aren’t so tough, and if you’re looking for what to do at the end of a perfect date, then getting cosy with one of the most romantic films ever is a great idea. And if you’re not quite sure which one to go for, here’s a run down of the most loved-up films of all time…

Casablanca

casablanca-movie-filmBergman and Bogart. Eminently quotable lines. Gripping melodrama and a man stuck between following his true love or his duty fighting the Nazis. And all the stylish 1940s fashion too – this film has it all.

It may be an oldie, but thanks to the magic of digital TV, you don’t need to worry about tracking it down in some obscure place – just tune in and enjoy. Don’t forget the hankies though.

Titanic

Titanic, James Cameron, Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprioA disaster movie like no other. Here the epic crash and special effects play second fiddle to the grand romance that’s unfolding on (and below) the decks of this ill-fated ship. It may be getting a little mature, but if you fancy reliving your teen crush through the heartbreakingly sweet love story between Rose and Jack, you can relive the glory, drama and passion. Don’t forget to sing along to the theme.

Romeo + Juliet

romeo-juliet-movie-romanceShakespeare was no stranger to romance, and this classic tale of star-crossed lovers is one for all ages. But if you really want to settle down and enjoy a great film (rather than spending your time trying to decipher the awkward Elizabethan humour), the Baz Luhrmann adaptation is unbeatable.

A high-adrenaline rush of filmmaking with fantastic soundtrack, a fresh faced Claire Danes and youthful Leonardo take you through the rise and fall of these lovers’ lives.

The Notebook

notebook-movie-romanceThe film that burnt Ryan Gosling into all our hearts and minds, this is the ultimate love story that will leave your cockles well and truly toasty. It all begins innocuously enough, with an elderly man reading a story from his notebook.

Then you’re pulled into a heart-wrenching romance about Noah and Allie, their disapproving parents, World War Two, and a twist that will have you bawling into the sofa.

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight

Before Sunrise, Film, Richard LinklaterOK, it’s three films, but for a love story that will leave you warm, laughing and slightly envious, the Before trilogy is worth packing into one brilliant movie marathon. Following the romance between American traveller, Jesse, and sassy Frenchwoman Céline, the three movies take you through all the stages of love – from twenty-something lust and infatuation, mid-30s neurotic relationship-juggling, and finally settling down into long term love, with all the fireworks that involves along the way. No matter where you are on the journey yourself, you’re guaranteed to get swept along with their romance.

Don Jon

don-jon_scarlett-johansson_joseph-gordon-levittIf you’re tired of the ‘classic’ romantic films everyone’s always ranting and raving about, perhaps you should try something new, like Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, starring the man himself alongside the lovely Scarlett Johansson. Gordon-Levitt plays a man’s man, a guy who likes watching the game with his pals, working out at the gym, going to church and of course, catching up with the ladies at the club.

He meets a girl who loves the old-school conception of sticky romance. Understandably, she’s less than pleased when she finds out that he’s a porn addict who prefers the ladies on his laptop to the embrace of a real woman. It’s hilarious, fast-paced and packed with witty dialogue: a true ‘modern’ love story.

Thirst

thirst-park-chan-wookBefore Twilight, there was Thirst – a real vampire-horror-romance movie from the creator of Old Boy. Park Chan-Wook surprised audiences around the world with this frenetic, funny and scary film about a Catholic priest who is in love with his friend’s wife. After he becomes a vampire through a failed medical experiment, the film takes an unexpected turn: it’s not so much about vampires as it is about passion, illicit love and love triangles. Great stuff.

Wall-E

Wall e, film, PixarIf you’re one of those film lovers who do like romantic films – but prefer them without the horribly cheesy dialogue that’ll make you vomit your romantic dinner back up – Wall-E is a great film. It takes the most classic of old-fashioned love stories and delivers it in a completely different setting: in outer space, between two robots.

Wall-E is about unrequited love between a bumbling, immensely loveable rubbish-hoarding robot that falls for EVE, a brand-new, oddly Macintosh-like robot whose design is far newer and slick than his aging, rusty exterior is.

Harold and Maude

Ruth Gordon, Harold and MaudeFor those who love their romance with a dollop of existential drama and very, very black humour, Harold and Maude deserves to be at the top of your list. The film is about a young man named Harold who is morbidly obsessed with death, trying to drift away from the upper class life that his mother so badly wants for him. He begins an odd friendship and eventually a romantic relationship with a 79-year-old woman named Maude, who shows him how to live.

Near Dark

Bill Paxton, Film actor and director, Top 10 FilmsFor all the guys who just don’t want to watch romantic movies, here’s the compromise: a western-vampire-love story, with hillbilly-punk vampires and a solid love story to propel it. Expect bar fights, plenty of blood-letting and drinking as well as some true love for good measure. It’s got some fantastically fun performances in it as well as an ending that will make you want to cuddle up, not because it’s scary, but because it’s sweet. Seriously, forget Twilight already!

So there are our top ten tips for romantic films to watch this Valentine’s. If none of these manage to get you and a special someone in the mood for a little romance, it might be time to think about a new Valentine.

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About the Author
Rory Fish has loved movies since he can remember. If he was to put together an "all time" top 10 of absolute favourites it would have to include North By Northwest, 12 Angry Men and Sunset Boulevard.

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  1. Avatar
    Pete Reply

    I’m a sucker for the tragedies so love that Titanic and R+J are here. Still need to see Before Midnight!

  2. Avatar
    Evan Crean Reply

    There’s a local theater in the Boston area that shows Casablanca every year for Valentine’s Day and they’ve been doing it for like 30 years which is crazy. Not surprise a couple of Leo’s early flicks made on your list. I thought Don Jon was a nice, more recent touch. Wall-E is a cute one. I didn’t see Harold and Maude until last year, but I fell in love with it right away. So dark, yet so funny and human. Hadn’t heard of Thirst before, but you captured my interest. And finally, I guess I can see where you’re coming from on Near Dark being a “romantic film” I just didn’t ever understand why people liked it.

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