2022 has barely started, and we’re already staring down the mouth of February, the month of love, thanks to Valentine’s Day. I think technology – social media, dating apps, and affordable smartphones – has played a vital role in the evolution and popularity of Valentine’s tradition worldwide.
Whether you’re cozying up with your partner or tugging at your blanket, alone, with a family-size pack of chips, I’ve got the best Valentine’s Day movies on Netflix or Amazon Prime for you. So pick the movie and get ready with snacks and drinks!
1. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is a teenage romantic comedy film that has caught the attention of critics and audiences alike. It’s based on a trilogy of novels written by Jenny Han and is one of the best Valentine’s Day movies on Netflix.
In the movie, Lara Jean’s love letters are inexplicably mailed to her five crushes. Her school life then transforms from a quiet, nondescript one to one which wreaks absolute havoc.
The movie features great character development. Moreover, it adds a flavor to a tried-and-tested idea to make this a movie worth your time. Watch this movie for the characters, story, and its rehash of the early 2000s style of romantic comedies.
I found the movie to be overridden with cliches, however. So I’d recommend you tread cautiously if that’s your pet peeve.
2. Always Be My Maybe
Always Be My Maybe tries to address a question of “what if”. Marcus and Sasha were inseparable through their early years, and everyone thought they’d end up together. However, they didn’t.
The two reunite after 15 years and revisit their memories. The movie takes the trope of friends turning into lovers and adds some beautiful moments filled with emotions and comedy.
This movie is worth the watch, especially due to the cultural specificity that it’s added to the romantic-comedy genre. With a plausible story, great cast, and a relatable outcome, the movie presents itself as a refreshing take on an otherwise overused trope.
I felt that the pacing was slightly off, but it wasn’t a dealbreaker. Without any doubt, this is one of the better romantic comedies out there.
3. Ibiza: Love Drunk
Ibiza: Love Drunk features the excellent Gillian Jacobs and Richard Madden. This lead cast is more than enough to convince anyone to give this movie a watch.
Harper is a New Yorker who decides to enjoy herself while on a business trip to Barcelona. Once there, she meets a famous DJ, leading to some interesting situations and chemistry between the two.
The best part about this movie is its expertly written narrative. Moreover, the film is written by the excellent Lauryn Kahn. This lived experience helps the film to let go of the misogynistic view that surrounds the idea of girls’ trips.
I didn’t like the crude humor, which I felt was inserted into the script unnecessarily and overstayed its welcome. Nonetheless, it’s a story that will resonate with many viewers.
4. The Perfect Date
This 2019 movie has an interesting premise. Brooks has to pay his way through college. Instead of working menial jobs, he creates an app that books him as a fake date for different situations. However, his plans and work get complicated when he develops feelings for a client.
The leads of the movie are charismatic and have undeniably great chemistry. Moreover, if you’re a fan of Noah Centineo, this is a must-watch movie.
The story and pacing try to be quirky but fail to bring about any disruptions in a predictable genre. Regardless, if you’re up for a night in with your partner and want to watch something lighthearted, this is a good pick.
5. When We First Met
This isn’t your usual romantic comedy. Fun fact – it includes a healthy dose of sci-fi. Noah gets friend-zoned by Avery at a Halloween party. To get the girl of his dreams, he goes back in time to try and fix things in his favor.
While the movie’s tropes are repetitive, there are warm and endearing surprises. You’ll also be surprised by a few twists that form crucial parts of the plot and drive the story forward.
Watch this movie for the leads as well, with Alexandra Daddario and Adam Devine forming a great on-screen partnership.
6. Crazy Rich Asians
I first watched the movie on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bali and then finished it up on the return leg. Seeing the visuals of Singapore while flying over Southeast Asia not only fuelled my wanderlust, but the story had me longing for romance too.
The lead characters Nick and Rachel, face a challenge to sustain their love in the face of familial disapproval. It’s a relatable struggle, and I loved how the movie manages to be funny and lighthearted while also depicting the complexities of relationship dynamics. It’s a breezy and beautiful portrayal of how two people who love each other find a way to deal with the odds that come their way.
7. Valentine’s Day
Any Valentine’s Day movie list is incomplete without a mention of this one. It might be a decade old, but the intertwining stories of various Los Angeles residents will keep you entertained and light up your day.
The star-studded cast with the likes of Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Ashton Kutcher, and more will take you through the highs and lows of love during a single day. From the butterflies of a crush to the first date thrill and the complexities of long time commitment, experience it all in this flick. It might be a bit cliche but then what about Valentine’s Day is not?
8. 50 First Dates
This one’s the quintessential rom-com that you’ve probably already watched. But I had to include it in my list because of its rewatch quotient. This story never gets old, and Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler’s brilliant performances will surely turn your heart to mush.
Set in Hawaii, the story is romantic, amusing, and heartwarming all at once. It reminds you of the lengths humans are capable of going to for the sake of love. Add to that the beautiful soundtrack and this movie spells L-O-V-E, no matter how many times you see it.
9. Love, Rosie
This sweet story is about childhood sweethearts Rosie and Alex and how life takes them their separate ways before they quite realize how they’re made for each other. We can all relate to how sometimes the right love happens at the wrong time. And this movie captures that perfectly.
From their crazy teenage days to the way they grow up to take on responsibilities and chase their dreams, you’re left on the edge of your seat wondering if they’ll find their way back to each other. I watched this a few years ago but had totally forgotten about it, so I rewatched it recently and was just as invested in knowing the outcome. It’s all the better if you love hearing British accents!
10. La La Land
This Oscar-winning musical follows Sebastian and Mia’s story, who are drawn together by their shared passion for pursuing their dreams in the performing arts space. But along the way, as they achieve success as individuals, they face decisions that threaten to tear them apart.
It is visually stunning and artfully blends the modern and the traditional to be unapologetically nostalgic. Of course, the lead performances by universal heartthrobs Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are captivating. Further, the music “jazzes” things up and makes this a cozy and classic Valentine’s watch.
11. Crazy Stupid Love
I’m sure all of us agree that love is definitely crazy and stupid. This movie captures the best of it with a unique storyline and riveting performances by Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Julianne Moore, among others.
It’s the story of how self-styled player Jacob Palmer teaches heartbroken 40-year-old Cal how to win at the dating game. The result is a lot of gaffes and laughs. It’s several cuts above most romantic comedies with an element of surprise that makes it one of the best romantic movies I’ve ever watched.
12. Set it Up
What happens when the matchmakers match? You get this adorable, relatable, and hilarious romantic movie that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. Work woes make Kirsten and Charlie come together and conspire to set up their respective bosses.
Of course, you can quite easily predict that the two matchmakers are going to fall for each other too, but the way the story unfolds keeps you hooked nonetheless. It’s a modern, fun, and endearing film that offers something fresh while also retaining that nostalgic vibe of what rom-coms in the 90s were like.
13. Love Hard
Love Hard is a lighthearted romantic comedy that meets modern romance tropes. Nina Dobrev leads the cast in this feel-good movie.
If you’ve ever felt unlucky in love, you’re going to relate to Dobrev’s depiction of the protagonist. Falling for a man she talked to online, the protagonist tries to surprise him for the holidays. To her dismay, she realizes that she’s been catfished.
What follows are her attempts at finding love and navigating through the struggles of social relationships. The movie provides a good, warm message about love and relationships.
What I didn’t like was the movie’s collection of bland supporting characters and its cliche story.
14. Seriously Single
It can be difficult to be ok with being single when almost everyone around you is hitched. I’m all too familiar with that nagging anxiety of wanting to be in a relationship already yet not wanting to compromise on my ideals. This movie captures that feeling and is like a warm, comforting hug.
It leaves you with a reminder that it’s perfectly ok to be single, and there are so many ways you can use this time to live your best life. I loved that it doesn’t have a forced cliche ending, which I was expecting.
15. Single All The Way
This relatively new film, released in 2021, represents friendships and relationships not bound by traditional gender norms.
The story follows Peter, who is constantly harassed by his family for being single. To save himself from further embarrassment during the holiday season, he decides to convince Nick, his best friend, to be his date and pretend that the two are in a relationship.
From pretending to reality, the two learn more about their respective selves at a time when emotional vulnerabilities are at their peak. This leads to the blossoming of an adorable scenario between the pair.
While I did not like the PG rating that limited the screenplay and story, this movie is perfect for the warm tone prevalent during the holiday season.
16. Love & Other Drugs
This is one of the best Valentine’s Day movies on Amazon Prime. Love & Other Drugs features a stellar cast of Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal. Undoubtedly, the chemistry between the pair is definitely one of the high points of the movie.
The film is set in 1990s Pittsburgh and follows the story of a medical salesman who falls in love with a girl dealing with Parkinson’s disease. This is an adult movie, make no mistake about it. It includes refreshing takes on love, loss, hardships, and vulnerabilities.
While the story is interesting, the leads bring life to the emotional side of things through impeccable acting. There are some plot loopholes to deal with, but the movie’s satirical take on many issues prevalent in the 1990s keeps things novel.
17. Someone Great
Someone Great is a movie for understanding the growth that can come from unforgettable hardships. Jenny faces an imminent breakup before she moves across the country. To help her cope, she goes on an adventure through NYC with her best friends.
The characters in the movie are believable, and they bring a great deal of emotional plausibility to the story. Moreover, there’s a proper representation of a second, queer relationship replacing the overused trope regarding straight relationships in this genre.
While there are pacing issues, this movie spearheads a new revolution of women-led, feminist stories that are revitalizing the genre.
18. Blue Jay
Blue Jay is an indie-darling drama movie about reflection, change, introspection, and growth. Mark Duplass and Sarah Paulson play the two lead characters.
The two actors depict two former high-school lovers who return to their hometown after a long time. After they meet, aspects of their previous relationship come up in conversations. Think of the Before Trilogy, and you’ll understand the fundamentals of this movie.
Another interesting facet about Blue Jay is that the film is entirely shown in black and white, probably to reflect the grey and murky nature of our past and the relationships we forge. However, I didn’t like some of the conversations as they felt forced.
19. Love Actually
This one’s a classic Christmas movie, but I think it’s perfect for some cozy Valentine’s vibes too. It portrays several interconnected tales of love and loss. From childhood crushes to the pain of unrequited love, from inappropriate office affairs to healing from heartbreak, this masterpiece has a bit of everything.
As the name suggests, it’s about love in all its rawest forms, and you’re bound to find something to relate to in it. The impressive star cast featuring Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Kiera Knightley, and many more do a fabulous job striking those emotional chords.
This one’s for the tech lovers and intellectuals who love puzzling over the future of relationships in an AI-driven world. Her is the story of how Theodore, a lonely, heartbroken man, falls in love with a virtual voice assistant that comes as part of an operating system upgrade.
Fascinated by the AI’s ability to learn and grow psychologically, Theodore forms an emotional connection with her, which leads him down a rather weird and wild path. This romance is mind-bending and thought-provoking in ways you haven’t experienced before, which makes it perfect for a solitary Valentine’s Day watch.
One of the most annoying things about being single is well-meaning friends and family constantly encouraging you to find a significant other. And it tends to reach a peak around occasions like the holidays or Valentine’s Day. If you’ve experienced this before, Holidate will make you laugh out loud and kindle a spark of hope that maybe something will eventually work out for you.
This Netflix movie stars Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey, who effectively work their charms to keep you hooked despite a somewhat cliched plot. It has its shining moments and makes for an ideal distraction from the couples all around you as you spend Valentine’s night snuggled in your favorite pajamas sipping on your drink of choice.
22. Silver Linings Playbook
If you like keeping it real in matters of the heart, Silver Linings Playbook is as real as it gets. It tells the realistic, gritty, yet uplifting story of a man working through his mental health issues and dealing with his relationship problems along the way.
It makes you reflect on how we’re all a little crazy and looking for someone whose crazy matches ours. I appreciate how the film highlights the difficulties that the characters face without overly romanticizing any aspects.
23. Love, Guaranteed
Ah, if only love was guaranteed in the way that dating apps and websites would have us believe, right? Well, here’s a movie in which the protagonist takes on one such website and hires a lawyer to sue a dating website. All evidence, of course, points to romance brewing.
The typical love story plot works because of the beautiful scenes, the snappy dialog, and relatable performances from the lead actors. It’s cute, cheesy, and guaranteed to evoke those warm fuzzy feels that we all need on Valentine’s Day.
24. He’s Just Not That Into You
Here’s a bonus for the fellow single people out there. This is one of my all-time faves and something I keep going back to every time I’m feeling blue about matters of the heart. It features a few different stories and character arcs, but my favorite is the leading pair of Gigi and Alex. It wittily delves into how we obsess over “reading signals” from people of the opposite sex and how that jeopardizes our chances rather than lead to romance.
Some moments will have you nodding your head in agreement and ones that will make you cringe in embarrassment as you remember that one time you made the same stupid mistake as the characters. And then some scenes will make you laugh with joy and smile with resignation that no matter what happens, it’s worth it to keep your hopes up about finding the one for you!
Stellar performances from big names like Jennifer Anniston, Justin Long, Drew Barrymore, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, and more will leave an impression on you long after the credits have rolled.
So, which is your favorite romantic movie for Valentine’s Day? Share it with me in the comments below because I’m always looking for new recommendations. And don’t forget to check out our roundup of the best Valentine’s Day apps that’ll make your day special.
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Anirban is a literature post-grad who delves in philosophy and postmodern novels when not writing on tech and gaming. His love for research is only trumped by his love for chai and heavy metal.