If you’d rather tuck yourself into your lover’s arm for a romantic edition of “Netflix and Chill” this Valentine’s Day than tackle an overcrowded restaurant, here are some of our must-watch movie picks…
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Synopsis: After Chicago architect Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) loses his wife to cancer, he and his eight-year-old son Jonah start a new life in Seattle. A year and a half later on Christmas Eve, Jonah calls in to a radio talk show in an effort to find his dad a new companion. His father’s heart-rending confessions of grief pique the empathy and interest of hundreds of women from around the country who then write to Sam. One of the listeners is Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) and in spite of the fact that she is engaged, writes Sam a letter suggesting that they meet on top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. Do they meet? Do they fall in love? Watch and find out.
General vibe: melancholic at times but always incredibly sweet, endearing, and feel-good.
Starring: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, alongside a supporting cast featuring Bill Pullman, Ross Malinger, Rob Reiner, Rosie O’Donnell, Gaby Hoffmann, Victor Garber, and Rita Wilson.
Meet Joe Black (1998)
Synopsis: Meet Joe Black tells the story of media tycoon William Parrish, whose charmed life and orderly household are suddenly disrupted by the arrival of an enigmatic young man named Joe Black, an otherworldly presence who proceeds to fall in love with Parrish’s beautiful daughter Susan. For Parrish, Susan and the rest of his family, the consequences of this romance are profound, complicated and bittersweet.
General vibe: A brooding, deep, and almost philosophical film that, in spite of its supernatural component, is so believable it’s difficult to not feel touched.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani, Jake Weber, Marcia Gay Harden, and Jeffrey Tambor.
Eat, Pray, Love (2010)
Synopsis: After her divorce and a failed relationship that followed, real life author Elizabeth Gilbert embarked on a three-nation journey, with plans to spend four months each in Italy, where she intended to pursue her love of food and language; in India, where she would study at her guru’s ashram, and on the island of Bali in Indonesia, where she hoped to find and maintain balance in her life. Instead, she finds love.
General vibe: A charming and profound memoir about pleasure, spiritual devotion, and love.
Starring: Julia Roberts, James Franco, Javier Bardem, and Viola Davis.
Synopsis: A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) begins to question her competence as a mother as her involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) come to light. Set in 1950s New York, the conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction and an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change.
General vibe: A gorgeous, sexy, and deeply moving love story and a masterpiece of a film.
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson, and Jake Lacy.
Someone Great (2019)
Synopsis: Aspiring music journalist Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) has just landed her dream job at an iconic magazine and is about to move to San Francisco. Rather than do long distance, her boyfriend of nine years (Lakeith Stanfield) decides to call it quits. To nurse her broken heart, Jenny gathers up her two best friends Erin (DeWanda Wise) and Blair (Brittany Snow) for one outrageous last adventure in New York City. “Someone Great” is a hilarious and heartfelt story of friendship, love, and what it means to let go of your twenties and enter adulthood.
General vibe: A surprisingly funny, quality romantic comedy that errs on the side of “quirky” rather than cheesy.
Starring: Gina Rodriguez, LaKeith Stanfield, Brittany Snow, and DeWanda Wise
About Time (2013)
Synopsis: When Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) is 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him a secret: the men in their family can travel through time. Although he can’t change history, Tim resolves to improve his life by getting a girlfriend. He meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams), falls in love and finally wins her heart via time-travel and a little cunning. However, as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds that his special ability can’t shield him and those he loves from the problems of ordinary life.
General vibe: Fun, funny, and romantic.
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy, Rachel McAdams, Margot Robbie, Lydia Wilson, Vanessa Kirby, Tom Hollander, Tom Hughes, and Lindsay Duncan.
Synopsis: Theodore is a lonely man in the final stages of his divorce. When he’s not working as a letter writer, his down time is spent playing video games and occasionally hanging out with friends. He decides to purchase the new OS1, which is advertised as the world’s first artificially intelligent operating system, Theodore quickly finds himself drawn in with Samantha, the voice behind his OS1. As they start spending time together they grow closer and closer and eventually find themselves in love. Having fallen in love with his OS, Theodore finds himself dealing with feelings of both great joy and doubt. As an OS, Samantha has powerful intelligence that she uses to help Theodore in ways others hadn’t, but how does she help him deal with his inner conflict of being in love with an OS?
General vibe: Sweet, soulful, and just a little bit heart-breaking. Warning: you may never look at Alexa the same way again.
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara, Olivia, Wilde, Bill Hader, and Chris Pratt.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
Synopsis: Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) is an advertising executive competing with two female co-workers for a major campaign for a diamond merchant. He cuts a deal with his competitors that the account is his if he can make a woman of their choice fall in love with him in 10 days. In comes Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) who, in turn, is writing a story on how to lose a guy in 10 days as a bet with her boss to be allowed to write more substantial stories. With a hidden agenda in each camp, will either party be able to complete their mission?
General vibe: A fun rom-com romp that, for all its slapstick humour, is addictive and endearing.
Starring: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Goldberg, Kathryn Hahn, and Annie Parisse.
Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
Synopsis: Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) is an aged music industry exec with a fondness for younger women like Marin (Amanda Peet), his latest trophy girlfriend. Things get a little awkward when Harry suffers a heart attack at the home of Marin’s mother Erica (Diane Keaton). Left in the care of Erica and his doctor, a love triangle starts to take shape.
General vibe: Jack Nicholson being a romantic rogue. Need we say more?
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Frances McDormand, Amanda Peet, and Jon Favreau.
The Lucky One (2012)
Synopsis: U.S. Marine Sgt. Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) returns home from his third tour of duty in Iraq with the one thing he believes kept him alive: a photograph of a woman he doesn’t even know. He learns the woman’s name is Beth (Taylor Schilling) and goes to meet her, eventually taking a job at her family-run kennel. Though Beth is full of mistrust and leads a complicated life, a romance blooms, giving Logan hope that Beth could become more than just his good-luck charm.
General vibe: A sweeping and melancholic love story that requires a box of tissues.
Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, and Jay R. Ferguson