Roses are red. Violets are blue. Movies are awesome. So we made a list for you!
With Valentine's Day (or weekend) on the way, you might be thinking "What can I do that is fun and cheap and fun and cheap?" Well, why not a romantic movie night?! Here are 12 movies we've picked, from comedy to horror, help you curl up on the couch with the one, or ones, you love!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: A woman and her daughter move to a small town in France and with them come the smell of decadent chocolate carried by the wind of change.
WHO’S IN IT: Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, Lena Olin, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Peter Stormare, Carrie-Anne Moss, Leslie Caron
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: Two words… Chocolate. Oh wait, that’s one word. How about this… romantic, sweet, inspiring, and charming. Binoche and Molina play off of each other’s strengths beautifully, and this movie hits right to the heart of the human condition… we all just want to be loved.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: A bit of a twist on the Romeo and Juliet theme, two people from different social classes find love and loss aboard the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic, the largest moving object ever built.
WHO’S IN IT: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bill Paxton, Bernard Hill
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: “It’s been 84 years…” Titanic was the ship of dreams, and that one line is the stuff of Memes. Seriously, if you haven’t seen Titanic by now, then you must have been living under a rock. It’s a beautiful love story set against one of the most tragic events in nautical history, and love it or hate it, it’s become a modern classic that will stand the test of time, just like the tragedy that inspired it.
Sleepless in Seattle
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: When the son of a widowed father calls in to a talk-radio program to find a new wife for his father, a reporter in Baltimore, falls for the man, even though she is engaged. Unsure where it will lead, she writes him a letter asking him to meet her at the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day.
WHO’S IN IT: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Bill Pullman, Ross Mallinger, Rosie O’Donnell, Rob Reiner, Gaby Hoffmann, Victor Garber
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: Norah Ephron at her best. The chemistry between Hanks and Ryan is undeniable, and this romantic comedy spans not only miles, but the range of human emotion. It’s a movie that could have been made in roughly any decade, and has numerous similarities and references to cinema classics, but its finds its home, and its heart, in the flaws and redemption of its characters.
William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: A son of Montague and a daughter of Capulet find love and loss in a modern vision of a classic story.
WHO’S IN IT: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, Brian Dennehy, John Leguizamo, Pete Postlethwaite, Paul Sorvino, Diane Venora, Harold Perrineau
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: Baz Lurhmann has a vision, a style, and a substance to his films, and this movie made him a household name in America. It’s gritty, exciting, gut-wrenching, and steeped in a world that feels both current and historic. This movie doesn’t pull punches when it comes to the mingling of traditional Shakespearian dialogue and action-packed gun battles. It’s got a little something for everyone, and displays a masterful balance between culture and clash.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Struggling musician Peter Bretter is better-known as the boyfriend of TV star Sarah Marshall. After she unceremoniously dumps him, he feels lost and alone but makes a last-ditch bid to get over it by going to Hawaii. However, she and her new boyfriend are there in the same hotel.
WHO’S IN IT: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Bill Hader, Liz Cackowski, Jack McBrayer, Taylor Wily
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: Well, if you ever wanted to see Jason Segel naked and crying, then THIS is the movie for you! But seriously, it’s got such an absurdist point of view, you can’t help but fall in love with him and his story. Plus, it’s got puppets… and everybody loves puppets.
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: With his incredible talent for discerning scents, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is one of 18th-century France’s finest perfumers. He becomes obsessed with capturing an elusive aroma: the scent of young womanhood. His search takes a deadly turn, and when the bodies of 12 young females are found, panic breaks out, with families rushing to lock up their daughters.
WHO’S IN IT: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, Rachel Hurd-Wood, John Hurt, Karoline Herfurth, David Calder, Simon Chandler
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: This is not a romance. It is not a comedy. But it does feature one of the most purchased gifts for any Valentine’s Day. This made the list because the story is intriguing, the acting is superb, and it has one of the best twist endings we’ve ever seen. But be warned… it is not for the faint of heart, and is CERTAINLY not for kids. It also features a young Ben Whishaw, whom we absolutely love as Paddington Bear.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Everyone deserves a great love story, but for 17-year-old Simon Spier, it’s a little more complicated. He hasn’t told his family or friends that he’s gay, and he doesn’t know the identity of the anonymous classmate that he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing.
WHO’S IN IT: Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Tony Hale, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Logan Miller, Jorge Lendeborg Jr.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: Featuring a strong cast full of young, vibrant actors, this story of coming out, finding love, and finding yourself is a modern parable almost anyone can relate to. It teaches us that the most important thing in life is loving and accepting ourselves, and loving others for who they are, not who we think they should be. What the world needs now, is love, sweet love, and Love, Simon delivers in spades.
Diary of a Mad Black Woman
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: After 18 years of marriage to lawyer Charles, Helen is shocked when he announces he’s ending their marriage and shacking up with Brenda. Helen retreats to the house of her grandmother Madea, who helps her destroy much of Charles’ property, earning her house arrest. While Charles prepares for the trial of a corrupt client, Helen is courted by Orlando, an affectionate moving man with strong Christian values.
WHO’S IN IT: Kimberly Elise, Steve Harris, Shemar Moore, Tamara Taylor, Lisa Marcos, Tiffany Evans, Cicely Tyson, Tyler Perry
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: We. Love. Madea. And this movie brought her character to the mainstream spotlight. Just because it’s a Valentine’s list, doesn’t mean that love has to be romantic. DoaMBW shows us that love comes in many forms, from friends and family, to the kind of love you only get inside yourself, and gives us a touching and funny look at how we will do anything to protect those we love the most.
Little Shop of Horrors
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Meek flower shop assistant Seymour pines for co-worker Audrey. During a total eclipse, he discovers an unusual plant he names Audrey II, which feeds only on human flesh and blood. The growing plant attracts a great deal of business for the previously struggling store, and Seymour must come up with ways to feed the increasingly bloodthirsty plant in this musical horror/comedy.
WHO’S IN IT: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Steve Martin, Vincent Gardenia, Tichina Arnold, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Michelle Weeks, Jim Belushi
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: Point to someone who’s gotten flowers on Valentine’s Day that made them sneeze, and I’ll point to this movie as to why that is SO basic. A singing, blood-thirsty plant will round out any bouquet. The songs are brilliant and catchy, the effects (by late, great Jim Henson) are beyond their time, and the story of a mild-mannered nobody who finds success, love, and his backbone, will have you laughing, crying, and singing along.
La La Land
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Sebastian and Mia are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.
WHO’S IN IT: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock, Meagen Fay, Callie Hernandez
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: While we are on the subject of musicals, La La Land feels like a 1940’s musical romance with modern sensibilities. We come for the music, we stay for the acting, cinematography, and amazing dance numbers. Ryan Gosling may not like eating his cereal, but he and Emma Stone have incredible chemistry and some pretty sick vocal performances and footwork.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Best friends Ryan, Sasha, Lisa and Dina are in for the adventure of a lifetime when they travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival. Along the way, they rekindle their sisterhood and rediscover their wild side by doing enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.
WHO’S IN IT: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Larenz Tate, Mike Colter, Kate Walsh, Kofi Siriboe
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: Friends. Those who pick us up when times are tough, and are there for us when no one else is. If that doesn’t represent unconditional love, then we don’t know what does. Well… maybe puppies. But if your friends are willing to carry you down the streets of New Orleans after you pee all over a crowd of people while hanging from a zipline, then those are the kinds of friends you need.
My Bloody Valentine
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Ten years ago, an inexperienced coal miner named Tom Hanniger caused an accident that killed five men and put a sixth, Harry Warden, into a coma. A year later, on Valentine’s Day, Harry woke up and murdered 22 people with a pickaxe before dying. Now Tom has returned home, still haunted by the past. And something else is back in Harmony: a pickaxe-wielding killer in a miner’s mask, who may be the ghost of Harry, come to claim Tom and his friends.
WHO’S IN IT: Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Betsy Rue, Edi Gathegi, Tom Atkins, Kevin Tighe, Megan Boone
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: Horror. Gore. And Jensen Ackles. This isn’t a movie about love and marriage, but revenge. It just happens to be on Valentine’s Day, and that’s enough for us.