It’s that time of year again—Valentine’s Day. A time to spray stuff that smells nice on yourself and sprinkle rose petals around the flat screen. A great way to get into the Valentine’s spirit is to cozy up with your sweetheart to watch a romantic movie. If you’re looking for a film that sets the right mood, have a look below. For those not into mushy, I was careful to choose films that also offer comedy, snappy dialogue, Ryan Gosling, grim reapers, or talking dogs. If you’re going to go through the motions, you might as well also be entertained.
Sadly, a forgotten film. Steven Soderbergh‘s Out of Sight is more stylish and sexy than it is romantic but that’s not to say it isn’t great.
George Clooney stars as an escaped convict who falls for Jennifer Lopez’s federal marshal and the chemistry they share onscreen is crazy. Before J. Lo became J. Lo, she was actually really enjoyable to watch act.
The Notebook is quintessential romantic film-making. It’s got a poor country boy, a beautiful heiress, unreceived love letters, kissing in the rain, and an impossibly endless love.
Ryan Gosling doesn’t hurt either as his image is more than enough to make an entire generation of women swoon.
“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
C’mon. That line is masterfully romantic. Twenty-five years after When Harry Met Sally’s release and those words are still popping up on your Facebook feed. Usually from that girl who overshares too often, but something that strum the heartstrings so effectively doesn’t deserve to be unfollowed.
Normally stalking is frowned upon. Normally. Also trench coats. But John Cusack is able to pull off both in his career-defining turn as Lloyd Dobler.
Powered with the charming power of Peter Gabriel, a brushed-off Cusack stands beneath the window of the woman he still loves while Ghettoblasting their song. If you try this and she doesn’t release the hounds, it’s love.
You wouldn’t expect a kid’s movie to be romantic, but Up does with its first ten minutes what it takes every other film on this list to accomplish with their entirety. In the amazingly well-crafted sequence we’re shown a childhood friendship blossom into love and follow the couple as they grow together, experiencing triumphs and losses. Of course, the end of this ten minutes will plunge a shard of frozen sadness into your chest and wiggle it around but it’s still worth it.
By the end, you learn that love heals all wounds—even one that was thought to be long-lost.
Who says that you can’t have schizophrenic ghosts and scary shadow demons in a romance movie? Much like with Up, Ghost works from the theme that love transcends life and death. In this case, Patrick Swayze’s Sam inhabits the body of Whoopi Goldberg in order to have one last dance with his fiancee.
If your Valentine doesn’t make the effort to make the holiday memorable, don’t count on them crossing the chasm of the afterlife either.
You can’t beat the classics. Humphrey Bogart stars as a man who comes across his lost love while hiding out from the Nazis in Morocco. With his dearest returned to him he makes the heart-wrenching decision to let her go in the interest of the greater good. After all, they’ll always have Paris.