Skip to main content

The most romantic movies for Valentine’s Day if you’re sick of The Notebook

From Shakespeare in Love to The Wedding Singer, these are the best movies to watch on Valentine's Day

It doesn’t require a deep dive into the history of Valentine’s Day to understand just how alienating it can be for some people. Whether you’re single or you’ve found your soul mate, one of the best ways to find a spark of romance is to find some great at-home entertainment. Of course, if you do have a partner, you might want to also check out these  Valentine’s Day gifts for men, or maybe even look into a last-minute flower delivery. These gestures are great, but for plenty of people, a great movie is the best way to find some romance. 

Watching Valentine’s Day movies, or romantic movies more generally, is nothing to be ashamed of. These movies are designed to make you think about love, which is one of the most powerful emotions we can feel. If you find yourself weeping softly into your assembled Valentine’s Day chocolates over this list of movies, don’t sweat it. Love hurts, no matter who you are.

The Wedding Singer (1998)
The Wedding Singer
Genre Romance, Comedy
Stars Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor
Directed by Frank Coraci
One of the better Adam Sandler movies of our generation, The Wedding Singer is a genuine and sweet story about how hard it can be to believe in true love. When a low-income wedding singer is left at the altar by what he thinks is the love of his life, he must put the pieces of his heart back together. Luckily, he meets the charming Julia Sullivan (Drew Barrymore) who makes the process much easier. Full of the classic Sandler movie cameos and silly songs, this is a feel-good movie that will have your partner asking, “When are you going to do that for me?”
The Wedding Singer (1998) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Shakespeare in Love
Genre Romance, History, Comedy
Stars Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Geoffrey Rush
Directed by John Madden
Wise and witty, Shakespeare in Love is just the right mix of head and heart. Following a young and uninspired William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) who is having a major writers block and failing to meet basically any of his obligations, until he meets a young and rebellious Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow) who poses as a man to audition for one of his plays. Providing more than just romance, this classic ode to the Elizabethan Era is a potent mix of suspense, comedy, and utmost passion for theater.
Shakespeare in Love | Official Trailer (HD) - Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow | MIRAMAX
Definitely, Maybe (2008)
Definitely, Maybe
Genre Comedy, Romance
Stars Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Elizabeth Banks
Directed by Adam Brooks
Maybe one of the best classic rom-coms out there, Definitely Maybe is a touching story with an all-star cast that also gets some points for creativity. The film explores the love life of an almost-divorced Ryan Reynolds as he explains to his daughter (Abigail Breslin) how he and her mom met, omitting the real names of his past lovers in the story so she can guess which one is her mom. This movie is full of sympathetic moments of intimacy and vulnerability, and a number of great performances. We wouldn’t call this a typical Reynolds role, but it’s one of the best Ryan Reynolds movies for sure. 
Definitely, Maybe Official Trailer #1 - Ryan Reynolds Movie (2008) HD
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Romeo + Juliet
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, Jesse Bradford
Directed by Baz Luhrmann
Another Shakespearean addition to this list, Romeo + Juliet is a masterful rendition of the age-old tale, made epically offbeat and glamorous by Baz Luhrmann. Keeping the script exactly the same, Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Juliet (Claire Danes) meet in a modern-day (well, the 90s) Verona, where the Montagues and Capulets face-off with stylish, customized handguns to replace the elegant blades of days long gone. Complete with a contemporary, cutting soundtrack and a glorious cast, Romeo + Juliet remains one of the most successful Shakespeare adaptations ever produced. 
Romeo + Juliet (1996) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
10 Things I Hate About You
Genre Comedy, Romance, Drama
Stars Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Directed by Gil Junger
With a story based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and re-vamped to fit the 90s grunge of Seattle, 10 Things I Hate About You is a timeless classic, and one of the best high school rom-coms. In an upper-middle-class Seattle high school, Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) is a popular and beautiful girl that many would feel lucky to date (arrogant schmucks and romantic nerds alike), but with her terrified and controlling father, she is not allowed to date unless her blunt and abrasive older sister, Kat (Julia Stiles) decides to date somebody first. Starring a wide array of recognizable faces, 10 Things charms from front to back, and at least one viewer will fall victim to Heath Ledger’s endlessly charming smile. 
10 Things I Hate About You -Official Trailer #1 (1999) Heath Ledger Movie
Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Always Be My Maybe
Genre Romance, Comedy
Stars Ali Wong, Randall Park, Keanu Reeves
Directed by Nahnatchka Khan
If you’re looking for a good romantic comedy on Netflix, Always Be My Maybe is a great place to start. The story follows Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park), two people who everyone assumed would end up together. After reconnecting after 15 years apart, they begin to think they might be meant to be. Oh, and Keanu Reeves shows up for a great extended cameo.
Always Be My Maybe | Trailer | Netflix
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Moulin Rouge!
Genre Drama, Romance, Music
Stars Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo
Directed by Baz Luhrmann
Moulin Rouge! is a glorious spectacle of musical talent and romantic tragedy. A penniless poet (Ewan McGregor) begins to fall in love with a lovely, sultry, courtesan singer (Nicole Kidman), whose hand has been promised to a duke in order to fund the next big production at the Moulin Rouge. With surprising musical performances of contemporary classics from McGregor and Kidman and visceral scenes of emotional distress highlighted by extreme color schemes, this musical is unlike any other.
Moulin Rouge | #TBT Trailer | 20th Century FOX
The Big Sick (2017)
The Big Sick
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stars Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter
Directed by Michael Showalter
The Big Sick is based on the real-life love story of comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. The story follows Nanjiani as he struggles to build up a career in stand-up. After a run-in with a heckler named Emily (Zoe Kazan), the two quickly form a relationship. However, the couple is faced with a family pushback and when they break up, Emily falls into a coma that eventually brings them back together. This original dramedy is one of the best movies Amazon Prime has to offer.
The Big Sick Trailer #1 (2017) | Movieclips Trailers
50 First Dates (2004)
50 First Dates
Genre Comedy, Romance
Stars Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider
Directed by Peter Segal
Another Adam Sandler rom-com, also featuring Drew Barrymore, 50 First Dates is a comical dramedy that gets pretty sad but also has some moments of wonderful devotion and love every couple should aspire to. The film follows Henry Roth, a ladies man who can’t commit who finally meets the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, she turns out to have short-term memory loss, resetting the clock every day when she goes to sleep. Is it a little corny, sure? Even so, you’ll find yourself crying by the time the credits roll. 
50 First Dates (2004) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers
Lost in Translation (2003)
Lost in Translation
Genre Drama, Romance, Comedy
Stars Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi
Directed by Sofia Coppola
Lost in Translation is a critically acclaimed masterpiece that plays out on a remarkably small scale. When a sad, lonely movie star (Bill Murray) serendipitously meets a newly married and skeptical young woman (Scarlett Johansson) in Tokyo, the chemistry is instant and their facades quickly fade. Fans of Murray’s work will undoubtedly enjoy this Sofia Coppola classic, which is about the kind of platonic, maybe romantic love that can exist between two people of any age. 
Lost in Translation Official Trailer #1 - Bill Murray Movie (2003) HD
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Genre Science Fiction, Drama, Romance
Stars Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst
Directed by Michel Gondry
In a conceptual tour de force film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind manages to challenge your very notions of what memory is for. Joel (Jim Carrey) is on a train for his usual commute when he meets Clementine (Kate Winslet), a quirky, overtly forward individual who makes outrageous statements that catch our protagonist’s ear. When their relationship gets nasty, they individually seek out the help of an experimental memory-removal clinic that reminds them exactly why they belong together. This is a fantastic love story and arguably one of the best Jim Carrey movies ever. 
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Trailer

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Connor Sheppard
Connor Sheppard is an Oregon-grown culture writer for The Manual. Intrigued from a young age by pop culture and movies, he…
The 10 best Adam Sandler movies (they’re not all comedies)
From Uncut Gems to Happy Gilmore, these are the movies that have defined Adam Sandler's career to date.
best adam sandler movies ranked adamsandler

What is there left to say about Adam Sandler? The Sand-Man has been a fixture of pop culture for well over 20 years, having worked first on Saturday Night Live and then broken out in a series of farcical, wonderful comedies in the years after his departure. He's one of the biggest comedy stars on the planet, and we know that in part because he's made plenty of movies that nobody should be forced to watch twice.
For every movie that has immediately been relegated to the trash bin of history, though, Sandler has also made an indelible comedy or a surprising turn into drama. While he may have emerged looking a little bit like a one-trick pony who relies on funny voices for cheap laughs, Sandler turned out to be far more complicated than that. He is a genuinely great actor whenever he wants to be. The rest of the time, he's content to make silly movies with his best friends.

The Waterboy (1998)

Read more
Survey: You’re more likely to ditch self-improvement apps than Netflix or Disney+
Inflation worries are tightening wallets around self-improvement apps, but not streaming subscriptions
A person sitting in the living room with their feet up watching Netflix.

Over the past few years if we've become more addicted to anything, it's our streaming services. And with ones like Disney Plus, Hulu, and Netflix stepping up their game with killer content, other apps get pushed aside to make room in our wallets. Which ones are most people going to delete this year?

Sorry health and wellness, but those subscriptions that deal with weight loss and meditation are the first to go. According to a bit of market research done by Prolific on behalf of Forbes Advisor, let's see why so many people are ditching healthier subscriptions for entertaining ones.

Read more
The 10 best movie drinking games to play on Netflix
You'll love playing these movie drinking games

Watching something can be a great way to stave off the boredom that everyone faces from time to time. Whether it's a great show or movie available on Netflix, streaming services have ensured that we'll always have something to watch. Just having something to watch often isn't enough, though. In fact, what some people need is a game that goes alongside the latest thing on Netflix, which is why we've developed this list of drinking games that are perfect for Netflix subscribers.

You don't need to follow along with these games to get to a good drinking game with anything you're watching. What you might find, though, is that these drinking games have been carefully calibrated to ensure that you have as much fun as possible. Once you see a game that looks like fun, just grab a case of cheap beer or whatever your preferred drink might be and get started. You can also check out our guides for board games and card-drinking games if you're looking for a drinking game that doesn't involve a screen at all.
Monty Python and The Holy Grail
Monty Python and the Holy Grail Official Trailer - John Cleese Movie (1974)

Read more