After you set the
kids up for their V-day movie night, it’s time to think about yourself.
When we think about Valentine’s Day it’s often laid out as a romantic dinner you had to book a reservation a month in advance for, followed by a night out catching a movie, live music, or whatever is the trendiest date night destination your Eventbrite suggests. Plus there are the endless bouquets of flowers (roses to be exact), chocolate candy, and a teddy bear, if you’re dealing with the lovey-dovey, mushy type.
Then there are the other couples who understand the value of a dollar who’d rather spend a quiet night in with a glass of bubbly and rom-coms. If you and your partner fall into that category this list is for you. From romance to self-love and everything in between, your love life could be as simple or as complicated as the plots of these movies. Finding your perfect movie match could be easier than seeking your soulmate. (You know the age-old story: the right one will come at the right time, there’s someone out there for everyone, yadda yadda yadda.)
In the meantime, while you work on yourself
for yourself (we hope), catch up on arguably the greatest romantic comedy and think if you were Sally meeting Harry, what would you do? Contemplate on the life Jack and Rose would have had if he didn’t freeze to death. A dead lover possesses a psychic to dance with you one last time? Why not. Better than a double suicide in the name of teenage love and feuding families.
The point is: like dating, there are plenty of fish in the sea when it comes to romantic movies. True love could be found anywhere from wedding receptions and ill-fated ships to Victorian nightclubs and velvet dungeon sex rooms.
Here are some of the best Valentine's Day movies for adults to indulge in.
Titanic Archive Photos/Moviepix/Getty Images
So many great moments: the band playing as the ship sinks, Rose (played by Kate Winslet) jumping back on the ship and telling Jack (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), ‘you jump I jump right,’ the intimate, nude drawing scene, Rose’s sunset bow kiss with Jack. James Cameron’s Oscar-winning masterpiece is hands-down the most romantic movie of our time. It has all of the elements of a great love story, including tragedy. A timeless tale about a rich debutante falling in love with a poor artist on the infamous doomed RMS Titanic. Admit it, you’re still having debates on whether Jack could have floated on the staircase with Rose and survived. And no matter how many times we know it's not going to happen, someone should have stopped old Rose from throwing that necklace into the water. Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” always leaves us with sweaty eyes.
Watch Titanic, rated R, on Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Hulu, and Starz. Romeo and Juliet
Another Leonardo DiCaprio heartthrob moment. “Young hearts could really run free” in Shakespeare’s remix about his doomed star-crossed lovers. DiCaprio and Claire Danes are Romeo and Juliet, who have what we understand now as ‘puppy love.’ You know the story: two teenage lovebirds who are kept apart by their feuding families. Our favorite scene: when they first laid eyes on each other at the fish tank and the balcony pool moment. OK, we have two favorite scenes. Nonetheless, both teens come to a tragic end by their own doing, which makes their story “never more of woe.” Also, it's young Leonardo DiCaprio. I know we keep saying that, but it’s young Leonardo DiCaprio!
Watch Romeo and Juliet, rated PG-13, on Amazon and Disney Plus. The Notebook
What is love? Love is building a house for someone you're not even sure you'll see again, making out with them in a rainstorm when they do return, and reading your love story to them over and over again when they’re older. Based on the bestselling novel by Nicholas Sparks, the 2004 movie is a tear-jerker from beginning to end, especially the end! (Spoiler Alert: “I’ll be seeing you.”) Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams play two teenage lovers in the 1940s. Life and their social circles pull them apart for years, but Noah (Gosling) never gave up on his Ally (McAdams). Once again, the ending always gets us!
Watch The Notebook, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, HBO Max, and Starz. Dirty Dancing
Don’t mind our hungry eyes for Patrick Swayze in this 80’s romance flick. Jennifer Grey plays Baby, a teen who gets a little hot and heavy with a dance instructor at the resort her family is staying at for the summer. It’s lots of grinding, hip work, and hair swinging in this movie, that’s bound to get the juices flowing. And here’s our line, wait for it: “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” A
remake was made in 2017 but there’s nothing like the original. The movie is also a West End musical in London. In 2020 an official sequel starring Grey was announced. But it’ll be without her leading man, who died in 2009 of pancreatic cancer. Nonetheless, we can reflect on the way he moved his hips in those leather pants, sweaty muscles, and edgy bad boy persona in the 1987 classic. I mean, remember the actor, not the body. Or maybe both, whichever. Watch Dirty Dancing, rated PG-13, on Amazon and Apple TV. Moulin Rouge
If you and your Valentine love musicals,
Moulin Rouge has just enough music and raunchiness to keep you entertained with the wine and strawberries. Ewen McGregor plays poor poet Christian and Nicole Kidman plays Satine, a vixen singer, and courtesan at the famous Paris nightclub in the 2001 Academy Award and Golen Globe-winning movie. Together, they fall in love but a jealous duke seeks to tear them apart. Still, Satine’s deadly secret destroys a future with both men. After all, what’s a little music and love triangle without some tragedy? Not to mention, the lingerie costumes are great inspiration for role-playing, and Christina Aguilera, Mýa, Lil' Kim, and Pink’s rendition of “Lady Marmalade” makes great choreography for a private floor show. I mean, if you’re into those types of things. Watch Moulin Rouge, rated PG-13, on Amazon, Disney Plus, and Hulu, The Photograph
Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield are two hopeless romantics in this 2020 love drama. Rae plays an art curator named Mae, whose mother, who was a photographer, recently died from cancer. Stanfield plays a journalist who is doing a story about Mae’s mother. The two find an old photograph in her mother’s safe-deposit box that leads them into a quest of her early years and the romance with Mae’s father, whom she never knew. During the investigation, an unexpected romance develops. It was the steamy, lovemaking scene while it was raining outside that got us! Not to mention, Rae and Stanfield are gorgeous together. Charisma steams off the screen when watching this flick.
Watch The Photograph, rated PG-13, on Amazon and HBO Max. Crazy Rich Asians
Constance Wu plays Rachel Chu, who is head over heels for her handsome boyfriend Nick, played by Henry Golding. But she has no idea that her beau comes from one of the wealthiest families in Asia. However, she gets a rude and very real awakening when Nick invites her to travel to Singapore for his best friend's wedding and to meet the family! The couple’s love is challenged by Nick’s disapproving mother and grandmother and jealous ex-girlfriend. Just call it a battle between old school and new school. This romantic comedy is full of fireworks, stamping out traditional norms,
mahjong, and chicken nuggets (because people are starving in America). Watch Crazy Rich Asians, rated PG-13, on Amazon and HBO Max. My Big Fat Greek Wedding MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images/MediaNews Group/Getty Images
Another romance flick that involves a disapproving family. Fotoula "Toula" Portokalos’s Greek family is all about tradition and heritage, which includes attending Greek school and marrying a nice Greek boy. However, when the movie starts Toula is in her 30s, working at her family’s restaurant and “waiting for her life to start.” But that all changes when Toula falls in love with a non-Greek, Anglo-Saxon Protestant middle-school teacher, named Ian. Toula tries to get her family on board with her marrying a non-Greek, particularly her overbearing father. The 2002 romantic, comedy stars Nia Vardalos, who wrote the movie, and John Corbett and NSYNC’s Joey Fatone. It’s full of Nicks, Windex, bundt cakes, hideous bridesmaid dresses, apples, and oranges (spoiler alert) and will make a fun, romantic movie night. There’s also a sequel that follows the couple, a few years later, as they raise their teenage daughter (who is on her way to college) and bring the spice back into their marriage while planning Toula’s own parents’ wedding.
Watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding, rated PG-13, on Amazon, HBO Max, and Hulu. Watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, rated PG-13, on Amazon. Fifty Shades of Grey
After watching this steamy flick, you may be inspired to get your own version of Mr. Grey’s red room. Dakota Johnson plays inexperienced college senior Anastasia Steele, who fills in for her sick roommate to interview Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, for their campus paper. Christian is young, rich, handsome with a kinky, sexual appetite. The two are instantly drawn to each other and Christian blows her mind and other parts of her body, needless to say. This movie is definitely more erotic than romance and will leave you curious about your own sexuality and how far you and your partner will go to achieve pleasure. Enjoy exploring after watching it. And make sure to have your safe word.
Watch 50 Shades of Grey, rated R, on and Amazon Peacock TV. Ghost
Alexa, play “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers. Not even death could kill true love, especially if it's with Patrick Swayze. The
Dirty Dancing heartthrob plays a New York banker named Sam who is murdered during a mugging while out with his girlfriend, Molly, played by Demi Moore. Confused and refusing to go into the light, Sam’s spirit becomes trapped on Earth, and he eventually discovers his treacherous best friend is behind his death. With the help of a psychic medium Oda May Brown, which is where Whoopi Goldberg comes in, works to save Molly from a similar fate. Aside from the scary shadows demons and paranormal twist, the real tearjerkers are when Sam uses Oda’s body to communicate with Molly and when he finally goes into the light. Watch Ghost, rated PG-13, on Amazon. Love & Basketball
A cute story about two childhood friends whose mutual love for basketball makes them even closer. Monica, played by Sanaa Lathan, and Quincy, played by Omar Epps, both aspire to become professional basketball players. Over the years, the two fall for each other but their different approach to their favorite sport leads them on separate paths. The story is broken into four quarters, first from childhood frenemies to high school friends. The two become lovers when finally hooking up one night after a school dance. They carry their romance to UCLA as college freshman sweethearts but break up. The movie then follows their adult years going pro and the motions of life that lead them to find their way back to each other.
Watch Love and Basketball, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime, BET+ and HBO Max. Southside With You
Based on the true account of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle’s very first unofficial date, the story takes place during a hot Chicago summer in 1989. The young Obama tries to charm an unwilling Michelle who also happens to be the budding law associate she is mentoring at her firm. The day starts with Obama inviting her to a community meeting but eventually leads to an entire day spent together that includes an art exhibit and lunch in the park. But a young Michelle is not feeling it because she is not interested in dating one of her colleagues. In the end, the future president’s swag wins her over and the rest is golden history! Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers are flawless in their performances of the iconic, presidential couple and it’s definitely a feel-good love story
you can watch for Valentine’s Day and beyond. Watch Southside with You, rated PG-13, on Amazon. When Harry Met Sally
Imagine meeting your soulmate in college but not getting together until you spend years running into each other? That’s pretty much the case in Rod Reiner’s 1989 timeless rom-com classic. Harry, played by Billy Crystal, meets Sally, played by Meg Ryan. The two college graduates share a lengthy car ride from Chicago to New York debating if men and women can truly be platonic friends, without any romantic feelings. Ten years later, Harry and Sally meet again at a bookstore. The two eventually become good friends and attractive to each other but they think sex would ruin their dynamic. But what’s meant to be will be!
Watch When Harry Met Sally, rated R, on HBO Max. Sylvie's Love
If you love ‘right place, right time’ love stories,
Sylvie's Love would be ideal for you. This love story takes place in 1960s Harlem and is about a woman who meets a saxophonist at her father's record store. An instant spark occurs but at the time Sylvie, played by Tessa Thompson, is married and her husband is serving in the Korean War. The two reconnect years later and discover their feelings have not changed but got better with time. Nnamdi Asomugha plays the dashing, suave musician who sweeps Sylvie off her feet. The called it an “old-fashioned romance for 21st-century hearts.” New York Times Watch Sylvie’s Love, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime. 10 Things I Hate About You Archive Photos/Moviepix/Getty Images
We can let 10 things and more about why we love this movie! Based on William Shakespeare’s
the rom-com follows teen Kat Stratford, played by Julia Stiles, and her youngest sister, Bianca, played Larisa Oleynik. Bianca wants to date but her father won’t allow her unless Kat does. However, Kat has zero interest in boys or anything that normal teenage girls are into. Bianca catches the eye of the new student, Cameron, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. But when Cameron gets word of the sisters’ dating situation, he pays bad boy Patrick Verona, played by Heath Ledger, to take out Kat and keep her occupied while he makes a shot at Bianca. The new kid at school pays the popular boy to date your reluctant sister, what could go wrong other than unexpected sparks? The Taming of the Shrew, Watch 10 Things I Hate About You, rated PG-13, on Amazon, Disney Plus, and Hulu Wedding Crashers
A plan to crash weddings and meet girls to hook up with turns into an unlikely love match in this hilarious romantic comedy. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are divorce mediators who spend their free time crashing wedding receptions to meet women. But when they attend the Secretary of the Treasury’s oldest daughter’s wedding, the pair meet their match when they meet his two youngest’s daughter. Fun fact, the movie actually made the list of the
Most Popular Romantic Comedies By State last year. Turns out, the study showed that Wedding Crashers was the top pick states such as Connecticut, Kansas, and Maryland. Watch Weddings Crashers, rated R, on Amazon and HBO Max. What Parents Are Talking About — Delivered Straight To Your Inbox