There are many ways you and your sweetheart could spend Valentine's Day — go your favorite restaurant, book a couples massage, or even do a paint and sip class. But with busy schedules and life demands, the only thing you guys want to do is Netflix and chill. But what to watch? You could go with old reliables — "Gone with the Wind," "When Harry Met Sally," "The Notebook," or "You've Got Mail." But what about movies that sneak under the radar and unexpectedly tug on your heart strings? There are a bunch of movies you didn't realize were Valentine's Day movies that you can watch if you're looking for something a little less traditional.
There's something about sitting down for a film and getting something totally different that you expected. And there's nothing wrong with outright romantic movies, but sometimes you want to be able to make your own conclusions and laugh along the way. Like, there's only so much guessing and surprises you can get from true romance flicks like "Ghost" or "Casablanca." When you're in this kind of mood, you're probably thankful that there are some subtly sappy or sneakily romantic movies to which you can turn instead. And Valentine's Day is the perfect day to do so.
'Lars & The Real Girl'
So technically this isn't a love story about a man and a woman, but rather a man and his realistic, life-sized plastic doll bought off the internet. But Ryan Gosling does such an amazing job of humanizing her and showing true affection, that you almost feel like she is real. And when his doctor suggests his family and neighbors go along with the delusion, he eventually becomes less reliant on the doll, Bianca, and more willing to open up to those around him, according to Cinema Therapy. This quirky movie can surely classify as a romance, even if it's totally non-conventional.
'Forgetting Sarah Marshall'
Yes, Jason Segal does this in the movie. And, yes, it's hilarious. He plays an average Joe who's the boyfriend of a famous musician. When they break up, he unknowingly follows her to a resort where she's vacationing with her new boyfriend played by Russell Brand, according to IMDb. As he begins to find out his own self-worth, he decides he might not need her after all. A pretty good movie to watch if you're reeling from a pre-Valentine's Day breakup.
'500 Days of Summer'
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a man on a mission. He's tired of being average, afraid of change and missing out of life. He takes a chance on a girl named Summer and spends a total of 500 days with her, according to the New York Times. Despite main character Tom's insistence that it's "not a love story," it's definitely one that can be a great fit for Valentine's Day. And, there's a choreographed dance number that can't be missed.
'Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them'
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows the antics of Newt Schamander, a sort of zoologist for magical creatures. When he looses a few of them while on a trip to New York, trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes, according to IMDd. And somewhere along the way, a no-maj (otherwise known as an American Muggle) and a wizard fall in love. There hasn't been this much forbidden love since the Capulets and the Montagues, because the two were never supposed to mix.
Romance isn't necessarily a word that is synonymous with Wes Anderson flicks. These artsy flicks usually have you scratching your head more than anything else. But that's not so with Moonrise Kingdom. The story follows two troubled 12-year-olds who fall in love and make a secret pact to run away together, according to Rotten Tomatoes. But, a terrible storm, and their pesky parents, keep it from ever happening.
'Pride & Prejudice'
Maybe people are conditioned to love Colin Firth because of his role in Love Actually, but he plays one hell of a Darcy in this version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. (Nope, this is not the Kiera Knightley version.) There's been many renditions of the classic, but this is by far the best, but if you don't think so, just substitute this version for your favorite. Will he win the heart of Elizabeth Bennet? You probably already know the ending, but watching is half the fun.
'The Wedding Singer'
Aspiring rock star Robbie Heart (Adam Sandler) is left at the altar and his life slowly unravels until he meets Julia (Drew Barrymore) and falls madly in love, according to Stage Agent. But Julia is set to marry someone else in a few short weeks. Plus there's an old lady who sings "Rapper's Delight", and if that doesn't make you laugh, you might just be dead inside.
Love can blossom even in the darkest of times. WALL-E is the last robot left on Earth after it becomes uninhabitable, or so he thinks. Then, he meets EVE and decides to follow her across the galaxy only to be near her, according to Fandango. They run into a few bumps here and there, but in the end it's all about being with the one we love.
Life after college is hard. And when you film a documentary about you and your friends struggling to get jobs and hold on to relationships, stuff gets real, as Film Jabber noted. A shaggy Ethan Hawke and an angsty Winona Ryder makes for a treat only the '90s could produce.
Valentine's Day doesn't have to be about obvious, over-the-top love stories if that's not what you want. Your subtle favorites are just as good.