I regret to inform you that Valentine’s Day is this Friday. If you’re not so into scrambling for a restaurant reservation and stressing about whether your significant other would prefer flowers or chocolates (always go chocolates, unless you’re a crazy person), you might find a night in with a movie more agreeable. It doesn’t matter if you’re one half of a homebody couple or if you’re single and in the mood to veg out. Netflix thankfully has a bunch of Valentine’s-appropriate titles to stream, and we’ve got a bunch of suggestions right here.
This list has romantic movies from various genres and styles, from comedy to sci-fi. They also appeal to a wide range of Valentine’s moods, from schmaltzy to cynical. So pop open a bag of Hershey’s kisses and get in some quality time with your couch cushions.
What could be more romantic than a French movie? Rien. (That means nothing in French.) There are few choices quite as charming as this one about a shy young woman who spends so much time changing the lives of the people around her that she forgets to allow herself to be loved. Sounds corny, but the execution is amazing.
2. Say Anything
Every list of romantic movies has to have at least one ’80s title, and it doesn’t get much more iconic than this one about an overachieving girl who falls in love with the class goof-off. Boomboxes were so romantic. Showing up at someone’s window holding up an iPod just doesn’t have the same effect.
3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
If you’re into the classics, it doesn’t get much better than Audrey Hepburn in a little black dress and sunglasses. If you can get past the fact that Mickey Rooney is playing a stereotypical Asian man (cringe), you might actually enjoy it.
4. Blue Valentine
In the mood to be completely and utterly depressed on Valentine’s Day? Maybe you want some reassurance that your recent break-up really wasn’t that bad when put into perspective? Step right up and enjoy this movie. Thankfully Ryan Gosling’s beautiful face is there to ease the pain.
5. 13 Going On 30
Time for a rom-com! You really can’t go wrong with Jennifer Garner’s version of Big, especially when adorable Mark Ruffalo is involved. And you can spend the rest of the night trying to learn the “Thriller” dance.
6. The Artist
I obviously was not the only one completely obsessed with this movie in 2011, since it went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. If you and your significant other are into silence, or just really clever and heartwarming movies, this is the perfect choice for you.
7. She’s All That
You didn’t really expect me to leave this movie off the list, did you? It’s the late ’90s high school movie at its finest, and it’s the quintessential “I went out with you on a dare” rom-com. Plus Freddie Prinze Jr. is there. I mean, come on.
If you like a side of dystopian sci-fi with your romance, watch this movie in which people get timers implanted in their arms that count down to the moment they’ll meet their soul mate. Then spend the rest of the night contemplating fate and true love. Fun!
9. Brokeback Mountain
We can’t quit this movie. It’s an honest and heartbreaking depiction of forbidden love and repressed homosexuality. So cheery, I know. But if you’re into cowboy hats, you’ll have a field day.
There’s no better literary choice for Valentine’s Day than a Jane Austen adaptation. Emma Woodhouse happens to be my favorite Austen heroine, so I’m biased here. But how can you go wrong with Gwyneth doing a British accent? You can’t, that’s how.
11. Far and Away
If you can believe it, Tom Cruise is actually rather tolerable in this movie. It was his second project with then-wife Nicole Kidman, in which they play Irish immigrants trying to make it in America. It’s cheesy, but I kind of love it.
As Alexis discussed in an open thread a couple of weeks ago, this story, in which Christina Ricci looks for love to cure her pig nose curse, might look silly, but it’ll surprise you. And James McAvoy is charming as hell, so just watch it.
If you love Mean Girls, you need to see its ’80s precursor Heathers. It’s got the kind of dark comedy you rarely see in teen movies, and Winona Ryder is flat-out fabulous. It’s the perfect choice if you approach love with a healthy dose of cynicism… and possibly a desire to murder.
This list was in desperate need of an animated movie. Pocahontas might not be the most romantic thing to come out of the Disney Renaissance, but Beauty and the Beast isn’t streaming on Netflix, okay?! And at least you have the near-perfect “Colors of the Wind” to enjoy.
15. West Side Story
Put on your best snapping fingers and get ready to SIIIIING! When you turn Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet into a modern (well, it was then) tale of street fights and racial tension, magic ensues.
16. Thelma and Louise
So maybe you’re not so into romantic love and would prefer to watch an epic tale of BFF-ship instead. You got it, sister. And don’t you worry about lack of testosterone. Brad Pitt’s abs still make an appearance, and they’re ready and willing to be ogled.
Sometimes you just want to watch a schmaltzy romance without any cynicism or musical numbers. If that’s the case, I really can’t relate to you. But I’ll let you know that this movie, about love that knows no bounds, even death, is on Netflix. Go forth and never look at a potter’s wheel the same way again.
18. House of Cards
Let’s face it. If you’re a fan of Netflix original series House of Cards, none of these movie suggestions will mean anything to you, because season two will be put up on Valentine’s Day. Nothing says “I love you” like a good binge-watch. Enjoy!