10 of the Best Romantic Films for Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air as Valentine’s Day fast approaches. For some, that means breaking out the fancy clothes and doing something special. For my husband and I, it means a romantic movie marathon, popcorn, pajamas and cuddling on the couch. If that’s your idea of a great Valentine’s Day activity, this list is for you. All of the movies on this list make regular appearances on Valentine’s Day in the Fraser household so if you’re looking for your own romantic movie marathon, get some ideas from some of my all time favorites.

source: Sony Pictures

10: 50 First Dates

Cast: Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Sean Astin, Blake Clark
Year: 2004
At first glance, 50 First Dates may not seem like an ideal Valentine’s Day movie but give it a chance. I’m really not a big Adam Sandler fan so I almost passed this one up but Drew Barrymore sold me on it. She’s every bit as adorable as I’d hoped in this romantic comedy about Lucy (played by Barrymore), a young woman who suffers a brain injury following a car accident causing her memory to be wiped clean every time she falls asleep. She only loses her memory of a single day but instead of trying to help her deal with her affliction, her family goes to great lengths to recreate the day before her accident each and every day. Enter a man more interested in sleeping with beautiful tourists than settling down until he meets Lucy. Is he able to help her cope with her illness? Watch the movie and find out. And yes – it’s much, much funnier than it sounds.

source: Paramount Pictures

09: Grease

Cast: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway,
Year: 1978
Who doesn’t know Grease? The moment I thought about this movie for this list, I immediately got You’re the One that I Want stuck in my head. While I’m not a big fan of musicals – never have been, probably never will be – this one is different. All about summer love and trying to hold on to that love after the summer’s gone, Grease is nearly too much fun. Filled with catchy songs you’ll have stuck in your head for days and offering a feel good time for anyone who watches, this one is the perfect Valentine’s Day movie.

source: Summit Entertainment

08: Twilight

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Jackson Rathbone, Ashley Green, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed
Year: 2008
Shh. I know. Everyone hates Twilight now but not this girl. I’ve never been the type to hate something just because it’s popular or just because it’s popular to hate it. Twilight is no masterpiece and it doesn’t hold a candle to the book but it is a darn good movie on its own merits. This one is about a teenage girl who moves to a small town only to fall in love with the mysterious, handsome kid in school no one seems to know anything about and he? Oh he seems to like her too. Of course he’s a vampire and she smells like bacon cooking to him but they overcome his desire to have her for lunch and go to prom together. Come on – nothing says romance like “I love you too much to kill you and drain your blood with my fangs.”

source: Columbia Pictures

07: A Knight’s Tale

Cast: Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, Paul Bettany, Alan Tudyk, Mark Addy
Year: 2001
There isn’t a frigging day that goes by that I don’t think the movie industry is a far less awesome place without Heath Ledger and A Knight’s Tale is a pretty good example of why. Not really his best movie but a fine example of his endless charisma and ability to command a scene. This is one of my personal favorite Valentine’s Day movies – filled with romance, comedy, action and with excellent performances from every single cast member, to me, A Knight’s Tale is what romance is really all about. When you love someone, you love them unconditionally, whether knight or peasant.

source: Warner Bros.

06: The Bodyguard

Cast: Whitney Houston, Kevin Costner
Year: 1992
It took me a long time to get around to watching The Bodyguard but then a few years back, it was on television and there was nothing else on, so I checked it out. I fell in love. It’s easy to forget how incredibly talented Whitney Houston was back in the day but this movie stands as a shining example of both of those talents. Plus, I don’t care what anyone says, I love Kevin Costner and he was absolutely fantastic in this one.

source: TriStar Pictures

05: Sleepless in Seattle

Cast: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Rita Wilson, Bill Pullman, David Hyde Pierce
Year: 1993
Can it get much more romantic than Sleepless in Seattle? I don’t think so! This one is a tearjerker all the way but it’s also a beautiful movie about finding love after loss and taking chances to find that love. While a lot of movies have tried to capture the heart of this one, few of even come close. Tom Hanks is such a ridiculously awesome actor and his performance in this film really sells the emotion. Fabulous. Perfect for a good Valentine’s Day cuddlefest.

source: Paramount Pictures

04: Ghost

Cast: Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze, Whoopi Goldberg
Year: 1990
Does it get more romantic than Sleepless in Seattle? Oh right. Ghost. Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze (also very, very sorely missed) are absolutely perfect in this movie. The chemistry they had together is a big part of the reason this movie worked so much for me. I also loved the fact that it offered a fresh twist on more traditional love stories. And the pottery scene? Come on! It’s a classic.

source: New Line Cinema

03: The Notebook

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Sam Shepard, Kevin Connolly
Year: 2004
I know there are a lot of people out there that don’t really get what was so moving about this movie. I guess that’s the way it is with any movie. Some people are going to get it and some people aren’t. I thought it was an absolutely beautiful film about a beautiful love. The fact that Ryan Gosling’s face was in it didn’t hurt. I tend to be cautious when it comes to romantic movies so I waited until long after this one was out on DVD to watch it and only watched it at my husband’s urging. I actually regretted not watching it sooner. Definitely one of my favorites for Valentine’s Day or anytime I’m in the mood for a good cry.

source: Warner Bros.

02: Gone with the Wind

Cast: Clark Gable, Vivian Leigh
Year: 1939
What can be said about Gone with the Wind that hasn’t been said a million times? This is a classic example of film making at its finest. You might not always love the characters or the decisions they make but you’re always deeply invested in the story. If you haven’t seen this one yet, you absolutely need to watch it. Just make sure you have some tissue handy because this one is definitely a tearjerker. One of the best romantic movies ever made.

source: Paramount Pictures

01: Titanic

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, Gloria Stewart, Bill Paxton, Billy Zane
Year: 1997
I was just a young thing when this movie was released – about fourteen or fifteen I believe – but I can still remember watching it over and over again on VHS the moment by best friend bought it. Much like with Twilight, Titanic gets a lot of hate simply because it’s popular which is pretty ridiculous when it comes right down to it. The love story in this movie is one of the most beautiful ever told. Sure it ends with heartbreak but the beauty lies in the journey and in that soul crushing goodbye.

I would also highly recommend checking out the following exceptional romantic films I just couldn’t find a place for on this list:

  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Casablanca
  • Wuthering Heights
  • The English Patient
  • Bridges of Madison County