I really have a love-hate relationship with Valentine’s Day; while I revel in the idea of a day dedicated to celebrating love, be it with a romantic partner, friend, or family member, I don’t love the pressure that surrounds this particular day. There’s no denying that I myself have overspent money to ‘show love’ on this day when what really matters is the quality of time spent with loved ones. So, over the years, I’ve taken it down a notch and now celebrate this day in a super low-key manner.
Gone are the days of paying triple the usual price for dinner. And unnecessary gifting has also been put to a stop. Instead, I spend my Valentine’s Day indoors watching a romantic movie. Sometimes with my partner and other times with my family and friends. While I have a long list of recommendations, I’ve shortlisted some of the best of the classics and a couple of new releases for you to watch.
1. You People
I love Jonah Hill and Lauren London, so I was stoked when I heard they were to star in You People together. It’s the classic clash of cultures when two people from different backgrounds fall in love and meet each other’s parents. Star-studded cast with a hilarious (and thought-provoking) script — it is a rom-com not to be missed.
2. Falling Inn Love
I love cheese, and I love cheesy rom-coms even more. Falling Inn Love tells the story of an exec from San Francisco who wins an abandoned inn in New Zealand. As she leaves city life to remodel the rustic property, she also finds love in the handsome contractor she sought help from.
3. Valentine’s Day
You can’t sleep on a Gary Marshall rom-com, and one of my many favourites by the director is none other than Valentine’s Day. Starring many big names, the movie tells the intertwining story of couples and singles living in Los Angeles. Break-ups, make-ups, and all the pressure that comes with this special day are displayed in the movie.
4. Only You
It may have been released in 1994, but Only You has stood the test of romantic comedies’ time. Starring Robert Downey Jr and the ever-so-lovable Marisa Tomei, this movie follows Faith (Marisa Tomei) as she sets out to find her destined partner in Venice, no less.
5. Silver Linings Playbook
After some time at a mental institution, Pat (Bradley Cooper) moves back home with his parents, and whilst trying to work things out with his ex-wife, he befriends a spirited widow named Tiffany, who’s also struggling with her mental state. The two forge a hilarious and unlikely connection, which has turned Silver Linings Playbook into the cult classic that it now is.
6. Your Place or Mine
Reese Witherspoon returns to her rom-com roots and partners up with Ashton Kutcher (another favourite in the romantic comedy-dom) in Your Place or Mine. Best friends, total opposites, and looking for something they think they want, which, as it turns out, isn’t exactly what they need.
7. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Quite possibly one of the cutest renditions of teen romance, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before sees Lara Jean’s high-school life turn upside down when her soul-baring love letters to her five crushes somehow get mailed. The chemistry between Lana Condor and Noah Centineo is palpable!
8. Knocked Up
Sometimes things don’t go quite as planned, and in the case of Katherine Heigl’s character in Knocked Up, life certainly didn’t pan out how she thought it would. After getting drunk and having fun with Ben (Seth Rogen), Alison didn’t think she would end up pregnant with his baby. The chaos that ensues after telling him is proof that love is vast and varied, and romance comes in all forms.
9. Jumping The Broom
Love isn’t always easy, and it’s tough when two very different families are basically forced to converge at a wedding. Starring Paula Patton, Angela Bassett, and Loretta Devine, Jumping The Broom revolves around the importance of family (chosen or not), tradition, and love. It may have received a 58% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but this uplifting American rom-com is 100% in our hearts.
10. No Strings Attached
As the movie title suggests, No Strings Attached is about two friends who decide to have a strictly physical relationship and nothing more. But how is that possible when Adam (Ashton Kutcher) is truly a romantic at heart, and despite what she says, Emma (Natalie Portman) is looking for companionship?