Movies are a classic choice for Valentine’s Day, whether you’re snuggling up with your favourite person, weeping to a romantic comedy, or even just hanging out with friends. Whatever the cause, watching a movie is a great activity when spending time with those you care about — as long as it’s not a first date.
In light of the last mildly cynical Valentine’s Day article written under my name, I’m back again to redeem myself with a commentary on some great movies to watch to get yourself in the romantic spirit, whether you’re alone or partnered. Of course, take these recommendations with a grain of salt — know that there’s something there for everyone and every mood this Valentine’s Day.
Basking in my cynicism used to be my usual remedy for spending Valentine’s Day alone, but recently I’ve found that sometimes it helps to forget your own pessimism by indulging in the stories of those who are doing significantly worse than you are. If you’re looking for a movie that will make you want to cry in a way that will hurt in your bones, I’d suggest A Star is Born. Originally filmed in 1937, the rock musical has been remade thrice, most recently starring the illustrious Lady Gaga herself. The story follows the touring story of two musicians who happen to fall deeply in love, overshadowed by the heart-wrenching theme of addiction. The ending of this film is brutal, but it might be exactly what you’re looking for if you want to sob through Valentine’s Day.
On the other hand, perhaps you’re the hopeful romantic type. Though I wouldn’t dare refer to myself as a theatre fan, my roommate, who is majoring in performance production, recently enlightened me about the musical She Loves Me — an adaptation of a Hungarian play that tells the story of two perfume shop employees that happen to be each other’s secret romantic pen pals. The two meet each other with animosity at the parfumerie, and the slow ‘enemies to lovers’ burn is enough to keep you engaged for the entire length of the production. Furthermore, if you’re a sucker for little details, the set design and costumes in this musical are beautiful. Even the biggest Grinch’s heart can’t help but swell at this fateful story.
My personal favourite Valentine’s Day movie, and perhaps my favourite movie in general, would have to be the original 1954 Godzilla. If you haven’t seen this movie, I’d urge you to watch it — the giant creature of this film’s namesake will make you fall in love. While it may not seem like a typical choice for a romantic moment, die-hard Godzilla fans like myself will know that the Emiko in your life will appreciate this classic masterpiece — plus, it gives you a great excuse to cozy up with your special someone if you’re feeling particularly frightened by the premise of nuclear war.
In keeping with the idea of stories that are surprisingly romantic, WALL-E is an animated film that absolutely has to make this list. What’s more heartwarming than two robots who happen to find each other in the midst of post-apocalyptic desolation? While the topics of consumerism and environmentalism may not immediately scream romance, dancing in space and a true love’s kiss just might be enough to turn even the most rusted robots soft.
If animated movies aren’t your jam, you can’t go wrong with a classic rom-com. Let’s face it — they’re everyone’s guilty pleasure, and they truly encapsulate the movie-type romance that most wish to capture someday. If you’re dreaming of an eventual meet-cute, I’d suggest something like 50 First Dates. Maybe, one day, you too will shed your fear of commitment and meet the love of your life while stacking your waffles at a diner.
And of course, if you’re just looking for a good movie to ‘Netflix and chill,’ you can’t go wrong with something you’ve already seen before. If we’re being honest, you probably won’t be paying much attention to what’s playing on screen anyways, so it’s good to pick something with a simple plot. In this case, I’d pick something like Forgetting Sarah Marshall — easygoing, funny, and secretly a rom-com — or if you’re feeling quick and dirty, a pilot episode of any lighthearted TV show will do just fine.
Whatever the movie is, spending time watching it with others is what really takes the cake on Valentine’s Day.