With so many titles to choose from, Netflix Instant's library can be overwhelming. So we bring you this biweekly column as a tool to cut through the clutter by highlighting some now streaming titles that pair well with the latest theatrical releases.
Looking to Winter's Tale, Endless Love and About Last Night for inspiration, we've pulled together a selection of romance movies, from the fantastical to the comedic to the dramatic. All in time for Valentine's Day!
Winter's TaleBased on the novel by Mark Helprin, this fantasy feature focuses on the love that blooms between a charming thief and a consumptive heiress. Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly, and Eva Marie Saint co-star; Akiva Goldsman directs. Read our full review here.
For a dose of fantasy to mingle with romance this Valentine's Day, try out this tantalizing trio. Whether it be a feisty fairy tale,an angel-infused crime narrative, or a modern-day story of magic, these movies are sure to inspire.
Mirror Mirror (2012) Lily Collins stars in this re-imagination of the Snow White story, playing the pale princess who must face off against her evil and vain step mother. In her quest, Snow White crosses paths with several short but spirited thieves and a dapper prince who keeps losing his pants! Julia Roberts and Armie Hammer co-star; Tarsem Singh directs.
Amelie (2001) National treasure Audrey Tautou fronts this French feature that won the hearts of movie-lovers worldwide, and earned five Academy Award nominations. She stars as the titular Amelie, a lovely young woman living in Paris who uses her imagination and joie de vivre to bring love and happiness to those around her. Amid men made of glass, roaming gnomes, and photobooth escapades, she just might find some love of her own. Mathiew Kassovitz and Lucien co-star; Jean-Pierre Jeunet directs.
A Life Less Ordinary (1997) This is one of Danny Boyle's less popular releases, but I couldn't tell you why. It's a wild and warm-hearted rom-com that blends fierce sex appeal with zany fantasy. Cameron Diaz and Ewan McGregor star as an unlikely pair of lovers. She's an heiress with an attitude and itchy trigger finger; he's a cleaning man/aspiring novelist who accidentally kidnaps her to rile her merciless dad/his boss. But things go from bad to mental when kidnapping turns to Bonnie and Clyde crime spree, and a pair of actual angels join the fray. Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo co-star; Boyle directs.
About Last NightA remake of the 1986 Rob Lowe/Demi Moore vehicle, this R-rated comedy stars Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant as two Los Angelinos whose one night stand leads to a tumultuous relationship. Kevin Hart and Regina Hall co-star. Read our review here.
Looking for the perfect pic for your funny Valentine? Then these wonderful romantic comedies should easily please.
The Apartment (1960) Use Valentine's Day as an excuse to revisit this classic dark comedy from film legend Billy Wilder. Jack Lemmon stars as an ambitious aspiring executive who understands getting ahead means making sacrifices. So, he offers up his humble apartment to his philandering higher-ups to use as their personal love nests. But when one of these trysts lands a depressed elevator girl in his bed, everything changes. Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray co-star; Wilder directs.
Never Again (2001) As a middle-aged divorcée, Grace thought she was through with love. When she meets a sexually confused but charismatic man who also swears "never again," the two become friends and casual lovers. And love soon follows whether they like it or not! Jeffrey Tambor and Jill Clayburgh star; Peter Dinklage co-stars. Eric Schaeffer directs.
Populaire (2013) For a mix of classic rom-com and contemporary flare, check out this enchanting love story out of France. It's an unusual sports movie set in 1958 that stars the lovely Deborah Francois as a secretary whose greatest skill is typing like a speed demon. Her boss (Romain Duris) encourages her to enter a major speed typing competition. And within this silly setup, romance blossoms. Berenice Bejo co-stars; Regis Roinsard directs.
Endless LoveIn this remake of the 1981 romance of the same name, Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde star as a pair of teen lovers who come from opposite sides of the tracks, and so face parental disapproval that could end their relationship. Bruce Greenwood, Dayo Okeniyi, and Joely Richardson co-star; Shana Feste directs. Read our review here.
If you like your romance with a streak of drama, you'll go gaga over these titles. Each tells a story of a love that faces serious obstacles, be it by differences in social class, the distinct complications of a polyamorous relationship, or the intervention of the queen herself.
Mansfield Park (1999) Maybe you know Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Pride and Prejudice, but do you know the love story of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park? In this rousing adaptation, Frances O'Connor stars as Fanny Price, the impoverished cousin taken in as ward of the wealth Bertram family. When a pair of flirtatious siblings join the family's social circle, love and lust is in the air. But while her cousins fall prey to crushes, Fanny pines for her one and only. Johnny Lee Miller, Alessandro Nivola, James Purefoy, and Lindsay Duncan co-star; Patricia Rozeman directs.
Love Songs (2007) For something fun yet unconventional, check out this French musical set in contemporary Paris. Ismael and Julie attempt to bring new life to their lackluster relationship with sexual experimentation. So, they invite the alluring Alice to their bed. This threeway leads to polyamorous relationship, whose highs and lows are punctuated by poppy and wonderful musical numbers. Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier and Clotilde Hesme star; Christophe Honore directs.
Shakespeare in Love (1998) Maybe no one understands the pain of love quite like William Shakespeare. In this seven-time Academy Award-winning drama, Joseph Fiennes stars as the young bard who falls for a lady (Gwyneth Paltrow) who is promised to another. Nonetheless, theirs is a love for the ages that will inspire for centuries to come. Ben Affleck, Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush co-star. John Madden directs.