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As the most romantic day of the year approaches, now is usually a time for couples to make dinner reservations. However, many are probably looking for ways to celebrate their love at home - perhaps by looking up what to watch on Valentine’s Day weekend. You could always go with a reliable favorite like The Notebook, or a more recent, acclaimed drama like A Star Is Born, for instance. However, if you expand your search across all of your favorite streaming platforms, you will find more movies that are perfect for the holiday than you will know what to do with.
When it comes to keeping our readers informed on what movies are currently available to stream, our goal has always been to put the spotlight on the highest quality options possible and selecting films for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day is certainly no exception. Thus, we sifted through the romantic sections of all of our favorite streaming services and found films we think you and that special someone will enjoy the most, whatever your cinematic tastes may be. We ended up finding a whopping 22 movies to keep you busy for practically the entire weekend and beyond, starting with one beloved story that proves true love really can last forever.
The Notebook (HBO Max)
An elderly man (James Garner) reads a woman in a nursing home (Gena Rowlands) the tale of young lovers Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams) - whose passionate romance in the 1930s is tested by class differences in The Notebook, which set off a trend of hit tearjerkers from Nicolas Sparks in 2004.
Stream The Notebook on HBO Max here.
Sylvie’s Love (Amazon Prime)
If The Notebook puts you in the mood for another period piece that spans generations, the 2020 Amazon Prime original Sylvie’s Love traces the on-and-off relationship of an aspiring TV executive (Tessa Thompson) and a jazz saxophonist (Nnamdi Asomugha) from the moment they meet in a 1950s Harlem record store, complete with exciting music and first-rate performances.
Stream Sylvie’s Love on Amazon Prime here.
The African Queen (Amazon Prime)
Speaking of the 1950s, Humphrey Bogart won the Best Actor Oscar in 1952 for The African Queen - a sweeping epic in which his alcoholic steamboat captain and a snobbish missionary (Katharine Hepburn) fall in love while taking on a German warship in World War I-era Africa.
Stream The African Queen on Amazon Prime here.
Coming To America (Amazon Prime)
Speaking of Africa, revisit Akeem (Eddie Murphy), prince of fictional African nation Zamunda, and his hilarious quest to find true love in the land of the free before he returns in Amazon Prime’s long-awaited sequel, Coming 2 America.
Stream Coming To American on Amazon Prime here.
The Big Sick (Amazon Prime)
This Amazon Prime original, The Big Sick, is inspired by Oscar-nominated and married screenwriters Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon’s real-life romantic struggles amid the latter’s comatose state, as well as their families’ differing cultural backgrounds.
Stream The Big Sick on Amazon Prime here.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (HBO Max)
The cultural differences between Greek Toula (Nia Vardalos) and non-Greek Ian (John Corbett) also cause a few ridiculous hijinks between their respective families as they await their impending nuptials in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, based on Vardalos’ autobiographical play.
Stream My Big Fat Greek Wedding on HBO Max here.
West Side Story (Hulu)
There is less to laugh about in how the cultural differences of former Jet gang member, Tony (Richard Beymer), and Maria (Natalie Wood), the sister of a rival Latino gang leader, affect their romance in West Side Story - an urban, musical retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet from 1961, which was recently remade by Steven Spielberg and set for a late 2021 release.
Stream West Side Story on Hulu here.
Queen & Slim (HBO Max)
A violent occurrence of cultural civil unrest actually becomes the catalyst for true love to eventually bloom between Academy Award-nominee Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith in Queen & Slim - a thought-provoking, highly relevant, and extremely powerful crime drama about a Tinder date turned tragic.
Stream Queen & Slim on HBO Max here.
A Star Is Born (HBO Max)
As far as powerful, tragic romances go, few have had as great an impact on pop culture as the story of a fading celebrity falling in love with an ordinary, but extraordinarily talented woman in A Star Is Born - the most recent iteration of which stars a breathtaking Lady Gaga and a transformative Bradley Cooper, who also makes his directorial debut with this Academy Award-winning 2018 masterpiece.
Stream A Star Is Born on HBO Max here.
Silver Linings Playbook (Netflix)
Another romance that earned Bradley Cooper the Academy's attention in 2012 is the rousing dramedy Silver Linings Playbook, in which he plays a recently released mental patient whose plans to win back his ex-wife are interrupted when he meets the equally damaged Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence's first Oscar-winning role), who may be his true second chance at love, but only if he can learn to love himself.
Speaking of unexpected chances at love, young shop worker Therese (Rooney Mara) finds herself falling for Cate Blanchett's older, soon to be divorced, titular housewife and mother in Carol - a beautiful and boldly honest portrait of forbidden romance in 1950s New York from director Todd Haynes.
Stream Carol on Netflix here.
There’s Something About Mary (Amazon Prime)
Ted (Ben Stiller) is still head over heels for his popular high school crush, Mary (Cameron Diaz), years after their disastrous prom night, and he soon discovers he is not the only one, in 1998's There's Something About Mary - one of the finer and more clever examples of a ridiculous raunchy comedy classic from Peter and Bobby Farrelly.
Stream There's Something About Mary on Amazon Prime here.
Palm Springs (Hulu)
Without spoiling too much about this Hulu original, Nyles (co-producer Andy Samberg) is going through a very unusual situation at a wedding in the titular location of Palm Springs, but after a chance encounter with the bride's sister, Sarah (Cristin Milioti), he finds he is no longer the alone, in one of the most glorious gusts of fresh air to come out of 2020.
Stream Palm Springs on Hulu here.
About Time (Netflix)
Speaking of finding love in unusual situations, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) uses his newly discovered, hereditary ability to travel through time to win the heart of Mary (Rachel McAdams in her second role as a time traveler's love interest) in About Time - a charming romantic fantasy from Love Actually creator Richard Curtis.
Stream About Time on Netflix here.
Spring (Shudder, Tubi)
For those who crave a romantic fantasy on the darker side, look no further than Synchronic directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's touching, Lovecraftian drama Spring, starring Lou Taylor Pucci as an American tourist in Italy, where he meets the woman (Nadia Hilker) of his dreams, but soon learns she is hiding a nightmarish secret.
Starman (Amazon Prime)
The gender roles of human and not-so-human romance are, in certain ways, reversed in 1984's Starman - an unusually endearing change of pace for director John Carpenter, in which Raiders of the Lost Ark's Karen Allen is visited by an extraterrestrial explorer who takes human form in the appearance of her late husband, played by Jeff Bridges in an Academy Award-nominated performance.
Ghost (Amazon Prime)
Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) is visited by her late, murdered lover, Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze), with the help of a medium (Whoopi Goldberg's Oscar-winning role) in 1990's Ghost - an unusually dark, but moving change of pace for Airplane! co-director Jerry Zucker that made pottery sculpting an unexpected symbol of affection and The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" the ultimate love ballad.
Stream Ghost on Amazon Prime here.
Love & Basketball (Hulu, HBO Max)
Sports had never been so romantic until the 2000 release of Love & Basketball, in which Quincy (Omar Epps) and Monica (Sanaa Lathan) experience the challenges of young love on and off the court, from their childhood years as next door neighbors to hitting the pro leagues.
Love, Simon (Hulu)
The challenge of young love is something Nick Robinson's title character would love the chance to experience, if not for his own struggles to be himself in Love, Simon - an uplifting dramedy about a gay teen finding the courage to stop playing his story "straight," from director Greg Berlanti, which also inspired a Hulu original spin-off series, Love, Victor.
Stream Love, Simon on Hulu here.
Date Night (Hulu)
Speaking of youngsters, couples wishing for a night away from the kids this Valentine's Day can witness the dangerous misadventures Steve Carell and Tina Fey endure in attempts to do just that, after a case of mistaken identity, in the criminally hilarious Date Night, and feel better about staying home in more ways than one.
Stream Date Night on Hulu here.
The Princess Bride (Hulu)
In fact, why not share movie night with the kids this Valentine's Day weekend by revisiting a classic that is perfect for the whole family, like 1987's The Princess Bride - the timeless and surprisingly funny storybook romance of adventurous Westley (Cary Elwes) and soon-to-be royal Buttercup (Robin Wright) from director Rob Reiner.
Stream The Princess Bride on Hulu here.
If you ask me, the most exciting, funny, and magical romantic adventure in Disney's line-up of animated classics would have to be 1992's Aladdin, inspired by the Arabian interpretation of a folk tale in which the titular "street rat" (voice by Scott Weinger) receives help in winning the heart of Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin) from an eccentric, fast-talking genie (Robin Williams).
Stream Aladdin on Disney+ here.
I could have included Guy Ritchie's live-action, blockbuster update of Aladdin with Will Smith as Genie, but I think most would agree that the 1992 animated original is the one on more people's wish list. Then again, not everybody's wish list is the same when it comes to romantic movies. That being said, do any of the films listed above sound perfect for your Valentine's Day weekend marathon, and which do you prefer the most?
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.