It’s safe to say that most people with be spending Valentine’s Day indoors in 2021. With the pandemic, many cities, including Toronto, are in lockdown, with people permitted to go out only for essential reasons. It’s a great reason to have a romantic evening, perhaps ordering dinner in or making a favourite recipe such as Sauteed Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles and Avocado Cream. And you can cuddle up and watch a great movie with your loved one. Below are 10 romantic movies to watch on Valentine’s Day:
Call Me By Your Name
In Northern Italy, seventeen-year-old Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) develops a romantic relationship with his professor father’s 24-year-old grad student, Oliver (Armie Hammer). Chalamet received acclaim for his portrayal in this coming-of-age story and the film received four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.
Ten stories weaved together by common characters concern the themes of unrequited love, obstructed love, a cheating spouse, love between a boss and employee, love despite language barriers, platonic love between friends and young love. Starring Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson and others. Look for a young January Jones as Jeannie, one of the girls caterer Colin meets when he travels to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Lake House
Sandra Bullock had terrific chemistry with Keanu Reeves in Speed and they have reunited in this film. In this story, two individuals who separately retreat to a Lake House each summer leave letters for each other despite the fact that they each visit in different years. So yes, you are going to have to suspend any disbelief you have about time traveling, but if you can, the premise of falling in love with someone from the past (or the future) is highly romantic.
Pride and Prejudice
There have been many film versions of the Jane Austen classic, but the 2005 version with Keira Knightley is quite charming. The Bennets have five daughters whom they must marry off since the daughters, being female, will not inherit their family estate. This is 18th century England after all! The intelligent Elizabeth Bennet (Knightley) meets the handsome, wealthy, reserved Mr. Darcy at a ball, but her misinterpretation of his behaviour throws a monkey wrench in their relationship. Gone Girl‘s Rosamund Pike stars as popular and pretty sister Jane Bennet while Donald Sutherland anchors this family as the kind and rational Mr. Bennet.
Sandra Bullock (I guess you have guessed that I’m a Sandy fan) teams up with Ryan Reynolds in this gender role reversal film in which boss lady Bullock forces her assistant, Reynolds, to pretend to be her fiance so that she won’t get deported back to…wait for it…Canada! Look for Betty White as Reynolds’s “Gammy” and Oscar Nunez (Oscar Martinez in The Office) as Ramone, the town’s male stripper/waiter/shop owner/minister.
Canadians Ryan Gosling and Rachel Adams, who were a real life couple after the making of this film, shine in this story about Noah Calhoun, a lumber worker who falls in love with heiress Allie Hamilton in the 1940s. The trope of social class barriers preventing the romance to blossom and the theme of miscommunication through hidden love letters make this movie plot somewhat cliched, but you can’t help route for the couple to overcome these barriers.
Friends with Benefits
Justin Timberlake pairs up with Mila Kunis is this film which asks the question of whether friendships can survive the addition of casual sex. Dylan Harper (Timberlake) is an art director who is placed by headhunter Jamie Rellis (Kunis) in a position at GQ Magazine in New York City. Harper and Rellis become friends who later try having casual sex. You can guess how the story ends, but Timberlake and particularly Kunis will charm your pants off along the way.
Cher won the Academy Award for Best Actress as a 37-year-old, Italian-American widow, Loretta Castorini, who becomes engaged to Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello). Although Loretta does not love Johnny, her mother Rose (Olivia Dukakis) is happy since she feels that when you love someone, you get hurt easily. While Johnny goes to Sicily to tend to his ill mother, Loretta meets her brother’s fiance, Ronny (played intensely by Nicholas Cage) and the sparks fly.
Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts star as London bookseller William Thacker and American actress Anna Scott respectively. After entering Thacker’s bookstore incognito, Scott attracts the eye of Thacker. A romance ensues until Scott’s Hollywood boyfriend arrives on the scene. Features the commonly quoted line, “I’m also just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.”
Okay, if you want to go way back in time, this classic film is the epitome of romantic movies. It even won the Best Picture Oscar back in 1944. During WW!! in Casablanca, Morocco, nightclub owner Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) encounters his former love, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman). Lund is now married to a Czech resistance leader and the couple is looking for letters to escape to the U.S. and continue their fight against the Germans. Bogart must choose between his love for Ilsa and helping the couple escape.
Let me know in the comment section what you think of these romantic movies to watch on Valentine’s Day.
You might be interested in reading, “Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her“.