Another February and another Valentine’s Day. You might have been with your loved one for just a month or for 25 years, either way it’s usually expected that you show up for V Day with something special. And really, it’s a good thing, life can get pretty busy, so it’s handy to have a day to remind us to say thanks and snuggle up for the evening.
With restaurants booked out and flowers priced up, finding a way to celebrate V Day can be challenging, especially if you are not someone who’s ‘naturally romantic’. So we thought, why not have a romantic night in and watch a movie under the stars on your outdoor TV. In Feb, the weather is usually awesome so it’s as simple as lighting some candles and pouring some wine. Even if you are not normally romantic, you’ll win hearts and kisses for sure.
Here are nine of the best movies (in no particular order), to make the night special, with enough comedy and tension to satisfy anyone, even the non-soppy types.
1. Pretty Woman (1990)
An old-fashioned love story at its best. Funny, sweet and everlasting, this classic will be sure to set a romantic mood. Julia Roberts and Richard Gere make a captivating couple with just enough gloss and sharp edges to preserve that Hollywood feel.
2. The Notebook (2004)
What could be more romantic than a story of inseparable and undying love no matter the obstacles? True to the melodramatic undercurrent The Notebook brings a serious case of tears, so have tissues and lots of chocolate on standby. Likeable performances from Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling add extra sparkle to a little gem of a movie that is visually and emotionally rewarding.
3. Say Anything (1989)
If you are looking for something PG-rated then Say Anything is your movie. Possibly the most romantic high school movie ever, John Cusack and Ione Skye have a chemistry that has you believing in young love. It’s the classic story of a left-of-centre guy who works hard to win the oh so perfect girl of his dreams. Laid back and easy to watch, it’s a no-brainer V Day classic.
4. The Princess Bride (1987)
A modern-day fairy tale that packs in all the classic fairy tale features; swashbuckling, damsel in distress, a forced marriage to stuck up prince and a delightful comic air. Some soppy songs talk about swimming oceans and dying for love, this movie actually does all those things and more. Add in some addictively quotable quotes as well as rodents of unusual size and you have a movie that will entertain with or without popcorn.
5. Before Sunrise (1995)
Possibly the most romantic movie ever made, Before Sunrise feels far away from the bright lights and sleek dialogue of Hollywood blockbusters. The smooth and natural performances from Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy will transport you to another world and you’ll soak in a romance so genuine you finish the movie feeling lighter. This is a stand out romantic movie where surprisingly little happens. Follow it up with equally thought-provoking sequels, Before Midnight and Before Sunset.
6. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Entertaining and powerful, Slumdog Millionaire shows romance from a very different place of dirty streets and limited opportunity, that make you wonder if perhaps poverty is where love matters most. Visually stunning and smartly woven together this is a hit in any language.
7. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
If you ever find yourself thinking of love lost and opportunities missed then Brokeback Mountain is the movie for you. What could have been is the real romance here, rather than ‘reality’, which is tragically loveless and full of fear. It’s impossible not to be won over by stand out performances by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as the journey into difficult landscapes. Perhaps seeing the pointlessness of holding back and denying love will motivate you to seize the day!
8. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Nobody plays the screwball quite as enchantingly as Hugh Grant. This time his awkward and hesitant character is coupled perfectly with the confident directness of Andie MacDowell. Delicately tip towing around every slant of dating; the long-ago exes, the on-again, off-again, the one night stand and the, what ifs, this British romantic comedy is a laugh from the moment it opens, with a nice big romantic sigh at the end.
9. The Wedding Singer (1998)
Think weddings are romantic? This movie shows that they aren’t all that with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore working the wedding circuit where the behind the scenes are anything but rosy. Goofy and sweet this outrageous story brings laughs but never heads over to eye rolling stupidity.
So, puff up the cushions, switch on the outdoor TV and settle in for a romantic night with your special someone.