Love is in the air, and not just for those in healthy, happy relationships. For most people, Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love, care, and affection. It doesn’t matter if it is directed toward a significant other, friends, family, or even their favorite romantic movie. As we tread lightly toward February 14th, we’re all in the mood for something lighthearted, romantic, and sentimental. And what better way to get in the Valentine’s spirit than to cozy up and indulge in a feel-good film?
Whether you’re cruising through life solo or celebrating the holiday with a loved one, nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like an evening spent watching a cinematic masterpiece. With romance, screwball humor, and feel-good moments aplenty, our pick of the 20 top Valentine’s Day movies runs the gamut from classic charmers to modern crowd-pleasers. While some of these movies will leave your eyes welling up as you recall past relationships through fresh eyes, others will sweep you off your feet as you swoon over intimate connections and thoughtful gestures.
No matter which title you choose to lose yourself in, one thing is certain – your Valentine’s night will end on a high note and remind you that the day is really about spreading and receiving love.
Update February 11, 2024: Getting ready for Valentine’s Day? This article has been updated with even more great titles to watch for the holiday as you make plans and where each title is available for streaming.
20 The Lake House (2006)
Kate Foster, a physician, and Alex Wyler, an architect, live in the same Chicago lake house, but not at the same time, with Kate being in 2006 and Alex in 2004. They begin communicating due to the house’s unique qualities. Leaving letters in the mailbox and falling in love without ever meeting face to face is a dire task, but will they ever find a way to actually see each other?
Why The Lake House Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Beyond its complex fantasy concept, the romance at the heart of The Lake House still holds up almost two decades later. The movie stars Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, who were first seen together on screen in 1994’s Speed. Their chemistry is ethereal. Even though they are trapped between past and present, they share a connection bound by hope and destiny, reminding us that true soulmates will always find their way towards each other. Its melancholic beauty and magical realism makes it a perfect Valentine’s Day watch. Rent on Apple TV+, Prime Video, Google Play, and Vudu.
19 Valentine’s Day (2010)
Valentine’s Day is an ensemble romantic comedy that sees multiple individuals with interwoven storylines bracing themselves for the charming (and somewhat dizzying) day that is February 14th. Among them are a florist who just wants someone to share flowers with, an elementary school teacher in a relationship with a married man, and more.
Why Valentine’s Day Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Garry Marshall’s movie has one goal – to showcase the diverse realities of love we can all relate to. With equal amounts of laughter and emotion, its sprawling cast of A-list actors like Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Kathy Bates, Topher Grace, and Anne Hathaway breathes life into various experiences – from long marriages to rediscovering an old flame. Even though some may find the holiday trite, Valentine’s Day has the distinct quality of reminding you about your V-Day memories. Overall, the movie delivers a heartwarming message about togetherness and the magic we find in the company of another. Stream on Hulu
18 A Moment to Remember (2004)
Su-Jin and Chul-Soo are two individuals who fall in love despite the difference in their social statuses and disapproval from Su-Jin’s parents. Soon after they marry, Su-Jin is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. A Moment to Remember documents their active and heightened courtship days as well as the couple’s response to the news and their attempts to preserve their happy memories.
Why A Moment to Remember Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Despite tackling a heart-wrenching subject, A Moment to Remember manages to honor the enduring power of true love through simplicity and grace. John H. Lee directs the South Korean melodrama, and it stars Jung Woo-sung and Son Ye-jin in the lead roles, whose tender performances depict a marriage challenged by illness yet bound by commitment in a genuinely beautiful manner. At its core, it is a Valentine’s Day tale of devotion, of celebrating each tiny moment, of taking nothing for granted. Stream on Tubi TV
17 Moonstruck (1987)
- Release Date
- December 16, 1987
- Norman Jewison
A critical and commercial success, Moonstruck is a dizzying romantic comedy that follows a widowed Loretta who wishes to restart her life by marrying a nice man, Johnny. Amidst the wedding planning with her Italian parents, Cosmo and Rose, Loretta is asked by Johnny to send his estranged brother an invitation. So it goes: Loretta begins to fall for the shy and charming Ronny Cammareri, and the two are forced to navigate their futures.
Why Moonstruck Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
There is nothing out of the ordinary about Moonstruck. It is a breathtaking story about passion and a comedy for the ages. Nicholas Cage and Cher give absolutely stunning performances, infusing their roles with just as much multi-generational drama as laugh-out-loud humor. The three Academy Awards it took home were all but deserved. But what makes it an appropriate pick for Valentine’s Day is the realism that even the most unexpected and opposite couples are sometimes predestined. That relationships are made of flaws, fears, and fire combined. Stream on Tubi TV
16 Red, White and Royal Blue (2023)
Directed by Matthew López in his feature film directorial debut, this refreshing and groundbreaking queer romantic comedy centers around Prince Henry, the carefree British royal, who has a strange encounter with the politically-engaged first son of the United States, Alex Claremont-Diaz, and the two grow bitter with each other. But when a photograph of them appears in the media, and they’re forced to spend time with each other as damage control, they fall in love.
Why Red, White and Royal Blue Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Embracing and celebrating inclusivity, Red, White and Royal Blue brings fresh fun and feels to the rom-com genre. The movie’s most appealing aspect is the delightful humor, which matches the inspiration – Casey McQuiston’s novel. Plus, it finds two swoon-worthy leads in Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine, a meet-cute involving a bizarre international incident, and that’s basically what makes their sizzling enemies-to-lovers the perfect match for any hopeless romantic looking for an escapist pick-me-up on V-Day. Stream on Prime Video
15 Chocolat (2000)
Taking place in a fictional conservative French village during the early ‘60s, Chocolat centers around a gifted chocolate maker named Vianne Rocher and her six-year-old daughter, Anouk, who set up a chocolate shop in the neighborhood. Vianne’s delicious creations and unorthodox methods shake up the community and bring out the feelings of love and passion that were once repressed.
Why Chocolat Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Chocolat is a Valentine’s Day treat in more ways than one. Beyond its depiction of ‘sinfully delicious’ confections, it also shares the message about embracing life’s one sweet, sweet pleasure, which is love, because it is what ultimately nourishes our soul. Juliette Binoche is perfectly cast as the radiant and spirited Vianne, her persona thawing the icy exteriors of those around her. In many ways, the movie is also about how one little rebellion can bring more good than bad, a theme modern fairy tales happen to thrive on. Stream on Prime Video
14 Marty (1955)
A shy and lonely 34-year-old butcher, Marty lives with his mother in the Bronx and has little luck in the romance department. One Saturday night, at a neighborhood dance he’s dragged to, he meets Clara, a high school science teacher who got stood up by her blind date. Impulsively, they spend the night walking and talking and soon begin to fall for each other. But they’re an unlikely pair, so what does it all lead to?
Why Marty Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
The first film ever to win both the Palme d’Or and the Academy Award for Best Picture, Marty is a landmark in the romance genre and is just as gorgeous now as it was then. Ernest Borgnine won a well-deserved Oscar for his relatable role of big-hearted Marty, whose plain looks masked a mine of kindness. Along with Betsy Blair, the movie’s tender and lighthearted courtship was intimate but also ahead of its time. It is a groundbreaking romance and critically acclaimed, making it a must-watch for Valentine’s Day as a reminder of how acclaimed the genre is. Stream on Hoopla
13 Harold and Maude (1971)
Harold and Maude
- Release Date
- December 20, 1971
- Ruth Gordon , Bud Cort , Vivian Pickles , Cyril Cusack , Charles Tyner , Ellen Geer
In Harold and Maude, Bud Cort plays Harold Chasen, a young man obsessed with death. One day, he meets a free-spirited 79-year-old Maude, played by Ruth Gordon. Fascinated by her outlook on life, he begins spending time with her, and she introduces him to the bliss brought by art and music. Although unconventional, their romance opens Harold’s eyes to living life to the fullest.
Why Harold and Maude Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Dark, hilarious, and genuinely thought-provoking, Harold and Maude celebrates love and its capacity to blossom in unlikely places. Starting with a whimsical courtship and ending on a jarring note, the movie reflects on the idea of seeing the light in another person despite what society perceives it to be. Gordon and Cort share some cutesy moments of passion and creativity, cementing themselves as a memorable on-screen pair. Additionally, much like Maude’s quirkiness, the movie’s offbeat story, rousing message, and off-kilter style have found a special place in the hearts of fans. This is a perfect movie to watch on Valentine’s Day for viewers looking for that warm glow that 70’s auteur filmmaking had to offer. Stream on Paramount+
12 The Princess Bride (1987)
Westley is a swashbuckling farmhand who has vowed his enduring love for the beautiful Buttercup. Their fate, however, takes them down a darker path – with Westley put in search of employment and presumed dead shortly after, Buttercup falls prey to the schemes of the nefarious Prince Humperdinck. With the help of some eccentric friends, Westley must fight pirates and giants and save his beloved.
Why The Princess Bride Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
The cultural impact of this romantic adventure is timeless. The Princess Bride is not only the perfect Valentine’s Day film but also the ideal film to put on when you simply want to be whisked away into a faraway world where love overcomes any hurdle. It is such an iconic romance movie it is referenced in other romance movies, like in the Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan rom-com What If? Among Rob Reiner’s best works to date and considered one of the best films of the 1980s, this infectious story nails its amusement factor as well as feel-good emotion. There’s not much to say about it other than the fact that Cary Elwes and Robin Wright weave magic out of their roles in this one. Everyone wants a fairy tale romance, and The Princess Bride is a top-tier format of the genre. Stream on Disney+
11 Moonlight (2016)
- Release Date
- October 21, 2016
Set against the backdrop of 1980s Miami, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young, withdrawn boy named Chiron. As he grows up, he grapples with his sexuality and identity in a rough neighborhood. He finds an only friend and mentor in Juan, who introduces him to feelings of intimacy and vulnerability.
Why Moonlight Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Winner of three Academy Awards out of eight nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, Moonlight is a beautiful portrait of human connection that stars Barry Jenkins and Mahershala Ali in lead roles. Love is often disguised as friendship, mentorship, or companionship, and the movie finds poetry exploring each of its facades. With tenderness, it traces Chrion’s journey of acceptance, a journey made sweeter yet all the more fragile through his growing relationships. Its positive representation of Black queer boys is a major step foward in movies and shows that not all great romances have or should be straight, and also not all queer romances need to end in tragedy. Stream on Max
10 An Affair to Remember (1957)
An Affair to Remember
- Release Date
- July 11, 1957
- Leo McCarey
- Cary Grant , Deborah Kerr , Richard Denning , Neva Patterson , Cathleen Nesbitt , Robert Q. Lewis
The American Film Institute considers An Affair to Remember among the most romantic films of all time. It follows Nickie and Terry, who meet on a cruise ship. Their friendship leads to casual flirting, and eventually, a romance develops. Both are engaged to others, but their attraction is so intense that once they dock in New York, they promise each other to reconnect at the top of the Empire State Building in six months if they still feel the same.
Why An Affair to Remember Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Imitated a bunch of times by classic romances like Sleepless in Seattle and TV dramas like Gossip Girl, the essence of An Affair to Remember’s iconic “Empire State Building” trope hasn’t been duplicated. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr electrify the screen with enough chemistry to power an entire city, and that alone makes the film an appropriate classic to watch on Valentine’s Day. Their star-crossed story shaped conceptions around the genre for generations to come, having us think, “If Nickie and Terry’s affection can survive despite such odds, perhaps romantic miracles do exist in real life too.” Stream on Hoopla
9 Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Sharon Maguire’s inaugural film, which transforms into a beloved franchise, follows Bridget Jones, a single woman in her 30s living in London. She has a habit of jotting down her daily triumphs and struggles in her private diary. Matters that concern men find a special place in those pages. As the new year begins and Jones resolves to find a boyfriend, she is ambushed by not one but two charming men.
Why Bridget Jones’ Diary Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Almost anyone who is or has been single in their thirties can relate to Bridget Jones. Falling far from the ordinary chick flick territory, Bridget Jones’ Diary has found a universal appeal thanks to Renée Zellweger’s brilliant, funny, imperfect, and likable protagonist which earned her an Academy Award nomination. Her character has the messiest adventures in love, and her response to those complications is wickedly on point. An interesting and hilarious spin on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the movie truly understands what it means to be confused about the idea of love. Stream on Paramount+
8 It Happened One Night (1934)
Ellen “Ellie” Andrews is a spoiled heiress who runs away from her father to reunite with her beau, whom her father disapproves of. Boarding a bus, she meets a brash reporter, Peter Warne, who strikes a deal with her – he will help Ellen in exchange for her story. Despite their reluctant partnership, being on board together allows their chemistry to evolve into something greater.
Why It Happened One Night Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
A screwball comedy, a road trip romance, call it what you want. The fact is, It Happened One Night is the granddaddy of romantic comedies. And for reasons beyond it being one of the only three films to win five Academy Awards in all the major categories. Under the masterful direction of Frank Capra, the playful sparring and delicate will-they-won’t-they tension between Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert creates a spark that still hasn’t fizzled. What’s more, the movie makes a statement about class, society, and politics in a subtle but clever way. Rent on Apple TV+, Prime Video, Google Play, and Vudu.
7 Before Sunrise (1995)
Co-written and directed by Richard Linklater, Before Sunrise is the first installment in the Before trilogy. It introduces us to Jesse, an American, and Celine, a French student, who share a train compartment together. After a brief conversation, Jesse convinces Celine to get off with him in Vienna and spend the day together before they go their separate ways. As they wander the city together, every second eases into a dramatic and emotional conclusion.
Why Before Sunrise Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
In the hands of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, this tender story of love’s beginnings feels honest, organic, and severely impactful. Their effortless rapport, genuinely moving dialogue, and instant intimacy leave an indelible mark on the viewers. Linklater directs the movie with a minimalist aesthetic, letting the backdrop of Vienna be as reflecting and easy on the eyes as possible. He lets Jesse and Celine be real people. The film is certainly the most romantic of the three films, as it perfectly captures young love and is a great film for younger audiences who can relate to the feeling or more mature viewers who want to recapture it once more. Rent on Apple TV+, Prime Video, Google Play, and Vudu.
6 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
In 10 Things I Hate About You, Julia Stiles plays Kat Stratford, a rebellious and feminist teenager who is a tough nut to crack for most boys at her Seattle-based high school. Her sister, Bianca, on the other hand, is a popular sophomore stuck in a no-dating phase because of their father’s rule. When new student Cameron asks her out, and Bianca denies it, he bribes bad boy Patrick Verona to woo Kat and take her to prom.
Why 10 Things I Hate About You Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Apart from Stiles, this definitive ‘90s teenage romantic comedy stars Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Larisa Oleynik. All the stars bring a vibrant spirit to their characters. Beyond showcasing their hilarious hijinks, the movie paints teenage romance in the rawest forms – awkward, angsty, and irresistible. A modernization of Shakespeare’s comedy, 10 Things I Hate About You, has a massive cultural impact because of its ability to balance careful insights on relationships, identity, and labels. It is hard to argue that Heath Ledger performing “Can’t Take My Eyes off You” is not one of the most iconic and romantic moments in movie history. Stream on Hulu
5 Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice depicts the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s five daughters and their quest to secure worthy (and wealthy) suitors. Beginning at an assembly ball, the movie mainly focuses on the relationship between strong-headed and fierce Elizabeth and aloof and arrogant landowner Mr. Darcy. After clashing at first, as the two get to know each other’s true characters, a genuine affection blooms amid the misjudgments.
Why Pride and Prejudice Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
From the iconic and unscripted hand flex to the surprising confession at dusk, Jane Austen’s beloved masterpiece has never felt more vivacious and dynamic than in the hands of Matthew Macfadyen. Paired with Keira Knightley, their chemistry was combustible, and their conversations sparked with modern wit. Directed by Joe Wright in his directorial debut, with Regency-era costumes and manners, Pride and Prejudice offers an escape. Moreover, for how it brings fresh eyes to see the greatest love story there is, the movie deserves to be on literally everyone’s Valentine’s Day lineup. Stream on Peacock Premium
4 Elemental (2023)
- Release Date
- June 16, 2023
- Peter Sohn
The only animated movie on the list, Elemental, is set in a world divided between several anthropomorphic elements of nature. After Bernie and Cinder set foot into Element City, they give birth to a fierce and ambitious Ember, who loves to take over her father’s ‘Fireplace’ when she’s ready. But a chance encounter with Wade Ripple, a water element, alters her life forever.
Why Elemental Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Growing up in New York City during the 1970s, director Peter Sohn was subject to diverse cultures and ethnicities; his inspiration for reflecting the same on the big screen was found in films like Moonstruck and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Despite having only been released a year ago, it is clear that this dreamy fantasy about star-crossed elements is set to champion as a go-to rewatch for years to come on Valentine’s Day. While WALL-E for years has been Pixar’s most famous romance, Elemental is the studio making a full blown romantic comedy. The film’s poetic atmosphere, the catchy romance song, and its focus on themes of identity make it a tender and important entry into Disney and Pixar’s catalog and solidify Ember and Wade as Pixar’s best couple. Stream on Disney+
3 The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Tracy Lord is quietly immersed in the preparations of her upcoming wedding to the wealthy George Kittredge when her ex-husband Dexter shows up with a photographer and reporter in tow. As Tracy grapples with her lingering feelings for Dexter and finds her desires torn between three men, the wedding with George faces disruption. Reflecting deeply on true love and what it means to accept others as they are, The Philadelphia Story is a timeless classic.
Why The Philadelphia Story Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Some movies never go out of style. The Philadelphia Story is among them. Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart share a chemistry so palpable it is no wonder the film remains the gold standard for charming and thought-provoking romances even sixty years later. Sure, the movie has won Oscars, has been remade into musicals, has several witty one-liners, and that Valentine-like feel to sweep you off your feet quite effortlessly. But the reason it stands the test of time is how it celebrates the messiness of relationships and allows them to grow, flaws and farces included. Stream on Tubi TV
2 Titanic (1997)
- Release Date
- November 18, 1997
On the one hand, we have 17-year-old Rose DeWitt Butaker, one of the prettiest women of her time, who is traveling on the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic in 1912 with her family and her wealthy fiancé Cal Hockley. On the other, there’s Jack Dawson, a lower-class artist who won a poker game and landed aboard. When the two meet, they develop a friendship and eventually fall deeply in love before the infamous tragedy strikes and dooms them forever.
Why Titanic Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Born out of James Cameron’s fascination with shipwrecks, Titanic is one of those tragic romances that never lose their appeal. Winner of 11 Academy Awards and securing the first position as the highest-grossing film of all time until 2010, Jack and Rose’s tale continues to leave viewers weeping and smiling at the same time. And forces them to believe that, even in fleeting moments, true love can give us the courage to get through the darkest of nights. However, the film’s awe-inspiring scale never overshadows the intimacy at its heart, and Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet turn Titanic into cinema’s greatest valentines. Fun fact: during Titanic‘s incredible box office run it sold the most tickets on Valentine’s Day of 1998, two months after it first opened in theaters. Stream on Showtime
1 The Notebook (2004)
Set in Seabrook Island, South Carolina, during the 1940s, The Notebook tells the heartbreaking love story of mill worker Noah Calhoun and Allie Hamilton, the wealthy heiress he meets at a carnival. Over the summer of their dreams, they fall madly in love. Upon facing disapproval from Allie’s protective mother, she leaves Seabrook and chooses an upstanding suitor while Noah enlists in war. But time and circumstance give their romance a second chance.
Why The Notebook Is a Great Valentine’s Day Movie
Few love stories have the ability to sting and soothe the heart, of which almost all of Nicholas Sparks’ adaptations are certified tearjerkers. Starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, The Notebook is about passion, longing, and a resolve so steady it tolerates every hit from fate. Despite the two actors being far from anything related to 1940s America, their striking rapport and attractive personalities draw us deep into the movie’s essence of pure love. Overall, The Notebook leaves you bawling but joyously. Apt for people who celebrate Valentine’s Day and even for those who don’t. The film is celebrating its 20-year anniversary this year, and it remains just as powerful and moving to audiences as it did when it first hit theaters, making it a great fit to watch this Valentine’s Day. Stream on Max