Whether you’re hiding from gooey couples, or having a cheap night in with your beau, here’s your ultimate guide to the best films on Netflix to watch this Valentine’s Day. Who knows, maybe you’ll even shed a tear or two into your reduced box of Thornton’s.
1. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before: Always and Forever (2021)
Following the major success of Netflix’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and second instalment P.S. I Still Love You, based on the books of the same name, Lara Jean is back with more romantic mishaps and love triangles. Starring Lana Condor and Noah Centineo, the plot follows on from its predecessor, seeing Lara and Peter’s relationship hang in the balance whilst Lara considers which college to go to, and how Peter would, or wouldn’t, fit into her plans. It’s a classic plot point, and we’re all waiting to see how this love story ends.
2. He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)
It’s a modern classic, and a really well-made rom-com. A perfect Valentine’s Day film on Netflix, with parallel plots happening with different characters and relationships, He’s Just Not That Into You shows how couples in one city have similar issues, and how each of them deal with relationship problems and heartbreak. With stars such as Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, and Bradley Cooper at the helm, you know you’re in the best hands.
3. About Time (2013)
One of the finest rom-coms to come out of the UK literally ever, About Time is a truly heartwarming story about two people who fall in love, and, well… time travel. When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), he tries to win her heart using the gift of time travel that he’s inherited from his father. However, as life goes on, he begins to realise his talent can’t shield him from all the trials and tribulations that naturally come with life. Oh, and did we mention Bill Nighy is in it?
4. Dear John (2010)
It wouldn’t be a list of romantic movies without this one, would it? Dear John was a phenomenon upon its release in 2010 – with women everywhere pining for Channing Tatum (nothing new there!). After falling in love with Savannah (Amanda Seyfried), John (Channing Tatum) is called back on duty as a soldier for the US army, keeping in touch with his beau through letters over the years while he’s away. Unfortunately for John, though, sh*t happens, and long-distance relationships aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
5. Lady Chatterley’s Lover (2022)
One of the raunchier new offerings, Lady Chatterley’s Lover reimagines D.H. Lawrence’s 1928 novel with leading actors Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell at the forefront. The tale of an upper-class woman pursuing an affair with her working-class gamekeeper, after falling out of love with her now permanently disabled husband, was outrageous at the time of publication, and this retelling on Netflix truly evokes those feelings with its graphic sex scenes and exploration of female pleasure. In many ways, the story is truly empowering and refreshing for a nearly decade-old plot, making it one of Emma Corrin’s many recent successes. At its heart, though, Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a true romance that will melt even the coldest of hearts.
6. Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016)
The final instalment of perhaps the most widely-loved British rom-com ever, Bridget Jones’s Baby is available to stream on Netflix until February 28. Following the classic plot of Mark Darcy vs another of Bridget’s love interests, this film sees her become pregnant, without knowing which is the father. As you can imagine, this makes for great material for a Bridget Jones film, playing on the ‘will they, won’t they’ narrative with a new twist. A proper rom-com at the heart of British culture, and a perfect Netflix film for Valentine’s Day.
7. Set It Up (2018)
A newer, easy-to-watch rom-com, Set It Up sees two underpaid assistants come together when they realise their insufferable bosses would be perfect for each other. Will the plan work? Will they fall in love? So. Many. Questions. This Netflix original film stars Lucy Liu, Glen Powell, Zoey Deutch and Taye Diggs, and would be a refreshing Valentine’s Day watch.
8. Maid in Manhattan (2002)
Two words: Jennifer Lopez. That’s all you really need to know, but for those so inclined we’ll give more details before you spend the best two hours of your life watching Maid in Manhattan. A politician (Ralph Fiennes) falls in love with a hotel maid (Jennifer Lopez) when he assumes she is a socialite, making for an ugly duckling-esque story, testing his feelings for her when he finds out that she is indeed a maid. The film is based on a story by John Hughes, so if you sense a little Breakfast Club chemistry, it’s no wonder.
9. 13 Going on 30 (2004)
Another classic from the early 00’s, 13 Going on 30 solidified Jennifer Garner‘s star status in the rom-com genre. It’s story of a 13-year-old wishing away her formative years to become ‘thirty, flirty, and thriving‘, and actually waking up as her 30-year-old self. The film, available on Netflix for Valentine’s Day, follows her readjustment as she meets the older versions of everyone she knows, and some she doesn’t, coming to terms with the person she has turned into. Jenna attempts to reestablish a good relationship with her childhood best friend Matt (Mark Ruffalo), and in doing so creates a Valentine’s Day-worthy ‘will they, won’t they’ narrative – just a proper good rom-com!
10. Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name made a star out of Timothée Chalamet, putting him alongside Armie Hammer in this tender, nostalgic gay romance. The film exudes that hazy Italian warmth you get on holiday, making the entire film seem sleepy and dreamlike, enhancing the intense romance shared by Elio and Oliver. The tenderness of the love shared in the film is what makes Call Me By Your Name special, and is a romance not to be missed this Valentine’s Day on Netflix.
11. Dirty Dancing (1987)
An all-time favourite through the generations, Dirty Dancing is thankfully on Netflix for you to shimmy along to this Valentine’s Day. You can’t beat the romance between Baby (Jennifer Grey) and Johnny (Patrick Swayze), with Baby crossing over to experience the culture of working class people for the first time through dance, all set to the most wonderful soundtrack of 60s soul. This is possibly the most intimate a mainstream film can get, and especially for 1987 – so if for nothing else, watch for the novelty, and the great one-liners.
12. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
A rom-com with a sci-fi twist, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind sees Kate Winslet‘s Clementine and Jim Carrey‘s Joel clinically erase their minds of their past relationship, embarking on a new one with a clean slate. This unusual romance plays with the idea of ignorance being bliss, testing a philosophical theory in a very real way. This film’s on Netflix this Valentine’s Day for the cynical ones who don’t generally go for a rom-com – we’re sure this’ll change your mind.
13. Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Known as that comedy that Keanu Reeves famously shows up in, Always Be My Maybe is incredibly underrated. The comedy stars Ali Wong and Randall Park as two childhood best friends who part ways after high school and end up living completely different lives. Sasha (Wong) becomes a highly successful celebrity chef, while Marcus (Park) stays home to help his dad out with his work. When the pair reconnect after 15 years, sparks begin to fly – except their new lives don’t quite complement one another. It’s a princess and the pauper kind of situation (again), but it’s very funny and actually one of Netflix’s best so far.
14. Your Place or Mine (2023)
Not officially out yet, Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher lead Netflix’s newest rom-com Your Place or Mine. The film follows best friends Debbie and Peter as they swap houses in LA and New York, living highly contrasting lives. The change is instrumental in changing both of their perspectives, and of course they both find love somewhere along the way. The much-anticipated Valentine’s Day film will be released on February 11 on Netflix.
15. Letters to Juliet (2010)
Another Amanda Seyfried offering, Letters to Juliet is as much a classic romance as it is a love letter to Shakespeare’s Juliet, and Verona by extension. Sophie seeks to reunite one letter writer with her long-lost true love, finding her own love story along the way. This film really is a rom-com within a rom-com, perfect for Valentine’s Day, and harnesses a feeling of romance in old Italy – how dreamy!
16. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Everyone knows the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, but the 2005 reimagining of the Jane Austen classic is the most highly revered. Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen do the characters justice, and take us on a journey that has been trodden countless times, yet make it feel new again. Made in the height of British rom-com activity, Pride & Prejudice carries that same trademark that the likes of Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Bridget Jones’s Diary have, albeit with more classic literary material behind it, making for a concoction of everything we love about rom-coms.