Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or just another day spent with your loved one, there’s no better way to end the night than by watching a bit of Netflix and chilling. That’s right, Netflix is great for more than just original TV series.
Netflix has dozens of romantic comedies in its library just waiting for people like you to sit down and tune in when the mood takes you. But which ones should you actually watch? If you want to end the night well, the worst thing you can do is pick a terrible movie that kills the mood.
Do you want something lighthearted and happy? Or maybe you’d prefer a film that’s more serious, realistic, and dramatic? Whichever side of the spectrum you’re on, Netflix can and will deliver.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
Why You’ll Love It: Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro, this film explores the life of a man who’s suffering from bipolar disorder and struggling to keep his life in check. It depicts relationships in a realistic and grounded way, so don’t go into it expecting something overly lovey-dovey.
Silver Linings Playbook is one of those rare films that scores well with both critics and audiences. It’s entertaining, emotional, and surprisingly satisfying — good enough to be nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year at the 2013 Oscars!
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.
Why You’ll Love It: This film is relatively old, but don’t let that scare you away. Shakespeare in Love takes what we know of Shakespeare, throws it all away, and pays no attention to historical accuracy. In fact, the film is even riddled with anachronisms — just one of the many aspects that make this a fun watch.
And not only is it enchantingly entertaining, but the dialogue is sharp, the story is delightful, and the emotional heart is there through and through.
Amelie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.
Why You’ll Love It: Amelie is a French film, but it’s so lovely and heartwarming that it managed to win the hearts of audiences all over the world — along with several Best Film and Best Screenplay awards in multiple countries.
This is what every feel-good movie should be like, full of life and charm. If you want to smile, laugh, and soften that callous heart of yours, no other film will get the job done like Amelie.
Drinking Buddies (2013)
Luke and Kate are coworkers at a brewery who spend their nights drinking and flirting heavily. One weekend away together with their significant others proves who really belongs together and who doesn’t.
Why You’ll Love It: Starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston, Drinking Buddies is not the kind of romantic comedy you’d expect from a film with its name. It has elements of romance and comedy, but it’s first and foremost a drama — and that’s what makes it so compelling.
Drinking Buddies has a lot in common with films like 500 Days of Summer and 50/50: a low-key premise that’s brought to life by strong performances and a non-traditional narrative. There’s a bittersweet undercurrent here that really sets it apart as a movie worth watching, even if it isn’t stereotypical Valentine’s fare.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
A British woman is determined to improve herself while she looks for love in a year in which she keeps a personal diary.
Why You’ll Love It: For some reason, Bridget Jones’s Diary gets more praise from critics than regular watchers like you and me, but I don’t see why. Starring Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant, and Colin Firth, this book-turned-film is full of charm and likable characters.
There was some controversy over the casting of Zellweger for the role of Bridget Jones because many believed that Jones, a British character, should be played by a British actress. However, it all blew over when Zellweger delivered a quality performance, resulting in a sympathetic character who’s easy to root for.
A rich high school student tries to boost a new pupil’s popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way.
Why You’ll Love It: Clueless is a modern take on Jane Austen’s novel Emma, though with many creative liberties taken in the adaptation process. Set in 1990s-era Beverly Hills, Clueless is a lively and clever teen film that pokes fun at the teen film genre and knows exactly what it’s trying to do from start to end.
Clueless is full of humor and wit, and while it’s not necessarily a romance through and through, the underlying love story binds it all together into the perfect film for a not-so-serious Valentine’s Day evening.
Chalet Girl (2011)
Former skateboard champion Kim wants to make more money after her mother’s tragic death. She joins the elite posh servicing company, which sends her off to Austria.
Why You’ll Love It: Chalet Girl is a lesser-known, oft-overlooked film that is surprisingly polarizing as far as critics are concerned. If you enjoy films that are silly and corny and well aware of it, then you’ll love this one. If you need depth and something more, then you may want to skip this one.
Chalet Girl stars Felicity Jones, who brings a lot of energy to her role, and if there’s one thing that everyone praises about this film, it’s her cheery performance. Do you want to end your Valentine’s Day on a light, upbeat note? Then this is the one for you.
In a countryside town bordering on a magical land, a young man makes a promise to his beloved that he’ll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm.
Why You’ll Love It: Often called a spiritual successor to cult-classic The Princess Bride, Stardust is a wild and crazy fantasy adventure that’s exceptional for its well-realized setting and wonderful characters. But at its very core, Stardust is a love story.
Starring Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Robert De Niro, the performances are wonderful all around — and that comes on top of witty dialogue and a self-awareness of its own genre that keeps it from taking itself too seriously.
While helping his latest client woo the fine lady of his dreams, a professional “date doctor” finds that his game doesn’t quite work on the gossip columnist with whom he’s smitten.
Why You’ll Love It: Hitch stars Will Smith, and he’s as charming and delightful as ever in his role as a love guru who can help others find true love, but can’t win the girl of his dreams. Eva Mendes plays the target of his affections, and Kevin Smith brings a healthy dose of humor as Smith’s hopeless client.
It’s a predictable premise right from the start, but that doesn’t prevent Hitch from delivering a solid, heartwarming story that hits all of the right notes for Valentine’s Day and beyond. It’s nothing special, but it’s easy to watch and easy to love.
Legally Blonde (2001)
When a blonde sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend, she decides to follow him to law school to get him back and, once there, learns she has more legal savvy than she ever imagined.
Why You’ll Love It: Legally Blonde is the classic story of a girl who gets dumped and stops at nothing to win back her ex-boyfriend. Despite receiving mixed reviews, most critics agree that there’s more to like than dislike about this lighthearted love story.
While there are elements that clearly make this a unique take on the cliched premise — the whole law school thing for one — it’s easy to see how this film would have been unmemorable were it not for Reese Witherspoon’s talent and charisma. Of all the “chick flicks” out there, this is certainly one of the better ones.
As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.
Why You’ll Love It: It sounds weird to have a romantic comedy set during the last days of Earth, but Seeking a Friend for the End of the World manages to run with the idea and end up in a satisfying place. In essence, it’s an exploration of what people do when faced with such a scenario.
The film stars Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley, and both bring solid performances that bring a lot of heart to what could have been an otherwise bland and predictable journey. The film also packs an emotional punch that’s stronger than you might expect going in.
One Day (2011)
After spending the night together on the night of their college graduation, Dexter and Em are shown each year on the same date to see where they are in their lives. They are sometimes together, sometimes not, on that day.
Why You’ll Love It: A lot of critics didn’t like One Day, pointing to its lack of emotional depth and how far it fell from the novel on which it was based. Still, the story has an intriguing premise that plays out well if you take it for what it is.
If you aren’t a movie critic, you’ll probably like One Day. It’s easy to look past its flaws and find a good deal to like about it. At the very least, it has a style that feels like a breath of fresh air as far as romantic comedies go, so it’s definitely worth a try. It’s also perfect as a late-night, turn-your-brain-to-other-things end to Valentine’s Day.
Which Romantic Comedy Tops Your List?
Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or just an ordinary day when you’re in the mood for a romantic comedy, are you more inclined to watch movies that are funny, silly, and corny? Or do you prefer films that are more serious and dramatic? Either way, Netflix has a lot to offer, so start queuing them up in your to-watch list already.
Do any of these romantic comedies appeal to you? Which ones will you be watching the next time Valentine’s Day rolls around? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!