Cinematic

Romance Movies to Check Out This Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentines Day! On this romantic holiday, you may be considering watching a movie that makes you believe in love. Here a list of some favourite romance movies for you to enjoy, to celebrate love and friendship all around the world.

Let the romancing begin!

Crazy Rich Asians

Based on the novel of the same name, the story follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) who decides to accompany her boyfriend. Nick Young (Henry Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. This will also be the first time she meets her boyfriend’s mysterious family.

Once in Singapore, she learns, for the first time, that her in-laws are not just rich, but crazy rich. She must prove to everyone, from jealous socialites to quirky relatives, to Nick’s disapproving mother, that she’s more than worthy of being with Nick and them.

This film made history in Asian representation, as well as managed to enchant audiences all over the world. Be sure to give it a watch!

10 Things I Hate About You

Who didn’t have a crush on the bad boy with the heart of gold, and swooned over Heath Ledger in the 90s? Maybe people who have never seen this film, as this is an iconic 90s rom-com.

Based on The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, the story follows Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who is smitten with Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik), and in order to get around her father’s strict rules on dating, attempts to get bad boy Patrick (Ledger) to date Bianca’s older sister, Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles).

This is a must-watch. Heath Ledger singing Can’t Take My Eyes Off You is always a treat to a broken, or not so broken heart.

Serendipity

Destiny and fate are tricky little things, and while they work in subtle ways, sometimes it’s hard to ignore the signs.

That’s the premise of this film, starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack, as two strangers who meet on a Christmas shopping spree and, for a night, share magical moments that made them feel there’s more to their connection. However, Sarah (Beckinsale) feels the need to test if they’re “meant to be together” and puts their relationship in fate and destiny’s hands.

This is a classic that, in my opinion, doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves, starring two great actors and a promise that, while a little cheesy, will still make you feel all warm and fuzzy, because some things are meant to be.

While You Were Sleeping

Another 90’s classic that doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves, has a simple, yet powerful premise: sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but that is all for the better. And, it stars Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman, so…you know it’s worth a watch.

This film follows the story of Lucy (Bullock) a token collector for Chicago Transit Authority, who harbours a crush on one of the daily commuters, Peter (Gallagher) whom she’s never spoken with. On Christmas day, he gets mugged and falls on the rails, and Lucy saves him before the train arrives.

At the hospital, she’s mistaken as his fianceé, and when his family arrives, she doesn’t have the heart to break the news that she’s no one, as the family takes an immediate liking to her. However, during this time while Peter is in a coma she bonds with his family, and especially Peter’s brother, Jack (Pullman).

Needless to say, things get complicated, especially when Peter wakes up.

Leap Year

Anna (Amy Adams) is waiting for her boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott), to propose to her after years of being together, especially now that they are looking for an apartment to share. However, he fails to do so and, upon learning of an Irish tradition she decides to go after him and propose on Leap Day. However, as it tends to happen in a rom-com, things don’t go according to plan.

This is an underrated gem; it’s not only romantic, but also really funny and amusing. Using various tropes we’ve come to love; “there was only one bed”, “enemies (or more like reluctant allies) to friends to lovers”, etc. I really encourage you to give this movie a chance, if only for the great Amy Adams and her charisma in a romantic film.

The Proposal

Another Sandra Bullock classic, this time alongside the funny and charismatic Ryan Reynolds, it celebrates its 10- year anniversary in 2019, so all the more the reason to watch it this Valentine’s Day.

The premise is simple: after being told that her VISA expired and she must leave the country, high-powered book editor Margaret Tate (Bullock) must fake an engagement with her assistant, Andrew Paxton (Reynolds) in order to be allowed to stay in the US. However, after years of being mistreated and ignored, Andrew bargains a deal: she must start treating him as an equal and give the books he gives her a chance, as well as accompany him to his Grandma’s (Betty White) 90th birthday. Desperate Margaret says yes, not knowing that this trip will change things for both of them in unexpected ways.

This is a film that is well known and beloved, and is one of the best-known in both actors’ filmographies. It’s worthy of a mention because of its impact on pop culture and the fact that is a really good romantic comedy that does not make you want to scratch your eyes out after time has passed and you see it again (believe me, it does tend to happen with some films).

Stardust

Another hidden gem, this time set in fairytale land, with knights, pirates, witches and unicorns on the mix is Stardust. It tells us that the quest for love is not as straightforward as it seems and sometimes, you must be brave with an open heart in the search for it.

Starring Charlie Cox (pre-Daredevil) as a shop boy named Tristan, who goes on a quest to find a fallen star named Yvaine (Claire Danes), in order to win the heart of his beloved Victoria (Sienna Miller), who’s also been courted by another gentlemen (Henry Cavill, pre-Superman and blonde). But he’s not the only one looking for the fallen star, as a coven of witches (led by Michelle Pfeiffer) and a band of brothers in cahoots for the kingdom are in search as well.

This is a film that might seem a tad too cheesy on the surface, but once you give it a chance it is a really endearing movie, full of heart and laughter that will make you have a great time. It’s also narrated by Sir Ian McKellen, and that is never a bad thing.

The Princess Bride

If you’ve never seen The Princess Bride, I must encourage you to do so as soon as you can, because you’re missing out on a truly amazing film.

The premise of the film goes a little something like this: Buttercup (Robin Wright), a beautiful young woman, falls in love with a farm hand by the name of Westley (Cary Elwes), who answers her “as you wish” for every command she makes. In order to seek fortune so he can marry Buttercup, Westley leaves Florin, but his ship is attacked and everyone thinks him dead.

Five years pass and now Buttercup is engaged to a prince. However, before that can happens she’s kidnapped by three mysterious men, only to be saved by a fearless pirate who hides more than Buttercup ever imagines.

This is a tale of adventure, misfortune and magic, with love underneath it all. Love conquers everything, even death (at least according to this film), and it’s something worth watching, especially when times are low.

Just Like Heaven

This romantic comedy, starring Mark Ruffalo and Reese Witherspoon, follows the story of David (Ruffalo), a recently widowed architect, who decided to make a change, by moving into an apartment in San Francisco. But not everything is as it seems as the apartment isn’t entirely empty; it’s haunted by the ghost of a woman named Elizabeth (Witherspoon). Although Elizabeth can’t remember much about her life, she’s convinced that she isn’t really dead, and must convince David of this much.

It deals with topics such as grief, moving on, independence, fear of the unknown, and falling in love in at what could be considered the worst possible time, but telling us that if things are meant to happen, they will find a way.

Yes, it might be cheesy or corny, but sometimes you need to believe in that possibility, and this movie is perfect for that job.

Amélie

This may not be your typical romantic comedy, as it is not entirely focused on romance, more like the personality of our main character (Amélie) and how she decides to help those around her in non-conventional ways.

In the film, Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou) is a shy girl full of dreams who, after finding a mysterious box in her apartment, starts a quest to help those around her to have “their happy ending”, whether is it by playing matchmaker, giving closure to some or simply tricking her father into going for his lifelong dream. However, she still struggles with her own inability to form actual connections with people.

The humour and atmosphere of the film are entirely French, so it’s much different from the American rom-coms we’ve grown accustomed to. It’s a breath of fresh air, especially because its main focus is not romance, but the search for happiness. The romance in this movie could be called incidental, as it happens mostly in the background, but it’s the movie itself and the eventual romance that manages to give you a sense of peace and hopefulness for a better and brighter tomorrow.


Love come in all forms and shapes, and while movies certainly portray it as the “most important force in the world”, it’s not always the romantic type of love that must be placed as the “top form of love”. However, it’s Valentine’s Day so, maybe for a day, it’s not so bad to indulge in the fantasy that romantic love can save the world.

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