What to Watch on Valentine's Day
From HBO, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime: Whether your plans are to Netflix and Chill or actually watch the films, there's no shortage of sickening love stories and odd-couple rom-coms wherein — no matter what — everyone ends up together and everything is good.
Fewer holidays are more adept at launching us into existential and emotional crises as Valentine’s Day.
The holiday of love is often more about what other people think about your relationship … or lack thereof. The barrage of couple’s social media posts — invariably paired with saccharine, corny captions — is an unavoidable annoyance, whether you’re in a relationship or not.
Other inescapable tediums: trying to snag a last-minute reservation because you were so focused on the Super Bowl; waiting for the droopy bouquet of flowers you ordered to arrive; dejectedly wandering the grocery aisles hunting up comfort food ‘cause the entire neighborhood beat you to the chocolate ice cream — few tragedies are greater than this.
But why do we place so much pressure on a day which should be happy? Whether you’re celebrating with a partner, with friends, or with some well-needed self-care, Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be a source of love-induced suffering.
So many of our expectations come from films and movies. You know those sentimental Hollywood endings which inform our expectations about everything, especially romance. But films can also be the antidote. Watching some tried-and-true romantic titles is one of the best — and cheapest! — things you can do to celebrate V-Day!
Whether your plans are to Netflix and Chill or actually watch the films, there's no shortage of sickening love stories and odd-couple rom-coms wherein — no matter what — everyone ends up together and everything is good.
Here are some of the best titles streaming right now:
Valentine’s Day: HBO
Sometimes, the obvious choice is the smartest. This star-studded ensemble comedy gets better every time you watch it. Like all happy endings, this one ties everything — and everyone — together in a feel-good way at the end.
Crazy, Stupid, Love: HBO
Another ensemble cast, this movie is so good I watch it on repeat. With the enviable chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, Steve Carell and Marisa Tomei’s hilarious hijinks, and the heartwarming story, this one checks all the boxes.
Brokeback Mountain: Hulu
Go ahead. Do it. Break your own heart. Brokeback Mountain is a truly outstanding — albeit tragic— love story of all time. Breathtaking performances by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are heart-wrenchingly tender — the perfect film to channel all your yearning.
If Beale Street Could Talk: Hulu
If you’re a hopeless romantic, Beale Street is a gorgeous tale about how love can endure anything — even the turmoils wrought by injustice. It’s a sobering reminder of the realities of the far reaches of the prison system.
Something Borrowed: Netflix
This one’s for the wallflowers out there. Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson play best friends in love with the same guy. This cringey-in-the-best-way comedy reminds us to always go for the person we love — before it’s too late.
Silver Linings Playbook: Netflix
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are both at their best in this Oscar-winning dramatic comedy. And who doesn’t love a movie with a pivotal dance scene extravaganza? Come for the incredible acting, stay for the surprisingly sweet love story.
Always Be My Maybe: Netflix
Comedians Ali Wong and Randall Park make the childhood-sweethearts-reconnecting narrative original and exciting in Always Be My Maybe. Between the jokes and the Keanu Reeves cameo, which appears to the tune of the song "Sail" by AWOLNATION, this is an unexpectedly earnest storyline about family, home, and of course, love.
I Want You Back: Amazon Prime
This brand new Amazon comedy follows comedy all-stars Jenny Slate and Charlie Day as they try to win back their exes in the only way they know how: trickery and schemes. This laugh-out-loud adventure is perfect for mending any broken hearts.
This is the period piece you’ve been looking for. Set in 1950s Harlem, this film is a sensual kaleidoscope of music, color, art, and love.
Fight Club: Amazon Prime
Just like I’ll always make the case that Die Hard is a Christmas movie, I firmly believe that Fight Club counts as a romantic film. This freaky take on a love triangle is full of twists, turns, scenes with a shirtless Brad Pitt— let us never forget that omnipresent coffee cup robe. Any excuse to watch it is good enough for me.