When Valentine's Day swings around, you may find yourself in the mood for some romance movies—whether they're heavy dramas, lighthearted romantic comedies, or maybe even movies that aren't exactly "romance movies" but have a strong romantic thread.
There have been plenty such movies made throughout the decades, but not all of them are suitable as Valentine's Day fare. Here are our picks for the best Valentine's Day movies to watch this year, especially if you're watching as a couple!
10. Dirty Dancing (1987)
You've been living under a rock if you think anyone puts Baby in a corner, and this is a great time of year to revisit this 80s romance classic.
Dirty Dancing is the story of a teenager and a dance instructor who dance together and fall in love. Patrick Swazye is at his best here, and despite the fact that the leads weren't thrilled with each other in real life, they convey plenty of passion on the screen for us to eat up.
9. An Affair to Remember (1957)
It's impossible to have a list of classic romantic movies without An Affair to Remember, starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr—so many other movies and TV shows have referenced this plot of meeting someone on top of the Empire State Building.
This film is where that whole concept really took off, although the film itself is actually a remake of the 1939 film Love Affair. It's a must-see if you enjoy this whirlwind romantic idea.
8. P.S. I Love You (2007)
While not exactly a happily-ever-after type of romantic movie, P.S. I Love You will slam you in the heart and suck you in with its exploration of how loss is an inevitable a part of life and love. The themes and emotional impact here are things everyone can identify with.
The movie follows Holly (played by Hilary Swank), whose husband (played by Gerard Butler) dies but ends up leaving her a series of letters and adventures to help her cope with the grief. The idea that love endures despite death is unbreakable here.
7. Down With Love (2003)
This film was inspired by the 1960s sex comedies featuring Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Down with Love, featuring Ewan McGregor and Renée Zellweger, is even set in the same time period and stars classic actor Tony Randall, who played the friend in many of those comedies.
That casting decision makes for some great throwbacks and fun costumes. The story follows a feminist author and a playboy magazine writer who end up falling for each other. With zany twists, this one is a great nod to the comedies of the past.
6. He's Just Not That Into You (2009)
In He's Just Not That Into You, three women represent various stages of falling in love: one who's unhappily married, one who's with a longtime boyfriend who doesn't want to get married, and one who's still looking for love.
The latter of the three ends up befriending a bartender who provides her with insight into the male mind and dating advice—advice that's mostly about knowing when to move on when a guy just isn't interested.
5. Catch and Release (2006)
Here we have another film that heavily revolves around love and loss. Catch and Release, featuring Jennifer Garner and Timothy Olyphant, is about a woman who loses her fiancé and then begins to discover that he may not have been the man she thought he was.
The themes about how much you really know someone and finding love after loss are the main focuses, and both combine for an enjoyable film.
4. Casablanca (1942)
Casablanca is another one of those must-see movies that will sweep you right into the story, mostly due to the chemistry between Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart.
Even though the two barely spoke off-screen, their chemistry was so good that Bogart's then-wife often confronted him in his dressing room, thinking that the two were having an affair. Talk about extra drama!
The film is set against the backdrop of World War II and centers on an exiled American named Rick (played by Bogart). He now runs a cafe, but things get complicated when a former lover (played by Bergman) and her husband show up.
Their love is rekindled, yet it's doomed from the start. While the ending of this film may not be the one that we want as romantics, this film is still a masterpiece and definitely worth a watch.
3. 13 Going on 30 (2004)
For those who love the 80s, 13 Going on 30 is a fun romantic movie with plenty of references to the decade. It features Jennifer Garner in the role of Jenna, a girl who wishes she was 30 instead of 13.
When her wish comes true, she realizes that skipping ahead in life wasn't all it was cracked up to be—especially when her childhood best friend marries someone else. Not an easy situation!
2. The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride is a stellar blend of fantasy, drama, romance, and comedy that came out in the 1980s.
This well-known movie is not just a kissing book, but an epic adventure as Westley and Princess Buttercup reunite and find their way back to each other, despite all of the obstacles that come their way.
For something lighthearted and uplifting this Valentine's Day, The Princess Bride is a solid watch—and you may want to follow it up with Stardust, which is a more modern film that feels very similar.
1. Valentine's Day (2010)
While this movie is far from perfect, it's a solid watch for any couple on Valentine's Day. As indicated by the title, Valentine's Day takes place on Valentine's Day—more specifically, how various couples approach the day and all the ups and downs that come with it.
It's no Love Actually, but it's still an enjoyable film that explores the pressure of Valentine's Day, including proposals, sex, and presents. It also has a solid cast with Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel, Hector Elizondo, Shirley MacLaine, Julia Roberts, and Ashton Kutcher.