Valentine’s Day has become a controversial holiday; some have forgone sugary greeting cards and cinematic gestures, while others revel in the romance and kitsch of Valentine’s Day.
To me, Valentine’s Day is what you make it, and in this article, I hope to give you a movie recommendation that matches where you are at. That said, below is a list of rom-coms suitable for different Valentine’s Day viewers.
For people who eat Talenti ice cream and still believe in soul mates:
“Love, Rosie” (2014). Directed by Christian Ditter. Watch on Starz.
“Love, Rosie” is an underrated film that should be the model for the genre. A romantic comedy of errors, Ditter’s debut in an English film is an adaptation of Cecelia Ahern’s 2004 bestseller, “Where Rainbows End.” The film, which is set in England, tells the story of Rosie Dunne (Lily Collins) and Alex Stewart (Sam Claflin). Rosie and Alex fit the familiar trope of childhood best friends turned push-pull lovers, but also undergo significant personal transformations outside of their relationship. On a 12-year narrative timeline — spanning the couple’s journey from late teens to young adulthood — Rosie and Alex are repeatedly separated by college acceptances, family moves, and insufferable acting partners. Yet the characters’ delightful chemistry, made possible by Collins and Claflin’s intimacy training, always draws them back together. “Love, Rosie” hits all the notes of a classic romantic comedy, balancing heartbreaking missed opportunities and tender moments of emotional catharsis.
For people who had a Tamagotchi and never say “I love you” first:
“Palm Springs” (2020). Directed by Max Barbakow. Watch on Hulu.
I saw “Palm Springs” for the first time at a drive-in theater in Los Angeles, and while that idyllic viewing experience may have skewed my positive impression of the film, this comedy will satisfy you no matter how you look at it. . One-third sci-fi, one-third tragicomedy and one-third quirky romance, the genre miracle that is “Palm Springs” somehow brilliantly reinvents – as Andy Samberg’s character calls it. , Nyles – “one of those infinite time loop situations you may have heard of. Nyles has spent over 40 years living the same day at a wedding in Palm Springs when he meets Sarah ( Cristin Milioti), and she accidentally joins him in the loop. Cycling between nihilistic depression and epicurean enthusiasm, the perfectly mismatched characters slowly sweeten into each other, and the result is a sweet film to add to your pool. of rewatch.
For people who drink Red Bull and are bored in relationships:
“The Lovebirds” (2020). Directed by Michael Showalter. To watch on Netflix.
No other film made me laugh so much, except maybe Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart”. “The Lovebirds” begins with a sort of prelude, in which we see Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) and Leilani (Issa Rae) slowly begin their relationship. Snoh Aalegra’s “Find Someone Like You” plays in the background as they transition from a one-night stand to afternoon brunch and cocktails. It is the first glimmer of a honeymoon phase. Cut to four years later, and the two seasoned partners bicker over everything from Jibran’s picky eating to Leilani’s phone addiction. Their intimacy is all but shaken when a stranger hijacks their car and runs over a supposed “criminal” cyclist, and Jibran and Leilani go on the run as murderous detectives. “The Lovebirds” is an ironic and absurd film with a healthy dose of social commentary and a lot of chaos. While critics preferred Showalter’s 2017 film “The Big Sick,” which tells Nanjiani’s real-life love story, I don’t find it necessary to oppose them. “The Lovebirds” has a lot to offer on its own.
For people coming out of a “Fleabag” era and who are afraid of commitment:
“Sleeping with other people” (2015). Directed by Leslye Headland. Watch on Amazon Prime Video.
I used to think this movie was a hidden treasure; then I started meeting all the other people with anxious-avoidant attachment styles. “Sleeping With Other People” features two protagonists who, while well into their adult lives, are about as mature as freshmen. Lainey (Allison Brie) is a chronic cheater and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) is a first class tool. But when these two have their version of a cute encounter at a drug reunion, they commit to bettering each other — confiding in each other about their love lives while keeping their own attractions under control. Two sex addicts navigating a heterosexual friendship are hilarious, and viewers are invested from the moment these two choose “mousetrap” as a safe word to deflate the sexual tension. Some scenes in the movie are pure laughs, like when Lainey rolls around on ecstasy at a children’s birthday party. Lainey and Jake are so easily adorable, both individually and as a couple, which makes “Sleeping with Other People” a joy to watch.
For the people who still make Valentine’s Day boxes and live for the dopamine of a crush:
“But I’m a cheerleader” (1999). Directed by Jamie Babbit. Watch on YouTube.
“But I’m a Cheerleader” is the late ’90s film that inspired MUNA and Phoebe Bridgers’ iconic “Silk Chiffon” music video and strangled queer women for more than two decades. The film’s protagonist, Megan (Natasha Lyonne), is a carefree high school girl who shows more interest in staring at her fellow cheerleaders than making out with her jock boyfriend. Despite this fact, Megan insists to her family and friends that she could not may be to be a lesbian. Yet they stage an intervention and send Megan to True Directions conversion therapy camp, where “choppy” teenagers are rigorously trained in all-American heterosexuality. Megan plays along, dresses in baby pink and dutifully plays Cinderella. However, when she begins to fall for her camp friend Graham (Clea DuVall), she realizes that being a cheerleader doesn’t, in fact, disqualify being a lesbian. “But I’m a Cheerleader” is campy trash of the highest caliber, ahead of its time but perfect for today’s Pharbz.
For people who were “fun in class” and think more about platonic life partnerships with each passing day:
“Straight” (2019). Directed by James Sweeney. Rent on YouTube or Amazon Prime Video.
James Sweeney’s feature debut, “Straight Up,” is so phenomenal that I called three people immediately after watching it to rave about it. Todd (Sweeney) is in his early twenties, and although he has historically identified as a gay man, his obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and deep-seated fear of bodily fluids leaves him indifferent to sex. Enter Rory (Katie Findlay), an aspiring Hollywood beauty who shares Todd’s dry humor and fear of intimacy. The two quickly move in together – jumping from mansion to mansion as professional house keepers in Los Angeles – and navigate a sexless romance. Throughout the film, Todd and Rory’s relationship goes back and forth as the two fall in love, but not quite. All the while, they consider their own identity and family traumas. “Straight Up” is for mumblecore enthusiasts who believe in many kinds of soulmates.
For people who hold on to concert tickets and still love more:
“Someone Great” (2019). Directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. To watch on Netflix.
While “Jane the Virgin” made Gina Rodriguez’s acting skills crystal clear, “Someone Great” lets her shine in an achingly beautiful breakup movie almost all on her own. Although Brittany Snow and Matt Lasher’s side romance is hugely entertaining and DeWanda Wise has some impeccable punchlines, Rodriguez’s brutality as Jenny Young takes center stage. Jenny embodies all the heartbreak, self-destruction and hilarity of someone freshly dumped by the love of their life, and we feel every moment of her emotional turmoil. During her Tiny Desk gig in 2019, Taylor Swift shared that after settling into a happy, long-term relationship, she was afraid she would lose her ability to write breakup songs. After watching “Someone Great,” however, Swift was churning out the lyrics to “Death By a Thousand Cuts” in her sleep. From its harrowing close-ups to its pitch-perfect soundtrack, “Someone Great” shows admirable attention to detail as it continues to weave a touching story arc. This movie will break you down and heal you in the best way.
Although I wrote much of this article in jest, I know that Valentine’s Day can be really tough for some of us. That said, I hope that one or more of these films will make you feel seen and comfortable wherever you are in your love life. Good viewing, XOXO.
Editor’s Note: This article is a review and includes subjective opinions, reflections, and critiques.