Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means its time to dust off the mushy romantic films you have in your collection.
While not everyone gets into the spirit for the most romantic day of the year, Hollywood has long since made a fortune out of romantic comedies and romantic dramas. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones are worthy of your time.
We’ve put together 10 romantic films that you’ll love, bringing together classics with newer films that you should seriously consider adding to your ‘must-watch’ list in February!
1‘Bringing Up Baby’ (1938)
Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn star in this classic. Need we say any more? David Huxley (Grant) is trying to secure a $1 million donation for the museum he works in, which causes him to cross paths with heiress Susan Vance (Hepburn) and her pet leopard Baby. They say there’s a thin line between love and hate and this screwball comedy certainly proves that.
2‘The Shop Around the Corner’ (1940)
Based on the 1937 Hungarian play ‘Parfumerie’ by Miklós László, and later remade as ‘You’ve Got Mail’ with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, ‘The Shop Around the Corner’ is delightfully charming film starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. The two play co-workers in a leather goods shop who are writing romantic letters to one another… but have no idea that each other is the recipient of them. It’s funny, heartfelt and utterly lovely!
Possibly the definitive musical film adaptation, ‘Grease’ continues to captivate audiences of all ages. With the passing of leading lady Olivia Newton-John last year, has there been a better time to dig this one out? Sandy (Newton-John) starts a new school where her summer fling Danny (John Travolta) happens to be a student. Excited to continue their relationship, Sandy is devastated when Danny snubs her so he doesn’t lose his bad boy reputation. With both of them fighting their true feelings, often through iconic songs, it’s not long before their summer lovin’ turns into something else!
4‘Romancing The Stone’ (1984)
If you saw 2022’s ‘The Lost City’ with Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, you may have noticed it bore many similarities to ‘Romancing the Stone’ with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. The first of two films, ‘Romancing the Stone’ pairs an out-of-her-depth romance novelist with an American bird smuggler as she tries to rescue her kidnapped sister. It’s funny, packed with action and often not given the credit it deserves.
5‘Dirty Dancing’ (1987)
The fact that ‘Dirty Dancing’ still lives on as a stage show should tell you everything you need to know about this enduring hit. With a classic soundtrack, an unbeatable pairing of Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, and iconic dance routines, ‘Dirty Dancing’ may be the ultimate romantic movie. Baby (Grey) meets dance instructor Johnny (Swayze) while holidaying with her family and becomes smitten by his slick moves and easy charm. As the two edge towards a romantic relationship, it causes issues with Baby’s family who don’t approve. We all know how it ends but that doesn’t stop the repeat viewing.
6‘Pretty Woman’ (1990)
Some people like to say that ‘Pretty Woman’ is problematic in the modern day but we say it’s still a stone cold classic. Julia Roberts plays prostitute Vivian who is hired by Richard Gere’s suave businessman Edward to accompany him to several social events. As they spend time together, Vivian surprises Edward and the two start to fall in love. Even if you’ve never seen the film, you’ll know how it ends and we bet you can sing most of the soundtrack.
7‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ (2001)
It’s true to say that Helen Fielding’s original book is better but the film adaptation has plenty going for it. Renee Zellweger transformed herself into the ultimate singleton as Bridget Jones, a publicity assistant who is torn between the son of her parents’ friends Mark (Colin Firth) and her smarmy boss Daniel (Hugh Grant). As the love triangle plays out, and old rivalries come to the fore, Bridget has to make a choice as to which of the men she’s meant to be with.
This one could be classed as a Christmas film but honestly it’s so romantic, we’ll happily watch it around Valentine’s Day. John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale are Jonathan and Sara, two strangers who meet in New York and decide to let fate decide if they’re meant to be together. Years later both are engaged but they find themselves drawn back to each other so maybe, just maybe, they’re meant to be after all?
9‘Set It Up’ (2018)
The rom-com died a death in the early 00s but Netflix has been at the forefront of bringing it back. One of the best in recent years was ‘Set It Up’ with Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell. Playing the roles of put upon assistants Harper and Charlie, the two cross paths and devise a plan to get their demanding bosses together so they can have their own lives outside of work. When their plan succeeds, the two inadvertently start to fall for one another. Deutch and Powell have chemistry that’s off the charts in this film and that alone makes it worth watching.
10‘Marry Me’ (2022)
Queen of the modern rom-com Jennifer Lopez shines in this silly but hugely enjoyable film. Kat Valdez (Lopez) who discovers her fiancé, fellow singer Bastian (Maluma), is cheating on her during a live concert where they’re supposed to get married. Instead, Kat picks hapless teacher Charlie (Owen Wilson) from the audience and marries him instead. The film knows its premise is silly and it has fun with it. The soundtrack is killer too!