Well, of course Valentine’s Day would have to fall on a school night. We can’t seem to catch a loved-up break. While there’ll be no late-night drinking or gallivanting for us, we can indulge in a romantic film (or two) instead. But we’ve seen almost all of them. How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days? Check. Bridget Jones? Check. Casablanca? Triple check. For that reason, we’ve put together a list of nine romantic films you’ve probably never seen but will absolutely enjoy.
1. A Very Long Engagement, (2004)
This is a beautiful tale of a young French woman's desperate search for her fiancé who may have been killed during World War I. He was on the battlefield in no man’s land between French and German troops when there was an explosion. She enlists the help of a private investigator to uncover the truth about what happened to the man she loves.
2. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, (2008)
Set in the late 1930s, this romantic comedy tells the tale of a sexually charged singer/actress and her many boyfriends, none of whom know about the others. Delysia Lafosse, played by Amy Adams, enlists the help of Miss Pettigrew, a nanny played by Frances McDormand (of recently Oscar-nominated Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri fame) to help her keep track of her lovers. Not only does this film offer the joyous excitement of young love, it’s also laugh-out-loud funny as Miss Pettigrew is swept up into the world of high society.
3. Prelude to a Kiss, (1992)
This love story is a bit like Freaky Friday with a twist. Meg Ryan plays the part of Rita, the free-spirited girlfriend of Peter, who’s played by Alec Baldwin. At their wedding, they are approached by a lonely, elderly man who requests permission to kiss Rita. When he does, their spirits switch places, leaving Peter with an aged man's soul inside his newlywed bride. The spell can only be undone when Peter learns to see beyond the physical and embrace the beautiful soul he loves.
4. Love Potion No. 9, (1992)
If cheesy films aren’t your thing, give this rom-com a watch. Scientists Paul and Diane (played by Tate Donovan and Sandra Bullock) are both unlucky in love, but that quickly changes with a chance encounter with a cat. They discover a potion that makes anyone they speak to fall in love with them, but will they find ‘the one’?
5. Serendipity, (2001)
Do you believe in destiny? Sarah does. She met Jonathan by chance one evening and they immediately hit it off, but rather than trade numbers and go on a date, they left their future up to fate. They put their names and phone numbers on a $5 bill and on the inside of a book (that will be sold in a secondhand shop the next day.) If they are meant to be together, they’ll find each other’s items, but will they reunite before someone else comes along?
6. Life Partners, (2014)
Two best friends, who rely on one another for everything, have their relationship flipped on its head when one of them gets a boyfriend. Sasha, played by Leighton Meester, feels left out when Paige starts spending all of her time with Tim. But there’s more to it than that. Sasha is gay, and she always hoped that she and Paige would end up together. Will she learn to accept Tim into the circle?
7. Belle Epoque, (1992)
For those who enjoy foreign cinema, or for anyone who speaks Spanish and is interested in that type of culture, this is an excellent Valentine’s Day choice. The plot follows Fernando, a Spanish soldier who deserts his comrades during a period of civil unrest. He’s welcomed into the home of a farmer and is particularly taken by his four daughters. He meets each daughter individually and has sex with her, before moving onto the next. He wants to marry them, but they each turn him down until he reaches the youngest, Luz, played by Penelope Cruz.
8. Stuck in Love, (2013)
This film depicts almost every type of love there is. A divorced man spies on his ex while she’s with her new husband, he then strikes up a ‘friend with benefits’ situation with his young blonde neighbor, who encourages him to get out on the dating scene. Meanwhile, his grown-up daughter has numerous one-night stands and his teenage son is madly in love with a girl but is too shy to do anything about it. This dramatic comedy follows the characters as they try to resolve their individual dilemmas.
9. Charade, (1963)
This movie is one of Audrey Hepburn’s lesser-known works but it’s just as brilliant a watch as Breakfast At Tiffany’s. She plays Reggie, a woman who decides to divorce her husband while on holiday with a friend, only to discover he’s been murdered while she’s away. She finds solace in a charming stranger named Peter, played by Cary Grant – but is all as it seems? This is a hidden gem for lovers of classics, romance, and thriller genres alike.
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