2016 Valentine’s Day Movies

Looking for some Valentine’s Day movies to watch? Here are some modern classics that are still going strong plus recent releases and other classics. Be sure to check each film for content and rating (e.g. Once, Silver Linings Playbook and Love Actually are outstanding films, but are rated R).

You can head to the theaters to check out The Choice, How to Be Single, or a special 30th anniversary showing of Pretty in Pink, which opens on February 14.

Looking for great romance movies to watch at home? Redbox recently completed a Valentine’s Day survey of more than 5,000 customers that found ‘dinner and a movie’ is the top choice for date night and a comedy is the best genre for date night. The survey also revealed that The Notebook continues to reign as the best date night movie of all time, and the most memorable on-screen kiss from the same epic love tale goes to Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. Respondents also chose Jennifer Lawrence and Channing Tatum as top star picks.

Some high quality titles you also might consider include L.A. Story, French Kiss, 13 Going on 30, The Lake House, Two Weeks Notice, ‘Sweet Home Alabama, Jerry Maguire, The African Queen, My Big Fat Greek Wedding (sequel coming March 25), GhostMy Fair Lady, Gone With the Wind, Doctor Zhivago, Sleepless in Seattle, An Officer and a Gentleman, You’ve Got Mail, Date Night, About Time, Fault in Our Stars, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Remains of the Day starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, which is perfect for Downton Abbey fans.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is an involving film with great performances from Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet along with another eccentric, but solid screenplay from Charlie Kaufman.

Cameron Diaz and Winslet swap houses for the holidays in the romantic comedy, The Holiday, directed by Nancy Meyers (Something’s Gotta Give). Jude Law and Jack Black also star.

In Return to Me, David Duchovny (X-Files) and Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting) play the romantic leads, Bob and Grace in Bonnie Hunt’s romantic comedy full of laughs, great performances and heart. Jim Belushi and Carroll O’Conner also star.

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves team up again to star in the unique romance The Lake House that prompts the question – How do you hold on to someone you’ve never met? The time traveling elements of the film work mainly due to the couple’s on screen chemistry, previously seen in the action movie Speed. Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music) and Shohreh Aghdashloo also star. This ‘pen pal’ fantasy comes recommended for a high level of escapism and great love story that puts possibility over logic. Based on the 2000 Korean film Siworae.

The 10 Things I Hate About You: Two Disc Special Edition from Touchstone Home Entertainment is an outstanding high school romantic comedy, which helped launch the acting careers of Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt ((500) Days of Summer) and featured memorable performances from comedian Larry Miller and Allison Janney (TV’s Mom). Originally released in 1999, this DVD set showcases a strong feature film ahead of its time with some joyful insight into film production and the kinetic chemistry on the set. Other bonus features include screen test footage and deleted scenes plus great commentary and bonus footage surrounding the location shoots and set choices in Seattle.

In The Proposal, Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds star as two work colleagues (boss-assistant) who consider marriage to avoid deportation in The Proposal. Director Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses, Step Up) and first time screenwriter Pete Chiarelli cut down the clichés and cat fights for a surprisingly enjoyable romantic comedy. Bullock plays Margaret Tate, a cutthroat publishing executive and Reynolds plays her talented, but weary assistant Andrew Paxton. Their basic relationship forms through snapshot work scenarios and rapid fire banter. “What am I allergic to?” Margaret asks Andrew who answers “Pine nuts, and the full spectrum of human emotion.”

More development into their work relationship would have boosted the plot, but the plot moves to Andrew’s family in Alaska as Margaret quickly addresses her deportation issues. Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson play Andrew’s parents while Betty White needs more screen time as the memorable, yet slightly predictable Grandma Annie. Watch the interview jokes during ending credits.

The Wedding Singer, Truth About Cat and Dogs, My Best Friend’s Wedding, What Women Want, One Fine Day, and Bridget Jones’ Dairy all have great moments.

All ages will love the animated Gnomeo and Juliet and Beauty and the Beast plus The Princess Bride and Ever After, which is loosely based on the classic tale of Cinderella, sweet Drew Barrymore must deal with evil stepmom Angelica Huston.

The most recent Cinderella story stars Lily James (TV’s Downton Abbey) and Oscar-winning Cate Blanchett as the infamous stepmother (Lady Tremane). Audiences clearly see actions, circumstances, and consequences from several perspectives without confusion or misdirection as filmmakers also manage to package in some genuine emotion/surprises and creative animal character sequences (yes, including Gus the mouse and Lucifer the cat).

If you want a spring in your step, check out musical romances like Moulin Rouge, Dirty Dancing and the classic Grease, which is currently showing in a Broadway production.

In Music & Lyrics, Hugh Grant plays Alex Fletcher, previous co-lead singer of the music group Pop. Drew Barrymore completes the romantic couple as Sophie, a jittery, endearing woman. Eventually, Alex discovers her hidden writing talent and together they create amazing songs while slowly building confidence in each other.

Action usually doesn’t mix with romance, but couple might be able to find the best of both worlds viewing the following mixed genre titles like Pirates of the Caribbean, Maverick, Titanic, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Mask of Zorro and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

Other titles like The Wedding Date, 10 Ways to Lose a Guy, The Holiday, Fever Pitch, 50 First Dates, Prime, Failure to Launch and Notting Hill have some weaknesses, but still warm the heart a bit.

Have a special Valentine’s Day!

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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