Romance Movies You Need To Watch This Valentine’s Day

Olivia Lai, Staff Writer

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, what better way to get in the mood than to binge-watch romance movies? Whether you’re spending this Valentine’s with a significant other, your best friend, or yourself (you know what they say, all I need is me, myself and I, right?), one of the best activities is to cuddle on the couch with some good candy and your favorite romantic film. To save you the pain of scrolling through Netflix for hours on end looking for that perfect film, here are some of my all-time favorite romance films you need to watch this Valentine’s Day.

1. The Notebook

Starting off with a classic, The Notebook is my top-pick romance film that you must watch if you haven’t already. The Notebook brings us back to the summer of 1940 in the sleepy town of Seabrook, South Carolina. Main character Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling), a local teen boy, is part of the working class in town. Noah attends a carnival with his friend, where he first meets Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) and immediately falls in love. Allie, a rich girl from Charleston who is visiting town for the summer, is introduced to Noah through mutual friends. Noah’s first attempt to swoon Allie fails, and he ends up embarrassing himself. But this doesn’t stop him. He eventually wins Allie over on a double-date with his friend, and they soon become inseparable. Their differences in wealth fail to diminish their attraction to each other. Allie and Noah spend the long summer days and nights together, full of love and laughter. Watchers can feel the affection through the screen Noah and Allie’s young love portrays.

But when Allie finally introduces Noah to her family, they don’t approve of Noah’s lower class status. Noah and Allie’s differences eventually pull them apart, and Allie moves away at the end of summer, leaving them both heartbroken. Years later, Noah and Allie bump into each other again for the first time since that summer they fell in love. Despite their divergent paths in life, Noah and Allie can’t fight their powerful connection to each other that never faded away all these years, inevitably going back to each other. The Notebook tells a heart-touching story about how the connection of true love can never be broken, no matter the time or distance put between two people.

2. 10 Things I Hate About You

A crowd favorite, 10 Things I Hate About You is one of those rom-coms you can never get sick of. Following the classic trope of enemies to lovers, the 1990s film tells the story of an unforeseen romance between Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), the tough, unapproachable, guy at school, and Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles), the equally, if not more, unapproachable girl at school. Kat Stratford is nothing like her little sister, Bianca, the gorgeous and friendly sweetheart that makes guys’ heads swivel. Kat is a loner who takes pride in making people scared of her. She couldn’t care less what others think about her, and doesn’t speak to her peers unless she really needs to. The one thing these sisters have in common is their strict father and the restrictions he puts on their lives. His one important rule: no dating and no boys. 

Enter Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the new boy at school. Like all the other guys around her, the moment he sets eyes on Bianca, he’s heartstruck. Cameron makes it his goal to take Bianca out, but soon learns about her fathers strict rules. Their father finally changes his rule, knowing that Kat’s unfriendly energy will never allow for this rule to even be followed. If Kat dates, then Bianca is allowed to date too. Once Bianca tells Cameron about her father’s new rule, Cameron begins to meddle around, getting Patrick to take Kat on a date by paying him. Although Patrick’s bad boy vibe seems that it should align with Kat’s, his first efforts to take Kat out fail miserably. Patrick finally begins to win Kat over once she lets her walls down and gets to know him better. Things start to go well, and next thing you know, prom is right around the corner. Cameron gets to take Bianca to prom as promised, and Kat goes with Patrick. Things get muddy when Kat finds out Patrick was paid to date her, as she loses all her trust in him and shuts him out. Yet the two realize their relationship overpowers the circumstances in which they met. 10 Things I Hate About You proves that there is someone for everyone, and sometimes, it’s the person you least expect.

3. How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days

I watched How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days for the first time when I was in 4th grade, and when I rewatched it when I was older, I was finally able to appreciate the perfect balance of humor and romance this film has. How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days is a hilarious romance comedy film about two New Yorkers who start dating due to challenges they were both given by their co-workers. Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) is a journalist at a women’s magazine where she writes the “How To” column. Andie is tired of writing about shallow things such as weight loss, makeup, and hair, so she decides to write an article about how to lose a guy in 10 days. Her goal: find a guy and do the most annoying and crazy things during their relationship to drive him away in 10 days. Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) works at a nearby advertising agency, and in order to win over a big campaign, accepts a challenge from his boss; if he can get a date to their big event in 10 days, he will get the campaign. Both Andie and Benjamin accept these challenges, and both also happen to be at the same bar that night. Immediately putting their plans into action, Andie and Benjamin find each other in the crowd and their diabolical schemes begin to go into play. The movie then follows the hilarious week Andie and Benjamin spend together, as Andie does the most to drive Benjamin away, but sticking to his challenge, Benjamin stays with her. 

On one of Andie’s final days of her 10 day challenge, Andie and Benjamin go to visit Benjamin’s family, and once all together, Andie and Benjamin both realize that they may be actually falling in love, despite their crazy first week together. When the night of Benjamin’s huge work event rolls around, Andie has finally realized that her love for Benjamin is more important than her article, and decides to stop writing it and stay with Ben. At the event, Benjamin’s co-workers slip up and tell Andie about Benjamin’s plan in order to win the campaign, and Andie is furious to find out she has been played the whole time. Benjamin also finds out Andies motives as she was using him for her article, and the two end their relationship in a fury. If you couldn’t guess, the couple eventually gets back together, once they figure out their love for each other became real over their time of faking it.

4. Me Before You

Me Before You is a film I haven’t heard many people talk about, but is one of the most heartfelt romance movies I’ve watched. Me Before You portrays the ‘grumpy x sunshine’ trope through paralyzed Will Traynor (Sam Clafin) and his caretaker Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke). 

Years ago, Will was involved in a motorcycle accident, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Besides talking, Will can’t do much else, and spends most of his day in his wheelchair gazing through his bedroom window. Will’s mother is looking for a new caretaker for her son, and she stumbles upon Louisa for the job. Louisa is a very cheery, animated character, which Will’s mother sees as the perfect person to bring up her son’s depressive spirits. 

The first day on the job, Will acts coldly towards Louisa, as he doesn’t want the pity of a woman who is the same age as him. As Louisa and Will begin spending every day with each other, Louisa cracks Will’s shell and gets to know him on a deeper level. Will remains depressed, but Louisa can lift his spirits when he’s around her like no one else. One day, Louisa finds out that Will is planning on assisted suicide, because he cannot continue to live on while being paralyzed. Louisa, who has now grown to love Will, decides she will do everything in her power to change Will’s mind, taking him on trips and adventures daily. Their time spent together allows for their love to bloom. Me Before You touches the hearts of all as it shares that heartbreaking reality about loving someone who isn’t strong enough to love themselves first.

5. Flipped

Last but definitely not least, Flipped is the sweetest young adult romance movie I’ve ever watched. I’ve probably watched this movie five times because it is just too cute. Neighborhood girl Juli Baker (Madeline Carroll) immediately falls in love once she sets her eyes on her new neighbor Bryce Loski (Callan McAuliffe). In the years leading up to their 8th grade year, Juli is head over heels for Bryce, but unfortunately Bryce doesn’t reciprocate these feelings. The kids at school make fun of Bryce for Juli following him around like a lost puppy dog, teasing him all the chances they get. 

Come 8th grade, Juli continues with her obsession over Bryce, but a little more discreet now. Although Bryce had disliked Juli all these years, he can’t help but notice that maybe she isn’t so bad after all. Juli befriends Bryce’s grandfather as he helps her fix up her yard, and Bryce’s grandfather questions why Bryce doesn’t like a smart girl like Juli.

 The basket boy auction at school rolls around, and Juli is left questioning if she’s going to bet on Bryce or not. This auction was basically when boys were presented onstage with different baskets consisting of a lunch meal for girls to bet on a lunch date with. Other girls fight over a lunch date with Bryce and Juli finds herself impulsively betting on another boy so she can stop herself from betting on Bryce. When they are on their lunch dates, Bryce finally realizes that he really likes Juli, and that he should be the one on a date with her, so he tries to kiss her, but she freaks out and runs home. Juli ignores Bryce for a few days, but eventually falls back into her love for him as watchers are left with the adorable scene of Bryce planting her favorite tree in her yard. Flipped perfectly portrays the ‘she fell first, he fell harder’ trope through the sweetest love story between these kids.