This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the great movies for Netflix and chilling this Valentine’s Day, but the internet’s most extensive list comes from Better Home & Gardens, so I figured we’re due for an update. Here it is:
Bride and Prejudice (2004)
Bride and Prejudice is the Bollywood version of the classic Pride and Prejudice. Ignore the 6.3 IMDb rating: in my opinion, it’s one of the most entertaining films I’ve ever seen. Starring Bollywood legend Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and set in Amritsar, India, the film takes us through the familial ups and down of the Bakshi family. The plot’s actually pretty faithful to the book: the sleaze–bag is called Wickham, the dreamboat is Mr. Darcy—all that jazz. The film takes us through the beautiful streets of Amritsar and several fantastic dance numbers. Do yourself a favor: watch it.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Classic. This film confirmed for me that I’d much rather be a Kat than a Bianca. I realize this is the second film on this list based on a classic work of literature but hey, they’re both objectively great. This was the film that introduced us to Heath Ledger and serves as a “how to” for '90s fashion as well as a warning—don’t ever do this again (I’m looking at you, cargo pants). I love this movie because Kat taught me to be a badass, because Patrick Verona’s stadium serenade is iconic, and because Bianca figures herself out on her own terms and winds up with the guy who’s good for her. Gotta love that.
Like Water for Chocolate (1992)
I watched this movie in my Spanish class senior year of high school, and this is not the setting I would recommend. This is a wonderful magical realism film set in Mexico in 1910. It follows Tita as she cares for her mother, and watches her beloved marry her sister. It might not sound like a Valentine’s Day must, but as Tita pours all that she’s feeling into what she cooks, extraordinary things begin to happen. It’s a fantastic film about the power of human emotion—just don’t watch it in Spanish class.
Bear with me here. I saw this movie when I was 12 and going through my I’m–too–grown–up–for–kids'–movies phase. Thank goodness, I learned. Watching WALL–E with non–cynical eyes, you see a really sweet story of affection between an earnest but scrappy robot from Earth and a sleek, updated one, EVE, who hails from the spaceship that has housed humankind for 700 years. WALL–E boards a ship to follow EVE into space, and the two eventually band together to save humanity. Ah, the power of love.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
I promise this isn’t just because I’m a glutton for Wes Anderson. Real talk, this is a great story of two misfits who just want to go on their own adventure. Sure, this amounts to setting up a tent on a beach within walking distance of Suzy’s house in what looks like it could be Nantucket, but this was exactly what my ten–year–old self wanted most. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward are fantastic as the young protagonists, perfectly capturing the awkwardness and boredom of the tween years. Supported by an amazing cast of Frances McDormand, Bob Balaban, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, and my life–long crush, Tilda Swinton, what’s not to love?
Lost in Translation (2003)
Another Bill Murray film! It follows Bob and Charlotte in Tokyo, where Bob, a washed–up actor, is filming a whiskey commercial. Yes, this is a love story, but it’s really about friendship. Yes, the trope of two lonely people in a city, surrounded by people but disconnected from it all, is hardly groundbreaking. But, the performances of Murray and Scarlett Johansson, along with Sofia Coppola’s Oscar–winning screenplay, make for an incredible and heartwarming story. Some describe it as a film in which nothing happens at all, others call it the best film made in the 2000s. I’d say it’s both, and that’s exactly why you should watch it.