Updated: Jul 19, 2019
By Derek May:
The sweet scent of roses permeates your local grocer. Entire cities are awash in pink and red hues. And dieters steel themselves against the upcoming onslaught of delicious chocolate confectionery.
That’s right, it’s Valentine’s Day again!
Love it or hate it, there’s really no escaping it. But whether you’re at home snuggled with the one you love or contentedly embracing your freedom yet still willing to indulge, there’s nothing like a great romantic movie to tug those heart strings on le nuit de l’amore.
But why settle for the same ole stalwarts year after year when there is a myriad of non-traditional romantic flicks that anyone can enjoy.
The list below includes ten (in no particular order) of my personal favorites that are guaranteed to make your heart ache, weep, or soar.
A cult classic for good reason, as it embodies some of the most beautiful and tragic extremes two lovers can endure. Cheesy swordfights and synth music aside, it’s a got all the comedy, fantasy, and of course, heart, that you could ever ask for.
Ever wondered what happens to the nice guys who don’t get the girl? Michael Showalter and his perennial team from The State and Wet, Hot American Summer explores the unheralded “Baxter,” a nice guy who just can’t compete with the cool, the suave, and the beautiful. A sort of anti-romance that still manages to hit all right notes. If you’re looking for something a little different, this is it.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Love is complicated, especially when we don’t really know what we want. This 2008 comedy dives headfirst into the mire of love, loss, and being true to yourself. A sweet romance that spices things up with plenty of raunchy humor and male nudity. Who can say no to that?
The Princess Bride
“Love is like, a storybook story” . . . and if you like your romances epic, there’s no better film in existence than this four-quadrant crowd-pleaser. Still one of the most perfect all-around films in existence, and no better time to revisit than on the day celebrating “true wuv.”
Love comes in many forms, and this classic is one of the few hits to explore the beauty and tragedy of love not understood by the mainstream. Touching and heartbreaking, it’s a seminal work both for film as a whole and homosexual representation at large.
I Love You to Death
Part of the package of loving someone is sometimes wanting to kill them! In the case of this little comedic gem, Kevin Kline plays a philandering husband who’s about to get the comeuppance of a lifetime. With zany hijinks and an epic cast of goofballs, the story explores the more infuriating sides of the heart.
One of the best allegories for loving those who seem unlovable. Tim Burton’s fantastical gothic romance underscores the beauty within, if only we dare to look.
Speaking of fairytales, here’s another for the ages. Only this time, the classic animated comedy deconstructs the genre and explores the idea that true love is about accepting someone as they truly are.
A Life Less Ordinary
Love can be found in the unlikeliest of places, even between kidnapper and kindapee! Auteur director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) delivers a manic, violent, screwball romance under the most unlikely of circumstances.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
When love works, there's no better feeling in the world. But when it doesn’t, sometimes the pain is more than we can bear. This surreal exploration of one man’s fateful decision to rid himself of that pain is one of writer Charlie Kaufman’s true masterpieces. Love has never been stranger.