We don’t know whether it’s the cold weather, the time of year or maaaaybe the fact we’ve not seen anyone outside of our immediate household for what feels like the best part of a decade, but we’re actually kind of feeling Valentine’s Day this year.
And just because we all have to stay indoors doesn’t mean we have to miss out on getting in the Valentine’s spirit, with Netflix offering up a plethora of films to suit your every rom-com need.
Here are 16 of the best…
We’re starting with a biggie. The worlds of Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant colliding was always going to be an incredible rom-com moment, but when you throw in Richard Curtis, 90s London and that “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy” speech… it’s just perfection.
Bridget Jones’s Diary
A film that celebrates its 20th birthday in 2021, and not only completely holds its own today, but we also still find new things to love about it every time we watch.
Get yourself a bowl of blue soup, throw on your inappropriate bunny outfit and get ready to lip sync along with those opening titles.
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson star as two single people, unwittingly playing each other, with one trying to prove to his mates he can get a woman to fall in love him and the other secretly writing a column titled – you guessed it! – How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.
Obviously, this is a film with few surprises, and you can pretty much plan out how every twist and turn will play out before you’ve even started watching, but if you’re looking for an easy Valentine’s watch, this one is perfectly enjoyable.
And speaking of films you know the entire plot of before you’ve even hit play, Hitch has Will Smith in the titular role of a relationship guru who finds himself caught off guard when he starts to fall for a gossip columnist.
13 Going On 30
A recurring theme on this list is nostalgia, and if what you’re after from a rom-com is a cosy look back to simpler times, 13 Going On 30 is the one for you.
The film itself is 20 years old, but it’s also half set in the 80s, gifting modern viewers a double-jolt of nostalgia.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
One of the more recent romcoms, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before debuted on Netflix in 2018, thrusting its young stars Lana Condor and Noah Centieno into the spotlight (and getting loads of us craving a Subway with some not-so-subtle product placement).
Since it first began streaming, two sequels have also been made, the second and final of which arrived on Netflix in February 2021, right in time for Valentine’s weekend.
Another Netflix original, Alex Strangelove might have been billed as a coming-of-age story about a group of teenagers, but don’t let that put adult viewers off, as this film has a lot to say about sexuality, friendship and, of course, romance.
A Cinderella Story
Reimagined fairytale A Cinderella Story could literally have only been made in 2004 – the teen protagonists spend most of it texting one another on flip-phones – but that’s part of why we love it.
Featuring the always-excellent Jennifer Coolidge and future Oscar winner Regina King in supporting roles, it’s 90 minutes of pure escapism, and what more can you ask for right now?
The very definition of a 90s classic, Clueless is a must-watch for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, or long-time fans who want to remind themselves of its greatness.
Also, it’s based on Jane Austen’s Emma, so as you’re giving an exasperated “as if!” or calling your mate a “virgin who can’t drive”, you’re essentially quoting classic literature. Sort of.
Been So Long
There are so many great British romantic comedies that paint a really vivid picture of the capital, from the aforementioned Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’s Diary to Love Actually and Sliding Doors. Obviously those are great, but we can’t help but feeling they’re all a little bit… old.
Enter: Been So Long, a Netflix original released in 2018, set in a modern-day city that Londoners and those who love the city will recognise. Oh, and did we mention it’s a musical? With I May Destroy You’s Michaela Coel in the lead role? You’re welcome.
The Half Of It
This completely charming teen comedy might have passed you by when it first came onto Netflix, but it’s definitely worth a watch.
As much about unlikely friendships as it is unrequited romance and self-discovery, The Half Of It centres on Ellie, a shy teenager who helps out a jock by writing love letters for his crush, Aster. Things get complicated, though when Ellie discovers she’s falling for Aster herself.
Always A Bridesmaid
Always A Bridesmaid originally debuted on BET in 2019, but found itself a whole new audience when it arrived on Netflix.
Written by Community star Yvette Nicole Brown, this comedy explores the different types of relationships that are important to a person – and it’s also a refreshing change from the white protagonists that usually dominate the romantic comedy genre.
OK, so obviously the Cady/Aaron storyline is actually a pretty minor one in the grand scheme of things. But to be honest, we’re living through a pandemic, and if you want to watch Mean Girls on Valentine’s Day, we say go for it.
Music And Lyrics
We all know Hugh Grant is the former king of the rom-com (we’ve already featured two of his films on this round-up!), but while his past outings like Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill and the Bridget Jones films are considered classics, Music And Lyrics is often unfairly overlooked.
Not only does this charming film centre around a really lovely story, it’s also jam-packed with absolute tunes, many of which were co-written by the late, great Adam Schlesinger.
Fifty Shades Of Grey
Was Fifty Shades Of Grey intended as a comedy? No, obviously not, but we promise if you stick this on, you’ll get the giggles at least once. Plus, there’s Jamie Dornan, which is definitely an added bonus.
If you’re looking for a TV series to give you the feels rather than a film, you could do a lot worse than Judd Apatow’s Love.
It’s perfect to burn through in a couple of days, and while admittedly series one and two have their patchier moments, it’s worth sticking with, as the finale is so satisfying and packs an emotional punch.
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