The best movies to stream on Valentine's Day
It's official – streaming a movie while snuggling up to a loved one is now considered an extremely romantic act (don't ask us to back that up with hard facts).
Since the advent of the 'Netflix and Chill' phenomenon, couples have moved away from the traditional 'date night at the cinema' in favour of streaming movies at home and 'getting their love on' as soon as the mood strikes – try doing that in a packed theatre without getting kicked out!
With Valentine's Day on the horizon, we've carefully selected some of the best romantic movies available on Netflix and Stan, so that you too can stay in for a romantic weekend with your significant other.
Crazy, Stupid, Love.
After discovering that his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore) has been having an affair and wants a divorce, middle-aged sad-sack Cal (Steve Carrell) re-enters the dating world and is taken under the wing of handsome ladykiller, Jacob (Ryan Gosling). But when Jacob meets Hannah (Emma Stone), the first woman who challenges his love 'em and leave 'em lifestyle, Cal is left high and dry. Can Cal get his act together and become the man his wife deserved but never got? A cut above most other romantic comedies, Crazy, Stupid, Love is stylish, hilarious and guaranteed to entertain. We wish there were more movies like this.
Watch Crazy, Stupid, Love on Netflix
This heartbreaking story of two cowboys who spend many years hiding their forbidden love is at once passionate and emotionally devastating. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal both put in tremendous performances, playing their characters with a regret that's so real, it's almost tangible. The film that won Ang Lee his first Oscar for Best Director, Brokeback Mountain is a masterpiece that will bring tears to your eyes.
The Wedding Singer
As Adam Sandler's first big step towards mainstream domination, The Wedding Singer is also one of the comedian's best films – it's a shame that it's all been downhill since. Robbie (Sandler), the titular wedding singer of the film, is left standing at the alter by his terrible fiancee. Before long, he starts to fall for waitress, Julia (Drew Barrymore), herself in a bad relationship with a cheating jerk. Though much of its humour revolves around its '80s period setting, The Wedding Singer is an immensely enjoyable rom-com thanks to Sandler and Barrymore's fantastic chemistry.
Watch The Wedding Singer on Netflix
While it may be a manipulative tear-jerker, there's no denying that The Notebook is a romance classic. Based on the best-selling Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, The Notebook sees nursing home resident Duke (James Garner) tell a woman with dementia (Gena Rowlands) the story of an undying love between poor boy Noah (Ryan Gosling) and rich girl Allie (Rachel McAdams), a young couple separated by social differences in 1930s America. With an ending that is guaranteed to punch you right in the soul, The Notebook is guaranteed to bring you and your partner closer together.
Watch The Notebook on Netflix
Once is a beautiful movie about an unnamed Irish busker and an unnamed Czech pianist who meet cute on the streets of Dublin, deciding to record a demo together. Slowly, the pair starts to fall in love, with their songs acting as a reflection of their budding relationship. An indie which took the world by storm, Once is an absolutely splendid musical romance with a wonderful soundtrack that you'll likely want to acquire immediately after your first viewing.
Watch Once on Netflix
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Most of us have had relationships that ended in heartbreak, so if a company came along with the technology to delete a person from your memory forever, would you do it? That's the premise of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a film from the brilliant, twisted mind of Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation). Joel (Jim Carrey) is devastated when he runs into his ex-girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet), and realises she has no memory of him whatsoever. Unable to deal with the heartache, Joel contacts the company that wiped him from her memory in order to do the same thing in return. However, as his bad memories start vanishing before him, so do the good ones, and now Joel wants out. Can he stop it? Or will Joel lose Clementine forever? An undisputed masterpiece that demands to be watched.
Benny & Joon
Benny (Aidan Quinn) has his hands full running a business and taking care of his mentally-unstable sister, Joon (Marie Stuart Masterson). His decision to have her live with him instead of in a care facility is proving quite tough, with his business and personal life taking quite a hit. However, things start looking better for Joon when she meets and falls in love with Sam (Johnny Depp), an eccentric man who models himself on Buster Keaton. Utterly charming and lovably quirky, Benny & Joon is a stark reminder of how gifted a performer Johnny Depp can be.
Watch Benny & Joon on Stan
Based on a true story, The Vow sees Leo (Channing Tatum) try to make his wife, Paige (Rachel McAdams) fall in love with him again after a car accident leaves her unable to remember him at all. Problem is, the task is much more difficult than Leo could've possibly imagined. A film that goes straight for your tear-ducts and refuses to let go, The Vow is touching, romantic and makes for a fantastic companion piece to The Notebook, also featured on this list.
Watch The Vow on Stan
Blue is the Warmest Color
As soulful as it is erotically-charged, Blue is the Warmest Color won the highest prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for its portrayal of two women who fall in love and allow each other to discover their true selves. Though Emma (Léa Seydoux) is a blue-haired free spirit, Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) doesn't feel comfortable in her own skin. While Adèle's friends initially shun Emma due to her sexuality, she soon realises that Emma is the only person with whom she can express herself openly and bare her soul to. Together, the pair experience the ups and downs of a mature relationship, while also exploring social acceptance and their sexuality. A cinematic masterpiece that will take you on an emotional roller-coaster throughout its lengthy 3-hour running time, Blue is the Warmest Color is a film you won't soon forget.
Watch Amelie on Netflix
Cinema's definitive 'hooker with a heart of gold' story, Pretty Woman follows a callgirl named Vivian (Julia Roberts) who enters a week-long contract with Edward (Richard Gere), a wealthy businessman who needs a pretend girlfriend for business purposes. However, if Vivian is to successfully convince as Edward's partner, she's going to need a whole new wardrobe and a crash-course on high society. Before long, Vivian and Edward really do start to fall for each other, but what will happen at the end of the week, or worse still, if their arrangement is discovered? Funny and heartwarming, Pretty Woman is one of the best romantic films of all time.
Spike Jonze's 21st Century love story sees lonely, sensitive soul, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), picking up the brand new OS1 operating system and falling in love with the artificial intelligence behind it, Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). It's a beautiful story of human interaction and a well-written thought experiment about where our technological society could be heading towards. And, if you can ignore that 'tache, there's some great acting in there too. Now we know how Master Chief feels about Cortana...
Watch Her on Netflix