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, Stan and Presto, 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.
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.
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 Stan
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 did it in order to do the same thing to her. 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.
Watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on Stan
The directorial debut of Scrubs-star Zach Braff, Garden State follows television actor, Andrew Largeman (Braff) as he returns to his family home in New Jersey for his mother's funeral. Emotionally troubled and taking a number of prescription drugs, Andrew starts to develop a relationship with Sam (Natalie Portman), a young woman with her own problems. This inspires him to throw the medication away and finally connect with someone for the first time in his adult life. A truly wonderful and original movie with themes reminiscent of the recent film, Silver Linings Playbook.
Watch Garden State on Presto
Equal parts strange and enchanting, visionary director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood) found the perfect outlet for Adam Sandler's raging idiot persona in Punch-Drunk Love. Sandler plays Barry, a nice man who's occasionally prone to violent outbursts due to a life of humiliation by his eight domineering sisters. When one of his sisters forces him into a date with Lena (Emily Watson), something awakens in Barry that makes him want to change. Unfortunately, he's being pursued by a phone sex company owner with a grudge (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Featuring Sandler's best performance by a long-shot, Punch-Drunk Love is a funny and romantic in a completely original way.
Watch Punch-Drunk Love on Presto
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.
The middle part of Richard Linklater's 'Before' trilogy (also featuring Before Sunrise and Before Midnight), Before Sunset sees Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) meet up in Paris after spending a single night together in Vienna nine years prior. Just like in the previous film, the pair walk around a beautiful city, discussing life and love, only this time they also muse over what could have been. Witty, romantic and boasting fantastic chemistry from its two leads, Before Sunset is a terrific film that makes you feel like you're hanging out with old friends. Make sure you track down Before Sunrise prior to watching this.
Watch Before Sunset on Presto
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 an 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
The titular Amelie is a Parisian waitress who becomes utterly obsessed, in her own slightly surreal way, with helping everyone around her. Along the way though she begins to realise that by putting all her focus on other people she is neglecting her own potential for love. Amelie is a highly original and utterly charming movie, and well worth cosying up on the sofa with.
Watch Amelie on Stan