What To Watch On Valentine’s Day Depending On How Mushy You Feel

Kathleen Newman-Bremang

There are many different kinds of Valentine's Day movie-and TV-viewing personalities. Maybe you just want to hang with your girls for the night (I REFUSE to use the term “ Galentine's Day”) and watch a female-led comedy like Someone Great. Or, you may opt to ditch your friends on V-Day to focus on some self-love and binge a show that goes down like comfort food like The Good Place. If you are boo’d up, the day could be a nice excuse for a date night watching Game Night. Of course, there are the people who hate Valentine's but love romcoms, and some people who simply don’t think about the occasion at all. (They're probably knee-deep into The Stranger.)

No matter what your V-Day entertainment preference — whether you’re heading to the cinema or staying home in your pyjamas — there’s a movie or TV show for you. I promise. Here are our picks for the best movies and TV shows to stream or go see in theatre on Valentine’s Day.

To All The Boys: PS I Still Love You

This movie was one of my picks for the best content coming to Netflix in February. If I was making a list of the best movies Netflix has ever made, this would probably be on that list, too. No, I haven’t seen it yet. Based on nothing but my obsession with the OG To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and my crushes on Noah Centineo, Jordan Fisher, and Lana Condor, I’ve already decided that I love this sequel.

Peter Kavinsky (Centineo) and Lara Jean Covey (Condor) are officially boyfriend and girlfriend, but Lara Jean is torn between PK and a boy from her past, John Ambrose Maclaren, or JAM as I like to call him. Which boy will Lara Jean love more? If finding out the answer to this isn’t reason enough to get on board with Valentine’s Day, I don’t know what is.

Streaming on Netflix from 12th February Photo: Courtesy Of Netflix.

The Photograph

They had me at Issa Rae. I’ve been riding for Rae since her web series The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl, which, as an awkward black girl, made me feel SEEN. Now, I will watch anything Issa Rae is in. At some point, this rule could steer me down a path of watching a shitty movie out of blind allegiance, but so far, it hasn’t.

Insecure is one of my favourite shows, and when I saw the trailer for The Photograph, I cried tears of joy. Rae plays Mae, a woman in search of answers about her mother’s life, based on a single photograph. As she investigates, she meets a journalist named Michael and they fall in love. A Black love story directed by Canadian Stella Meghie? INJECT IT. In theatres February 14 Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Céline Sciamma is one of the many talented female directors whose work was overlooked this awards season. Her film, Portrait of a Lady On Fire, made a huge splash at Cannes, winning the Queer Palm (specifically for LGBTQ+ films) and Best Screenplay Award.

The film is set in 1770 and follows the story of Marianne, a painter who is commissioned to do a wedding portrait of a young woman named Heloise without her knowing. Marianne must observe Heloise in order to paint her secretly. They strike up a friendship that turns into a passionate, forbidden love affair. Critics hailed it as a masterpiece, and we called it “ The Most Romantic Movie of 2019.” Sounds like the perfect film for the most romantic day of the year.

In select cinemas 14th February Photo: Courtesy of Neon.

What About Love

Speaking of romantic dramas, What About Love sounds like a made-for-Valentine’s-Day-movie on steroids. It stars Andy Garcia and Sharon Stone. Their roles are unclear. What we do know from the sweeping trailer full of hot people crying and kissing is that two young people spend a summer together in Europe making a film about people falling in love, while they fall in love.

Tragedy strikes and their love will conquer all. I made up that last part but love always conquers all in stories like this. If you’re into the sappy, designed-for-you-to-cry kind of Valentine’s Day content, this one is for you.

In select theatres February 14 Photo: Courtesy of Quality Films.

Birds of Prey

One Valentine’s Day in university, my roommate got dumped — like hours before she and her dude were supposed to go out for a romantic dinner. So, we kept the reservation and I went with her instead. The restaurant was packed with couples. We were just two single girls laughing loudly and man-hating hard if anyone was listening. It was one of my favourite V-Days. My point: a breakup can be a great thing to celebrate on a holiday made for lovers.

In Birds of Prey, Harley Quinn ( Margot Robbie) is fresh off her split with the Joker and she gets her girls (superheroes Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya) together for a mission to rescue Cassanda Cain (Ella Jay Basco) from an evil Gotham City crime lord. This movie was made for an anti-Valentine’s Day night out with your best friends.

In cinemas now Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures.

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Dan Fogelman has given us so much. The man behind two of my favourite TV series of the past decade — This is Us and Pitch — also gave us one of the best ensemble romcoms of all time. Crazy, Stupid, Love is stacked with a heavyweight cast in Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Marissa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon and all of their performances are the “perfect combination of sexy and cute.” If you don’t get that reference, go watch Crazy, Stupid, Love then come back here and laugh.

There’s a weird subplot with some teenagers no one remembers but the best part of this rom-com — aside from Ryan Gosling’s abs of course — is the Gosling and Stone’s chemistry. Just kidding, it’s the abs.

Available on Amazon Prime now Photo: Ben Glass/Shutterstock.

You’ve Got Mail

You’ve Got Mail is a time capsule. It’s the perfect snapshot of the late '90s, when email was just becoming a thing and online dating barely existed. Re-watching this Nora Ephron classic is like drinking a warm cup of nostalgia soup — with a side of Dave Chappelle.

If you’ve been living under a rock for 30 years, here’s a refresher on the synopsis: an independent bookstore owner named Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) strikes up an AOL email relationship with a dude she meets in an “over-30s” chatroom. The mystery man turns out to be her bitter rival, Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), whose family runs mega bookstore chain Fox Books, but she doesn’t realize it until after she’s fallen for him.

Available on Amazon Prime now Photo: Brian Hamill/Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock.

Isi and Ossi

Netflix’s German comedy features one of my favourite fictional romance tropes: the fake relationship. After To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Atlantic published a piece called “The Enduring Appeal of the ‘Fake Relationship.’” In it, writer Hannah Giorgis outlines all the reasons why this trope works and why it consistently delivers satisfying results. “To feign attraction lets viewers in on a secret: These two silly dopes don’t know what’s coming, but the rest of us do,” she writes.

When I read the synopsis of Isi and Ossi, I couldn’t wait to watch these silly dopes inevitably fall in love. Isi is a billionaire’s daughter who hires working-class Ossi to be her boyfriend to piss off her parents. I wonder what happens next?

Available on Netflix from 14th February Photo: Courtesy Of Netflix.

Modern Love

Full disclosure: I did not love Modern Love, but my job is suggesting things that you might love, and this series is too perfect of a Valentine’s Day binge to ignore. Based on the New York Times column of the same name, Modern Love is an anthology series about couples falling in love... modernly, I guess? Tina Fey, Dev Patel, and Anne Hathaway are just a few of the familiar faces you’ll see in a cast that might look impressive at first glance, but unfortunately, they are never given much to do.

And while there is some diversity sprinkled into the ensemble, none of the romantic leads are played by women of colour. Again, not my cup of tea. But Modern Love is an easy watch that has sweet moments.

Available on Amazon now Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Studios.

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