We get it: Valentine’s Day with kids means you may not be headed out to some big concert, to the opera, to Paris (hey, we can dream, right?) or even to a local joint for dinner. So if your plan, by preference or by necessity, is to spend Valentine’s night in bed with your loved one, a glass of wine and the remote control, we’re here for you with some of our favorite romantic movies that are now streaming on the big services.
Grab a cozy blanket and cuddle up to a sweet foreign film like Amélie, an emotional romantic drama like The Notebook, or a more modern take on a rom-com like Silver Linings Playbook. The best part is, if you can agree on the film, you know you’ve found your true love.
Some are free, some are a few bucks for a 24-hour rental (add a dollar to watch in HD), and who knows — maybe you even have a few gathering dust in your permanent DVD collection ready for another watching, should you still have a player hooked up. Happy watching, lovebirds.
Cool Mom Picks is an Amazon affiliate.
Say Anything… ($2.99 rental, Amazon)
What girl growing up in the ’80s didn’t have a major crush on Lloyd Dobler? And what guy didn’t want his girlfriend to be Ione Skye? Plus oof, if that Peter Gabriel song doesn’t still get us a little tingly inside.
A Room with a View (free, Netflix)
Can a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes be wrong? A classic love triangle movie, done perfectly by Merchant-Ivory. I think you’ll be happy with the ending.
The Princess Bride ($3.99 rental, Amazon)
The cult classic we can never say no to. Twooo wuv…
Notting Hill (free, Netflix)
This is at the top of my own list of sweet, romantic comedies I could watch pretty much any day at all. I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her: gets me every time.
How Stella Got Her Groove Back ($3.99 at Amazon)
This not-so-traditional story from Terry MacMillan’s novel about a big-city business woman who escapes to Jamaica, and happens to find love, is a winner. The cast is stellar, including super sexy Taye Diggs. And Angela Bassett makes us want to be in a lot better shape.
Silver Linings Playbook (free, Netflix)
This is definitely not your traditional rom-com, as fans of David O. Russell already know. It’s outstanding in every way, and I can’t get enough of the on-screen chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. For dudes not inclined to watch anything romantic, just mention Robert DeNiro and lots and lots of football references.
The Notebook ($3.99 rental, Amazon)
Steamy kisses in the pouring rain and bubble baths with Ryan Gosling. Do epic romantic dramas get any better?
Pride and Prejudice, 2005 (Free, Netflix)
I’m still partial to the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth as the dreamy Mr. Darcy. But a 4-hour miniseries may be more than you have time for in one night, in which case, stream the Keira Knightly version.
If you haven’t seen the early Omar Epps movie Love and Basketball about two childhood friends who both want to compete in the NBA, and happen to fall in love along the way, it’s a classic. We finally tracked it down on HBO Now for streaming.
Chocolat ($2.99 rental, Amazon)
Juliette Binoche at her best and Johnny Depp isn’t too hard on the eyes either in this lovely exploration of magical realism in a remote, insular, post-war French village where a new chocolate shop causes scandal. I think I know your favorite…
Ghost (free, Netflix)
I know this one isn’t for everyone but come on. The pottery scene, you guys.
Amélie (free, Netflix)
Perfect for those of you wanting something a little light, quirky, and utterly magical. Audrey Tatou steals hearts.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ($2.99 rental, Amazon)
Liz insisted we include Michel Gondry’s outstanding, Oscar winner (written by Charlie Kauffman no less) that will stay on your mind forever. Kate Winslett and Jim Carey are a perfect, unexpected match in this sci-fi drama meets atypical romantic comedy.
Punch Drunk Love (free, Netflix)
This is not your typical Adam Sandler movie in the least, and if you haven’t yet seen this sweet story about a lonely man whose world is shaken when he falls in love with his sister’s coworker, watch it. It’s not a “chick flick” either if that matters to some of you.
Shall We Dance (original) (free, Netflix)
Another one of my favorite romances ever. Do yourself a favor and skip the Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez remake; the complexity of emotions in the original Japanese version are exquisite.
Like Water for Chocolate (free, Netflix)
Forbidden love, mysticism, plus amazing food. And maybe some inspiration?
Roman Holiday (free, Netflix)
Classic Audrey Hepburn is perfect for Valentine’s Day, and this is our top pick. Plus, we kind of wish young Gregory Peck would whisk us off on a Vespa around the Trevi Fountain too.
Crazy Stupid Love ($2.99 rental, Amazon)
For something more contemporary, Ryan Gosling as a pickup artist teaching depressed Steve Carrell to be a player is far more romantic and charming than you might think. So much goodness here. Also, did we mention Ryan Gosling?
An Affair to Remember (free, Netflix)
If you’re feeling sentimental and nostalgic, this is Hollywood romance at its best. Just for fun, watch this then watch Sleepless in Seattle (also free on Netflix). You’ll find yourself saying, oh so that’s where they got that from!
Once ($2.99 rental, Amazon)
If you’ve seen everything on this list already, maybe I’ve found the one you haven’t, with Once. I’m a big fan of this offbeat, romantic movie with a memorable folk-pop soundtrack. And I especially I love that it depicts (spoiler alert) that not all true love ends with happily ever after. But of course, yours will, right?