While Valentine’s Day is a fine time for for grand gestures — jewelry, vacations, expensive dinners, etc. — sometimes the most romantic way to spend the holiday is a quiet night in. For those who want to keep their evening simple, a romantic movie is always a reliable option. Here are some of our picks for the best movies to watch this Valentine’s Day, whether you enjoy twee stories of young love or tragic French musicals.
Few movies capture the experience of a first date — in all its mundane magic — better than Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise. The film opens on a train as two travelers, Jesse Wallace (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy), meet on their way out of Budapest. After a lively conversation, Wallace invites her to get off the train with him in Vienna, where he will be catching a plane back to the United States the next morning. The two wander the city, visiting record shops and dive bars, talking about life and what they want to do in the future. It’s the beautifully ordinary stuff that anyone who’s been young and infatuated can relate to. The writing is down to earth, but not short of wit, and Hawke and Delpy have an easygoing chemistry that makes it feel all the more authentic.
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