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10 great Netflix movies to watch on Valentine’s Day

A woman gazes at a man in It's Complicated.

Cupid’s arrow has fianlly pierced the February calendar, and like every year, the 14th is the day for romantics and lovers. Valentine’s Day is here, and people usually celebrate by going out to dinner, bringing flowers or candy home to their beloved, or, if you’re single, by ignoring the holiday altogether.

Regardless if you’re in a relationship or experiencing the bliss of being unpartnered, there’s one way to celebrate that is guaranteed to bring you or someone else pleasure: watching movies. Netflix has a lot of them (haven’t you heard?), and here are 10 films, from obvious rom-coms to sci-fi movies, that are great to watch on Valentine’s Day.

No Hard Feelings (2023)

Andrew Barth Feldman and Jennifer Lawrence in No Hard Feelings.
Sony Pictures

Rom-coms staged a bit of a comeback in 2023 with the success of Anyone But You, but there was one movie that was released in the summer that ranks as one of the best: No Hard Feelings. The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence as Maddie Barker, a woman who is in a crisis: she’s about to lose her car and home. Her relationships are a mess, and her bank account is nearing zero.

It’s no surprise that Maddie accepts an odd job from Laird (Ferris Bueller himself, Matthew Broderick) and Allison Becker (Broadway star Laura Benanti). If Maddie can sleep with their virgin son, Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman), and bring him out of his shell before he goes off to college,  then she can earn enough money to save her home and get her life back together. The only hiccup is that Percy doesn’t want to be seduced and, unlike every other male teenager his age, cares more about getting to know her than sleeping with her.

Happiness for Beginners (2023)

A young couple sits next to each other on rocks in Happiness for Beginners.
HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS (2023) (L to R) Luke Grimes as Jake and Ellie Kemper as Helen / Barbara Nitke/NETFLIX

Now, here’s a movie that got lost in the many streaming options that clog Netflix’s library, and it’s well worth watching on Valentine’s Day. Happiness for Beginners stars Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Ellie Kemper as Helen, a recent divorcée who doesn’t really know what happiness is at this point in her life. That’s why Helen embarks on a survivalist trip on the Appalachian Trail that caters to beginners. Helen’s looking for something that she can’t quite define.

What she finds is Jake (Luke Grimes), a younger man she has casually known for years through her brother, Duncan (Alexander Koch). Although Helen is initially at odds with Jake, she can’t deny their growing connection even as other people in their lives may keep them apart

Maestro (2023)

Carey Mulligan and Bradley Cooper as Felicia Montealegre and Leonard Bernstein smiling while looking in the same direction in Maestro.

Here’s a real-life romance that was anything but traditional. Maestro was written and directed by Bradley Cooper, who cast himself as legendary composer Leonard Bernstein opposite Carey Mulligan as his wife, Felicia Montealegre. Before falling in love with Felicia, Bernstein was in an affair with David Oppenheim (Matt Bomer).

However, Bernstein’s marriage with Felicia doesn’t mean that he plans to give up sleeping with other men. This places an incredible strain on their union, even though the love between Bernstein and Felicia is never in doubt.

It’s Complicated (2009)

A man sits next to a woman in a bathtub in It's Complicated.

Never has a movie title been more accurate than It’s Complicated. Successful baker Grace Adler (Meryl Streep) is facing an empty nest, so it’s understandable that on the eve of her son’s graduation, she falls back into the arms of her ex-husband, Jake (Alec Baldwin). Sounds simple, right? Well, Jake is married, and Grace is also attracted to her architect, Adam (Steve Martin).

It’s Complicated is a breeze to watch, partly due to its charming leads, who all are having a ball falling in and out of bed with one another, and the glossy visuals. Never has a bathtub or buttered croissant been so lovingly photographed on film, and by the end, the true romance is between you and Grace’s fabulous kitchen.

Love and Monsters (2020)

Dylan O'Brien and a robot in Love and Monsters
Paramount Pictures

Want a love story with a heavy dose of sci-fi and charm? Then Love and Monsters is for you. The Maze Runner’s Dylan O’Brien stars as Joel, one of the survivors of an apocalyptic event that left Earth overrun by giant monsters. Before the world went to hell, Joel (O’Brien) was deeply in love with Aimee (Glass Onion‘s Jessica Henwick), but they’ve been separated for seven years because it isn’t safe to travel on the surface.

When Joel becomes fed up with himself for feeling useless, he decides to risk everything by leaving the safety of his colony behind so he can reunite with Aimee. Does he get the girl in the end? You’ll have to watch to find out.

May December (2023)

A man and a woman sit on a chair in May December.

This isn’t a typical love story by any means; in some ways, it’s the opposite. But May December is such a good movie, it’s appropriate to watch on any day of the year. Decades ago, Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Julianne Moore) was sentenced to prison for seducing Joe Yoo (Riverdale’s Charles Melton) when he was a child, before marrying him when she was released. In May December, Gracie and Joe believe they can repair the damage to their reputations because a movie is being made about their lives.

Elizabeth Berry (Natalie Portman), the actress hired to portray Gracie, has other ideas. She’s less interested in redeeming the Yoos than in completely immersing herself in their lives to craft a better performance. May December is disturbing, but in a way that’s more enthralling than unpleasant. None of these people are role models, but they are fascinating to watch.

Plus One (2019)

A woman and man sit down next to each other.
RLJE Films

Stop what you are doing and go watch the most underrated rom-com of the last five years, Plus One. College friends Ben King (Jack Quaid) and Alice Mori (Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s Maya Erskine) have reached the stage when their weekend plans revolve around weddings. Yet, wedding season is tough without a date. Ben, an optimist who believes in finding the perfect match, and Alice, a recent victim of a breakup, do not want to attend weddings single.

After discussing their problems, Ben and Alice agree to be each other’s plus-one at their weddings over the summer. Alice will help introduce Ben to girls while Ben attempts to get Alice over her breakup. The movie is worth watching solely due to Quaid and Erskine, who share incredible chemistry together.

Do Revenge (2022)

Two girls gaze at each other in Do Revenge.

This movie isn’t a love story, but what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by watching an entertaining tale of getting even with an ex? Camila Mendes and Stranger Things Volume 4 star Maya Hawke star in the colorful and brightly funny teen revenge comedy Do Revenge. The plot centers on two teenage girls — one popular, the other an outcast — who join forces to get revenge on each other’s enemies.

Loosely inspired by the Alfred Hitchcock classic Strangers on a Train, Do Revenge isn’t a masterpiece, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s pure fun, and a great way for single people to spend the holiday.

Carol (2015)

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as Carol and Therese talking in Carol.

Tár actress Cate Blanchett and The Girl with the Dragon tattoo star Rooney Mara healine Todd Haynes’ acclaimed romantic drama Carol, one of the most romantic movies made in the last decade. The film chronicles the forbidden love affair between a young and aspiring photographer and a wealthy older woman going through a difficult divorce in 1950s New York.

The key to Carol ‘s success is its central love story, which is believable without being too sentimental. The movie earned six Oscar nominations, with both Blanchett and Mara getting singled out for praise. It makes sense, as the two are dynamite in this film, and give their best performances ever.

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

A man leans on a woman in My Best Friend's Wedding.

If you have to watch one rom-com this Valentine’s Day, let it be this one. Julia Roberts is both the hero and the villain in My Best Friend’s Wedding, a unique take on a classic narrative where the girl wants the boy even though he’s engaged to someone else. Whoops. Roberts’ Julianne Potter tries to stop her best friend, Michael O’Neal (Scream VI‘s Dermot Mulroney), from marrying the sweet Kimmy Wallace (Cameron Diaz) even though they are seemingly perfect for each other. What’s a woman to do? Why, break them up, of course.

My Best Friend’s Wedding is still a great watch today because it isn’t afraid to get a little mean. Roberts does some pretty morally questionable things, but her actions are somewhat justifiable. It’s also the rare rom-com that is realistic about how love works and how, sometimes, it’s better that you don’t get what your heart desires.

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
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