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For our first date, Brett did not take me to see a movie. (He took me to an escape room, and I’m 100% convinced that is the best idea ever for a first date.) But when the plans for our second date (a walk at the park) got rained out, we headed back to my place to watch a movie. Curious what sort of guy I was getting to know, I let him pick the flick. After perusing my DVD collection for a few minutes, he pulled out the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre. I figured he was just trying to impress me, but turns out, he’d been reading the book (swoon), had seen other adaptations, and was genuinely interested. I knew then that he was a keeper.
Since then, watching movies has become one of our favorite things to do together. We love going to the theater (thank goodness there’s a cheap theater in town or we’d be broker than broke…) and most date nights at home are spent snuggling up to an old favorite or something new. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are some of our favorite romantic movies that would be perfect for a cozy night in with your favorite human.
Same Kind of Different as Me
Ron and Debbie Hall are on the brink of divorce. But when they befriend a homeless man with a dangerous past, they find purpose, redemption, and a renewed appreciation for each other. This is one of the sweetest stories I’ve ever seen, and it makes me want to be the kind of woman Debbie Hall is. I can’t even get through the trailer for this one without crying, so consider yourself warned.
Broke, unemployed, and childless, Moshe and Malli are ecstatic when an apparent change of luck provides them with the means to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Succoth. But when unexpected visitors from Moshe’s past show up, they have to rely on faith in a God of miracles to help them overcome their biggest challenge yet. The way Moshe prays makes my heart sing, and I really relate to Malli’s desire to have children.
After crashing his car and waking up with amnesia, blacklisted movie writer Peter Appleton is mistaken for small town golden boy and MIA soldier Luke Trimble. After helping his “father” and Luke’s girlfriend restore an old movie theater, remembering his true identity may cause him to lose everything he’s come to love. I dream of living in a tiny town like Lawson, and I love the speech Peter makes in front of the congressional hearing.
North and South
Okay, you may not be able to watch all of this on Valentine’s Day because it’s a four-part miniseries, but you can at least get it started. Not to be confused with the similarly named series about the American Civil War. North and South is a BBC period drama about Margaret Hale, a middle-class lady from southern England forced to move to an industrial town in the north. There, she comes head-to-head with John Thornton, a shrewd but callous business owner who just might win her heart. The scene on the train platform is the stuff romantic dreams are made of.
Available on Netflix.
When party girl and high fashion modeling agent Helen ends up as the legal guardian to her orphaned nieces and nephew, she’s thrust into a world she’s woefully unprepared for. But with the help of the kids’ new principal, she just might have a shot. Raising Helen is about as formulaic as romcoms get, but I love the wholesome relationship between Helen and Pastor Dan.
New in Town
Ladder-climing Lucy Hill will do anything for that promotion—including moving from Miami to Minnesota in the middle of the winter. Faced with unique local customs, jaded employees, and a headstrong union boss, Lucy starts to question her commitment. But when the company decides to shut down the factory and put hundreds of people out of work, Lucy and that handsome union boss must work together to save the town. Again, pretty formulaic, but it’s one of my favorite cheesy romcoms.
Penelope was born with a curse that gave her a pig’s nose and ears. To break the curse, her overbearing but well-meaning mother sets her up with a matchmaker. Suitor after suitor rejects Penelope and leaves her without hope, but a surprise twist reveals that the answer to the curse is not quite what they expected.
Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society
When successful author Juliet Ashton receives a fan letter from a literary society on the island of Guernsey, she feels compelled to meet the members in person. She quickly falls in love with the readers and the island, but senses there’s more to their origin story than they’re letting on. Set against the backdrop of post-World War II reconstruction, Guernsey is a beautiful story about beautiful people who read good books, laugh at their own jokes, and love without boundaries.
Available on Netflix.
Pride and Prejudice
Truth be told, I’m just as much a fan of the five-hour BBC miniseries adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as I am of the 2005 Keira Knightly/Matthew McFadden version, so really, you can’t go wrong. This is such a classic that I’m sure you know the plot summary already, but just in case: When handsome bachelors Darcy and Bingley move into a nearby estate, the five very single Bennet Sisters find themselves vying for their attention. Scorned by the standoffish Darcy, self-assured Lizzie vows he is the last man she could ever love. But when he helps her family through a crisis, she questions her original impression of him and wonders if she was too quick to judge—just in time to find out he’s engaged to someone else.
Sense and Sensibility
What self-respecting anglophile would I be if I only included one Jane Austen flick on a list of my favorite romantic movies? (Honestly, I could have made up the bulk of this list with only Jane Austen movies…) Sense and Sensibility is actually my favorite of the Jane Austen movies. I love the interplay between the Dashwood sisters as they navigate class snobbery, less-than-honest suitors, and losing their family home to archaic British inheritance traditions. If Colonel Brandon’s wooing of lovelorn Marianne and Edward Ferrars’ friendship with Elinor doesn’t make your heart melt, can you really call yourself a romantic?
Whether it’s with your significant other, your kids, or close friends, take some time to celebrate the love in your own life by spending an evening with the people you love.
And I’d love to hear about your favorite romantic movies! Tell me about them in the comments below or over on Facebook.
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