In cold February, what could be better than snuggling up by the fire with a warm cup of java or cocoa and popping in a favorite, classic romantic movie to make you laugh, warm the heart or move the soul? OK, I realize this may not be an idea for everyone, but in the spirit of Valentine’s Day we’re celebrating with recommendations for a top-notch romantic movie marathon.
My must-sees are first, including ratings from RottenTomatoes.com, so you don’t just have to take my word for it! Romance-loving Susquehanna employees also offered their takes on the love movies they love. I’ve added a few at the end for good measure, in case you are going for a mega-marathon! Happy viewing, and may you find a movie worth falling for!
My Top Picks for Romantic Flicks
Before Sunrise (1995) – The most real portrayal of love I’ve ever seen in the movies, which are so often full of unbelievable clichés, “meet cutes” and happy endings. This movie felt more realistic than anything I’ve ever seen on reality TV (I’m talking about you – The Bachelor/Bachelorette). Bonus points for ’90s nostalgia.
Tomatometer – 100%
Once (2007) – A simple story about restrained love. It doesn’t take a big budget and famous actors to make a beautiful love story.
Tomatometer – 97%
Bridges of Madison County (1997) – This movie breaks my heart into a million pieces every time I watch it. I dare you not to be moved by the brilliant Meryl Streep. Prepare for some deep life reflection.
Tomatometer – 89%
Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) – Bridget Jones is a total mess, which makes watching her romantic endeavors so entertaining. I also can’t help but be entertained by the presence of Colin Firth.
Tomatometer – 81%
While You Were Sleeping (1995) – Simply put, this movie just makes me happy. Sandra Bullock is so lovable and delightful, you’ll forgive the completely unbelievable story line. Jack and Lucy seem like people you could actually know (or be!). I could watch this movie a million times.
Tomatometer – 80%
Sleepless in Seattle (1993) – In my mind, there is no finer fictitious romantic coupling than Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. The two may only have minutes on the screen together, but it proves the magic of their chemistry. Sam and Annie forever!
Tomatometer – 80%
The Notebook (2004) – I have to be selective about when I watch this, since I tend to break out into the “ugly cry”. This doesn’t just tug on the heartstrings – it is an all-out assault. That said, what surprises me most is that men seem to actually like this one. I believe this movie launched 1,000 Ryan Gosling Fan Clubs.
Tomatometer – 80%
Susquehanna Employee Recommendations
Love Story (1970) – “By today’s standards, it is beyond cheesy, but at the time and for several years afterward, watching Love Story was a cry-fest. We all wanted to wear knit hats like Ali McGraw’s, and everyone knew that famous line: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”” - Lori
The Princess Bride (1987) – “A great story about true love.” – Dale
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) – “An 80′s throwback!” – Brenda
Say Anything (1989) – “It’s not your typical romantic movie, maybe, what with the kickboxing and the incarceration, but there’s a sweetness to the romance in it, an innocence, that I find irresistible. Plus it has some CLASSIC John Cusack lines. “I gave her my heart, and she gave me this pen.” – Claudia
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)– “So funny and touching.” – Claudia
Jerry Macguire (1996) – “You had me at hello” – Dale
My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) – “My all-time favorite movie. I just love Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz.” – Lionnie
City of Angels (1998) – “City of Angels will make you cry your eyeballs out.” – Kate
Notting Hill (1999) – “Notting Hill will make you laugh hysterically.” – Kate
You’ve Got Mail (1998) – “On movie night, we pick up a big bouquet of white daisies (Meg’s favorite) and Chinese take-out (they had sushi).” – Patti
Laws of Attraction (2004) – “Tastykake is finally selling pink snowballs again – must have a pack for this movie!” – Patti
The Painted Veil (2006) – “I love Ed Norton! But again, that movie will make you cry your eyes out. So worth the watch though. The book is excellent too.” – Kate
The Vow (2012) – “Just simply an amazing movie about true love” – Amber
The Lucky One (2012) – “One of my favorite romantic movies that I love to watch around Valentine’s Day.” – Sara
Some others for consideration:
Casablanca (1942), The African Queen (1952), Sabrina (1954 or 1995), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Dirty Dancing (1987), When Harry Met Sally (1989), Pretty Woman (1990), Ghost (1990), Legends of the Fall (1994), The Wedding Singer (1998), Chocolat (2000), Serendipity (2001), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003), Crazy Stupid Love (2011).