Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no secret that Valentine’s Day 2021 may look a little different. Never fear because whether you’ll be spending it with a long-term parter or your forever friends, there are plenty of love-filled movies available for streaming from the safety of your own home.
Here are writer Alison McWalter’s top picks for this special day:
Perpetual bridesmaid Jane (Katherine Heigl) gets stuck planning her sister’s wedding to Jane’s boss and secret crush, George (Ed Burns). Meanwhile, cynical wedding reporter Kevin Doyle (James Marsden) takes interest in Jane’s many stories of her experience as being a bridesmaid and hopes to write an article on her as his ticket out of wedding journalism.
13 going on 30
On her 13th birthday, nerdy Jenna Rink yearns to be one of the popular girls but ends up wishing to be “30 and flirty and thriving” after they humiliate her. When her wish comes true, and she wakes up wealthy, popular, working her dream job and 17 years older, she comes to realize what’s actually important to her.
50 First Dates
Playing a womanizer and marine veterinarian named Henry, Adam Sandler falls for a woman at a cafe (Drew Barrymore) whom he later discovers has short term memory loss after she doesn’t remember meeting him the next day. While rom-coms with Adam Sandler tend to be hit or miss, 50 First Dates is sweet, funny and definitely worth the watch.
Main character Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) has a seemingly perfect life— loving parents, great friends and an exciting online romance with an anonymous classmate— but is struggling with one “huge ass secret.” Like most high school rom-coms, Love, Simon is full of classic cliches and tropes, except in this case, they’re made fresh by following a closeted gay teen’s struggles with coming out and understanding his own identity.
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Following a newly single father’s awkward ventures into the dating world, this movie has a shirtless Ryan Gosling pulling “Dirty Dancing” moves and a classic hot-girl-movie-makeover in which the hot girl is 40-something year old Steve Carrell.
She’s the Man
Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” is a play about a woman, disguised as a man, falling in love with a man who loves another woman, who in turn, falls in love with the woman disguised as a man in a very complicated love triangle. “She’s the Man” is the same idea, only featuring Amanda Bynes and young Channing Tatum, whose love trouble revolves around the game of soccer. If you haven’t seen this movie, drop everything and watch it right now. If you have seen it, you know it’s worth another watch this Valentine’s Day.
The Princess Bride
A cult classic, “The Princess Bride” tells the story of Westley and Buttercup as they face endless trials to be together, including, but not limited to pirates, kidnappers, a royal murder plot and a near death experience. Funny, charming and endlessly quotable, The Princess Bride definitely earns a spot among the best rom-coms to watch this Valentine’s Day.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
In this cult favorite, 22-year-old Scott Pilgrim meets his dream girl and then discovers he has to defeat her seven evil exes in order to date her. Watching Scott (played by famously awkward Michael Cera) engage in dramatic, video game style combat is as entertaining as it is bizarre.
Thirty seven-year-old father and husband Mike is bored and unhappy, distant from his kids and about to be divorced from his high school sweetheart until a chance accident turns him, as the title suggests, 17 again. His attempts to win back his wife and bond with his kids are fun and funny, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s played by a 22-year-old Zac Efron.
10 Things I Hate About You
Another Shakespeare adaptation, “10 Things I Hate About You” follows handsome bad boy Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) attempting to woo “shrewish” but beautiful Kat Stratford. Unknown to Kat, however, Patrick is being paid to date her in a scheme for another boy to be able to date her little sister.