11 movies on Netflix to get you in the mood this Valentine's Day

Feb 1 2023, 4:30 pm

The romance genre on Netflix is a fairly busy one in February.

Even if binge-watching television and movies is something we’ve been used to lately, it’s still nice to choose the right movie for Valentine’s Day. There are always the modern classics like Notting Hill (the greatest romcom ever made), The Notebook, and Titanic, but an undiscovered love story just feels so good when we find it — much like real life.

The romance category is filled with hidden gems and underrated movies, and there are so many great love stories in the different Netflix sub-categories.

Here are some romantic movies available on Netflix right now — from all types of genres — perfect for Valentine’s Day viewing.

New Release

Your Place or Mine

“They don’t make rom-coms anymore.”

“Old school movie stars aren’t in movies anymore.”

It looks like this Valentine’s Day Netflix is giving us back both AND from the writer of 27 Dresses and The Devil Wears Prada.

A boy and a girl are best friends and total opposites. She (Reese Witherspoon) craves routine in LA with her son while he (Ashton Kutcher) loves being single and spontaneous in New York City. We are already hooked on that perfect romcom-style logline. So what happens to drive the story? They swap houses for a week while he realizes he might love her and she starts falling for a new man (the insanely hot Jesse Williams).

This comes out on February 10 but just wait four days and order a pizza, crack open a bottle of wine, and let the formulaic wonderment wash over you.

Movies Based on Real Life

The Dig

The Dig might not have the sexiest title on the list. At first glance, it’s not the most romantic premise either — a widow hires a self-taught archaeologist to dig up some hills on her land? But The Dig skyrocketed to the Netflix top ten the day it premiered because it’s one of the more beautiful looks at love in recent years.

This isn’t the familiar story about two unlikely strangers who fall for each other over the course of their work together. The Dig is about our lives and our love and how neither should be wasted because, like the ancient ship they’ve discovered proves, our time here is finite. The story splinters off to explore the different loves between a man and his wife, a son and his mother, two closeted men, and the new spark of true love.

You’ll dig this one (sorry).

Intimate Drama

The Photograph

They don’t make movies like this anymore. And what movies is that exactly? Low-budget sexy ones.

It’s basically an intense (but light) will they or won’t they rom-com without the com…just a whole lot of sexual tension and flirting from two of the most charismatic actors (Lakeith Stanfield and Issa Rae) you could hope to see share a bottle of wine and put on a vinyl record.

Anime Movies

Spirited Away

Spirited Away, at its core, is about growing up. But often, part of growing up is falling in love, and 10-year-old Chihiro certainly experiences that feeling.

The movie is so visually and emotionally beautiful that it would qualify for any list based on cinematic strength alone. If you haven’t seen a Studio Ghibli movie before, they’re basically the Pixar of Japan. Known for their animated children’s movies with mature themes, Spirited Away is their best — perfect for anyone with kids (or who has ever been a kid).

Spirited Away is the highest-grossing film in Japan’s history. It was also named the fourth best film of the 21st century by the BBC when voted on by 177 critics. The love between Chihiro and Haku is hard to explain because love is hard to explain — you just have to experience it for yourself.

LGBTQ Movies

Happiest Season

Is it too early (or too late) to celebrate Christmas?

This quite funny and highly rewatchable love story has plenty of funny gags and heartfelt moments that can be enjoyed any time of year. The cast is stacked (Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Dan Levy), with all of them getting fleshed-out characters with flaws and likeable characteristics.

Coming out is an extremely important moment and personal decision, and one few movies have properly explored. This story builds to that point and sees it from several different perspectives.

Classic Movies

Dirty Dancing

This broad romance movie has it all.

Patrick Swayze is a tough but hot hunk. Jennifer Grey is an adorable and fully capable person. A fairly poignant and well-handled B-plot involving an abortion. Wait…this movie is from the 1980s?!

It’s a classic for a reason, with many classic moments, so turn it on, have the time of your life, feel like you’ve felt this way before, and watch a bunch of fun montages and a bunch of extremely hot montages.

Why not pair this one with Crazy, Stupid, Love (if you know you know)?

Dark Comedy

Other People

The plot of Other People sounds extremely bleak, but with so much genuine heart and laughs, it’s a subtle look at love and family.

A writer (Jesse Plemons) is broken up with during the worst year of his life — and then his mom gets terminally sick. This is a story about what being in love means to us, just as much as what it means to love ourselves.

It’s bold, often sad, but always wickedly funny.

Netflix Originals

The Half of It

There were plenty of romantic Netflix Originals to choose from — To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Kissing Booth, Holidate — but we have to pick the underrated 2020 film The Half of It.

It’s never corny but always sweet. The serious moments are tender ones, never dipping into the melodramatic. This is a funny coming-of-age love story involving multiple characters, all of which we love spending time with. The poetic Ellie starts writing love letters to Aster on behalf of the inarticulate Paul in return for money — except Ellie has a crush on Aster, too.

Sci-Fi Romance

About Time

Simply put, this might be the best romantic movie on Netflix. It’s funny, cute, charming, warming, and heart-destroying. What could have been a very silly premise is immediately welcome due to the confidence of the direction, script, and all of the actors portraying it in good fun.

Especially in a movie about trying to find love and time travel, this is a movie that could find sinister B-plots, but it never does. The conflict comes from normal life, whether it’s your sister dating a bad guy, your dad getting sick, or the fear of knowing the greatest girl you’ve ever met might soon become just a stranger.

The world-building and rules are fun and always understood, and this not-so-classic rom-com movie is just as much about the love for your family and feeling toward life as it is about your partner.

Romantic Comedy

Set It Up

No list of romantic movies would be complete without the always enjoyable “rom-com.” There was plenty to suggest, and since Notting Hill is no longer available on Netflix, we have to go with Set It Up. Like any great romantic comedy, the plot is easy to understand, but always plenty of room for crushes and hijinks.

The story is about two overworked assistants (Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell) trying to set up their incredibly demanding bosses (Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs) with each other. Set It Up is easy, adorable, and hilarious, and mostly works because of the incredible charm of all four leads.

Based on a Classic Novel

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

We get it. Romantic period pieces based on English literature can get a bad rap.

People just seem to think they’re boring. It doesn’t seem to matter that modern movies like Atonement, Wuthering Heights, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, or Pride and Prejudice are as riveting as they are beautiful and 100% must-watches.

These stories aren’t just about courting each through hand-written letters across the countryside. The best in the genre are about people confined to the times they are in, experiencing a forbidden love that has no choice but to exist and destroy everything in its path.

That’s exactly why Lady Chatterley’s Lover is so refreshing. It has all of these elements and is clearly indebted to the source material, but without spoiling too much, it leaves behind the sombre and sorrowful that usually leaves us weeping as the credits roll and instead, allows the love to exist. This is a story of forbidden love with hope, not despair.

Plus, it has to be said Jack O’Connell and Emma Corrin’s chemistry basically melts the screen every time they’re together. That helps. If there were a “hottest movies of 2022” list, this period piece would be at the top.

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