Cupid’s Watchlist: What to watch this Valentine’s Day | The Triangle

Cupid’s Watchlist: What to watch this Valentine’s Day

Photo by Dvortygirl | Flickr

In case you missed the abundance of heart-shaped tchotchkes crowding the isles of your closest CVS, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Whether you are celebrating with your significant other, a group of friends or avoiding the festivities  altogether, there is no better way to enjoy the holiday than a romantic movie. Here is a list of (mostly) rom-coms for every occasion.

When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

I mean…it would be stupid NOT to put “When Harry Met Sally… ” on here. Meeting briefly during a ride-share together to New York City, the movie follows Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) as they continue to run into each other over the course of 12 years. The two become closer, worrying that sex may put their friendship in jeopardy. Between the iconic final monologue and the classic “will they, won’t they” romance trope, “When Harry Met Sally…” is a staple of the rom-com genre that continues to solidify its popularity.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

A modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” “10 Things I Hate About You” opens with Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a new student at Padua High, in his attempt to date Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik). In order to do so, however, Bianca’s cold and cynical older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) must ALSO have a date. With the help of two other students, Cameron enlists Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to take Kat out. Filled with Shakespearean drama, a star-studded cast and 90s nostalgia, “10 Things I Hate About You” is the perfect classic rom-com to throw on with friends. 

50 First Dates (2004)

If you love Adam Sandler movies but wish they would focus more on the “inexplicably attractive woman falls for Adam Sandler for some reason” storyline, look no further than “50 First Dates.” After Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) hits it off with Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore), he is surprised when he sees her again and she has no recollection of their previous meeting. Roth eventually finds out she suffers from short-term memory loss, leading him on a series of “first” dates in an attempt to regain Whitmore’s memory and foster a relationship. Sandler’s cast of usual suspects, including Rob Schnieder, Maya Rudolph and Jonathan Loughran, add a comfortable sense of familiarity to the movie. Coupled with Sandler’s stylized humor, “50 First Dates” is great if you are looking for something a little less romantic and a little more funny.

Blue Valentine (2010)

Unlike Adam Sandler’s “50 First Dates,” “Blue Valentine” is a little more romantic and a lot less funny. The film introduces Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams), a struggling married couple balancing their professional and personal lives. Jumping between the beginnings of their relationship and the present, the audience can piece together their romantic timeline and what led them to their current standings. Director Derek Cianfrance can painfully capture the internal battle of a difficult question: How long can the relationship highs justify the lows? If you are sick of lovey-dovey movies, “Blue Valentine” is the ideal anti-romance movie to protest Valentine’s Day.

La La Land (2016)

Often deemed a modern classic, “La La Land” has everything you could ask for in a romance movie: captivating visuals, a heartbreaking love story and 15 musical numbers. The film follows two protagonists: Mia Dolan (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian Wilder (Ryan Gosling), a jazz pianist. Despite meeting each other in a fit of road rage, the two begin a whirlwind romance as they navigate the ups and downs of their professional careers. Whether you are watching for the cinematography, Stone and Gosling’s chemistry, or Justin Hurwitz’s near-perfect soundtrack, “La La Land” has something for everyone.

Someone Great (2019)

Valentine’s Day is not just for couples, but for gals and pals that celebrate the love of friendship. This Galentine’s Day we will be watching Netflix’s 2019 movie “Someone Great.” After breaking up with her boyfriend, “Jane the Virgin’”s Gina Rodriguez goes on an adventure with her two best friends before moving away. Breaking up with your long-term partner is never the end of the world at whatever point you are at in your life when you have your gals by your side.

Anyone But You (2023)

Looking for a new fan-favorite comedy in your local theater? We highly recommend  you check out “Anyone But You.” Junior Ashley Rukab said, “I watched it in theaters, and it single-handedly saved rom-coms.” “Anyone But You” features the duo Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell leaving you wondering how they are not a couple in real life.  Just look at their social media. It was not even five seconds until I added “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield to my Spotify playlist. Maybe that is my new comfort song too, thanks Glen.  

Though Valentine’s Day may not be for everyone, these movies are perfect for date night, girls’ night or pure boredom. These are just a few highlights from the romance genre, but a few honorable mentions include Nora Ephron’s “Sleepless in Seattle,” Marc Webb’s “500 Days of Summer,” Mike Newell’s “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” Carrie Cracknell’s “Persuasion,” Adam Shankman’s “The Wedding Planner” and Roger Michell’s “Notting Hill.” 

Hopefully, our Cupid’s Watchlist makes it onto your screens this upcoming Valentine’s Day.