Valentine’s Day. It’s that one day of the year that everyone considers it okay to be a sentimental, love-struck fool. The day florists everywhere are swamped, restaurants are booked, lovers are giddy, and single people are either hopeful that next year they’ll have a Valentine or jaded about this whole love thing.
For us, with my husband’s work schedule, we don’t ever really get to go out for Valentine’s Day.It’s just not typically a feasible option. He’s always either working, about to go in, just worked off a long shift, or is working overtime. Needless to say, we have to have a backup plan for your typical “dinner and a movie out on the town”.
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For us, a special dinner and a movie and some snuggling on the couch make for a nice, workable (and affordable) option. Knowing that this is what we do, a friend who recently relocated for her husband’s job and had to start living on a tighter budget asked me what some of our go-to romantic comedies were for Valentine’s Day. My answer:
Romantic movies are open to interpretation. Some are very straightforward romances. In some, it’s a subplot to the actual movie. Some have happy endings. Others have sad or dissatisfying endings. And then there is what I like versus movies my husband prefers. While I may think Sleepless in Seattle is an amazing romantic movie, my husband believes that National Treasure is an acceptable option. So our list is very eclectic.
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These ten movies are the ones that we will both watch without either of us feeling like the other is “winning” the movie choice battle. (Sorry if the descriptions seem slightly vague, I was trying to avoid spoilers. I have a really bad habit of assuming someone has seen a movie and asking them how they felt about the ending. In detail.)
1. Sleepless in Seattle – This is my go-to romantic comedy. While it wasn’t their first performance as a couple, you can’t beat the movie responsible for sky-rocketing the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan romantic duo to rock star status. The movie is your classic early 90’s romantic comedy full of the perfect combination of romance, drama, tragedy, and comedy. The fact that the Sleepless in Seattle storyline actually hinges on Valentine’s Day plans makes it even more fitting to be a part of the list.
For her: A female lead that finds herself torn between what is safe and what is unknown – a place we have all been at some point in our lives.
For him: A man that is a strong leader, a good father, and plenty of guy humor between him and his friends. (Not the raunchy kind, so it isn’t off-putting to me.)
2. A Walk to Remember – While this somewhat falls under the “teen” or “young adult” setting, it is honestly one of my favorites. It is your basic bad boy meets good girl/preacher’s daughter movie but with a major plot twist. And no, not your “Footloose” style preacher’s daughter twist where the preacher’s daughter is actually the resident bad girl. I love Mandy Moore in her role as the main female character. Bonus points for portraying a strong female lead with good Christian values without writing her too “stereotypically preachy”.
For her: An amazing soundtrack (yes, I grade movies on this), a strong female who is uncompromising on her morals, and who is driven to accomplish her dreams.
For him: Muscle cars….. Yeah, this one is a stretch for guys, but Landon’s car is pretty sweet.
3. PS I Love You – A movie that centers on the interaction/communication between a couple and the undying love between a husband and wife (Gerard Butler and Hillary Swank). The supporting cast is nothing to sneeze at either: Kathy Bates, Lisa Kudrow, and Harry Connick Jr. There is plenty of humor to keep it mostly light-hearted even though it does deal with some pretty heavy topics.
For her: Gerard Butler with a heavy Irish accent. Nice.
For him: Plenty of self-deprecating humor from the ladies.
4. Pretty Woman – Okay, so the actual premise of the movie isn’t necessarily every girl’s dream… I mean, who doesn’t know that the lead female character, portrayed by Julia Roberts, is a hooker. (This is not a spoiler. This fact is something that is revealed in the first thirty seconds of the movie.) It is, however, a movie that has stood the test of time with audiences everywhere.
For her: The possibility of the fairy tale ending.
For him: Julia Roberts.
5. The Proposal – Definitely not your traditional romance, but hands down one of the funniest romantic comedies I’ve seen in years. Maybe ever. Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock are perfect together and Betty White just adds to their amazingness.
For her: Ryan Reynolds and plenty of well-balanced humor.
For him: A scene in which you see Betty White and Sandra Bullock dancing around a fire singing, “Get Low”. (A scene that my husband has declared one of the funniest moments in movie history.)
6. The Wedding Singer – I may be a product of my generation….Or maybe a generation before since I was by no means considering getting married in the 80’s, but I love this movie. As does my husband. It’s full of classic 80’s music, angst, icons, and hair. Give it a try. You’ll thank me.
For her: There are so many things – A guy who is a hopeless romantic, the definition of church tongue, and plenty of 80’s entertainment.
For him: Adam Sandler. (Apparently, it’s a guy thing.)
7. National Treasure – While the main storyline isn’t romantic in the traditional sense of the word, there is a romantic subplot. It has action, historical references, romance, drama, and comedy.
For her: Plenty of humor and the romantic subplot.
For him: Enough action and adventure to get his mind off the romance factor. 😉
8. Transformers – Another movie where the romantic storyline isn’t the main storyline, but it is there. Also, another movie that will see both of you doubled over in laughter.
For her: Comedy. Lots of comedy. So much comedy you don’t think about it being a movie about an 80’s “boy” cartoon. (I use that term loosely. I watched Transformers growing up and this would be a movie I loved even without being able to “blame” watching it on my husband.)
For him: Cars, robots, sentient beings, and plenty of comedy.
9. Armageddon – Again, not your classic romance, but I promise it’s there. Along with a motley crew of random characters including Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Steve Buscemi, Owen Wilson and Michael Clarke Duncan to name a few.
For her: Plenty of tear-jerking moments.
For him: Stuff blows up.
10. Star Wars – It doesn’t really matter which half of the trilogy you pick, there is a romantic subplot in both, but the most iconic trilogy is the original three: A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. This is the one responsible for one of the most famous “I love you” scenes in movie history.
For her: It’s Star Wars.
For him: It’s Star Wars.
As I said, it’s a completely random, eclectic listing, but these are movies that have good stories, plenty of romance, and enough comedy, action, drama, adventure, or explosions to keep both parties happy.