Whether you’re doing cupid-fueled cuddling or solo Feb. 14, NEXT has the perfect streaming viewing for all V-Day settings
Love is hard. So is Valentine’s Day. For some, Feb. 14th is a day of romance, self-love and devotion to yourself and others; for others, it represents consumerism, delusion and the selling of a societal fantasy. Like love itself, it’s controversial, and it means something different to just about everyone. But whether you’re spending the night with a partner, with friends or with a bowl of ice cream, the perfect movie is a necessity regardless — so we’ve cooked up a collection of Valentine’s Day flicks with options for the lovers, the haters and everyone in between.
For the true believers
Everyone loves a whirlwind romance, so turn on one of these films and get swept up in a story of love conquering all.
Moulin Rouge! (2001) 127 mins.
A tragic jukebox love story that pays glittering homage to forbidden love, creative excess and Paris at the turn of the 20th century.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018) 121 mins.
VOD Amazon, Apple TV+ and YouTube
This blockbuster movie has it all — unbelievable sets, addictive visuals, sharp writing and an emotionally poignant romance that grounds the high-budget romp in reality.
The Big Sick (2017) 120 mins.
Written by couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon about the real-life story of their love amidst her unexpected illness, this film is quirky, real and entirely new.
When Harry Met Sally (1989) 96 mins.
Picking a favourite Meg Ryan movie is a near-impossible task, but When Harry Met Sally consistently stands out among the ’90s rom-com set thanks to its realistic writing and incredible chemistry.
But I’m A Cheerleader (1999) 85 mins.
This ’90s cult-classic set a gold standard for queer movies in the 21st century: the story of a popular cheerleader finding love at conversion therapy is satirical, campy, intimate and romantic all at once.
For the too-cool abstainers
Do you think love is overrated? These films agree -— and focus on the shitty, toxic and depressing aspects of modern love.
Blue Valentine (2010) 112 mins.
VOD Apple TV and YouTube
This film is only for the truly brave (or the truly cynical): A couple’s whirlwind romance is contrasted by the tragic destruction of their post-marriage relationship to devastating effect in this depressing tearjerker.
Heathers (1989) 103 mins.
Everything from teen suicide to social hierarchy is skewered in this edgy ’80s satire, but nothing is more memorable than its darkly ironic take on toxic, all-consuming relationships.
Marriage Story (2019) 136 mins.
An unflinching look at the realities of a disintegrating marriage and post-divorce life for a 21st century couple.
For the undecided
Love is complicated, and these films dive deep into the complexity of real-life relationships with candour and nuance.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 108 mins.
Have you ever been so heartbroken over an ex that you wished you could erase them completely? Sci-fi romance Eternal Sunshine provides the definitive exploration on whether it’s really better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.
Moonlight (2016) 111 mins.
VOD Amazon, Apple TV+, and YouTube
The provocative masterpiece Moonlight is about a lot more than just queer love — the film takes a multigenerational approach to addiction, poverty and Black trauma — but the complex, tragic love story that it portrays is unforgettable.
Carol (2015) 108 mins.
A heart-wrenching queer film about forbidden love and ultimate loss in 1950s America.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012) 122 mins.
This critically acclaimed film is a witty, darkly optimistic love story that focuses on the realities of mental illness and trauma.
Malcolm and Marie (2021) 105 mins.
This black-and-white vignette shows an artistic couple’s argument in real-time over the course of a single night.