The fact is, the majority of us will not be out enjoying an overpriced prix fixe dinner and complimentary glass of California sparkling wine with our sweethearts tonight, as much as that sounds wonderful. More likely, we’ll be tucking the kids in, then hoping they stay asleep while we attempt to make things romantic on the home front.
Fortunately, with all the streaming video options we’ve got these days, it’s not like decades past in which the entire rom-com section of the video store was picked through by 5PM. From Roku to Hulu to Netflix, tune in, turn on, and cuddle up under a warm blanket with one of our staff’s favorite romantic comedies.
We warn you: There are some surprises in here. We never said we were conventional.
Liz: The Princess Bride
Okay, so I’m a little conventional. I can’t help it! I used to employ The Princess Bride Test during my single days, because I couldn’t even date a guy if he didn’t adore this Rob Reiner classic. If you can’t sell your guy on the genius William Goldman script, quotable comedic lines, or single fuzzy-filtered kiss, pull the Christopher Guest card. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Inconceivable.
Kristen: Top Gun
There’s just something about Tom Cruise in uniform that makes me drool – you know, back when he was just a handsome dude with a slightly crooked toothy smile. Add in Val Kilmer and a slew of other dudes in dress whites and green pilot suits, plus a little bit of action in the sky and in Kelly McGillis’ bedroom, and it’s the perfect romantic drama, mostly because it’s one that my pilot husband will actually watch without whining.
Delilah: Moulin Rouge!
I’m not a traditional RomComMom, but I’m guessing that curling up with Starship Troopers or Battlestar Galactica doesn’t count as your typical romantic Valentine’s date. My pick would be Moulin Rouge!, the can-cantastic musical that brought Lady Marmalade back into rotation. I love the dances, camp, colors, art, freedom, beauty, truth, and love of it, not to mention Ewan McGregor belting out Elton John tunes and John Leguizamo as Toulouse-Lautrec. If you like a spectacle and have a soft spot for the heady days of corsets and absinthe, I can assure you that the Green Fairy approves.
Christina: Sixteen Candles
“No more yankie my wankie” may not rank up there with the most romantic words every uttered, but my heart melts every time I see Jake’s puppy dog eyes focus on Samantha. Just thinking about my favorite scenes makes me smile like watching poor Joan Cusack trying to drink out of a water fountain wearing her all-too-familiar headgear. Plus, I know that the off-color humor is a sure way to get my husband to sit still for a romantic comedy.
For me, nostalgia breeds romance and Amelie harkens back to the time in my newly married life, when I was living abroad with my husband and starting anew. The movie represents a woman’s quest for love and self-discovery and also takes us through her whimsical adventures through the streets of Paris. Seeing it always reminds me of the wonderful times we spent there exploring, marveling and eating, of course. Foreign film fan or not, this is a must-see.
Beth: When Harry Met Sally
If my husband and I are able to stay awake long enough tonight, we’d watch When Harry Met Sally. We were on similar
paths as Billy and Meg’s characters for years and almost met multiple times–until someone finally set us up on a date and we married a year later. And you’ve got to love the famous “I’ll have what she’s having” diner scene.
Betsy: Defending Your Life
I would absolutely watch Defending Your Life with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep. I know it’s not a typical romantic movie, since it actually takes place in the afterlife when both characters die earlier than expected. It is hilarious, sweet, and has lines that I still quote today. If you’re looking for a dead boy meets dead girl movie, this one’s perfect.
Julie: My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Okay, so I prefer John Corbett with shorter hair, but that’s my only quibble with My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I adore how the heroine blossoms and discovers both herself and love. Plus, this movie is fantastically quotable, especially if you can pull off a Greek accent.
Mir: Benny & Joon
I’m not one for “conventional” romances, so if you like your love story with a little humor and a healthy dash of allegory, you really can’t go wrong with Benny & Joon. I have two words for you: Johnny Depp. Ahem. Total feel-good, power-of-loooove fest. Bonus: This is also the movie that brought (I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles by the Proclaimers into popularity, and if there’s a better upbeat “I love you more than you’ll ever understand” pop anthem out there, I’ll eat my iPod.
What are your favorite romantic movies for Valentine’s Day?