Rest assured, however you spend February 14th, the fictional exploits of these will-they, won’t-they couples will be much more exciting. Grab yourself a love sausage, a bottle of spirits for your spirit, and let these six films mend your broken heart: doctor’s orders.
If you’re recently single or prone to ugly-crying, then these two picks come with a trigger warning.
On paper, a love-story between two cancer-patients might not make for easy viewing, but The Fault in Our Stars (Netflix) is a well-balanced, thoughtful and cosy film that swerves the young-adult potholes which claimed its successors. Sixteen year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster, who has terminal thyroid cancer, falls for Augustus Waters (the internet’s former boyfriend, Ansel Elgort) at a cancer support group. Before the you-know-its-coming-but-its-still-sad finale, the pair indulge in the most-mainstream of traditions: a couple’s weekend in Amsterdam. Prepare for some Marley and Me level tears at the end.
If you’re looking for another living room escape, you could do worse than travel to 1983 northern Italy for some sun, sex and discussions of archaeology, Latin and classical composers in Call Me by Your Name (NOW TV). Starring the internet’s current boyfriend Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, this Oscar-nominated tale of summer love is a delicate, passionate affair, the likes of which cinema has been missing. A gay love story without prejudice; CMBYN will soothe and break your heart in 132 minutes. For the optimal experience, position yourself in front of an open fire to let those tears trickle as the credits roll.
If you’re romantic endeavours are more laugh-out-loud than lots-of-love, you’re not alone as these next choices prove.
Steve Carrell’s unlucky in love Andy Stitzler is, you guessed it, The 40-Year Old Virgin (Netflix) in director Judd Apatow’s comedy classic. Guided by his sleazy co-workers, Andy’s romantic conquest leads to a “Kelly Clarkson” screaming chest wax, an ill-fated encounter with a prostitute and the climactic embrace of a shower-head before he realises that he’s in love with Catherine Kenner’s Trish. Amidst the cringe-comedy and one-liners is a sweet romance that also ends with an excellent song-and-dance number, as all films should.
Another one not to watch with your parents, There’s Something About Mary, reunites former prom dates Ted (Ben Stiller) and Mary (Cameron Diaz) 13-years after Ted is stretchered off with his balls caught in his zipper. Still in love with Mary, Ted tracks her down and tries to win her back, but he’s got competition, from just about any man that Mary meets. The real glue of the film is the madcap gags that come thick-and-fast from the Farrlley Brothers; that, and the ‘hairgel.’
If you’re looking for an air-punching, hand-clapping, smile-inducing film than how about this fine selection.
Netflix gave the rom-com the kiss of life with Set It Up (Netflix), an old-fashioned yet likeable film, anchored by the charismatic duo of Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell. The pair play two struggling, 20something assistants who decide to matchmake their mean bosses so that they’ll spend less in the office. Guess what: it works! Until it doesn’t. Maybe they’re not the couple in need of setting up…. It might be the vanilla ice-cream of romantic comedies and a box-ticking exercise in clichés but sometimes that’s perfectly okay. Everyone likes vanilla.
For a healthy scoop of rom-com stereotypes with some rainbow sprinkles, Love, Simon (NOW TV) makes for a smart, funny format refresh. High-schooler Simon (Nick Robinson) has a loving family, like-minded close friends and a secret: he’s gay. Simon is blackmailed by classmate Martin into setting him up with his friend, Abby, after he discovered and threatened to reveal Simon’s confessional emails to fellow closeted student ‘Blue’. The film hits the well-worn beats of teen movies dating back to the 80s John Hughes classics, but does so with a considered, modern voice.