For all of you waiting for the perfect person to be sitting across from you in that quaint, little coffee shop with John Mayer playing softly in the background, know this—he’s probably not showing up. But who needs an actual, human Valentine when you can live vicariously through movies? Though you might need tissues on deck, you’ll definitely share a few good laughs and catch all the feels.
1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Sci-fi meets romance in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This movie pairs an unusual couple: Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. We all know that Winslet has what it takes to play a girl in love, but who would’ve thought Carrey could put away the silly green mask and take on a deeper role? Winslet’s character, Clementine, has a procedure to erase her memories of Carrey’s character, Joel, after a breakup. The kicker? Joel later attempts the same surgery. “I would recommend it for anyone looking for a thought-provoking film. It’d be perfect for watching with someone else so you can share opinions afterwards,” said University of Florida student Kelli Kaufmann.
2. Love Actually
Starring decorated actors Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley and the late Alan Rickman, Love Actually follows the love stories of nine individuals. The way the narrative is told is unique in that the couples’ stories somehow connect to each other and their lives overlap. It’s almost like watching multiple movies all in one. Despite the Christmas in London setting, this movie is still a great Valentine’s Day watch with a glass of wine… or two.
3. While You Were Sleeping
A recurring event for many hopeless romantics out there is falling in love from a distance. We sit around pretending and contemplating “what if?” In this While You Were Sleeping, Sandra Bullock’s Lucy saves Peter Gallagher’s character, ironically also named Peter, from an oncoming train. After taking him to the hospital, a mishap by one of the nurses causes Peter’s family to think Lucy is his fiancé. Delighted when his family welcomes her with open arms, Lucy keeps up the act until realizing she’s falling in love with Peter’s brother. University of Florida freshman Elizabeth DeFelice said this movie inspires her. “It gives me hope that I’ll run into someone unexpectedly and fall in love with them. [Lucy] wasn’t expecting for the brother to come out of no where and find love with him,” DeFelice said.
4. The Best of Me
Is this even a guide for romantics if Nicholas Sparks doesn’t make the cut? James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan play high school sweethearts who were forced apart by reasons that they don’t discover until many years later in The Best of Me. Though the movie has the tendency to be a giant cheese ball, it’s all the cheese a hopeless romantic could ever ask for. There are steamy love scenes, dramatic fights and—well, I’ll let you watch for yourself.
Keith stars the man with the most beautiful soul on the planet, Jessie McCartney. He plays a boy named Keith who is lab partners with the popular girl, Natalie. Everything in Natalie’s life seems perfect: she has a boyfriend and a tennis scholarship for Duke University all lined up. But don’t fret—this isn’t the same ol’ “cool girl has a crush on the loser boy and doesn’t want to tell anyone about it” type of movie. “The plot is pretty basic, but the content isn’t. I love that you are on toes throughout this movie!” said UF freshman Danie Etienne. One day Keith goes missing and Natalie attempts to find him. Warning: plot twist ahead.
6. In Your Eyes
In Your Eyes isn’t your typical boy meets girl movie either. In fact, for the first half of the movie the boy, Dylan, played by Michael Stahl-David, doesn’t even meet the girl, Rebecca, played by Zoe Kazan. In this sci-fi romance film, the two connect through a supernatural power that allows them to see what the other sees and feel what the other feels, both physically and emotionally. Though they’ve had this power their entire lives, they don’t come to fully recognize and understand it until later. Throughout the movie, their relationship grows and struggles because she’s a married woman and he’s an ex-convict. It’ll make any romantic feel emotions they never knew they could.
The independent movie Copenhagen follows the story of an unconventional couple through the historical city of Copenhagen, Denmark. A twenty-something man named William, played by Gethin Anthony, meets a local girl named Effy who works in the hotel he’s staying in. After hitting it off, the pair began their city-exploring journey in hopes of learning about William’s absentee father. “It was refreshing to see [a movie] take place in another country. I haven’t seen many movies set in Denmark. [The film has] an interesting story line that I needed to see play out,” said Florida State junior Courtney Piper. Ahh, falling in love in Europe: the dream that never fades.
8. Stuck in Love
This one’s for all those closet romantics. Stuck in Love has an unusual dynamic as it follows three love stories from one family. “The movie has some heartbreaking, quirky and funny moments, which makes it a great film for a variety of viewers. It’s an all around underrated and great movie that I would definitely recommend to friends!” said San Diego State University senior Renne Shekoufeh. Lily Collins plays Sam, a college-aged girl who avoids relationships, but finds herself meeting a soft, nice guy named Lou, played by Logan Lerman. Collin’s character is very relatable for all young women. “I had a really turbulent relationship with my mom throughout high school, so when I first watched [the movie], [Sam’s] attitude towards her mom and just about life in general really resonated with me,” said Gonzga University freshman Elizabeth Terry. Meanwhile, Sam’s younger brother Rusty, played by Nat Wolff, falls hopelessly for a classmate who has a bit of a dark past while their father sulks over his ex-wife. Watching three different relationships unfold shows how universal love can be no matter what stage of life you’re in.
9. Waiting for Forever
The O.C. and Hart of Dixie actress Rachel Bilson plays a girl named Emma whose childhood best friend, Will, played by Tom Sturridge, has been in love with her for, well, forever. After his parents’ death, Will was never been the same. He talks to himself and makes a living doing magic tricks in random parks and streets fairs. His unrequited love for Emma results in him following her around the country, but never actually approaching her until they’re both back in their hometown does he confess to what he’s been doing all these years. Waiting for Forever‘s love story takes a different approach than most of the others. Both happy and saddening, it’ll definitely make you appreciative of the people you have in your life.
10. The Notebook
Because Nicholas Sparks writes stories all girls dream of, here is #anotherone of his book-to-film adaptations. For those who haven’t seen this cult classic, The Notebook is a twist on Romeo and Juliet’s famous tale where two families can’t seem to get along and members from each fall for each other. Despite the socio-economic differences, Noah, played by Ryan Gosling *swoon*, and Allie, played by Rachel McAdams, fall in love over the course of a summer. Things take a turn for the worse, though, when Noah serves in World War II and Allie doesn’t hear from him anymore. This film will have everyone in the room drowning in a pool of their own tears—in a good way, of course.