Valentine’s Day lands on a Friday this year, so it couldn’t be a better date night, and in case couples are looking to save some money by spending the evening snuggled up in front of a television, TheWrap compiled a home movie viewing guide with suggestions for all tastes, ages and romantic situations.
From the most obvious to most obscure, here are 10 romantic movies worth considering — for one reason or another.
DON’T THINK TOO HARD: “Valentine’s Day”
It’s Valentine’s Day, and this movie is called “Valentine’s Day,” so it must be the perfect movie to watch. Right? Well, no. It was actually critically panned when it was released in 2010, but hey, you don’t care about that. You just want to pop in a movie that seems like appropriately timed viewing so you have an excuse to make a move on that special someone sitting next to you on the couch.
SNUGGLE BAIT: “The Conjuring”
It’s true, dudes. If you’re looking to get close to your valentine this year, your best shot isn’t to butter her up (not to mention raise her expectations) with unrealistic romantic drivel — but a truly terrifying horror film that will make her a) jump into your safe and strong arms and b) too scared to sleep alone that night.
TRUE ROMANCE: “Before Sunrise”
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Want to watch a true cinematic romance unfold? Start off with Richard Linklater‘s 1995 drama about a young American (Ethan Hawke) and French grad student (Julie Delpy) falling deeply in love over nothing but meaningful conversation as they wander the streets of Vienna until it’s time for one to catch a flight. If you like what you see, prepare to marathon sequels “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight” — nominated for a screenwriting Oscar this year — to see just how far one spontaneous date can lead in life.
HE’LL LOVE IT, SHE’LL TOLERATE IT: “Knocked Up”/”40-Year-Old Virgin”
Enjoy writer-director Judd Apatow‘s finest films, which are filled with just enough romance in between all of those dick jokes to keep both men and women happy.
LOVE SUCKS: “Blue Valentine”
Single? Lonely? Depressed? Cheer up! Derek Cianfrance‘s remarkably raw 2010 drama proves you’re not missing out on anything, anyway, as even a relationship with Ryan Gosling can end up being a giant waste of time for all parties involved. You’ll never be happier to be single after watching Gosling’s realistic romance with Michelle Williams fizzle.
AT LEAST YOU’RE NOT THIS GUY: “Carnal Knowledge”
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Need proof that your love life doesn’t suck as much as you think it does? Rent a copy of “Carnal Knowledge” and allow Jack Nicholson‘s Jonathan Fuerst character to make you feel better by comparison. Skip ahead to where Fuerst delivers his ultra-bitter “Ballbusters on Parade” slideshow, detailing his encounters with the women in his life. Unless one of your hands is shoving a gun in your mouth while the other is wrapping a noose around your neck, you’re definitely better off than this miserable pig.
SO BAD IT’S GREAT: “The Room”
Still haven’t seen this unintentionally comedic cult classic? Grab your significant other — or a bunch of rowdy friends — a football, some spoons and a bunch of booze to experience love through the lens of a filmmaker named Tommy Wiseau, whose ethnicity is as mysterious as his cinematic influences, considering this relationship drama doesn’t actually make a lick of sense.
WITNESS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: “Marley & Me”
If you want someone to love and to love you in your best and worst moments, get a dog. That’s one of the lessons of “Marley & Me.” The other lesson is, make sure you watch it with a guy or gal who doesn’t mind your ugly-cry face, because you’ll definitely turn on the waterworks by the end of this tearjerker.
LOVE LIKE A KID AGAIN: “13 Going on 30”/”Big”
Sometimes it’s hard to remember, but finding a significant other used to just be a dream when we were kids, so conjure up those junior-high inspired tummy butterflies with the coming-of-age classic “Big” or the 2004 chick flick it inspired, “13 Going On 30.” As fans know, 1988’s “Big” stars a ridiculously likable Tom Hanks while “13 Going On 30” celebrates Jennifer Garner at her most adorable. Just don’t forget the Oreos and Fruit Roll-Ups.
DAILY DOSE OF DAVID LYNCH: “Wild at Heart”
In this dark and raw David Lynch road movie, Laura Dern and Nicolas Cage are Sailor Ripley and Lula Pace Fortune, young lovers on the run from a malevolent mom (an Oscar-nominated Diane Ladd, Dern’s real-life mother) and the mob. There’s murder, sex, derangement, sex, mutilation, sex, allusions to “The Wizard of Oz” and Elvis Presley covers. Cuddle up!