More often than not, we find ourselves engrossed in ‘feel-good’ rom-coms because that is a natural route for escapism from the harsher reality. The leads kiss as the sun sets over the horizon or amidst a heavy downpour while a beautiful melody plays in the background. We get butterflies in our tummies, dreaming of the day when we shall be in a similar situation.
Today is Valentine’s Day and unlike every other year, you are probably stuck at home, aching to go out and have a fine dinner with your partner. We owe this imprisonment to the pandemic which refuses to leave us even after making us endure miserable year-long torture. Post-Covid, no matter how bleak or dreadful the future seems if there is one thing that keeps us going, it is romance. Romance does not always tantamount to the attraction one feels to one’s partner. It is a powerful, consuming force which makes one cherish the other person they are romantically involved with. As long as humans live, so shall romance.
This Valentine’s Day, instead of heading out, be responsible and stay back home with your partner and indulge in some good rom-com bingeing sessions. To make your evening memorable, we have curated, with love, a list of some of the best romantic films streaming on Netflix for you. With some fresh new releases and some good old ones, you shall surely have a blast!
Let’s get started!
The 10 best romantic films on Netflix:
10. The Last Paradiso (Rocco Ricciardulli, 2021)
Rocco Ricciardulli’s The Last Paradiso follows the spirit of indomitable love that transcends class boundaries when a rebellious farmer falls in love with a wealthy mayor’s daughter. With Italian cliches like oil tycoons, political rife, struggle, passion and romance, the film stars Riccardo Scamarcio and Gaia Bermani Amaral.
Scarmarcio’s Ciccio is a womanizer but ultimately falls for Bianca haplessly. It is a melodramatic soap drama that reeks of toxic masculinity and female nudity in moonlit scenes. We cannot sympathise with Ciccio but Bianca as well as Ciccio’s wife Lucia are quite complex characters and deserve the applause. For those who enjoy watching prodigious and forbidden love stories set in foreign lands, the film shall be a breath of fresh air.
“She’s not just a woman. When she laughs at night, she makes the sun come out.”
9. Rebecca (Ben Wheatley, 2020)
Based on Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name, the film follows the marriage of an unnamed woman (later Mrs DeWinter) to the wealthy widower Maxim DeWinter after a brief courtship. The housekeeper Mrs Danvers still seems to be devoted to the dead mistress Rebecca and the mansion which is named Manderley has an eerie presence. Friction arises between the seemingly happy couple when past events are brought to light.
In the light of recent events, Armie Hammer seems to be the least desirable man on Valentines Day. However, the film, if viewed independent of his actions, is quite enjoyable. If you have read the novel, the film shall be somewhat boring as it sticks to the original text and rarely tries to forge its own existence.
“Some people seem perfectly happy alone, while others just need someone to pass the time with. It doesn’t matter who.”
8. The Kissing Booth franchise (Vince Marcello, 2020)
Elle Evans and Lee Flynn are best friends. The latter has a hot brother, the chiselled and bodacious Noah Flynn who goes off to Harvard, and Elle and Noah maintain a long-distance relationship. However, it is hard to keep up with each other due to hectic work schedules and different lifestyles. Elle is caught between her love for Noah and sudden, inexplicable attraction to Marco while dealing with friendship problems with Lee.
A film laden with teenage cliches about love, heartbreaks, insecurities and doubts, The Kissing Booth 2 is basically a look at Elle haplessly pining over Noah. Jacob Elordi is “stupid hot”, Joey King and Joel Courtney have an incredible friendship on and off-screen, which adds to the overall magic of the films.
“When you’re not sure where you stand, sometimes a leap of faith is the only move you can make.”
7. Definitely, Maybe (Adam Brooks, 2008)
Will Hayes’ 10-year-old daughter Maya desperately wants to find out who her mother is. She pesters her father into telling her the story about the three different women in his life and is left to deduce who her mother is. Will has been with three beautiful women of distinguished personalities; his college sweetheart Emily, the spirited journalist Summer and the fresh and chirpy April.
Ryan Reynolds is definitely the star of the show with his cheeky smile and charming performance. Isla Fisher as April does justice to her role. The film is a light-hearted, breezy rom-com which is a refreshing change from the usual cliche, making it enjoyable.
“This song is an excellent cure for the will to live.”
6. To All the Boys: Always and Forever (Michael Fimognari, 2021)
The third and final instalment to the All the Boys trilogy, sees Lara Jean gearing up for the end of high school which will mark the beginning of a scary yet exciting chapter of her new life. While she gets rejected from Stanford, she has to choose between Berkeley and NYU- Berkeley could salvage her relationship with Peter while NYU is the college of her dreams.
With the cute on-screen chemistry of the brilliant Lana Condor and the handsome Noah Centino graciously bringing closure to the trilogy, the film is a cute and sappy romance, loyal to its predecessors. With Lara Jean and Peter writing final goodbye letters to themselves as well as the fans, the film brings out a classic conflict between the heart and the mind.
“There’s nothing worse than not feeling chosen.”
5. All The Bright Places (Brett Haley, 2020)
Teenage angst, guilt, love, loss and heartbreak form the crux of this beautiful film starring Elle Fanning and Justice Smith. It reinforces the idea of trying to find love in the smallest things and the ability of a person to emotionally support one another and help them cross over to the greener side of life. Heartbreaking and poignant, the film deals with issues like survivor’s guilt, mood swings, suicide, abuse, absent parents as well as eating disorders.
Violet suffers from survivor’s guilt after losing her sister to a car crash. She is teamed up with Finch for a group project which leads them to discover various places in Indiana and slowly heals her. However, Funch has problems of his own and is not ready to open up. While he heals her, will he be able to heal himself?
“There are places that need to be seen. Maybe even the smallest of places can mean something. At the very least, maybe they can mean something to us.”
4. A Whisker Away (Junichi Sato, Tomotaka Shibayama, 2020)
Miyo is in love with her classmate Hinode and despite repeated rejection, she keeps trying to win him over. Tired of her life, she purchases a Noh mask which lets her transform into a cat. In her feline form, she keeps Hinode company and grows closer to him. Soon she starts losing her human attributes and realises the sinister nature of the mask seller’s intentions. Can Hinode’s new-found love for Miyo save her?
The film is extremely sweet and heartwarming. As all good animes should, it provides an escape route from daily drudgery. Miyo’s desperate attempts to please Hinode is sweet yet heartbreaking. The ending of the film will surely plaster a smile on your face long after the credits stop rolling.
“I don’t want to wait to be loved. I want to tell you how I feel.”
3. Malcolm and Marie (Sam Levinson, 2021)
Being one of its kind, its secretive production and filming have taken place during this pandemic and features a filmmaker and his girlfriend who wait at home for the critical response to his newly released film. Soon the evening of conversation turns out to be a test of love when Malcolm and Marie’s feelings emerge to the surface as they confront each other with tumultuous issues and anguished questions.
A film that is more disturbing than psychological thrillers, posing visceral and emotionally scarring questions. The fate of their relationship remains unknown which adds to the general claustrophobic nature of the film. They are paranoid and insecure, flawed and relentless, trying to reach out to each other while continuously refusing to budge to feed their own ego.
“I value mystery. The unknown. It’s what supports the tension of a relationship and forces us to be the best version of ourselves. The ‘what if’ factor.”
2. A Silent Voice (Naoko Yamada, 2016)
The film begins with a boy attempting suicide and the plot unravels in a series of flashbacks. New student, Shoko Nishimiya is deaf and gets bullied mercilessly for it. She tries to mingle with others which annoys the class bully Shoya Ishida. In a physical altercation, Shoko I physically hurt and she transfers to another school, while Ishida keeps her notebook. This leads to Ishida being an outcast; years later, when Ishida finally learns what Shoko wanted to convey, they meet once again and life comes to a full circle.
Beautiful and heartbreaking, the film deals with ubiquitous issues including bullying, depression and suicide. The adolescent mind choked with conflicting emotions of harbouring secret crushes and insecurities have been wonderfully portrayed. Their rocky friendship and blossoming love are sure to wet viewers’ handkerchiefs with happy tears. The film is a fulfilling and endearing experience, to say the least.
“Back then, if we could have heard each other’s voices, everything would have been so much better.”
1. Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)
In a picturesque northern Italy, the nerdy and beautiful 17-year-old Elio meets the handsome and charming 24-year-old Oliver who is a student assistant to Elio’s father, a professor of archaeology. As the days go by, they start to get to know each other, and Elio grows increasingly attracted to Oliver, often losing control of his emotions. Although love blossoms and they share frenzied nights of passionate fervour, they are eventually confronted by the reality of uncertainty and longing.
Timothee Chalamet as Eliot and Arie Hammer as Oliver have splendid chemistry on screen. They deliver their dialogues with unbelievable depth and passion. There is not much nudity in the film; the beauty lies in the idea of desire, love and eventual separation. It is a story of every first love ever, with a twist; a perfect blend of melancholy, nature, love, heartbreak and touching performances, Call Me By Your Name is a work of art.
“Perhaps we were friends first and lovers second. But then perhaps this is what lovers are.”