This feature originally ran in February 2015. We’re reposting it for, you guessed it, Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day, a loved or loathed holiday depending upon one’s relationship status and willingness to succumb to commercialism’s flowers-and-candy paradigm, is nigh. And what better way to celebrate after gift-giving — or throwing a Singles Appreciation party or eating a pint of Häagen-Dazs alone in bed — than by watching a romantic film? For options, look no further than the steady march of date movies released on Valentine’s Day weekend in recent years: Gnomeo and Juliet (2011), Just Go with It (2011), The Vow (2012), Safe Haven (2013), Beautiful Creatures (2013), Endless Love (2014), About Last Night (2014), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), and, of course, Fifty Shades Darker.
Although celebrations in honor of St. Valentine date back to at least the fifth century AD, Valentine’s Day in the “Hallmark holiday” sense is only a few decades old. As such, films about Valentine’s Day, or that even include Valentine’s Day as a minor plot point, are surprisingly few. With this holiday-specific restriction in mind, we did a little digging and came up with a list of eight feature films ranked from worst to best. The list does not include television movies like the Charlie Brown shorts, as cute as they are, nor any films related to the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929, in which case Some Like It Hot would have made the cut.
Do you have a favorite film set around Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments. And if you are seeing Fifty Shades Darker this week, godspeed.