Top 5 Valentine’s Movies

Fallon Manzella-McReady, Sectional Editor

I love Valentine’s Day for no specific reason other than the fact that it’s so wholesome. The world becomes red and pink in the days leading up to Feb. 14. Grocery stores advertise sweets  and candy. Call me a little bit of a romantic, but I just love…love. 

I love movies about love, too. As long as the couple is cute, then I frankly don’t care what the rest of the movie is about. The plot doesn’t even have to be good, for me, but lucky for you I’m going to share five movies with not only a cute couple but also with good plots and characters.

Here are my Top 5 Romance Movies for Valentine’s Day.

5) Set It Up (2018)

The main couple of “Set It Up” are Harper and Charlie, two overworked assistants that meet accidentally in the lobby of their work building late at night. From there, they continue to meet until they come up with an ingenious plan: If they can get their bosses together, they can get a day off. Throughout the movie, as they plan “accidental” meetings for their bosses, they too end up spending more time together, which, as you guessed, slowly leads to a budding romance of their own. 

This movie has been categorized, rightly so, as “feel-good,” and that is the perfect way to describe it in two words. Plus, no movie that has ever starred Lucy Liu has been bad.

4) Love, Simon (2018)

2018 was a good year for romance, apparently. In “Love, Simon,” our main couple is Simon or “Jacques” and “Blue.” We don’t know Blue’s real name because he and Simon start an anonymous pen-pal relationship after Blue posts a letter to their school’s gossip website coming out as gay.

Until the end of the movie, both boys go to the same high school, and they even know each other in passing without realizing who they’ve been talking to the whole time. Ugh, it’s so sweet. I love the pen-pal trope so much, but the movie and its characters are so much more than that.

Simon is your typical long-suffering main character, but his life and story is something that so many of us can relate to. He carpools to school and gets coffee every morning with his friends, but he has a double life on his phone. Online, he’s open and out with Blue, but away from the computer he feels boxed-in and stuck in the closet, even with his closest friends.

3) Strange Magic (2015)

You didn’t think I was going to forget an animated movie, did you? Jokes on you, I’m a 5-year-old, and I’m proud of it. Strange Magic is a PG enemies-to-lovers story, with our couple consisting of the love-hating Princess of the Fairy Kingdom, Marianne, and King of the Dark Forest, Bog King. Yes, that’s his actual name.

After being burned by her gold-digging fiance Roland, Marianne starts wearing black eyeshadow, learns to use a sword and swears off love. When her hopeless romantic sister Dawn is hit with a primrose-flower love potion and falls in love with Bog King, Marianne has to go to the Dark Forest to rescue her naive sister. What she doesn’t expect is to fall in love with the similarly love-hating Bog King, while they try to release Dawn from her spell. On both the wholesome meter and the soundtrack meter, this movie is a 10/10.

2) My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

What should I say about this movie that hasn’t already been said before? “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is one of the few movies that makes me actually kick my legs like an idiot, and I won’t apologize for it. Our main couple are two 30-somethings, Ian and Toula. Toula’s overwhelmingly large Greek family is pretty integral to the story, if you couldn’t tell by the title, because they are so close and overbearing that even at 30 years old, Ian has to ask Toula’s dad for permission to date her.

Of course, teen romances are cute, but I really love the depth of an adult romance, because their characters are often twice as interesting. Despite being an adult romance, this movie has a distinctly youthful narrative, as it’s meant to be our main character Toula’s coming-of-age story, just at age 30 instead of 18.

1) Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

I recommend only two things to every single person I meet: My favorite book (The title of which I will keep the masses in suspense of until I write about it), and “Howl’s Moving Castle.”

My favorite movie of all time is, unsurprisingly, a romance. A magical, animated, adventure story about a hatter and a wizard. While her mother and sister move on after the death of her father, Sophie stays stagnant, resigning herself to a monotonous life working in her father’s hat shop. 

That is, until a wizard named Howl, who is rumored to eat the hearts of beautiful girls, sweeps her off her feet and into the sky. They literally walk on air, it’s amazing. There’s never a moment in the film where the audience isn’t awed at either the magnificent scenery or at the love of Sophie and Howl.