The 100 Essential Valentine's Day Movies Playlist - Part 1

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan
In the mood to Netflix and Chill with your loved one but unsure of what movie to play? Never fear - I have a list of 100 Essential Valentine's Day movies to suit every occasion, based on your mood.

Now I may not be able to cook you a five course dinner to set the mood but I thought I would put my (otherwise inane) trivia skills to good use and give you a buffet of awesome Valentine's Day romance movies to choose from. Unlike traditional romance movie lists, I will be dividing this list into various categories to help make your decision easier.

The categories for my '100 Essential Valentine's Day Movies' are:

  • Cult Classics 
  • Thought Provoking Movies
  • Thrillers 
  • Romantic Comedies
  • Period Dramas
  • Animations and Fables
  • Feel Good Romantic Movies 
  • Golden Oldies

In part One of this Four part series, we will check out the first two categories -

Cult Classics

This category deals with hit romance movies that have gone on to become part of pop culture history and come up frequently in discussions involving Hollywood and romance.


The James Cameron directed Oscar winning magnum opus with gorgeous visuals and an iconic soundtrack focused on the blossoming romance between two young hearts aboard the famed Titanic ship making its maiden voyage.

Notting Hill

This lovely British romance follows the relationship between a bumbling British bookstore owner and an American actress following a chance encounter.

When Harry Met Sally

Over 12 years of chance encounters and lively conversations between the title characters, the film poses the question 'Can a man and woman ever just be friends?'

Dirty Dancing

A young teenager finds herself falling in love with a dance instructor at her affluent family's vacation resort. A beautiful coming-of-age story with one of the best 'dance numbers to end a movie' in Hollywood.

Pretty Woman

This modern day fairytale about a wealthy businessman who falls for the escort he hires made a star out of Julia Roberts for her lovely portrayal.

P.S. I Love You

When her husband passes away after an illness, a wife withdraws away from society until she starts to receive regular pre-written messages from her husband, inspiring her to move on and become the best version of herself.


A movie with some of the most quotable lines in Hollywood, this movie set during World War 2 focuses on a man who must help the woman he still loves escape the country with her husband to fight the Nazis.

Sound of Music

This winner of 5 Oscars followed a young woman studying to be a nun who arrives at a widower's house to be the governess to his seven children and how she transforms their lives through love and music.

Love Actually

The best romance movie that follows multiple love stories, from the British Prime Minister falling for his secretary to a young boy who has fallen for his schoolmate, wrapping the storylines brilliantly at the end.


A recently widowed woman finds herself confused when a stranger turns up claiming her dead husband has returned as a ghost to try to save her.

essential valentines day movies - cult classics

You've Got Mail

The owner of a corporate bookstore chain falls in love with a woman online, unaware she is the owner of a small bookshop and his business rival in real life.

The Notebook

An old man in a nursing home reads a romantic story of a young couple to a fellow patient. But of course, there is so much more to this story than that.

Sleepless in Seattle

When a young boy realizes his father is still struggling to get over the death of his mother, he forces him to call a radio talk show and talk about it, changing all their lives forever.


One of the best coming-of-age movies of the 90's, Clueless showcased the lives of a wealthy Beverly Hills teenager whose superficial intrusive nature hides a good heart. 

Bridget Jones Diary

Thirty plus single Bridget Jones has a lot to worry about in life - her weight, her family, her self esteem. It does not help that she has romantic feelings for two people with entirely different personalities.


Romance isn't always about the kisses. Some movies make for great conversation starters besides forcing you to introspect.

500 Days of Summer

A non-linear narrative of a young man reminiscing about a relationship that changed his life.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

In this sci-fi laced cult classic, two opposite personalities fall in love only to realize they were once former lovers and after breaking up, had erased one another from their memories.

Before Sunrise

Minimalist in plot, this movie follows two people over the course of the night as they share their perspectives on love and life. The movie would over the decades have two sequels, Before Sunset and Before Midnight that followed the two once more nine and eighteen years later.

Lost in Translation

An aging movie star develops an unconventional relationship while abroad with a young woman insecure about her marriage.

essential valentines day movies - thought provoking

La la Land

An aspiring actress and a jazz pianist find love along the road to life as they pursue their dreams in this Los Angeles based musical.

Annie Hall

The screenplay is king here (as it often is with Woody Allen films) as a man tries to figure out why his relationship with the titular character failed.

Meet Joe Black

The Grim Reaper comes to Earth to collect the soul of a media tycoon only to find himself (itself?) falling in love with the tycoon's daughter.

50 First Dates

What do you do when the woman you fall in love with suffers from a condition that makes her wake up every day with no knowledge of her past?

Brokeback Mountain

A wonderful platform for the LGBT community, this Oscar winning movie focused on two male sheep-herders and how their lives were forever altered after finding love in one another.

City of Angels

An angel who helps the dead move has to make a tough choice after he falls in love with a heart surgeon after watching her work.

Save the image and check out the movies at leisure later :)

So what did you think of my list? You think I am missing a few? Don't worry. We still have over 75 movies to go in the upcoming lists, remember.

The 4 Essential Valentine's Day Movies Playlists:

  1. List One - Cult Classics and Thought Provoking romantic movies.
  2. List Two - Romantic Comedies, Period Dramas and Action/ Thrillers.
  3. List Three - Golden Oldies and Animations.
  4. List Four - Feel-Good Romantic Movies

What did you think of my list? Which movies did you think deserved to make this specific list?

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Let me know what you think.

  1. This is an AWESOME list and perfect, too! I have seen quite a many from your list and loved them all. I would like to watch Eternal sunshine of a spotless mind and Lost in translation...hope I find it on Netflix.
    City of angels was so lovely, na? As were the others. :)

  2. What a lovely list and I'm so happy to see so many of my favorites here!

    City of Angels and Notting Hill is so dreamy :)

  3. I’ve seen ALL these cult classics! Yay me! And I love Meet Joe Black and City of Angels. Found a couple of interesting movies in the Thought Provoking list that I’d like to watch. Great list, doc!

  4. Most of these are my favourites too. So which one are you planning on seeing with your loved ones?

  5. Impressive list. You've got mail is my ultimate favourite movie. I might have watched it 100 times for the children's book store and the books in it.

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