Nights In

Netflix and Chill: Your Valentine’s Day Viewing Guide

Maybe you’re broke, maybe you’re single or maybe you’re fed up of Valentine’s Day and you have no intention of heading out Wednesday night. In any case, there’s plenty of alternatives for you to celebrate – or ignore – the holiday, and what better way than a night in with a good movie? Not that you need a reason to watch some Netflix, but here’s some guidance should you need any….

Notting Hill

Written by the master of the romantic comedy Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral), Notting Hill stars Hugh Grant as the owner of a travel bookshop in London who has a chance encounter with the biggest movie star in the world Anna Scott (Julia Roberts). They fall for each other in this utterly charming and very funny film.

When Harry Met Sally

Can a man and a woman just be friends? Starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, this 1989 classic posits this very question. Harry and Sally first meet in 1977 as they leave college. They reconnect years later and attempt to pursue a platonic relationship. With support from Carrie Fisher.

Me Before You

Eternal optimist Lou (Emilia Clarke) finds herself jobless until she secures a position as a carer for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin). Will has suffered a motorbike accident leaving him confined to a chair, unable to move and mourning his past life. Lou, determined to help Will, decides to use his parent’s large wealth to help him regain a lust for life. The two leads excel, particularly Clarke who lights up the screen every time she appears.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World

Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Hot Fuzz) directs this zany action pic in which 22-year-old Scott (Michael Cera) must fight his girlfriend Ramona Flowers’ 7 evil exes for the right to date her. Wright’s film has the aesthetics of a video game and his script is layered with quirky comedy. With winning turns from all involved, in particular from Alison Pill as a monotone sounding drummer and Anna Kendrick as Scott’s sister.

Paper Towns

Adapted from the book by John Green (The Fault in Our Stars). When perennial cool girl Margot (Cara Delevigne) crawls through the bedroom window of her neighbour Quentin (Nat Wolff), the two embark on a cross-city odyssey that involves extracting revenge on Margot’s ex-boyfriend. Quentin has loved Margot since they were kids and as he returns to school the next morning hoping to see her again, he discovers she has disappeared. When Quentin and his friends discover what appears to be a clue left by Margot, they set off on a road trip to find her. This is a coming of age tale with more substance than one would initially suspect.

Me, Earl and the Dying Girl

Not a film about romantic love, but one about friendship and the perils of adulthood. Thomas Mann plays Greg, a reserved teenager who spends most of his time making films with his best friend Earl. Forced by his parents to spend time with Rachel, a girl dying of leukaemia, the two form a strong bond. With charismatic leads and a superb script, viewers should be warned this film possesses an emotional punch to the gut.

Shrek

Not a conventional Valentine’s Day film, I will grant you that. But come on, it’s a movie about true love and inner beauty. While the animation has become a little dated, there is still great fun to be had. With a stellar voice cast and soundtrack, Shrek remains a great watch 17 years after its initial release.

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List

Naomi and Ely are best friends and neighbours now attending college together in New York. While they were in school Naomi pretended to be Ely’s girlfriend as he was not yet out of the closet. Now free from the conventions of school, Naomi struggles with how their friendship changes during college. While not one of the better entries on this list, the leads are convincing and the plot takes an unexpected turn.

John Wick

What does this action-frenzy flick starring Keanu Reeves as a retired assassin who tracks down the gang that killed his dog have to do with Valentine’s Day you may ask? On close inspection very little, but for those who perceive V Day as an empty hole of consumerism and can’t wait for it to end this should distract you. Also, it’s a damn good action flick.

Still here? Check this out: Self-care: An Internal Process Or An External Idea?