Valentine’s Day is creeping up on us like a Chinese spy balloon, hovering in our peripheral vision. For some it’s a chance to celebrate the love in your life, for others it’s an opportunity to hunker down under your duvet, hands over your ears, waiting for the sickening season of sensual sentimentality to end.
For the former, there’s restaurants to book, gifts to buy, and in all likelihood a Netflix and chill session to arrange, whilst Netflix is still relevant, anyway. Over the last few months several new romcoms have been added to the streaming platform.
These are five of the best Netflix original romantic films to watch with someone you really like this week: (for those in the hunkering down under the duvet camp, why not use the day to catch up on National World’s Screen Babble podcast).
Your Place or Mine
Netflix’s newest Valentine’s addition stars Reece Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher as two best friends and total opposites who swap homes for a week. As the pair experience life through different perspectives their friendship could become something deeper.
The film is the directorial debut of Aline Brosh McKenna who has written for films including 27 Dresses, The Devil Wears Prada, and Cruella. She was also the showrunner on comedy musical series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Your Place or Mine lands on Netflix on Friday 10 February.
Not to be confused with the Disney+ romcom mystery series of the same name, Netflix’s Wedding Season follows an Indian-American man and a woman who are pressured by their parents to get married and so begin a pretend romance during the wedding season.
However, shocking - predictably? - the pair actually begin to fall in love for real. As their romance blossoms it looks like their best efforts to indulge their parents may actually lead to the exchange of wedding vows after all.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
The most recent adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s controversial love story follows an unhappily married aristocrat Lady Charrlerley, played by Emma Corrin, who begins an affair with her gamekeeper Oliver Mellors (Jack O’Connell). The steamy romance sees the characters rebel against the gender and class constraints of their time as they engage in plenty of al fresco sex.
But as Chatterley begins to fall in love with Mellors, she finds herself ostracised from polite society and must choose between her status and her beau. Within a week of the film’s Netflix release in December last year it jumped to the number one spot for English titles, with over 29 million hours viewed.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy
This romcom trilogy, based on Jenny Han’s young adult novels, begins with teenage girl Lara Jean’s (Lana Condor) secret love letters being exposed, causing chaos for her social and romantic life. The sequel, P.S. I Still Love you sees a new love interest introduced and Lara must decide who she truly wants to be with.
The final film in the series, Always and Forever, finds Lara in her senior year of high school as she contemplates her college plans, and whether her boyfriend will feature in them. All three films are on Netflix now.
Unofficial comedy remake of the 1967 classic drama film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, starring Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn, You People sees a millennial white man and his Black girlfriend meet each other’s parents in an awkward clash of cultures.
The film stars Jonah Hill, Lauren London, Eddie Murphy, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and offers a modern take on race relations in the US, whilst also finding enough space for comedy and romance. You People was released on Netflix last month.