Have you ever settled in for an at-home date night only to spend the entire time searching for movie instead of watching it? In the world of Netflix, Hulu, Smart TVs, and more, sometimes movie night gets delayed by the sheer amount of choices. Hello, overwhelmed. Do you go with a romance to reflect your feelings? A comedy because you need to laugh? A serious drama that you can dissect together afterward? Or something completely fantastical to take you away from real life? And then, how do you both agree on something? Seriously, there are just too many choices.
Not to worry, though. We’ve taken some of the guesswork out of date-night movies for you, by sharing some of our own favorites. From rom-coms that got it right to comedies, animated films, classics, and more, these are some solid answers to that “What should we watch?” dilemma. So curl up on the couch, grab a cozy blanket, and settle in with your S.O. to watch one of these couples’ movie picks.
Oh, and just in case you needed a bit more more reassurance, the Huffington Post reported in 2016 that a U.K. study showed that watching movies is good for relationships, so there’s no need to feel guilty when you plan your next movie date night around one of these films. Okay, it’s officially time to get cozy AF.
The best date night movies, according to our editors:
1About Time (2013)
“This underrated rom-com is a date-night winner for many reasons,” says our assistant editor, Claire Harmeyer.
“Firstly, the actors: Rachel McAdams is basically this generation’s rom-com queen (due to her charisma and natural beauty), and Domhnall Gleeson is an endearing, non-stereotypical male lead. Secondly, it’s actually hilarious. Many movies that label themselves as ‘rom-coms’ aren’t comedic at all, but the minor characters in this one will have you laughing with your S.O. Lastly, it’s emotional, but not in the typical, predictable, romantic film way.”
Basically, this movie will have you in your feels because of the family dynamics and general life lessons it offers, instead of just a schmaltzy romance (though, of course, that’s sprinkled in there too, because date night—duh).
2The Big Sick (2017)
Our news editor, Caitlin White, loves this one for its cleverness and relatability. “It’s based on the true love story of Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Peppered with Nanjiani’s stand-up comedy, of course, it’s funny, but it’s also moving,” she says of her personal favorite.
“It cuts right to the core of real-life concerns for couples, albeit in an extraordinary circumstance—especially how romantic relationships fit into (or don’t fit into) the boxes our parents build for us.”
“I will never not suggest a Will Smith flick as a date night movie,” says Mackenzie Dunn, our SEO Writer. “This one, where Smith plays a smooth operator and relationship guru who lends a hand to an awkward but well-intentioned man (Kevin James) at finding love, has something for everyone. Both guys and gals alike will appreciate the mix of endearing and funny moments. Plus, that dancing scene of Kevin James breaking it down is absolutely iconic in my eyes—I laugh just thinking about it.”
4Forgetting Sarah Marshall(2008)
“I think my favorite rom-com is probably Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” says our senior lifestyle editor, Raven Ishak. “It’s hilarious, romantic, and bold. And it’s always a good film to have in the background when you’re doing chores with your S.O. I know, so romantic.”
5Mama Mia! (2008)
Forget what you think you know about Mama Mia, because according to our social media manager, Danielle Fox, all the upbeat singing and dancing, makes for a great date night movie.
“I consider watching Mamma Mia with a significant other to be a litmus test,” she says. If they can’t fully appreciate ABBA sing-a-longs and Meryl Streep in overhauls, I’m not taking a chance on them.”
You’ll be feeling the amore after you watch this rom-com that earned insane Oscar accolades including Cher’s Best Actress Academy Award and Best Picture. It follows Loretta Castorini, a widow living with her big Italian family in Brooklyn. After agreeing to marry one man, Castorini falls in love with his hot-headed, jaded younger brother, and well, we’ll let you watch the rest. It’s dramatic, juicy, and a little bit retro, making it a fabulous pick for a date night in.
“There’s so much I can say about this movie,” reports one of our writers. “In my opinion, it’s honestly one of the most romantic movies ever. There’s something extra special about it being a low-budget Indie film, too. It’s kind of gritty and more realistic. Not to mention, the songs are incredible (and you and your S.O. will want to listen to them again and again after you see the film). Take it from me: This low-key romantic musical will have you ‘Falling Slowly’ in love.”
Want to know what true love is? It’s the opening sequence of Up. And you’ll want your significant other close by while you watch the touching—and devastating—beginning. This animated date-night pick is light-hearted and sweet, something we can all get behind when you can’t quite make up your mind.
8The Princess Bride (1987)
This fantasy adventure film is beloved for a very good reason, and it still holds up 30 years later.
9Love & Basketball
What this movie is about is all in the title. Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps play characters who pursue their dreams of being professional basketball players and, in the process, fall in love.
This Pixar film will remind you of the simple joy of just holding your significant other’s hand.
11Field of Dreams
Field of Dreams is known for having the ability to make grown men weep, but any person of any gender will tear up at this story that shows the magic of baseball.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger show the tragedy of denying who you truly are—and who you truly love—in Ang Lee’s western.
13When Harry Met Sally…
The essential rom-com explores whether women and men can ever be just friends.
14The Lord of the Rings triology
Next time you have an entire day available with your bae, get some takeout and watch all three of Lord of the Rings films: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. Bonus points if you go for the extended editions.
15Grosse Pointe Blank
You’d never expect a movie about a professional assassin going to his high school reunion to be so delightful, but then again, that’s what happens when you combine John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Aykroyd, and a killer (har har) soundtrack.
16Kissing Jessica Stein
Heather Juergensen and Jennifer Westfeldt (yes, Jon Hamm’s ex) not only star in this indie film about a straight woman who tries a relationship with a woman, but they also wrote it.
Real-life couple Zoe Kazan (who wrote the movie) and Paul Dano star in this fantastical romance about what happens when an author’s fictional dream girl comes to life.
Before American Gods, another one of Neil Gaiman’s novels was adapted into this charming and romantic fantasy movie. Pre-Homeland Claire Danes and pre-Daredevil Charlie Cox star with backup provided by a swashbuckling Robert DeNiro.
This romance stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini as two divorced people testing out the dating waters again.
If you like your significant other by your side when you watch scary movies, then watch this horror movie from the mind of Jordan Peele that gives the worst-case scenario for meeting the parents.
20Bonnie & Clyde
These two bank robbers loved each other…to death. How romantic?
Next time you need inspiration for a movie night, let these films transport you and your loved one.