If you don't already have hearts in your eyes this Valentine's Day, these are the films that could put them there for you. The Yahoo! Movies team has compiled a list of what we consider great romantic films that have either been hiding under a rock or have collected too much dust over the years for their own good.
Peruse our list of the most romantic movies you haven't seen:
(1995): The thing about romantic movies is that they are really hard to get right. While only a handful of us can boast to have blown up a helicopter or punched a zombie, just about everyone under the sun has fallen in love. And there are few movies out there that have captured that nervous, giddy first blush of love like Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise.” Ethan Hawke is a shaggy Euro-railing slacker who strikes up a conversation with Julie Delpy, a beautiful, if high-strung, French college student. As they talk about philosophy and love while trolling the streets of Vienna during the dead of night, you watch their relationship bloom before your eyes. It’s the sort of movie that you can’t help but falling in love right along with them. And if you like this movie, be sure to check out the equally romantic if emotionally more complex sequels “Before Sunset” and the upcoming “Before Midnight.” --Jonathan Crow (@jonccrow)
Il Mare (2000): In "The Lake House," a remake of the South Korean romantic drama "Il Mare," Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves re-team and attempt to re-kindle their onscreen chemistry from "Speed." Sure, you could watch that. But you're probably better off going straight to the source -- director Hyung-seung Lee's beautifully restrained, pseudo-sci-fi tale about a house by the sea, a very special mailbox, and two pen pals separated by time. Gianna Jun and Jung-Jae Lee star as occupants of the same house -- living two years apart -- who somehow strike up a correspondence that develops into a seemingly impossible romance. It sounds confusing, but "Il Mare" cleverly balances its fantastical parallel-time love story with a genuine emotional connection between two characters who are barely onscreen together. In the future, Sandra and Keanu should stick to movies about perilous public transportation.
(Photo: Blue Cinema)
-- Philip Yu (@heyphil)
Romeo and Juliet (1968): Tragic teen sex has rarely been so yummy (and so unblemished) as this vivid, lavish Franco Zeffirelli adaptation of the original Shakespearean tearjerker of forbidden love. Whether they are in tights and silks, or wrapped in sheets, Romeo (Leonard Whiting) and Juliet (Olivia Hussey) generate enough fire to burn celluloid. No matter how many times I see it, I always hope for a happy ending from this romantically infuriating, endlessly moving masterpiece. I never get one.
--Thelma Adams (@thelmadams)
(1983) -- Remember when Nick Cage was swoon worthy? Remember when his old shtick was new and charming? Well, if you said, “Fer sure,” then you probably already watched “Valley Girl,” cause that’s where it all started (and God only knows where it’s gone). Even though this film was fairly popular amongst those who grew up in the 80s, especially the Wavers of the day, we figure there’s likely a few generations of romance buffs out there who missed this totally bitchin’ love story. Cage plays Hollywood punk Randy opposite Deborah Foreman’s valley girl Julie in this Romeo & Juliet story for the shoulder padded age. Since it’s Cage, and he’s like, totally in love, it’s not weird that Randy stalks Julie inside a shower stall while the rest of the party uses the toilet. And like, gag me with a spoon if you think Julie’s grody to the max for giving up on Randy just because her friends think he’s not cool. Because at the end, when Julie wises up and Randy fights for her honor (at the prom, no less), when you hear Modern English’s “I Melt with You,” you totally melt a little yourself, and it’s like, totally tubular. --Adam Pockross (@adpoc)
(1988): A bookseller aches for a poet, but her persistent Bubbie procures a yenta’s services to match her granddaughter with the pickle seller. Broad sketches, yet every actor shimmers with such yearning in this Lower East Side fairy tale. The film is a valentine to a New York somewhere between the violent hollow-eyed grind of "Midnight Cowboy" and the frothy glitter of "Sex and the City." Amy Irving (then Mrs. Spielberg) held such career promise. Peter Riegert’s unvarnished working-class charm, though, has a kind of perfection that comes once every 100 Hollywood movies: His love startles in its unyielding, transcendent simplicity. --Vera H-C Chan (@FastTalkingD)
Notorious (1946): In every list of the most romantic movies, you'll find "Casablanca." And it is undoubtedly one of the best and most beloved films of all time. But if you've seen it 100 times already and can quote every line, how about a little something different this Valentine's Day. Try "Notorious," the 1946 espionage thriller from the Master of Suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock. It also stars Ingrid Bergman, who is torn once again between love and duty, with the fate of the world in the balance. She plays the daughter of a German traitor who is recruited by an American agent (Cary Grant, never more debonair) to infiltrate a secret Nazi ring in Brazil, lead by Claude Rains (another "Casablanca" vet). Hitchcock flaunted the censorship rules about how long actors could be seen kissing by having Grant and Bergman give each other short kisses over and over during a long conversation. And, blasphemous as it may be to say, the chemistry between Bergman and Grant is much hotter than between her and Bogart.
--Matt McDaniel (@TheMattMcD)
The Young Victoria (2009): Few movies romanticize long marriages as much as this gorgeous historical gloss on the arranged partnership turned true love between the teen Queen Victoria (Emily Blunt) and her dashing first cousin, Prince Albert (Rupert Friend). Blunt and Friend court and spark, and preconceived notions about the chaste Victorian era to which the royal gave her name are belied by their nine children produced over two productive decades. (Added bonus: "Downton Abbey"'s Julian Fellowes wrote the script!)
--Thelma Adams (@thelmadams)
(2009): Rupert Friend was busy in '09, having starred in this recommended Netflix pick, too. "Chéri" played in less than 200 theaters when it was released, but just because Miramax sort of chickened out on the unusual love story doesn't mean it's not one of the most uniquely romantic films out there. Michelle Pfieffer plays a retiring Parisian courtesan who takes up with the son (Friend) of her also-retired colleague (Kathy Bates). What starts out as a relationship-as-cure-for-boredom curiously turns into the real deal. By the end of the film, Friend's heart is absolutely wrenched by the result of his rookie mistakes. --Meriah Doty (@meriahonfiah)
The Wedding Banquet (1993): Sorry Nicholas Sparks: Ang Lee might well be our most romantic director standing. Virtually every other work from the Taiwanese director burns with a rip-roaring, soul-searing love, from "Sense & Sensibility" to "Lust, Caution." This gentle, pre-“Brokeback Mountain” screwball comedy’s a romantic triangle involving two gay men: One undertakes a marriage of convenience to fool his Taiwanese parents, but ribald banquet games lead to even more complications. Lee deftly layers in heavyweight issues of interracial romance, gay love, and immigration with filial duty, marital bonds and plain romance. Lee was ahead of his time in telling this ancient tale.
--Vera H-C Chan (@FastTalkingD)
(2004): Cultures clash and secrets spill in writer/director Alice Wu's charming 2004 romantic comedy about daughters, mothers, lovers and expectations. Michelle Krusiec stars as Wilhelmina, a young surgeon juggling her promising career and keeping up appearances as a dutiful Chinese daughter to her 48-year-old widowed mother, played by the gorgeous Joan Chen. But her world is turned upside down when Ma shows up at her doorstep -- pregnant, and effectively banished from the conservative, close-knit and gossip-plagued community of Flushing. Further complicating matters is Wil's budding romance with lovely dancer Vivian, ultimately forcing her to confront the growing cracks between her compartmentalized worlds, or risk losing the girl she loves. With an appealing community of characters and a funny, delightful script about being true to yourself, "Saving Face" is a sexy and welcome cultural twist on the rom-com. -- Philip Yu (@heyphil)
In the Mood for Love (2001): Romantic longing has never looked as good as in Wong Kar-wai’s “In the Mood for Love.” Set in a Shanghaiese enclave in Hong Kong in 1962, the movie centers on Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, two people who rent adjacent rooms with their respective spouses in a cramped tenement. When they realize that their spouses are, in fact, having an affair with each other, the two are drawn together by shame and anger. But as they work through their feelings in one gorgeously shot tableau after another, the pair slowly fall in love in spite of their determination to uphold their end of their marital vows. This is the sort of movie that can make you swoon.
--Jonathan Crow (@jonccrow)