Got a date for Valentine’s Day? Cuddle up and pop in one of these new, mostly off-beat classics. Before you think you’ve got our list all figured out, remember that we’re only including movies released within the past 10 years (2006 or newer), and therefore this rules out The Notebook (2004) and Love Actually (2003).
10. Warm Bodies (2013)
The world is divided between zombies and humans. But one zombie is different from the rest — he falls in love with a girl and rescues her from death. Despite the fact that he has killed her boyfriend and eaten his brains, there’s something unbearably charming about the relationship. Sure, he may only be able to communicate with groans and grunts, but their connection is deep.
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer
9. Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
A typical family man learns his wife has been cheating on him. Over 40 and suddenly single, he tries to move on by befriending a womanizing player (Ryan Gosling in all his ab-baring glory) who teaches him how to be a hit with the ladies. His 13-year-old son spouts the best one-liners about love and ultimately makes him realize you have to fight for your soul mates. The movie’s events escalate into one heaping mess, but it still leaves you feeling hopeful about true love.
Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone
8. The Last Song (2010)
Let’s just start by disclaiming that this movie is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel and it’s entirely cliché. BUT it sparked the real-life romance between Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth and we’re 100 percent here for that. There’s real passion and chemistry between them that makes the movie more enjoyable. Also, Cyrus plays “When I Look At You” on piano and our emotions can’t be tamed. See what we did there?
Starring: Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth
7. P.S. I Love You (2007)
When you’re Gerard Butler and your death is imminent, you plan ahead. He leaves behind a series of letters for his wife to open every month and feel encouraged to move forward to a new life. She travels to his homeland in the beautiful Irish countryside and discovers death is not the end, but a new beginning. The thought behind this film will pull at your heartstrings and also probably make you hope your partner is that much of a forward thinker.
Starring: Gerard Butler, Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
6. Tangled (2010)
Yes, this is a Disney cartoon, but it’s a refreshing love story between a locked-away princess with magical golden hair and a thieving, self-absorbed bandit. Her only dream is to see the glowing lanterns that are released from the castle every year (in honor of her own birthday, unbeknownst to her). But by the end of the film, her newfound love is her “new dream” and tears are flowing.
Starring: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi
5. The Spectacular Now (2013)
This is a story of young love. You’ve seen it before — the innocent good girl falls for the charming, hard-partying bad boy at school and somehow they actually hit it off. But there’s more to it than that. The movie touches on teenage alcohol-dependency and what it’s like to have uncertain futures. Both characters are incredibly well-spoken for teenagers and it leads to some gratifying bits of dialogue about modern love.
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller
4. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
This is a story of even younger love. It takes place in the 60s on an island off the coast of New England, and it’s told with Wes Anderson’s usual quirky point of view. Two 12-year-olds fall in love and decide to run away together. Their relationship is full of hope and youthful innocence. You can’t help but fight for it to work out despite overbearing parents.
Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis
3. Like Crazy (2011)
If you’re looking for a more realistic film portrayal of the ups and downs of love, prepare yourself for Like Crazy. A foreign-exchange student from London attends school in Los Angeles and soon falls madly in love with an American boy. However, when she overstays her student visa, the couple struggles to adjust to long-distance dating. The acting is superb and the quiet breaks are well-timed. It just feels right.
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence
2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
A socially awkward teen begins hanging out with two charismatic older students (one of whom is Emma Watson and she’s as charming as ever). They teach him the joys of friendship, first love, music, and self-confidence. He’s had bouts of mental illness in the past and he doesn’t know how to be better, but he’s getting there. It may not be a typical love story by any means, but it’s so full of quote-worthy moments that we’re willing to overlook that.
Sam: Why do I and everyone I love pick people who treat us like we’re nothing?
Charlie: We accept the love we think we deserve.
And of course: “In that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
1. The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
There’s nothing positive about a teenager living with terminal cancer, but somehow, through all the choking sobs and touching moments, there’s an uplifting feeling that love conquers all. Because their days have been numbered from such a young age, they take advantage of life and love each other, no holds barred. It’s honest, a little gritty, and genuinely moving. “Okay? Okay.”
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort
Vote for your favorite below, or comment if we left out your fave.