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10 Romantic Movies Everyone Should Watch on Valentine’s Day

the notebook
New Line Cinema

The American Film Institute created a list of  the 100 most romantic movies ever made. Because their list spans a good 7 or 8 decades, and doesn’t go past the ’90s, it doesn’t include a lot of our favorites. The movies that shaped our ideas of romance.

Just in case you’re planning a night of staying in and snuggling up for the big Valentine’s Day holiday, here is a list of must-see romances from our pop culture vault.

‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ (1982)

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Richard Gere in a uniform. That’s really all they needed to make this film romantic, but then they added all that hot chemistry with Debra Winger and suddenly this was the scale all future dates would be rated on. Just once, we want to be carried out of our factory job (or cubicle) by a man in his dress whites.

‘Sixteen Candles’ (1984)

John Hughes was the master of teen angst. What starts out so tragically for poor Sam ends with her scoring the most popular guy in school, a Porsche and one of the best kisses over a birthday cake ever. This flick showed us just how we could have our cake and light it too.

‘The Princess Bride’ (1987)

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This telling of a classic tale gave us a princess that Disney can’t match. Pirates, revenge, giants, sword fights and castle gates make this film the pinnacle of romance. (And it’s hilarious, too.) And really, Westley comes back from the dead for true love. It doesn’t get more romantic than that.

‘Say Anything’ (1989)

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If you ever find yourself in need of a wild goose chase, try to find a woman who hasn’t at one time wished a guy would stand outside her window with a boombox playing Peter Gabriel’s ‘In Your Eyes.’ Cusack’s boombox power pose is an iconic romantic movie moment and a move that will get any guy out of trouble. His courting of Diane Court is unmatched.

‘When Harry Met Sally’ (1989)

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This movie has to make the list, not only because it has arguably one of the best lines in romantic movie history, but because every girl dreams of falling in love with her best friend. And, even in all its realistic views about relationships and finding love, this movie gives us all hope.

‘Pretty Woman’ (1990)

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Richard Gere makes the list again. That guy has cornered the market on lifting beautiful but unfortunate woman out of their miserable circumstances in the most romantic way possible. This Cinderella story somehow managed to make every woman in America wish she could be a prostitute.

‘Ghost’ (1990)

Again we have another return-from-the-great-beyond kind of thing. It seems to really work in a romance. We see that even death can’t come between two people who really love each other. And, seriously, who wasn’t into pottery after that movie?

‘Sleepless in Seattle’ (1993)

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Want your movie to be extremely romantic? Make sure you make constant mention of one of the most tragically romantic movies ever made (‘An Affair to Remember’) and then recreate one of its most heart-wrenching scenes. And don’t forget to cast the king and queen of romantic comedy chemistry, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. This movie solidified the Empire State Building’s status as the pinnacle of romantic locations.

‘The Notebook’ (2004)

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If you’re of the female persuasion, chances are you’ve used up many a tissue watching this one. And if you’re a boyfriend or husband — we caught you wiping away a tear at the end.

‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ (2004)

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If you can wrap your mind around the premise of this movie and keep track of when in time everything is happening, what you have is an unparalleled love story that will make you believe that even though love is painful, it is always worth the ride. And that there are some people who will always come back to you.

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