Valentine's Day: the seven most romantic movies to get through the day

PHOTO: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in a scene from "500 Days of Summer."PlayFox Searchlight Pictures
WATCH Valentine's Day: 7 romantic movies to get you through the day

Ah love! Whether basking in it or just taking time for self love, 'tis the season. Film critic Peter Travers has put together a list of seven of the most romantic flicks to get into the spirit of the day. So grab the remote, a cozy blanket and settle in.

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1. “The Shape of Water”

In director Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” a mute cleaning woman falls in love with a creature she discovers in a secret government laboratory.

PHOTO: Richard Jenkins and Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water.Kerry Hayes/Twentieth Century Fox
Richard Jenkins and Sally Hawkins in "The Shape of Water."

“If you want to see something romantic try 'The Shape of Water,' which is the favorite movie to win the Oscar this year,” said Travers. “It’s very romantic, even though it’s a woman falling in love with a monster. But it’s a monster with a good heart.”

WHAT TO KNOW
  • Peter Travers on best films for Valentine's Day

2. “Love Actually”

This Christmas-themed romantic comedy from director Richard Curtis has already become a classic. It boasts a great lineup of stars including Hugh Grant, Kiera Knightley, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Colin Firth.

PHOTO: Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon in a scene from Love Actually.Universal Pictures
Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon in a scene from "Love Actually."

"There’s something about that movie, which tells about six or seven different stories of couples coming together, parting and then feeling a little bittersweet about it," Travers said. "There’s not a happy ending for everybody, but there’s enough."

3. “500 Days of Summer”

In this film, starring Zoey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a woman dumps her boyfriend and it catches him off-guard. He looks back on their time together trying to find out what went wrong.

PHOTO: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in a scene from 500 Days of Summer.Fox Searchlight Pictures
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in a scene from "500 Days of Summer."

This is one of Travers’ favorite romantic films. He said it isn’t necessarily about being happy.

"It’s about feeling something for somebody when it doesn’t work out," he said, "and yet it makes you get a little teary about it."

4. “Begin Again”

“Begin Again” is musical comedy-drama from director John Carney about a singer-songwriter who collaborates with a struggling record label executive to produce an album.

PHOTO: Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley in a scene from Begin Again.Exclusive Media Group
Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley in a scene from "Begin Again."

"It stars Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo. She’s a singer, he’s a music producer and it breaks your heart," Travers said. "You can thank me later because it always gets me."

5. “The Way We Were”

“The Way We Were” has solidified its place among the romantic classics about two people who find romance, but their political views drive them apart. Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford star in the film.

PHOTO: Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand in a scene from The Way We Were.Getty Images
Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand in a scene from "The Way We Were."

"Maybe it’s just me who likes the idea of a love story where sometimes the road is bumpy," Travers said, "because I can believe in it, more than I can believe in the Hollywood version of just tears and nothing."

6. "The Notebook”

A mill worker and a rich girl fall in love in 1940s South Carolina in this romantic drama. But her family prevents them from being together.

PHOTO: Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in a scene from The Notebook.New Line Cinema
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in a scene from "The Notebook."

"If you want to really weep, 'The Notebook' is always the movie that gets people," Travers said. "I usually wouldn’t like that, but in this case Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, who were together at the time they made it, broke my heart in all the best ways."

7. "Casablanca

In "Casablanca," a nightclub owner and his former lover cross paths. That's when he’s faced with a tough decision about helping her and her husband out of a difficult situation.

PHOTO: Humphrey Bogart holds Ingrid Bergman in a scene from Casablanca.Corbis via Getty Images
Humphrey Bogart holds Ingrid Bergman in a scene from "Casablanca."

"If you’re out there and have never seen 'Casablanca,' you’ve never seen Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman fall in love and looking at each other with such love on that camera," Travers said. "I can see it a hundred times and listen to them say, 'Here’s looking at you kid.'"

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