Tuesday 18 December 2018

Netflix and chill? Channel your inner Casanova with our top Valentine's TV and movie picks

Part of the test involves staring into each other's eyes for four minutes a la The Notebook's Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams)
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams star in The Notebook
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

It's Valentine's Day, as if you hadn't noticed, and for those of you staying in and hoping to avoid all mention of the 'V' word then terrestrial TV is the place to be as it's noticeably devoid of anything love-themed.

An exception is TV3 which is airing Heartbreak Hotel, a programme in which four heartbroken individuals spend a weekend at a retreat in an effort to get over their exes.

If that sounds a bit too depressing, and you're hoping to get in the mood for love tonight,then you'll get what you need from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Sky...


Michael Bolton’s Big Sexy Valentine’s Day Special, Netflix

Laugh your way into bed with this comedy designed "to get you in the mood to make love" which sees Grammy winner Michael Bolton assemble a "sexy variety special".  He'll sing classic love songs and "original love-making music" whatever that is.  Special guests include Andy Samberg, Maya Rudolph, Michael Sheen, Randall Park and Sarah Silverman.


The Notebook, Netflix

Easily the most popular big screen adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel (which isn't saying much in fairness).  However, with former real life lovers Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling as the star crossed lovers it's genuinely charming and ticks every movie romance box you can think of from the kissing in the rain scene to the hair-washing scene and more.  Sigh.


PS I Love You, Netflix

Based on Cecelia Ahern's best-seller it stars Hilary Swank as a young widow whose husband Gerry (Gerard Butler sporting a horrendous Oirish accent for which he has since apologised) leaves her a series of letters written by him which are designed to help her move forward in life.  She travels to Ireland and meets Jeffrey Dean Morgan and there's romance galore.


Love, Rosie, Netflix

Another Cecelia adaptation starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin.  Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were five, so they couldn't possibly be right for one another... or could they? Let down your barriers and allow yourself to care for the night that's in it.


Dear John, Netflix

A rather flat Nicholas Sparks adaptation which sits on the other end of the scale to The Notebook.  But it stars the ever-charismatic Channing Tatum and the lovely Amanda Seyfried so you could do worse on Valentine's night.


The Age of Adaline, Netflix

Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has miraculously remained a youthful 29 years of age for nearly eight decades (yes, you will hate her), never allowing herself to get close to anyone lest they discover her secret. However, a chance encounter with a charismatic philanthropist named Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) throws a spanner in the works. Adeline crams a hell of a lot of romance into her life.  Live variously through her...


Our Souls at Night, Netflix

Based on the best-selling novel by Kent Haruf, this story of finding love later in life stars Jane Fonda and Robert Redford as a widow and widower who have lived next door to each other for years. They begin sleeping in bed together platonically, with the goal of alleviating their shared loneliness. As their relationship deepens, however, they each deal with grief and loss, and a real romance begins to blossom.


Titanic, Netflix

James Cameron's Titanic has everything - action, drama, peril and a doomed romance at its centre.  Probably one for those who want to wallow in heartbreak over lost love as most of us spend the final credits sobbing and shouting, 'There's room for Jack on that wardrobe door Rose!' at the TV.


When Harry Met Sally, Netflix

In 1977, college graduates Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) share a contentious car ride from Chicago to New York, during which they argue about whether men and women can ever truly be strictly platonic friends. Ten years later, Harry and Sally meet again at a bookstore, and in the company of their respective best friends, Jess (Bruno Kirby) and Marie (Carrie Fisher), attempt to stay friends without sex becoming an issue between them.  It's a classic for good reason.


Notting Hill, Netflix

Hugh Grant at his bumbling best as a London bookstore owner who falls in love with a famous American actress - Julia Roberts effectively playing herself.  As the average bloke and glamorous movie star draw closer and closer together, they struggle to reconcile their radically different lifestyles in the name of love.  "I'm just a girl standing in front of a guy asking him to love her."


La La Land, Netflix

Written and directed by Oscar nominee Damien Chazelle, LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams. Beautiful.


Maid in Manhattan, Netflix

It's Jennifer Lopez playing a hotel maid who falls in love with a very famous politician (Ralph Fiennes) after she poses as a hotel guest and they have a wonderful night together.  This one might drive you and your other half to bed early, which isn't necessarily a bad thing this evening.


Bridget Jones's Baby, 8pm, Sky Cinema Valentine

The third instalment in the series based on Helen Fielding's best-selling novels manages to maintain the charm of its predecessors.  Bridget has broken up with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and is dating hotshot Jack (Patrick Dempsey) but when she finds herself pregnant she's not sure who the father is. It'll leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.


Made of Honour, 10.10pm, Sky Cinema Valentine

It's Patrick Dempsey night.  He's back again in this pretty abysmal romantic comedy which one suspects came about as a result of someone writing the title on a beer mat and thinking it was genius.  He plays a man in love with a woman (Michelle Monaghan) who is engaged to someone else.  He still agrees to be her Maid of Honour though. 


The Five-Year Engagement, Amazon Prime Video

From the producer of Bridesmaids and the director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall comes an irreverent comedy about an engaged couple who keep getting tripped up on their long walk down the aisle.  A romcom with a larger dash of realism than usual.  Starring Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, and Rhys Ifans.


It’s Complicated, Amazon Prime Video

When attending their son's college graduation, a couple reignite the spark in their relationship. But the complicated fact is they're divorced and he's remarried.  Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin star.


Ghost, Amazon Prime Video

Eighties classic starring Patrick Swayze as a ghost who teams with a psychic (Academy-Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg) to uncover the truth behind his murder - and to rescue his wife (Demi Moore) from a similar fate.

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