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Top 10 Classic Romantic Movies to Enjoy in February

By Michelle DiBernardo,

As February arrives each year, love and affection seem to be on the minds of many people. The weather outside is often chilly, making it the perfect time to snuggle up with your special someone and watch a romantic movie. 

Valentine's Day, a time to express your love and affection towards your loved ones, is right around the corner, and people are getting ready to celebrate the day of love in their own special way. The holiday was named after Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest who lived in Rome in the 3rd century. He was known for secretly performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. The holiday is now a day to honor his legacy and express your love to those closest to you. 

Over time, the eternal practice of sending love messages evolved into sending special cards to express love. These cards, especially the earlier ones,  were beautiful creations, often handmade by the sender and individually designed to show how much they loved the recipient. The tradition of giving Valentine's Day cards dates back to the 15th century, and it has only grown in popularity over the years. 

While Valentine's Day has become more commercialized in recent decades, that doesn't mean you can't celebrate the day in a more personal way. Some people like to cuddle up on the couch with their partner and watch a classic love story and enjoy a home-cooked candlelit dinner, while others may opt for a night out on the town.

If you're seeking romantic film recommendations for Valentine's Day or just want to watch a romantic movie in February, here are my top 10 must-watch romantic movies, in no particular order.

Dirty Dancing, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, is a classic love story that will have you dancing in your living room. It won one Oscar and 12 other awards. 

Disney's Beauty and the Beast is a timeless classic that teaches us not to judge a book by its cover. It won two Oscars and 33 other awards. 

Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, is an epic love story that won 11 Oscars and 126 other awards. Be sure to have your box of tissues ready. 

Love Story, starring Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal, is a classic romance that was nominated for seven Academy Awards. It takes us back to the 70s. 

Before Sunrise, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, follows the story of two strangers who meet on a train in Europe and spend a night exploring Vienna. With one Oscar and 10 additional awards, it's a must-watch for any hopeless romantic. 

Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley, is a classic tale of love between two people from different classes. It was nominated for four Oscars and has won 13 awards and received 59 nominations in total. 

The Notebook, starring Gena Rowlands and Ryan Gosling, is an epic love story that will make your heart melt. It has won 12 awards and received 10 nominations. 

Love and Basketball, starring Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps, is a romantic drama about two next-door neighbors in Los Angeles who fall in love while pursuing their basketball careers. It has won 14 awards and received 15 nominations. 

Valentine's Day, starring Julia Roberts, Taylor Lautner, Bradley Cooper, and Anne Hathaway, is a great comedy/romance to watch over the holiday season. The movie features intertwining storylines of couples and singles in Los Angeles as they navigate the highs and lows of love on Valentine's Day. It has won seven awards and received 12 nominations for its phenomenal cast. 

Last but not least, Shrek, starring the voices of Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz, is a fairy tale-style love story that will make you laugh and cry. Great animation comedy for the season, while also being family-oriented. It won one Oscar and received 40 awards and 60 nominations in total. 

So, this Valentine's Day, take some time to celebrate love in your own special way. Whether it's cuddling up on the couch with your partner or stepping out for a fancy dinner, remember to cherish the people closest to you and express your love and affection for them. 

Also, get crafty this Valentine’s Day and make cards for your loved ones. As the day approaches, devote a few hours to making the perfect card. Add some cute messages to it. Try these: "Episode 1: You. Episode 2: Me. Episode 3: We". or "Roses are red. Violets are blue. You're my Valentine's Day Sweetie, and I'll always love you!"

Enjoy my list of classic romantic movies! We hope to see you at Syracuse International Film Festival’s 21st-year anniversary. We are still accepting submissions on FilmFreeway. For more information visit Thank you and have an amazing Valentine's Day!

The author is Executive Director of the Syracuse International Film Festival, Inc.


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