Valentine's Day on Netflix: What to watch for the lovers and the haters


Whether you want to spend the night with your sweetheart, your friends, or just by yourself, it's Friday night, and going out on a Friday night that just happens to be Valentine's Day means you're going to get swamped by plenty of PDA-prone couples, folks looking to forget their romantic woes at bars, and the usual weekend crowds on top of all that. Not into it? Stay in and avoid that nonsense. Netflix will be your date for the night.

We've collected 10 of our favorite things to watch when in the mood for a little romance... and for when you can't get away from that lovey-dovey stuff fast enough.

For the lovers...

10. Blue Valentine For anyone that wants to shed a few tears Sometimes even the cutest love stories don't have happy endings... even when they involve (hey, girl!) Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Blue Valentine shows their romance both blossoming and wilting through poignant flashbacks and painful present-day moments. Oh, and Ryan Gosling singing with a ukelele -- that happens.

9.Weekend For the folks who believe in instant emotional connections Russell goes out dancing one night and meets Glen. The two end up hooking up for the night, and form an unexpected bond. One of them is scheduled to leave the country shortly for school, so they spend their remaining time together talking and recording intimate conversations. Weekend shows that hookups can be heartfelt, too.

8. Harold and Maude For the cult-movie fanatics May-December romance never seemed so sweet. When 20-something Harold meets 79-year-old Maude at a stranger's funeral (because they both like going to funerals), they become fast friends and eventually something more as they teach each other about life.

7. Shakespeare in Love For the wannabe lit-lovers and early Goop devotees This is how we like to picture Shakespeare in his early days: literally as Joseph Fiennes. Okay, so it's not really Shakespeare or particularly accurate, but Tom Stoppard's script is funny and sweet, and who doesn't want to see the Bard agonizing about his own love life while coming up with Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's Daughter Juliet?

6. Chasing Amy For those nostalgic for the '90s It's funny, ironic, and biting to the core. Kevin Smith's exploration of relationships, gender roles, and sexuality -- mixed with some dorky, comic-book goodness -- is a '90s rom-com classic with a super-young Joey Lauren Adams, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, and (of course) Jay and Silent Bob. Unlike most forgettable rom-coms, this one sticks with you.

5. Lost in Translation For all the platonic romantics out there Being lost isn't a unique feeling, we've all been there. But when Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are stuck in Japan with obligations they'd rather shirk, they become comrades exploring the city and themselves while escaping their responsibilities, one karaoke song at a time.

4. Zack & Miri Make a Porno For anyone that wants a healthy mix of Kevin Smith humor, love, and Traci Lords Let's be real. Making a porno isn't super romantic. However, Kevin Smith sure does make it sweet. When besties Zack and Miri run out of options to pay their bills, their next logical option is to... make a porno? Yes. The duo find a gaggle of oddballs to populate their Star Wars-themed romp before realizing that maybe there's a little bit of a spark between them, too.

3. Safety Not Guaranteed For people who like vaguely sci-fi stuff A super-secretive guy says he's looking for a companion to go with him in his time machine. A super-skeptical Aubrey Plaza, playing a magazine intern, goes to investigate this dude with a crew from work. There, she finds that maybe he's not totally full of it. Sometimes believing in the impossible can be easier than admitting your feelings.

2. Punch-Drunk Love For the serious Adam Sandler aficionados This ain't Happy Gilmore. (And that's a good thing.) Adam Sandler plays it serious in this delightfully weird Paul Thomas Anderson film which features phone sex, extortion, and lots and lots o' pudding.

1. Amelie For the dreamers and the Francophiles Charming, French, and just a little bit insane, Amelie is one of our absolute favorite films. Follow Amelie Poulain on a journey through her unique perspective of Paris and those around her as she goes in search of her destiny.

Click through to page two for stuff to watch if you'd rather forget it's Valentine's Day... [page]

For the haters...

10. Bill Cunningham New York For people who are in love with their jobs Relationships? Whatever. This documentary about photographer Bill Cunningham shows that sometimes fulfillment doesn't have to be measured by your significant other, your house, or your stuff. Sometimes leaving your mark on the world really lights your fire. "If you don't take money, they can't tell you what to do," says the prolific photographer. "That's the key to the whole thing."

9. The X Files For those who believe the truth is out there The perfect binge-watch for Valentine's Day. Let the The X Files -- filled with new monsters and aliens in each episode -- help you to forget about candy hearts and chocolate. It's a smart, addicting classic series for sci-fi fans, and just about everyone else, too.

8. Holy Motors For the people who want something totally different You'll probably ask yourself, "What the hell am I watching?" But that's a good thing. This Leos Carax film is one that needs to be seen to be believed. When it came out in 2011, we were huge fans.

7. Battle Royale For folks who want a better version of The Hunger Games Sure, there's a hint of a love story, but when everything else is spattered in blood that's pretty easy to forget. Battle Royale is the "original" Hunger Games, only with more gore and terror and minus a butt-kicking J-Law. Also based off of a book, this movie follows a class of Japanese students as they're dropped off for the deadliest field trip of their lives (unbeknownst to them).

6. Melancholia For the people who think today's the end of the world A rogue planet has suddenly emerged from behind the sun, and it's on a collision course for Earth -- maybe. Sounds like an Armageddon-esque job for Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck, huh? Nope. This Lars von Trier movie is far from the high-octane space movies of the '90s. It's a subtle character study of a pair of sisters, one of whom is deeply depressed, as they deal with what might be their last days on the planet. Honorable Mention: Lars von Trier's Antichrist

5. The Talented Mr. Ripley For young Matt Damon-enthusiasts Even though he's played by a super cute Matt Damon, do not make Tom Ripley your Valentine. He's a social climber with a penchant for lying, impressions, and murder who cons his way into an uneasy friendship with an ultra-rich crowd (Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett), trying simultaneously to be and be with them before his lies catch up with him. Don't forget to look out for a spot-on Philip Seymour Hoffman in this one.

4. Heathers For anyone who wants to be a Heather Forget Mean Girls (kidding, never forget Mean Girls). It's black comedies to the rescue today. Heather Chandler, Heather Duke, and Heather McNamara are part of the most popular clique in school. It just happens to be the one with the highest death rate, too, thanks to their friend Veronica Sawyer and her no-good boyfriend, played by the smarmiest Christian Slater ever.

3. American Psycho For fans of embossed business cards Before he was the Dark Knight, Christian Bale made a name for himself as Patrick Bateman, the axe-wielding, narcissistic, psycho this film's named for. Part of a status-hungry group of investment bankers in Manhattan, there's something different about Patrick -- namely his bloodlust for just about everyone around him. Bonus points if you can spot the major typo on all those business cards. (Hint: Look at the top right.)

2. Fargo For Coen brothers buffs Because nothing says "I hate Valentine's Day" like watching the bumbling Jerry Lundegaard try to get some guys to kidnap his wife so he can get rich. The Coens bring equal parts humor and darkness to this cult-classic. Plus, this one takes place during the frigid Minnesota winter, so you can sympathize with poor, pregnant Marge as she tries to solve a bunch of homicides in the snow.

1. American Horror Story seasons one and two For people who know that Jessica Lange was the best supreme The third season of AHS: Coven just finished up on FX, but you can catch the first two seasons (Murder House and Asylum) on Netflix. Jessica Lange is divine in both seasons of AHS , as neighbor Constance in Murder House and Sister Jude in Asylum. This show isn't for the faint of heart, as there's some nasty stuff that goes on in both seasons. Showrunner Ryan Murphy loves to try and push the envelope on AHS, so expect gimp suits and overdoses. Oh yeah, and lots of murder.

(Or, you could always catch up on House of Cards, which has its second season premiere today.)