The ’Toban staff’s super romantic Valentine’s Day picks

The best movies to cuddle up and watch with your sweetie

Moonstruck (1987)

While perhaps not the most conventional romcom, Moonstruck is by far my favourite. But how could it be conventional when the leads are Cher and Nicolas Cage?

The plot follows Cher’s widowed character, who becomes engaged to a bumbling fool before falling in love with her fiancé’s brother — played by Cage in one of his best roles of all time — while her fiancé is out of town.

What makes this film so special is how perfectly every character is cast, and the realness with which they are portrayed. In fact, it’s the authenticity of the performances — the genuine sarcasm, the one-liners, the Italian curses — that makes this film so great.

And, in my opinion, this film boasts one of the greatest supporting characters of all time, played by John Mahoney of Frasier fame. Though Moonstruck came out well before the Cheers spinoff sitcom, it is seeing Mahoney’s range going from playing the sleazy older professor who dates his young students in the film to the lovable, blue-collared Martin Crane in the television series that for me, as his fan, showcases what a fantastic actor he was. 

From beginning to end, Moonstruck is full of the comedy of real life. 

Cher won an Academy Award for her performance, what more convincing does one need? 


Grace Anne Paizen, managing editor


Pride & Prejudice (2005)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Pride & Prejudice is one of the greatest adaptations of a classic novel in the modern era.

Starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen, the film tells the timeless love story of the 1813 Jane Austen novel of the same name. Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy must overcome their own pride and prejudices in order to fall in love.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that while it seems like your stereotypical, run-of-the-mill male-oriented romance at the surface, Austen’s tales satirize the popular novels of sensibility from the time period. 

The 2005 adaptation stays true to the purpose of the source material, depicting Darcy as an awkward, antisocial but incredibly wealthy oaf and poking fun at Mrs. Bennet’s obsession with the family’s social standing.

The film depicts Elizabeth as a strong female lead working within the confines of class hierarchy that existed during the Regency era, something skillfully highlighted through set and costume design. Despite not behaving exactly as she should and not prioritizing love and marriage above all else, Elizabeth marries a wealthy man and achieves love without sacrificing her own values. 

This Valentine’s Day, watch this gorgeous period piece that tells the story of a strong, independent woman (who thinks a little bit about falling madly in love sometimes).


— Gillian Brown, editor-in-chief


High Fidelity (2000)

High Fidelity was recommended to me by my parents at a tender age, I think as a guide for pitfalls they wanted me to avoid. From the movie’s first line — “what came first, the music or the misery?” — I knew it knew something about me.

My fave, John Cusack stars as Rob, the curmudgeonly owner of Championship Vinyl in Chicago, Ill. After a being dumped by a long-term partner, he reorganizes his record collection autobiographically — by the order in which he purchased them. This exercise in nostalgia causes him to wonder about all the women he left behind in his dating career.

On the advice of Bruce Springsteen, Rob sets about catching up with all his exes and going over what went wrong, discovering in the process that (shocker) he was the problem all along! 

What follows is all heartwarming personal growth, Jack Black being silly and deep cut music references that would impress even the staunchest of snobs. It’s a real delight and perfect viewing for lonely hipsters this Valentine’s Day.


— Alex Braun, arts and culture editor


Bros (2022)

When I went with my boyfriend to see Bros I expected a gay comedy that copy and pasted the typical romantic comedy formula but swapped the sexuality. But it defied my expectations more than once, and while it didn’t break the mold, it was worth the run time. 

The film pays its respect to the numerous 2SLGBTQIA+ subcultures, identities and sexualities while also managing to, at times, meaningfully reflect on the culture itself. These reflections and in-jokes are much more appreciated if one is actually a part of the homosexual underground, so to speak.

While the main romantic pair of Bobby and Aaron have a genuinely engaging relationship dynamic, the film suffers from romantic comedy tropes that you will either love or hate. Namely, initial falling in love, then conflict and finally beautiful resolution.

The film also tackles topics such as monogamy, prejudice, masculinity and sexuality. Which, to the films credit, are not often touched upon in hetero romcoms. 

2022’s Bros is a pretty decent gay romantic comedy. From the outset, the film seems cynical and self-aware. However, through periods of sincere self-reflection on romance and more than one raunchy sex scene, Bros finds its footing.


Braden Bristow, columnist


How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

The classic romcom How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days gives some unconventional advice on what not to do in the dating world. 

The plot of this film follows magazine columnist Andie and advertising specialist Ben. Andie bets a friend that she can lose a guy in 10 days based off her previous failures, and Ben bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. 

Although these methods seem to get Andie her dream guy at the end, they would not be applicable in today’s world. Unless of course you want to create some real life romcom drama. 

Andie gives Ben stuffed animals, fakes vegetarianism, gifts Ben a “love fern” and buys him a puppy, while 

Ben decides to put up with these unconventional practices because his ego is bigger than his desire to fall in love. 

So, would this work in today’s complicated dating world, outside of the alternate realm of romcom films? 

The short answer is: most likely not. No romantic relationship can take off if ego is prioritized over legitimate feelings. 

Long story short, be yourself. Don’t force anything this Valentine’s Day. The right person will fall for your crazy antics, even if they involve a love fern. 


Ashley Puchniak, news reporter