Love is perhaps one of the most subjective words of all time. Some see it with a rose-tinted glass, while others remember it for its pain. Some define it as a force of nature, while others perceive it as a fleeting feeling of affection. On Valentine's Day, we look at a list of films and shows, streaming on Amazon Prime Video, that celebrate the feeling of love in all shapes and sizes.
The charming series, developed by Jason Katims, feels like hot chocolate on a cold, wintry afternoon. It follows three flatmates in their 20s, Jack, Harrison and Violet, all of whom are on the autism spectrum (in reel and real life), as they navigate love, work, friendships and life, in general. With relatable and lovable characters, the show sensitively tackles their struggles, specifically in a world that others them. The treatment of the show is endearing and moving at the same time, making it an essential and important watch in current times.
Greg Daniels' science fiction dramedy is imaginative, novel and at its core, a romance. Set in a future where humans are able to choose their afterlife in case of an untimely death and essentially 'upload' their consciousness to their ideal afterlife, things seem sorted for Nathan (Robbie Amell). He has passed away at 27, but now has a life of great – but ultimately, fake – luxury to look forward to. As he adjusts to the pros and cons of his new existence (or the lack of it), he meets and forms a real connection with Nora (Andy Allo), his still-alive handler in heaven.
Now this one's the epitome of a comfort Valentine's Day watch. Starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, the rom-com revolves around Cal (Carell), who finds it extremely difficult to move on after his childhood sweetheart and wife asks him for a divorce. The heartbroken man then has a chance meeting with the suave and stunning Jacob (Gosling), who takes Cal under his wings in a bid to restart his life.
The warmth of Michael Showalter's romantic comedy oozes from the fact that it's based on a real-life romance between Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, the writers of the film. Nanjiani's brilliant comic timing as an actor is an added bonus. Essentially a love story of an interethnic couple, the film light-heartedly comments on their cultural and familial differences that eventually lead to a break up, despite their mutual feelings for each other. However, when Emily (Zoe Kazan) falls into a coma after a freak incident, Nanjiani decides to step up – not only for her but their relationship too.
Created by Gloria Calderón Kellett (One Day At A Time), the series revolves around two siblings, Lily Diaz (Emeraude Toubia) and Jorge Diaz Jr. (Mark Indelicato), who navigate life, love and relationships through the course of a year. Over five episodes, the comforting series sees the Diaz family over the course of various holidays as they grow in and out of love – and sticky situations – with their bond helping them tide through.
Who wouldn't want to fall in love after one look at Julia Roberts, standing in front of the very charming Hugh Grant, asking him to love her – just the way she is? Roger Michell's classic love story of a superstar and a book shop owner strikes just the right chords – enough to make the hardcore romantics feel giddy and satisfied.
For anyone in the mood to watch something fun, the Jon M. Chu-directed romantic dramedy is all things funny, happy and Asian. Based on a Kevin Kwan novel of the same name, it follows the cutesy story of Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an Economics professor, who travels to her boyfriend Nick Young's (Henry Golding) hometown in Singapore – only to discover that his family is supremely rich. What ensues thereon is unhinged chaos, some tender moments between the couple and the Asian staple – a big fat wedding.
Fleabag is equal parts funny and poignant, heart-warming and heart-breaking. Phoebe Waller Bridge as the protagonist brings a certain amount of relatability and vulnerability to her character that when she breaks the fourth wall, the viewers are compelled to believe that she's personally reaching out to them. Her love is messy, raw and incomplete, but is so beautiful and honest too. And isn't that as close to reality as it gets?
Céline Sciamma's profound historical romantic drama is set in the late 18th century and develops between Marianne (Noémie Merlant), a painter, and Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), a young woman marred by a trauma from the past, who is soon to be married to a nobleman. They meet when the former is commissioned to paint a portrait of the latter in secrecy. As they form a connection that keeps drawing them towards one another, they share a mutual romance, becoming each other's safe haven, even while being apart.
Sometimes, old school romances provide a much-needed solace. And Eugene Ashe's romantic drama is one such tale. Set in the 60s in New York, the story centers upon Sylvie's (Tessa Thompson) chance meeting with Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha), a musician. Sparks fly, and a deep bond is formed. Peppered with time jumps, the film chronicles a series of meetings between the two at different points of their lives, their love for each other being palpable, and yet, their judgements stopping them from being with each other, for their own sakes.
Another comfort rom-com watch, Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones steals your attention in the most entertaining way possible as she grapples with a writing career and a love triangle, all while penning down her progress and aspirations in her diary. The protagonist, based on a 1996 novel of the same name, is relatable, flawed, klutzy, adorable and has a sense of humour that crackles – making the film enduring and funny, 21 years on.
Capturing the various shades of love – right from the joys and the butterflies of first love to the inexplicable, numbing loss you feel upon losing a pillar of your life – the series, as its title suggests, is an ode to a feeling that can have several definitions. None of which can be too many. Based on real-life stories from a weekly column (of the same name) published by The New York Times, the anthology grapples with various stories, emotions and struggles, leading up to the one connecting dot that connects them all – love. Modern Love is the perfect show to watch on Valentine's Day, whether or not you are in love.
While high school romances can often look cliched, there's an earnest quality about Adam Shankman's bittersweet romantic drama. What starts off as a quintessential case of opposites attract turns into something deeper and more meaningful as Landon (Shane West) and Jamie (Mandy Moore) begin seeing something in each other that no one has seen before. In the process, not only do they uplift each other but their own lives too.
In a universe filled with imperfections and heartbreaks, what happens when you find something… perfect? And what happens if it comes to you at a time you're least expecting it, that too in a place where time stands still, literally? Margaret (Kathryn Newton) and Mark (Kyle Allen) stumble upon a taste of perfection amidst the monotony of a time loop, where they are forced to repeat one day over and over again. The catch? While no one around them remembers the incidents of the previous days, they do. There begins a rediscovery they never saw coming, as the same old things start resembling something new. However, does magic last forever?
Loneliness is not a pleasant feeling. It can haunt you, give you sleepless nights and make you search for something deeper, even in blank pages. Ask Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix). In the middle of an impending divorce with his childhood sweetheart, he's alone, dejected and unable to express his grief. When he buys an Artificial Intelligence system to help him with his job, he never realises when he falls in love with the female voice that responds to him. The Oscar-winning film is a sublime take on our times, where it's not easy to find long-lasting comfort, intellectual conversations or stimulating companionships.
Valentine's Day Recommendations in collaboration with Amazon Prime Video