The great thing about your kid getting older is the ability to finally watch something in the evening that isn’t animated and is rated higher than G. With Evan having just turned 8, we usually stick to PG or sometime PG-13 movies but it depends on what that (-13) is designating in the rating. I actually like that most movie ratings these days will tell you why it has the rating it does.
For example, we decided to watch Airplane! a few months ago not realizing that a rated PG movie from 1980 was NOT the same as a rated PG movie from today. As a family, we’ve also watched Captain America (rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout), Thor (rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence), Divergent (rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements and some sensuality), Gravity (rated PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and brief strong language), and The Maze Runner (rated PG-13 for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images).
In the end, the only regrets we had watching these movies as a family were Gravity (I just didn’t like it and the themes were just too mature for Evan) and The Maze Runner (mainly because it just wasn’t a very good movie).
On Valentine’s Day, if you’re like us, you might be staying in together as a family. My husband and I went to dinner last night to avoid the holiday crowds. So tonight, we’ll be babysitting one of Evan’s friends while his parents go out to eat and we’re looking closely at what movies might be okay in the early part of the evening and what should be saved for late night.
Oh yes. Late night.
When searching under the genre of “Romance” on Netflix’s website, I was surprised to find that there is literally something for everyone in this category.
Let’s start with the family-friendly romance movies.
Really, the question for you and your kids with these movies is not whether or not they are appropriate. It’s whether or not your kids having any interest in romantic movies at all.
1. Grease is one that I forced my son to watch with me and… SURPRISE! He really liked it. I never expect him to like musicals but he always begrudgingly does. This is a classic where mom and dad can annoy their kids, too, by singing along with every. single. song. Rated PG.
2. Romancing the Stone was one of my very favorite 80s movies. I have no idea why. Maybe I loved the idea of romance and adventure and I was a huge Kathleen Turner fan back then. Rated PG.
3. Sleepless in Seattle is perfect for girls with romantic dreams and boys with a softer side. It’s Meg Ryan when she still looked like Meg Ryan and Ton Hanks in his younger, thinner days. Rated PG.
Just remember that movies made in the 80s tended to have more sexual overtones so be cautious with that on any movie you pick.
But maybe your kids still think this stuff is all mushy and boring. That’s fine. Put them to bed and turn on some of these picks that you might not think of in the traditional romantic sense.
If you’re planning on drinking some expensive champagne as you sit down to spend an evening cuddled on the couch, you may want to watch one of these movies first. Their all subtitled and there WILL be reading required.
4. Like Water for Chocolate is about a woman who finds her emotions transfer into her cooking. I hate to be a snob but the book was better. Still… romantic.
5. Amelie is an adorable movie if only because Audrey Tatou is so adorable. Plus anything spoken in French just sounds romantic.
6. Shakespeare in Love is technically not a foreign, subtitled movie. But they’re speaking in Shakespeare so that’s close enough. I’m a theater geek so I remember loving this movie (despite have to watch Gwyneth Paltrow).
7. And speaking of Gwyneth Paltrow, I cannot deny that Sliding Doors is one of my very favorite movies of all time. In fact, I think I’m putting this on my list for tonight (even though I own the DVD because who wants to be bothered with actually putting in a DVD?).
8. The Shipping News might not be the feelgood movie you’re looking for but I’m naturally drawn to cold climates and something about this unusual small town love story really appealed to me.
9. The Blue Lagoon was probably the first R rated movie you saw (if you’re close to my age) and you probably saw it without your parents permission. Not known for the excellent acting, it still has a timeless appeal.
While I’m here, I thought I might recommend two movies I haven’t seen that are still on my radar. Maybe you’ve seen one or both and can tell me what you think.
10. Silver Linings Playbook is all about love, marriage, and mental instability. What more could you want? Plus Jennifer Lawrence is adorable.
11. In A World… is a about a woman who is the daughter of the guy who does the voiceover for Hollywood movie trailers (think “In a world…”). She’s trying to break into the field herself and somehow this is listed under romance.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
The beauty of Netflix streaming is that no one really knows what you watch (except the people at Netflix and I’m sure they have a good chuckle at some of the selections my family makes). So if you’re not so much into traditional romance or Oscar-winning actors and you’re taste is a little, ahem, offbeat, then Netflix has plenty for you. Let me give you a few examples.
For Bollywood lovers…
Mere Brother Ki Dulhan: Asked to find a bride for his brother, Bollywood film producer Kush locates a beautiful woman — and promptly falls in love with her himself.
For Woody Allen fans…
Annie Hall: Diane Keaton and Woody Allen star in this Oscar-winning romantic comedy about the relationship between a neurotic writer and a quirky aspiring singer.
If you like horrifically bad movies…
Gigli: Small-time thug Larry Gigli kidnaps a DA’s brother to save a mob kingpin from prosecution. But Gigli’s superior doesn’t trust him to finish the job.
If you’re tired of boy meets girl or girl meets boy…
The Birdcage: Longtime gay lovers Armand and Albert feel compelled to pass themselves off as a “normal” family when Armand’s son announces his intent to marry.
For something really steamy…
I’m going to let you explore this one on your own. But there’s a whole genre on Netflix called Steamy Romantic Movies.
Do you see one of your romantic favorites on this list? I’m sure there are plenty on Netflix that I missed so I’d love to hear your input. This post is inspired by my role on the Netflix Stream Team.