I’m having a hard time building my Valentine’s Day movie watchlist. Don’t get me wrong: There are plenty of great new films to check out, but there are different (figurative) lenses to consider. To me, it’s easiest to explain this by comparing Netflix’s big release of last week, Malcolm & Marie, to this week’s big ticket, To All the Boys: Always and Forever.
In Malcolm & Marie, Zendaya and John David Washington star as the titular couple who have an all-nighter fight after Washinton, who plays a movie director, forgets to thank his gf (Zendaya) at a premiere. To All the Boys: Always and Forever, on the other hand, is the dreamy conclusion to an equally dreamy trilogy with love letters and hot tub romps. They’re obviously geared towards completely different audiences — one is a teen movie and the other is a heavy R — but an even bigger difference lies in how they portray love. To All the Boys feeds our fantasies of aspiring for the perfect partner and Malcolm & Marie completely shatters them.
That doesn’t make one better, or more valid than the other, but the difference is interesting to note, especially since the fantasy-inducing films can subconsciously set the standards when we’re looking for our own Peter Kavinskys. I’m not saying that we aspire to the dysfunction of Malcolm and Marie (hard pass!) but we shouldn’t aspire to To All the Boys either. Even though the latter is cute, it’s far from realistic. (That being said, I’ll probably opt for fantasy on Valentine’s Day. Give me something unrealistic to watch, please!)
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect watch for an at-home date night or a solo self-care movie session, we’ve put together all of the best new, new-ish, and just plain good things to watch on Netflix Canada this Valentine’s Day weekend.