Look, we know you want to Netflix and Chill. Who doesn’t? But until Netflix creates a “Netflix and Chill” category–a real one, this time–you might find yourself struggling to come up with new movie suggestions to keep things fresh. Sure, you might have your tried and true, go-to make-out movies, but if you’re tired of watching Titanic or Pretty Woman for the 100th time, you need to change it up. That’s where we come in.
We taste-makers have provided you with an eclectic selection of the best films to suggest the next time a certain someone invites you over for a cuddle, or vice versa. From art-house cinema to pop culture classics to Oscar-winning pictures, we’ve got you covered.
So, buckle in (or not) and get ready to indulge in some serious entertainment.
1. Magic Mike (2012)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Reid Carolin
Cast: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Olivia Munn, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello
Magic Mike is much more than you think it is. Oh, make no mistake, there’s definitely plenty of shirtless dudes grinding it out to the sounds of Ginuwine, but this is a Soderbergh film after all. Loosely based on Tatum’s own experiences as a stripper in his youth, Magic Mike is actually a drama centered on Tatum’s character’s dreams for a better life and his failure to prevent the vices of his side job from corrupting a young dancer.
2. Forrest Gump (1994)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Winston Groom (novel), Eric Roth (screenplay)
Cast: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field, Haley Joel Osment
Despite the fact that Forrest Gump was chock full of quotes that are now used more often as comedic references than the 1994 drama would have suggested, the film’s original context was that of a lifelong romance. The relationship between Forrest (Tom Hanks) and Jenny (Robin Wright) is the real heart of this story, while the rest of the film’s interactions provide the box-of-chocolates variety that makes this well-rounded tale worth watching again and again.
3. Basic Instinct (1992)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writer: Joe Eszterhas
Cast: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Denis Arndt, Leilani Sarelle, Wayne Knight, Daniel von Bargen
Paul Verhoeven exceeds at indulgence, and with the notoriously steamy neo-noir Basic Instinct, he seemingly surpassed himself on all accounts. In detailing the investigation into the ice-pick murder of a retired rock star, led by Michael Douglas’ mildly reformed detective, Verhoeven gives the genre one of its maximalist masterpieces, one that at once exemplifies the genre and expertly undermines it. And that interrogation scene, one of the most repeated scenes of all time, eh?
4. Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Writer: Alfonso Cuarón, Carlos Cuarón
Cast: Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Daniel Giménez Cacho
Written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Y Tu Mamá También is a stunning Mexican drama that stars Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna as two teenage friends who embark on a road trip, and are unexpectedly joined by a young married woman (Maribel Verdú), which makes all the difference. The trips means different things for each of them (escape, coming-of-age, an exploration of sexuality), but on a macro level, it showcases (visually and through narration) the realities of late-90s, rural Mexico, as well as historical footnotes and commentary. Y Tu Mamá También is occasionally difficult and bittersweet, and filmed in a documentary-realist style that only deepens the truths about love, friendship, sexuality, politics, and more that it betrays. But mostly the film is emotional, gorgeously filmed, and very sexy. (In fact, because of its portrayal of sex and drug use, the film was released as unrated in the U.S. to avoid a NC-17 marker).
5. Tabloid (2010)
Director: Errol Morris
Cast: Joyce McKinney
So, you meet this guy named Kirk Anderson and almost immediately form a connection with him, even though he’s a Mormon. The problem is that you don’t know exactly how to show him you’re the one. Well, if you’re Joyce McKinney, you kidnap the guy and allegedly rape him in a hideaway cabin in England for several days.
This crime was at the center of one of the biggest tabloid wars of the 1970s, and director Errol Morris finds the haltingly strange heart of the matter by talking directly with McKinney in his customary fashion in Tabloid. Morris asks questions that might seem obvious, but the way he words them and builds up a rapport with McKinney teases out an unhinged yet startlingly sincere persona in a woman that fueled some of the most eye-grabbing tabloid headlines in history.
6. Grease (1978)
Director: Randal Kleiser
Writer: Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey (original musical), Bronte Woodard (screenplay), Allan Carr (adaptation)
Cast: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Barry Pearl, Michael Tucci, Kelly Ward, Didi Conn
A crowd-pleaser if there ever was one, Grease is the word for a reason. Forgive me for going all Stefon here, but Grease has everything: a sweeping romantic duo at its core, catchy musical numbers, and plenty of sensuality to make this a swell “Netflix and Chill” choice if you so desire. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John are dynamite together, but the entire ensemble is terrific under the direction of Randal Kleiser, who nails the 1950s vibe throughout.
7. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Cast: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bob Balaban, Jason Schwartzman, and Tilda Swinton
There is one scene that lands right about in the middle of Moonrise Kingdom that could have gone so wrong. The two (very) young lovers at the center of the film, played by Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman, are stripped down to their underwear, dancing to a turntable record, and begin to, um, experiment with each other. Nothing like a Larry Clark movie, mind you, but enough to stare directly at the discomfiting realities of budding sexuality. It’s in Wes Anderson’s tenderness as a writer, and as a director of actors, that makes the scene not only work but prove to be spellbinding and endearing. There’s plenty to love about this wild, wondrous, and estimable romantic comedy, but at the center of the deadpan laughs, the lacerating emotional disconnections, and the general, glorious chaos, there are these two kids who have decided they’re in love and cannot be told otherwise.
8. Drinking Buddies (2013)
Director: Joe Swanberg
Writer: Joe Swanberg
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Ti West, and Jason Sudeikis
The thing you might call “modern romance” has been at the center of Joe Swanberg’s films since his big breakout, Hannah Takes the Stairs, and continues to be what drives his most recent works, including Digging for Fire and Drinking Buddies. The latter is arguably the most satisfying film that Swanberg has made in his career, which has as much to do with bigger actors – Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, etc. – as it does with the complex emotional scenarios that Swanberg puts his characters in.
9. Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Writers: Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix
Cast: Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos
While Blue Is the Warmest Color got plenty of press for its explicit sex scenes and the subsequent rift between its stars and director, the film remains an epic, intimate portrait of love that is among the most engrossing and effective romances of all time. The movie tracks the life of a young woman named Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos), who falls in love with another girl (Léa Seydoux) while in high school and develops a complex and deeply emotional relationship. This is a deeply felt love drama that, while long, feels wholly complete and personal.
10. Amelie (2001)
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Writer: Guillaume Laurant
Cast: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz
Still one of the most visually unique and gorgeously crafted stories on film, the 2001 French film Amelie is sweet, surreal, haunting, and joyous. Propelled by Yann Tiersen’s spellbinding score, the whimsical tale focuses on young Amelie Poulin (Tautou), who tries to counterbalance her quiet and lonely life with a keen sense of observation, and an elaborate belief in exacting justice for those around her in order to ensure their happiness. But what of her own? Eventually, Amelie becomes caught up in a cat-and-mouse game with a love interest who might actually understand her, the quirky Nino (Kassovitz), which twirls them through Paris as they ascertain whether or not they should ever actually speak to one another.