On those rare nights when my husband and I FINALLY have the kids in bed and somehow are still awake enough to try and watch a movie together, nothing is more frustrating that spending half an hour searching for something we are both actually interested in watching.
It happens. And it’s the worst. However, over the past couple of years, we have found several movies we BOTH thoroughly enjoyed. So in the hopes of saving you some browsing time, I’ve rounded up our list of recent favorites! This list is a mix of films from a variety of genres—comedy, action, historical drama, and mystery—so there’s bound to be at least one that you’re interested in.
BUT if you happen to really love great dramas (like my husband and I do!), I’ve included a few additional titles from this particular genre at the end of this list.
So grab a glass of wine, a blanket and some popcorn—and snuggle up! And, if you have others to recommend, PLEASE comment with your suggestions for our future stay-at-home-date-nights too!!
01. About Time (2013)
When I asked other moms for date night movie suggestions, this film came recommended multiple times. It’s a sweet and funny rom com about one man’s ability to travel back in time. There are certain events he chooses to go back and redo with this power, but the changes he makes often result in outcomes that he didn’t anticipate.
One of the best things about this film is that it showcases the value of family life—and because this component plays such a central role in the story, there are some highly relatable, touching moments for parents watching. It’s clever, witty, and emphasizes that time is truly a gift. One review, in particular, I think summed up this film perfectly: “[About Time] argues that the simplicity of the mundane is to be prized.”
02. La La Land (2016)
Essentially the millennial counterpart to Casablanca, this musical film follows the lives of two artists as they try to make their way in Hollywood. Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a musician, meet and fall in love—but their relationship is put under pressure as they both start to gain fame and success. If you love music and great cinematography, this is a good choice!
03. Green Book (2018)
Set in 1962, the Green Book follows the road tour of the impressive classical and jazz pianist, African American Don Shirely, and his Italian American bouncer (Viggo Mortenson). The “green book” refers to the book that was used as a guide for black travelers for services in the South at that time.
This film has attracted some controversy for seeming to promote a “white savior agenda” but it did go on to receive an Oscar award for Best Picture. I think that it’s worth watching not just because the story line is interesting, but because it portrays the importance of values like compassion, friendship and empathy, and showcases the danger of prejudice.
If you like a film that gives some food for thought (and discussion)—with a mix of good music, history, and great acting involved—you’ll enjoy this one.
04. Murder Mystery (2019)
With a title like this, you might be assuming that this is a pretty serious film—but it’s not. With Adam Sandler starring as the male lead, it’s a given that it’s going to be comical.
The story follows a married couple who are traveling in Europe and happen to be on a billionaire’s yacht when a murder takes place. The couple are on their 15 year anniversary, and as many married couples do, they have their squabbles over little things—making this film down-to-earth and relatable. Plus, the mystery component keeps you wondering “who did it.” This is for anyone looking for a good laugh.
05. The Post (2017)
Starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, this historical drama showcases a pivotal moment during the career of Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, The Washington Post.
It’s inspired by the true story of the attempts of a few American journalists to expose classified documents relating to the Vietnam War. I love that this film emphasizes the value of the freedom of the press and showcases just how much good journalism can impact society.
06. Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
This 2015 spy film is an adaptation of the hit ’60s TV series, Man from U.N.C.L.E. Set in 1963 at the height of the Cold War, two secret agents—a Russian and American—have to work together to save both nations from a nuclear threat.
The ironic dichotomy between the two male leads—with their strikingly different backgrounds and personalities—makes for a humorous story line that keeps you engaged and laughing. All in all, it’s a fun mix of action, adventure, and romance.
07. The Guernsey Literary and Sweet Potato Pie Society (2018)
Despite the fact that the title is a mouthful, this is such a sweet film and one of my personal favorites. Based on the best-selling historical novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, this charming drama is set in 1946 England and follows the life of a writer as she makes her way in the world with her pen. Her writing brings her to the island of Guernsey, where she happens to meet a man who catches her eye and shares her love of reading—it’s an old-school romance and truly a wholesome story.
Note: This film is only available on Netflix.
08. Oceans 8 (2018)
The female spin-off of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Trilogy, this heist comedy follows a group of female women who set out to steal a necklace worth $150 million at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Annual Gala. This film may not be on par with previous Ocean movies, but it has its own style and charm. If you’re looking for a movie that’s light-hearted, and love a good heist plot, this is a good bet.