Nine of the Best Action Movies to Watch with Your Sweetie on Valentine’s Day by Sydney Strand

I grew up in the era of Awesome Action Movies and Awesome Action Heroes. Need proof?

  • Exhibit A: Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
  • Exhibit B: The Even Better Terminator 2 (A kinder but still robotic Ah-nuld)
  • Exhibit C: Die Hard (Bruce Willis)
  • Exhibit D: Rambo (Sylvester Stallone)

With two older brothers and a husband who are into action flicks, I’m kinda in-the-know about action films. But there’s a caveat to all this action movie watching:

As a free-thinking adult female with free-will, I will not watch a movie if there is no romance in it. No romance = No Sydney Strand as part of your movie-going demographic, Action Movie Studios.

So I’m kinda in-the-know about action movies with a great romance in it. And today, I’m here to share that. (You’re welcome, girls-who-love-romance-and-will-suffer-through-heads-being-shot-off-to-see-the-romance.)

Here they are, in no particular order:

1) True Lies

Action Hero in Question: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Why does it have to be new love that makes a story romantic? I find falling in love with your husband again, years after the bloom of first love is dead and stinky, a real turn-on.

Jamie Lee Curtis thinks her husband (Schwarzenegger) is a boring computer salesman. He’s not. He’s a spy. Fun, hilarity, crumbling bridges, and romance ensue.

2) Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Action Hero(es) in Question: Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie

Another husband and wife romance/action film. But instead of a boring life being the problem, it’s a life full of so many lies, the man and wife don’t even remember or have time for why they liked each other in the first place.

Angelina Jolie is a spy. Brad Pitt is a spy. They are competing spies. They don’t know the other’s a spy. And both have been asked to kill off the other one. Fun, hilarity, leg-shaking-after-peeing and romance ensue.

3) Twister

Action Hero in Question: Helen Hunt (Bill Paxton is a way-distant second)

Another husband and wife, on the brink of divorce. Only one more signature is needed before it’s official. The problem? It’s twister season and Helen Hunt doesn’t want a divorce.

Helen Hunt is a storm chaser. Her almost-ex-husband, Bill Paxton, used to be a storm chaser. They created Dorothy, which can measure the inside of a funnel and help gather data to better predict an oncoming tornado. Bill’s fiancé is there, wanting the divorce signed. A fellow storm chaser is there, who has a knock-off Dorothy that would undermine Hunt and Paxton’s work. A chase and a rekindled romance ensue.

4) Air Force One

Action Hero in Question: Harrison Ford

I am a sucker for husbands saving their wives, especially wives AND children. Especially when the husband just happens to be POTUS.

Harrison Ford’s airplane, Air Force One, is highjacked by terrorists. His wife and daughter are on board. He has been very vocal about not negotiating with terrorists. This could be a problem for his wife and child. Punches, gun-wrassling, and romance ensue.

5) The Day After Tomorrow

Action Hero in Question: Jake Gyllenhal

And now we move on from husband-wife romances. We are now into a teen romance, something you don’t see often in bona fide action films.

This movie is a bit of a cheesefest, but boy, the cheese is pretty tasty. Jake Gyllenhal is visiting Manhattan for an academic face-off with other smarties from smartie schools. With him is fellow smartie and secret crush Emmy Rossum. What’s the problem? Um, majorly bionic weather. An ice age that’s coming in 48 hours. Fatal freezes, hungry wolves, and romance ensue.

6) The Matrix, Part 1

Action Hero in Question: Keanu Reeves

The Matrix Part 1, not Parts 2 or 3, when the story gets, uh, off-point. But that first movie? EPIC. Keanu Reeves is Neo, a computer programmer who is shown that the world he’s living in isn’t real. Carrie Ann Moss is there to show him this other world and to believe in him so that he can believe in himself and start the process showing the world that it isn’t real. Got it? Yeah, this is one of those movies you’ve gotta watch to understand. Super-crazy special effects and rubber-clad romance ensue.

7) Tangled

Action Hero in Question: Rapunzel. Distant Second: Flynn Ryder

Want to show that female in your life that you care about watching movies she’d like to watch to? Do you want to truly earn a place in her heart? Then pick up this movie and realize


It’s animated, it’s filled with action, and it’s filled with romance. It’s fantastic. Rapunzel is…Rapunzel. Flynn Ryder is the guy who steals his way into her tower as he hides the crown he’s just stolen. Fun, hilarity, vengeful fake-moms and romance ensue.

8) Last of the Mohicans

Action Hero in Question: Daniel Day “I WILL FIND YOU” Lewis

This may have been the first movie I ever saw that made me realize action movies were more complete if a romance was attached. Daniel Day Lewis plays Hawkeye, who is the adopted white son of a Mohican warrior. Madeleine Stowe plays the white woman Daniel needs to save…a lot. Passionate battles and romantic scenes by waterfalls ensue.

9) Romancing the Stone

Action Hero in Question: Michael Douglas

A romance writer is actually in this movie. A guy who looks like a watered-down Indiana Jones is in this movie. A kidnapped sister and a wild adventure in Columbia are part of this movie.The genre-melding of action and romance has never looked better. Fun, hilarity, Daniel Devito, and romance ensue.

Movies that tried to meld action with romance…and didn’t do so hot:

1) Independence Day

This would have been a good husband/wife romance. But it turned tragic for one of them. This would have been a good Will Smith/Vivica A. Fox romance, but the hero and heroine weren’t together until pretty much the last frame of the movie. Action: A

Romance: D-

2) Speed

Great action, passive romance. Sandra Bullock was too busy keeping that damn bus above 55 to really look Keanu in the eye and see he was her lobster.

Action: A

Romance: D

3) Terminator

This would have been a great romance. Until the end. And no, the romance isn’t between mega-star Schwarzenegger and his co-star Linda Hamilton. For once, the big name in the film is the psychopathic killer.

Action: A

Romance: C-

4) Die Hard

Great action star? Check. Saving his wife and upping the mushy romance quotient? Check. But we never see Bruce Willis and the woman who plays his wife in the same room. But in theory? It’s a good action film that’s influenced by Bruce Willis’s love for his wife.

Action: A

Romance: D



Cadie Calhoun Wade is having a helluva week. She’s the Thing of Honor for her sister’s wedding. She’s finalizing her divorce. The neighbor’s dog keeps stealing into her house and treating her feet like a salt lick. And it’s a certain anniversary for a day that still stays with her, even a year later.

Her childhood best friend is also back in town. And not any ol’ friend, either. Bo Garrett just happens to be the most famous action hero in the world.

And boy, has Bo missed his Cadie! They parted on such dumb, stupid, moronic terms. And now that he’s back in Phoenix to get some outside shots for his latest alien flick, he’s not about to let her slip away again. Of course, his agent only has dollar signs in his eyes and thinks Cadie’s no Angelina. Bo’s sisters have a bit of a vendetta against her, too.

With the week Cadie’s having, she wonders if it’s just too much. That they just weren’t meant to be.

Which means Bo needs to work overtime to convince her otherwise. Luckily, an action star knows when and how to flash his smile and his muscles. And when to let the heart do the talking instead.

Especially when it comes to the girl who was his biggest regret.


Sydney Strand is a traditionally published author who loves action films, and she can thank her two older brothers for instilling a love of all things Arnie. (Arnold Schwarzenegger to those not in the know, whose Commando may be the best action flick ever.) You can find her at:

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  1. Hi Sydney,
    Thanks for being on the blog today. You mention some of my favorite movies — especially Terminator, Romancing the Stone and Mr and Mrs. Smith. There was so much chemistry between Angilina and Brad that you knew they had to be having an affair. It was a fun movie. And who can ever forget the kiss in Terminator? When he shoves her against the refrigerator I thought the screen would catch on fire. Romancing the Stone — what a character transformation. From a mousy writer living her life in her novels to experiencing it for real. Loved all these movies.

    1. Thanks for having little ol’ me, Sylvia. ;o)

      I loved writing about action movies and the ones that were oh-so-great with the romance. I think I loved all of these movies equally, although the ones that ended tragically I might have loved just a teeny-tiny bit less. ;oD


  2. I love all of these movies even Tangled. 🙂 I must say I have a thing for all movies be it R rated down to G. I don’t have a valentine other than my little man which is the best one if you ask me. So he and I will probably watch The Lion King or something 🙂

    1. Kimberly,

      I hope your little man has gotten to see Tangled–it’s such a great across-the-sexes movie! And I don’t care the rating, either, as long as it’s fantastic. :oD

      I have a little man myself, as well as a little lady. They truly do make the best Valentines.

      Enjoy The Lion King! This is definitely an action/romance, but I was too dumbstruck over what happened to Mufasa to truly enjoy Simba’s happily ever after.


  3. I have watched Terminator, Twister, and Last of the Mohicans. Since I’m single, I will tell you my favorite movie of all time is Pretty Woman. Love that movie!!

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