Audrey Tautou
French actress Audrey Tautou, mistress of ceremony of the 66th Cannes Film Festival, poses during a photocall on the eve of the opening of the Festival in Cannes May 14, 2013. The 66th Cannes Film Festival will run from May 15 to May 26. Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissie

Valentine’s Day is a day for believing in romantic love. And what better what to do that than by watching how other people from other countries fall in love in movies?

Love, as they say, transcends barriers; it is spoken in all languages. This is true no matter where people are in the world. This Valentine’s Day, get a glimpse of how other nations express love through films. Here are some of the best foreign films for this special hearts’ day.

‘A Very Long Engagement’ (France)

It’s almost a given that every list for the best romantic films should include this 2004 French film, based on the novel of the same name by Sebastien Japrisot. This story of hope shows how powerful a girl’s love can be.

Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) and Manech (Gaspard Ulliel) always know they are fated for each other. However, World War I separates them, with Manech missing after enlisting in the war. Unable to believe that her love has passed away, Mathilde sets out to search for him, discovering the French government’s corrupted system along the way.

The film was nominated and had won several awards, including Best Cinematography nomination at the Academy Awards, and Best Foreign Language Film nomination at the Golden Globe Awards.

‘My Sassy Girl’ (South Korea)

This 2001 rom-com was so successful that not only did it incite an American remake (starring Jesse Bradford and Elisha Cuthbert in 2008) and a few more Asian versions, it also prompted a phenomenon in South Korea, in which people dressed up in their old high school uniforms before entering bars. It’s explained in the film why that became cool for a while.

The film is about Gyeon-woo (Cha Tae-hyun), an engineering college student, who meets the unnamed “Girl” (Jun Ji-hyun) at a train station. Mistaken for her boyfriend before she passes out from drunkenness, Gyeon-woo has no choice but to take care of her. Even as he tries to avoid her, the Girl quickly becomes an active part of his life. The film shows how an average guy can turn into every girl’s dream hero in romantic flicks. The most memorable and romantic part perhaps is when Gyeon-woo offers the Girl’s potential suitor 10 rules to follow in dating her. The film elicits a lot of laughs and a few but heavy tears near the end.

Some audiences might be turned off by the Girl’s high-handed treatment of the hero and her violent tendencies, though, so viewing caution is advised.

‘With Every Heartbeat’ (Sweden)

In 2011, this film, also won the Breakthrough Award at the AFI Fest, and it’s easy to see why. Lesbian-themed “With Every Heartbeat,” also released as “Kiss Me,” was touted as a vibrant film that follows a woman’s journey to self-discovery.

Attending the engagement party of her father to a woman, Mia (Ruth Vega Fernandez) meets her future stepsister, Frida (Liv Mjönes). Mia and Frida then discover they have deep feelings for each other, starting a passionate love affair. Mia, who is already engaged to a man, is left with a choice on whether to continue with her wedding plans or follow her heart.

‘Medianeras’ (Argentina)

“Medianeras,” or “Sidewalks” in English, is a story about urban loneliness with a Where’s Waldo-inspired meet-cute scene. Martin (Javier Drolas) is a hypochondriac Web designer living in a shoebox apartment in Buenos Aires. Mariana (Pilar Lopez de Ayala) is an architecture graduate but works as a department store display designer and who lives in a stifling apartment in a building opposite Martin’s. He spends most of his time in his abode, preferring to leave the 40sqm place only for his twice a week therapy sessions. She’s afraid of elevators, only takes the stairs to her place on the eighth floor.

As the film touts, the two slightly damaged individuals are perfect for each other, they just haven’t met yet.

‘What a Man’ (Germany)

Alex (Matthias Schweighöfer) has been thrown out from the apartment he shared with his girlfriend upon discovering she is having an affair with their neighbour. Moving in with his friend Nele (Sibel Kekilli), he realises he and Nele have been in love with each other since they were children and that love still burns even after many years. It’s not a simple rediscovery of feelings, though. Nele is on a long distance relationship with her boyfriend Etienne, while Alex attempts to find out what really constitutes a man.

Critics thought the plot was predictable, but that doesn’t make the film less enjoyable to watch. It’s hilarious and the cast, especially Schweighöfer, were delightfully comical.

‘Bride and Prejudice’ (India)

The title itself should give clue to its plot. “Bride and Prejudice” is a Bollywood adaptation of the Jane Austen novel, “Pride and Prejudice.” It follows Lalita (Aishwarya Rai), a modern young Indian woman who meets Will Darcy, a wealthy American. Like the classic English story, Lalita finds Darcy conceited and appears to be unimpressed by him. Darcy eventually wins her love over.

The colourful costumes are visual candies, while the choreographies have certain appeal even to those who are not familiar with Bollywood dance numbers in movies. There are also the Bollywood equivalent of Mr Wickham, Mr and Mrs Bennet, Caroline Bingley, Charlotte Lucas, Georgina Darcy and Mr Bingley (“Lost” actor, Naveen Andrews).

‘Love and Basketball’ (USA)

As the title of this 2000 romantic film suggests, it’s all about love and basketball. Quincy (Omar Epps) and Monica (Sanaa Lathan), who both dream of working as professional players someday, have been competing with each other since they first met on the basketball court as kids. It’s not only competition they share; they also have feelings for each other, feeling that have developed throughout the years.

It’s a story that challenges a woman’s typical role and her career choices. While being a basketball player is often associated with the male gender, “Love and Basketball” unapologetically explores the sport beyond the clichés.