Want to dream about your own happily ever after? Fancy a few relationship tips from some of the best love stories ever told? Perhaps you want to swoon over charming characters or some of the greatest cinematic kisses?
From romantic tear-jerkers, corny romance comedies, dreamy classics and more, there truly are some wonderful romance films out there.
So, to satisfy your own romance cravings, here’s a list of the best romance movies to get you in the mood for love (or tears)…
1. The Notebook
This romantic movie about star-crossed lovers in South Carolina of the 1940s follows the most obvious romance tropes ever – yet we can’t get enough of it. When a mill worker and a rich girl fall in love against all odds and their families’ wills, the only kind of love story that can ensue is an agitated one. From highs that will make you believe in that sweep-you-off-your-feet kind of love, to lows that will have you crying into your pillow for hours, The Notebook is a tale of bittersweet romance you can’t help but love.
2. Before Sunrise
This sweet story about two young people who meet on a train and spend the night wandering around Vienna is sincere, touching and perfect for those in need of a little inspirational love. From a classic, ultra romantic comedy, to a down-to-earth saga about learning to grow with someone else through time and hardships, this film series is as heartwarming as it is inspirational.
3. Pride & Prejudice
Sparks fly when Elizabeth Bennet meets Mr. Darcy, but what does their love story have in store for them? Step back to 1797 and revel in Jane Austen’s classic story adapted for the big screen in Pride & Prejudice. There are few adaptations of the famous novel, but we’re tempted to say that the 2005 version is the best by virtue of having Keira Knightley in it, as well as the most stunning and up-to-date cinematography. Not to mention Matthew MacFayden’s Darcy…
4. The Fault In Our Stars
A heartbreaking book to movie adaptation of the same name, this film follows the tragic story of two teenagers with cancer who fall in love and try to make sense of the time they have left together. Not only will it tug at your heartstrings, The Fault in Our Stars will also make you think about everything, from the meaning of life to the importance of love and resilience. We’re not crying, you’re crying.
5. Romeo + Juliet
Baz Lhurman’s intense take on the famous Shakespeare play is not for the faint-hearted. Keeping the same Shakespearean dialogue while placing what is one of the world’s best love stories in a modern day Verona, this version doesn’t shy away from violence and somehow makes the story even more heart-wrenching. Did we mention a young Leonardo DiCaprio is in it? Yeah, it’s that good.
6. La La Land
Damien Chazelle’s tribute to old musicals and the golden age of Hollywood is extra special thanks to Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s wit, chemistry and great dance moves. Although the decors are idyllic, the story deals with some pretty important themes such as ambition, fear of failure, and perseverance. La La Land is worth several watches just so you can memorize the dance moves and sing along to it (we know you want to).
7. West Side Story
Another ‘Romeo & Juliet’, but this time with a hint of Broadway. Going down the gritty route, this version tells the story of two young people from rival New York gangs, the White American ‘Jets’ and the Puerto Rican ‘Sharks’, who fall in love despite cultural barriers. The tropes may be familiar, but the memorable settings and incredible musical numbers are enough reason to press play.
8. A Star is Born
This movie has had at least 678 reboots, but we can never get tired of it – especially the 2018 film which stars none other than the talented Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper (yes, he sings!). A weary rockstar whose career is fading takes a talented young singer under his wing and falls in love with her, only to see her career rise above his. It’s difficult to spoil this movie seeing as there have been many adaptations already, but we must warn you – grab the Kleenex.
9. Love, Simon
Both a romantic comedy and a coming-of-age tale, Love, Simon tells the story of a closeted teenager who’s trying to figure out the identity of the online crush he’s falling for. All the while, we follow Simon as he comes out to his family and friends so as to avoid his secret being leaked. Featuring a same sex romance, Love Simon is a milestone for mainstream teen rom-coms, but you’ll also love it for its endearing set of characters and uplifting message about accepting oneself.
10. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Novel-to-film adaptation, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is one of the sweetest, most lighthearted teen romance flicks to have blessed our streaming world as of late. The Netflix hit introduces two new actors who have been the talk of the town ever since its release – Lana Condor and Noah Centineo star in a story that will fill your romance cravings for days to come. We say thank you Netflix!
11. Love Actually
In the tradition of a star-studded holiday movie, Love Actually tells the many interwoven stories of characters dealing with love over the Christmas break. From a handsome Prime Minister who falls for a staff member, to a woman who cares so much about her mentally ill brother that it often hinders her love life, the overall message of love and friendship might seem corny to some. But this romance film is actually perfect viewing for anyone who’s craving that sweet dose of cheesiness.
12. Notting Hill
There’s nothing better than a rainy night in watching Hugh Grant – the king of romance movies. This time, he’s a witty, self-deprecating bookstore owner who falls for a person miles away from his station – an American actress who visits his shop in order to avoid the paparazzi. Let’s be honest, there’s probably nothing better than the trope of two worlds colliding and we couldn’t think of better people to carry it than Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.
13. 10 Things I Hate About You
A less problematic version of ‘The Taming of The Shrew’ by William Shakespeare’, 10 Things I Hate About You is a wonderful teen comedy of the late 1990s. Kat (Julia Stiles) struggles to let her guard down, even when she meets unexpected love interest, Patrick (Heath Ledger) who’s got all the swag and charm to make her instantly smitten. From Heath’s singing scene that will make you swoon, to Julia’s emotional poem that’ll make you cry, this movie is so funny and heartwarming, it’ll make you want to see it a second time around.
14. The Princess Bride
This hilarious and enchanting fairytale follows the story of a young man determined to find and save the love of his life from the claws of evil. An adaptation of a novel that’s just as insane, The Princess Bride manages to be altogether absurd, earnest, wacky and heartwarming – all the perfect ingredients for a perfect night in.
Everyone knows the fate of the dreaded famous boat because, well, history. But that doesn’t mean the ride before it hit that iceberg isn’t enjoyable. Cuddle up and indulge yourself in a love story like no other. A third-class and first-class passenger find love that goes against all odds, but despite their differences and a sinking ship, their romance lives on until this very day. If you’ve yet to watch this classic romance movie (which is also one of the most successful films ever), we must warn you, ready the tissues – things are about to get real emotional up in here.
16. Ever After: A Cinderella Story
This retelling of ‘Cinderella’ set in Renaissance-era France is one of the best takes on the famous tale ever adapted for the big screen. Introducing Drew Barrymore as Danielle, an outspoken young woman who is forced into being a maid by her step-mother. Like Cinderella, Danielle’s fate takes an unexpected turn after she meets a handsome Prince by preventing him from stealing her horse. This is an endearing story that’ll surely help you feel the love tonight.
17. A Walk To Remember
When bad boy Landon and a smart and innocent Jamie build a relationship despite all odds, both of their worlds are turned upside down – Jamie is stricken with terminal leukemia. Like any Nicholas Spark adaptation, this one will make you tear up until you don’t have any tears left to cry. This sad, yet beautiful love story is certainly a walk to remember and should be at the top of your watchlist this quarantine!
18. Set It Up
To alleviate their workloads and make their respective bosses a little nicer, two assistants decide to set up a romance between the two of them. Although the romantic tropes are extremely on-the-nose here, the upbeat and fun tone of this Netflix film will leave you all warm inside and ready to find love.
19. Four Weddings and A Funeral
Hugh Grant was the epitome of romance back in the 90s. Another one of his classic love stories is Four Weddings and a Funeral – a film that offers strong messages about love with a touch of British humor and unforgettable dialogues. Wondering if you’ll ever find true love and marry? This film is a must-watch and will give you all the optimism you need!
20. Brokeback Mountain
Set in the 1960s in Wyoming, this heartbreaking drama is about two cowboys falling in love despite being married with women in their separate lives. Amazing cinematography, Heath Ledger’s and Jake Gyllenhaal’s wonderful chemistry, and some brilliant acting from Michelle Williams and all parties involved, mean that you won’t regret watching it. Though once again, Kleenex will be needed.
21. P.S. I Love You
Thought Titanic was sad? You’ll be shedding several years worth of tears through this one. After losing the love of her life to a disease, a grieving woman discovers audio recordings he made to guide her through life after his death. Though the premise might seem heartbreaking, this movie is also an anthem to optimism and joy, and will make you cherish life even more.
22. Moulin Rouge!
In late 19th century France, a young Englishman falls for a beautiful singer named Satine, except Satine is supposed to marry another man to replenish the funds of the cabaret. This isn’t a Disney-type love story, but the slew of iconic modern songs turned into cabaret numbers, and the talent of Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, make this tragic love story a must-see.
23. While You Were Sleeping
The story of a woman being mistaken for the fiance of a coma patient and falling in love with his brother might sound a little complex and problematic. But we promise you won’t help but fall for Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman’s charms in this witty, cute comedy that makes for an entertaining time.
This is a romance story we really shouldn’t have to introduce, but for those who have been living under a rock since 1978, here goes. Two teens have a summer fling only to realize that they attend the same high school and belong to two widely different cliques. While the story might sound cliche, its musical numbers and iconic outfits definitely aren’t. Grease is one of the best romantic movies of all time with a touch of fabulous music and an ensemble cast that lives on forever.
25. You’ve Got Mail
You know a movie is good when it has Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in it (who can ever forget Sleepless in Seattle?). Both their historical chemistry and the movie’s well-woven intrigue are the perfect ingredients to make you feel butterflies without having to leave your couch. Tuck into You’ve Got Mail and unwind as you watch two people fall in love online without realizing that they’re professional rivals.
Grab some popcorn and prepare to feel all the feels with Carol, a story about two women who fall in love in 1950s Manhattan. Forced to question their lives and their entire worlds, the lovebirds soon decide to abandon themselves to their shared infatuation. It’s not everyday you get to see a period film with a same-sex romance – Carol will make you feel every emotion in the book.
27. Bride and Prejudice
This one might sound like a spoof of the notorious Jane Austen novel, but it’s actually quite original. Set in India and instead of the conflict being class-related, Bride and Prejudice is now about the cultural differences between the main protagonists – the well-read daughter of a large Indian family and an uppity businessman from New York. What else are you in for? Musical numbers that will make you swoon and a romance that won’t let you down.
28. One Day
Uplifting and heartbreaking, One Day is a coming-of-age romance movie that follows the evolution of two friends’ relationships and every anniversary of the day they met. Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess shine as the unlikely besties who met in university and decide to never be more than friends. Although the premise is predictable, that still doesn’t take away from the great writing and tear-jerking scenes.
29. Love, Rosie
Another ‘best friends’ love story which, though it might seem like a déjà vu, is as lovely as it is clever, well-acted and genuine. Lily Collins and Sam Claflin play two best friends whose friendship is put to the test when one of them moves to America. You might think you know what happens next, but you’re sure to be surprised by how sweet, life-affirming and hilarious this nearly perfect rom-com is.
30. Dirty Dancing
What better way to spend your Saturday night than by revisiting a classic! In Dirty Dancing, a young woman is enlisted by a summer camp’s sexy dance instructor to be his partner for the resort’s final show. A relationship that soon turns into a frowned-upon romance and leads to a whole lot of juicy drama… we bet you won’t be able to sit still through that iconic final number.
31. The Wedding Planner
Jennifer Lopez isn’t exactly the most iconic Hollywood star, but it’s safe to say she has quite a few movies under her belt – the most famous probably being The Wedding Planner. This romantic movie starring the singer and Matthew McConaughey tells the story of a wedding planner (duh) who breaks her most important rule – don’t fall in love with the groom. A tragedy for the bride-to-be, but a love story we can’t help but adore.
The love stories and characters might sound familiar, but sometimes, you just need the cheesiest tropes and dialogues to get you through that ice cream tub. And let’s be honest, romance can also lead to some genuinely amazing cinema (Brokeback Mountain and La La Land won Oscars!).
What did you think of this list? Let us know what other best romance movies deserve a spot!