Romantic movies can be a hit-and-miss scenario sometimes. After all, even the best romantic movies have plot twists that not all of us like. So while there are thousands of romantic movies, there are a few that really stand apart from the rest.
If you’re looking forward to relaxing on a lazy afternoon in your special someone’s arms, look no further than this list.
We’ve included everything that we believe is a must-watch, from the classics to romantic comedies, lesser-known indie movies, tragic love stories, some other warm and fuzzy romance favorites, and newer additions to the romance genre as well!
If you’re looking for a good cry or just in the mood for love, these are the most romantic movies that are sure to inspire those feelings. [Read: 15 sad romantic movies that will get those tears flowing]
You’re probably familiar with most of these classics, but it would be wrong not to include them. These are the most romantic movies of the ages.
They will go down in history and for good reason. And, we’ll bet you haven’t seen them all, so now is the time.
This epic Civil War drama follows Scarlett O’Hara’s life on a plantation. It details her struggles, love affairs, and her character growth from tragedy and romance.
The Notebook may be a more recent addition to the classics, but it truly is a classic. The love story between Allie and Noah spans years. Through a family’s disapproval, World War II, and more, this couple is the definition of true love.
Not everyone would say this is a love story, but it is an outsider’s view into a life of glitz and glam that is only the backdrop to a number of tragic love affairs. [Read: Vital lessons on love and life from The Great Gatsby]
It wouldn’t be a list of romantic movies without some Jane Austen. Inspired by her novel, this movie starring Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet, and Emma Thompson tells the story of a family’s financial struggles along with Marianne and Elinor’s desires to marry for love, but it isn’t that simple.
This tragic love story may be loosely based on a real tragedy but the love story is that of epic romantic fiction. A wealthy young woman living a dull and controlled life falls for an exciting yet poor man while on a journey to America. Fun adventures, lust, and disaster strike throughout this beautiful story.
Although The Princess Bride is a fairytale of giants, poison, and adventure, at its core it is purely a story of true love and the means by which one will go for another.
How could Romeo & Juliet not be on the list of best classic romantic movies?
Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation is an epic story of two star-crossed lovers doing everything they can to be together and dropping it in a modern telling of rival gangs, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. [Read: Oneitis and the obsessive effects of falling madly in love]
This black and white feature shows how time apart doesn’t waiver what true love can do. A married Ilsa returns to her old flame, Rick, after years apart, but will their love lead to romance or safety?
This love story takes place in a seedy nightclub that’s filled with secrets, broken promises, and an affair that seems impossible to sustain. But can they make it work?
This is another Jane Austen classic that just had to be added to the list of most romantic movies of all time.
This story follows the eldest sister of the Bennet family who, although required to marry, is stubborn and outspoken. When she meets Mr. Darcy, there is undeniable chemistry but shyness and a lack of communication complicate things.
The 2005 version starring Keira Knightley is a beautiful retelling of this classic novel. But if you want something a bit more fun and modern, Bridget Jones’ Diary is based on this story as well. [Read: 15 books every woman should read in her lifetime]
After a brief but passionate romance on a cruise, a couple promises to reunite at the top of the Empire State Building, but sudden tragedy strikes leading to heartbreak and questions about their true feelings.
This is one of the darkest romances on the list, but it is truly fascinating.
A widower marries a young woman who quickly realizes his first wife’s presence is lingering around their home. Their housekeeper makes life miserable for the young wife who must come to terms with her husband’s past.
A sweet childhood romance is cut short by a wealthy man’s interest leading to Heathcliff’s emotional departure. Years later, with a substantial fortune, he returns in hopes that he can win back his true love, but is it too late?
As with many old novel-to-film adaptations, there are many theatrical versions of Wuthering Heights. But we recommend watching the original 1939 version starring Sir Laurence Oliver, as this is widely heralded as the best film adaptation of the novel. [Read: 40 romantic movie quotes and love and relationships]
This may be a story of unexpected and inappropriate seduction, but it becomes a love story riddled with struggle, restraint, and surprise.
This is where the famous “Mrs. Robinson” nickname comes from if you’ve heard the term being thrown around but never knew where it came from.
Audrey Hepburn stars as Princess Ann who finds herself in need of saving while on vacation. It just so happens that the American man who saves her has an ulterior motive, but can love prove to be stronger?
Some people may not consider romantic comedies to truly be romance movies. But sometimes, they are some of the best. They may sometimes be cheesy or over the top, but the wild romantic gestures, weird best friends, and silly misunderstandings make them what they are.
This romantic comedy stars Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and Steve Carell. It features multiple love stories for characters of all ages and gives a glimpse into the imperfect world of dating and relationships. [Read: Unrealistic expectations that can ruin your love life]
Queen Latifah stars as Leslie Wright who gets her dream job as a physical therapist for a basketball star that she quickly develops feelings for, but it isn’t so easy. Someone close to Leslie catches his eye and attention for all the wrong reasons.
This romantic comedy set in New York stars Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks as two strangers who grow from a secret connection to hatred and anger, then friendship, and possibly more.
This is one of the newer romantic comedy movies that can be a pleasant surprise. Not only does it feature an Asian American cast, but it is also hilarious and heartfelt. Childhood best friends reconnect after years apart only to realize the shocking differences between them.
Julia Roberts stars as Kiki, the awkward assistant to her movie-star sister, Gwen. When Gwen needs to reconnect with her co-star and ex-husband for a movie premiere, Kiki’s life becomes complicated as she develops feelings for him that he is clueless to. [Read: 15 gut-wrenching signs your boyfriend is interested in your friend]
Up is a sweet animated film about a man dealing with the loss of his wife through grief and stubbornness. He is sent on a journey with a young boy that reminds him of what his late wife would have wanted for him.
The first 10 minutes of this film are an infamous tear-jerker, but the rest of the film is so sweet.
This is another Julia Roberts romantic comedy that pulls at the heartstrings.
A woman who can never seem to make it down the aisle becomes the star in a news story written by Ike, played by Richard Gere, but as his job is in jeopardy, he has to meet her. Although she is set to marry her fourth fiancé, Ike cannot help but fall for her.
Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek share a one-night stand in Nevada that leads to an unplanned pregnancy. This turns both their lives upside down as her family is extremely religious, while his is simply clueless.
Can they make it work between their differences and the pressure from his job in New York, or will it all come falling down?
Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston star as former classmates who begin to date as Stiller’s character is coming off a failed marriage. She is lovable, messy, and relaxed, opposite to his high-strung anxious self, but can those differences bring them together?
This two-in-one romantic movie takes place in the English countryside and Los Angeles. As two women switch homes for the holidays they both discover a lot about themselves and love.
Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher play awkward childhood friends who decide to become friends with benefits after years of almost moments, but true feelings inevitably get in the way of their situation. [Read: What do guys think of their female friends? 15 secrets revealed]
Tom Hanks falls in love with a mermaid. Can he protect her from paparazzi, scientists, and the government, or is their romance doomed?
This romantic movie deals with the question of whether men and women can just be friends without sex and attraction becoming an issue. But what do you think? [Read: Can men and women be friends? The answers you MUST know]
Sandra Bullock stars as a young woman pining for a stranger. One day, she saves his life and accidentally becomes a part of his family while he is in a coma. But while getting to know his brother, she realizes her love may have been misdirected.
This romantic film is a loose remake of What Women Want, starring Mel Gibson as a womanizer who can hear women’s thoughts. This version stars Taraji P. Henson as a woman trying to make it in a male-dominated career.
She uses her newfound skills of hearing men’s thoughts to get ahead, but her desire to succeed leads her to regrettable behavior that may just ruin her chances at true love and happiness. [Read: 15 qualities men secretly crave in their woman]
These love stories may not all have happy endings but the romance that carries them is heartfelt and timeless.
There are multiple versions of this movie, but the newest remake with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper is a must-watch. This is a story of addiction, fame, fortune, and a relationship that struggles to survive.
Based on a true story, Rachel McAdams stars as Paige who is married to Leo, played by Channing Tatum. After a shocking car accident, Paige tragically loses all her memories of their marriage and only remembers her former lover and life before him, but Leo will not give up on her and their love for anything. [Read: 20 things happy couples never do in a perfect relationship]
This Nicholas Sparks classic is the story of a gentle yet fierce young woman who through tutoring the most popular guy in school helps him become a truly decent man while he gets her out of her comfort zone. But, as their romance evolves, they are forced to grow up faster than most.
Taking place in the future, this romantic movie is about a robot named Andrew, played by Robin Williams, as he becomes a butler for the Martin family.
But from day one, the family realizes he is different than most. His desire for family leads him on a journey for companionship, humanity, and ultimately true love.
A man who uncontrollably moves through time falls in love with a woman his older self met when she was a young girl. His genetic anomaly causes them a great deal of pain and strife, but their love creates their version of a beautiful life. [Read: Realistic movies that can teach you a lot about love]
An angel played by Nicholas Cage spends time around humans only to become attached to a doctor who can somehow feel his presence. His feelings are so strong he decides to give up his wings to live a human life with her.
Two men in the ‘60s, a rodeo cowboy, and a ranch hand begin a torrid love affair that they keep secret from their eventual wives and families for over 20 years. But can they keep their secret forever?
A widow faces the loss of her husband while their romantic backstory is told throughout the movie. After his death, he leaves her letters to guide her through her grief and help her move on.
This romantic movie musical tells the tragic story of struggling New Yorkers dealing with addiction, love, and the AIDS epidemic during the 90s.
Even if musicals aren’t your thing, this story is so heartfelt and touching that the songs and performances make it even better.
The story of a young woman struggling with all aspects of her life after recovering from an illness takes a turn when she meets a romantic stranger that takes her life on a new path.
A woman unhappily married to a scientist is caught having an affair, but when her husband must travel to China to save lives, she joins him.
As he tries to make this experience torturous for her, their joint emotional journey challenges them and their marriage into new realizations. [Read: The best inspirational movies for when your motivation lags]
These lesser-known romances may not be epic romantic movies, but they show more relatable and realistic versions of love, life, and romance.
This is a story of two strangers coming together one night on the streets of New York for an unforgettable journey that changes their lives. Their encounter is short but so meaningful.
A high school outcast helps a jock woo the girl he likes while she is also struggling with unrequited love for the same beautiful girl.
Daniel Radcliffe proves he can do more than play Harry Potter in this sincere love story. After giving up on romance, he meets a girl he never expected to meet, but she is taken. They build a friendship but can they deny their true feelings? [Read: How to be friends with someone you like and not lose your mind]
You may find it odd, but this is a romantic movie about abortion. An unemployed comedian, Donna, hooks up with a graduate student, Max, and gets pregnant. She decides to have an abortion but after several awkward interactions with Max, she struggles with whether or not to tell him.
This love story follows six people with intertwining relationships through their lives and romances, and features a lot of humor.
A happy womanizer goes from his loose life to falling for his childhood friend’s younger sister. But his past catches up with him and if he wants to be with her, he’ll have to prove his intentions.
With the perfect coupling of John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph, this love story follows a pregnant couple across the country to find the perfect place to settle down and raise their family.
An online hook-up turns into a two-night relationship that they are forced to endure due to a snowstorm. [Read: The worst people you can ever have a one-night stand with]
This rare romance featuring two middle-aged characters follows Eva and Albert who both have teenage children.
As their relationship grows, Eva becomes friends with Albert’s ex-wife who constantly complains about him. But, over time, she lets these stories sour their relationship.
This seemingly simple couple has a crumbling marriage. As the beginning of their love story unfolds, we see how miserable their lives have become.
Not all romantic movies fit into a category, but these are a few warm and loving ones that are a great watch.
A couple that has known each other for years and bonded over their passion for basketball are pulled in opposite directions as their dedication to the sport pulls them apart.
When a young mother realizes she needs treatment for her severe alcohol addiction, her marriage struggles to adjust to this change. Their relationship was built on her outgoing personality that came with her drinking, so her sobriety changes things between them.
This movie is filled with bizarre scenes filled with heavy emotion, but it is such a brilliant movie.
After a brutal breakup, Clementine erases her memories of her ex so that she can move on. When he finds out what she did, he decides to do the same.
But they both discover that forgetting love may not be the best way to deal with the pain of loss. [Read: 15 very effective rules to forget someone you once cared for]
A budding romance between a musician and a driven young woman is cut short by a jolt in his career. Years later, after she is married, they run into each other, and sparks fly. Her new career, her marriage, and her long-lost love make her rethink her choices.
A woman who miraculously stopped aging at 29 decides to stop getting close to anyone after a history of heartbreak and non-stop running. On one New Year’s Eve, she meets a charming man who she can’t seem to shake, but their growing bond threatens to expose her secret.
With this title, you probably don’t know what to expect.
This is a story of a young writer who, after WWII, discovers a small group in a remote town who found solace in her book and reading in general. She leaves her fiancé to meet these people and learns about them and herself in the process. [Read: How to get to know yourself and reveal your life’s real passions]
This summer romance between two young men shows a deep yet brief look into secret desire and true love that is sure to lead to heartbreak due to society.
A young Irish woman leaves her mother and her home to come to New York. Seeking the promises America has to offer, she is quickly met with homesickness.
A romance changes her spirits but when her family calls her back to Ireland, she has to decide whether her marriage or her home means more.
A single woman doesn’t want to show up alone to her sister’s wedding where her ex is the best man, so she hires an escort as her date. Their secret pushes them together in ways neither of them expected.
Jessica, a young woman sick of the emotional rollercoaster and lackluster intimacy that is modern dating, decides to answer a personal ad in the woman-seeking-woman section.
She meets Helen who she hits it off with but her hesitancy to enter a lesbian relationship causes strain. Their relationship takes turns and teaches both of them a lot about themselves.
If you’re a romantic film aficionado, chances are that you’ve already watched a lot of films on these lists. If so, maybe you need some more recent film recommendations.
With so many films being released on streaming services every year, it’s hard to tell which ones are worth the watch and which ones are worth the skip. Well, take it from us, all of these are necessary watches.
Set in 17th-century Paris, Cryano follows the tale of a self-conscious master of words Cyrano de Bergerac. Too self-conscious to go after the woman of his dreams, he instead helps another man woo her through love letters.
Director Park Chan-wook delivers a fantastic gripping tale of mystery and deception in Decision to Leave. The film follows a detective as he investigates a man’s death in the mountains. During his investigation, he meets the deceased man’s wife, who provides more questions than answers.
If you’re a lover of Pride and Prejudice and other period dramas, then Lady Chatterley’s Lover should be on your watch-next list.
An unhappily married aristocrat engages in a hot and heavy affair with the gamekeeper on her husband’s country estate in this scandalous film.
A magical romance film, Three Thousand Years of Longing is a reimagining of the classic tale of the genie who offers three wishes to an unsuspecting person, but raunchier.
The Worst Person in the World is a Nordic film. If you don’t mind reading subtitles, then this is a film that you can’t miss.
This film follows the life of a young woman as she grapples with love, her career, and discovering herself.
A gripping telling of two love stories set in the past and in the present that will touch your heart.
Based on Jojo Moyes’s novel, The Last Letter from Your Lover will truly pull at your heartstrings. It tells the story of a journalist as she uncovers a trove of secret love letters.
Through the film, we find out about the torrid love affair between a financial journalist and the wife of a wealthy industrialist.
A French film about a painter who is hired to paint a wedding portrait of a young woman. However, she must do so without her ever finding out. As she follows this woman around, she falls in love in this touching sapphic love film.
You can never get enough of romantic movies! If you’re low on romantic movie recommendations, start with this perfectly beautiful list of the world’s most romantic movies that are a must-watch.
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