Although it is difficult for us to admit it, romantic cinema is one of the genres most demanded by the public. Love has been, is and will be the central axis of most films throughout the years, regardless of genre. However, if what you are looking for are love movies proper, we have selected for you the 32 best romantic movies, past and recent, to watch with your partner.
If you are one of those who are passionate about romantic cinema, here you have a careful selection of the best love and romance films to enjoy as a couple. In this list you will find great romantic movies that range from comedy to drama, but always with love as the main element.
- The Notebook
- Love Actually
- 500 Days of Summer
- My best friend’s Wedding
- When Harry Met Sally
- Love story
- Pretty woman
- Moulin rouge
- Sleepless in Seattle
- Notting hill
- 10 reasons to hate you
- Shakespeare in love
- Forget about me
- The Bridges of Madison County
- Four Weddings and a Funeral
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s
- The Princess Bride
- gone With the Wind
- Brokeback Mountain
- Love me if you dare
- Before dawn
- Call me by your name
- The shape of water
- A star has been born
- If Beale Street Could Talk
- The invisible thread
- My ex’s wedding
Also, as soon as you continue reading, you will see that we have included films with the faces of Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, the royalty of the romantic genre in the last 30 years. Although they are not the only ones, as you can see there are also some basic classic in the history of romantic cinema that are worth seeing.
The Notebook (2004) was one of the works with which Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams began to win over the public. The plot of this love film revolves around a quarrel, which serves as a diary and an old man reads to his wife. The newspaper tells of Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson, young lovers from North Carolina, from disparate social backgrounds. However, their families and the war would tear them apart.
Love Actually (2003) takes place in the United Kingdom and deals with the theme of love on the eve of Christmas. Richard Curtis ( A Matter of Time ) brought together a luxurious cast with this film: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andrew Lincoln, Thomas Brodie -Sangster, Rodrigo Santoro, Rowan Atkinson, Billy Bob Thornton… come on, you can get an idea of the quality of the cast. It is one of the classics of romantic cinema par excellence, yes or yes you have to do it with your partner. This plot of love stories leaves no one indifferent.
Titanic (1997) is one of the highest grossing and expensive romance films in history. The film tells the romance between Jack and Rose (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) are young people who meet on the fateful ocean liner and fall in love. But he is a humble hustler and she is a high society lady, destined to make vows in an unwanted marriage. By the way, this is one of the best movies of the 90s, so you don’t have to miss it.
500 Days of Summer
Marc Webb ( The Amazing Spider-man ) narrated this drama in which the whole process of a romantic relationship was followed: the first date, sex, life as a couple, separation, reproaches and “reconciliation”. The plot revolves around Tom and Summer, two diametrically opposed people, who nevertheless find common ground that will strengthen their relationship, while their lifestyles are gradually separating them.
That some of the phrases that appear in the film Casablanca are among the most repeated in the cinema is not by chance. Casablanca tells us a story, very different from what we were used to in Hollywood romantic cinema, there is no happy ending here; the sacrifice of letting go of the soul mate is the ritual presented by the film that immortalized Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, leaving scenes and dialogues that are legendary.
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Casablanca is one of the masterpieces of romantic cinema. Set in the Moroccan city of Casablanca during World War II, Michael Curtiz’s film introduces us to an ancient antihero who must choose between love or absolute good.
Anyone who has not seen a pottery wheel and has not thought of Ghost (1990) is because he has not seen it. The late Patrick Swayze gave us one of his best roles, alongside Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. In the film, Swayze’s character was killed for seemingly unknown reasons, but his ghost returned to protect his girlfriend. Unfortunately for him, this was easier said than done. Especially since she didn’t believe in the Hereafter.
My best friend’s Wedding
With My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) Julia Roberts made us smile more than once. Under the direction of PJ Hogan and with a luxury cast consisting of Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz and Rupert Everett, among others, he told us how a food critic realized that he was in love with his best friend.
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Our favorite redhead has only three days to come up with a plan to prevent the wedding. In Best Friend Wedding you will not only enjoy the actors and the plot of the film, you will also win over its soundtrack. In fact, it has one of the most memorable moments on the big screen when Julia’s editor, posing as her boyfriend, begins to sing along with the whole family of the future husband ” I Say a little pray for you.”
When Harry Met Sally
With this romantic film, director Rob Reiner ( The Princess Bride ) tries to answer the question of whether it is possible that there is friendship with sex involved. Meg Ryan plays Sally, who thinks so. While Billy Crystal plays Harry who doesn’t believe it. Despite this difference, their friendship (and also their love affairs) will last from college onwards.
Arthur Hiller’s Love Story (1970) left us the quote: “Loving means never having to say I’m sorry.” We are not going to discuss the correctness or truth of this statement. We leave that to you. Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal play two young men from different social classes, who meet and fall in love in college. However, her illness will be what ends up separating them.
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And from a Julia Roberts hit to a much earlier one. Pretty Woman (1992) became one of her biggest films, although the gossips say that she and her co-star Richard Gere couldn’t stand each other, and that since the actress was still a rookie, she gave some other trouble. And that’s not to mention that originally the tape was much darker. One day we will tell you in detail about her. At the moment we will only tell you that the end had to be recorded a whopping nine times. Almost nothing!
Moulin Rouge revolves around Satine, played by Nicole Kidman, the star of the most famous cabaret in Paris. The artist is trapped between the love of two men: the one she truly loves and the one who can make her dream of becoming an actress come true and leave prostitution behind. In show business, everything is allowed except falling in love, so everyone will try to prevent Satine and the writer from having an affair.
This love movie is one of the most original on this list and is set against the backdrop of the Moulin Rouge, a cabaret where passion and debauchery know no bounds. Criticisms of all kinds have been written about this story, both positive and negative, however they all agree that it is a different, shocking… unforgettable film.
Sleepless in Seattle
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan meet in Sleepless in Seattle (1993). Hanks plays Sam, a widowed architect who has barely gotten over the death of his wife. To cheer him up, his son Jonah calls a radio show, looking for his father to date. Hundreds of women are interested in Sam, but it will be Annie (Ryan) who becomes obsessed with meeting him, even though he is about to get married.
Julia Roberts + Hugh Grant = Success assured. Roger Michell’s Notting Hill (1999) tells the story with William (Hugh Grant), the owner of a small bookstore in the Notting Hill neighborhood. One day, Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) knocks on her door, the biggest star of the moment. Without eating or drinking it, the two of you will begin to develop a friendship that turns into something else.
10 reasons to hate you
10 Reasons to Hate You is a film starring a very young Heath Ledger and an imposing Julia Stiles. It’s about teenage love and is perfect for those who enjoy light rom-coms with a little zing. Gil Junger directed this film which, on the other hand, is inspired by ” The Taming of the Shrew ” by William Shakespeare.
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The Stratford sisters are very different: on one side is Blanca, a pretty and popular girl; on the other, Kat, a hot-tempered young woman who has made it her goal to reject any boy who shows the slightest interest in her. Unfortunately, the regulations governing the Stratford household prohibit Blanca from having a boyfriend until her sister has one.
However, her suitor, Cameron, has an ace up his sleeve so that the little girl can go to the prom. This romantic comedy was a huge hit at the US box office and was also the springboard for its two leads (also Gordon-Levitt), who topped the teen idol charts for years to come.
Shakespeare in love
A must for lovers of Shakespeare and historical fiction. Shakespeare in Love (1998) brought together Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Judi Dench, Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, Ben Affleck and Tom Wilkinson to tell a hypothetical story that would explain the source for some of William Shakespeare’s stories, when he fell in love of a woman of high birth, with whom he could not marry because of the sharp difference in classes.
Forget about me
Forget about me! features one of the most brilliant scripts in movie history. This romantic film tells an unusual love story. Joel (Jim Carrey) receives a letter one day informing him that his former girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet) has erased all the memories of their stormy relationship from his memory, so they ask him not to try to put in contact with her. The film, which shows us that science fiction cinema is not only futurism, dystopias or spaceships, is told with jumps in time, which makes it a constant entertainment.
The Bridges of Madison County
The Bridges of Madison County is a romantic movie but the subject is the complete opposite of the adolescent love of, say, 10 reasons to hate you. It is a slow story, much more intimate and realistic, that will reach the heart of a more mature audience. Clint Eastwood directs this film and plays the character of Robert. The love duo is completed by a brilliant Meryl Streep.
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In Madison County, a region of the United States famous for its covered bridges, Francesca lives the typical life of a housewife. She is bored with the monotony of home and, furthermore, her husband is a man always absent. One day Robert, an adventurous photographer who works for National Geographic, arrives at his door and has come to the area to do a report on the bridges.
Francesca’s husband is traveling and she, taking advantage of the fact that she is alone, welcomes him into her home. The two will share very special moments and she will be fascinated by the stories that Robert tells her. Little by little, a furtive love arises between them and Francesca is faced with the difficult decision to bet on her boring marriage or explore her feelings for Robert.
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Mike Newell ( The Prince of Persia, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ), directed Hugh Grant and Andie Macdowell in this comedy-drama. Grant is Charlie, a confirmed bachelor, who meets Carrie (Macdowell) at a wedding, with whom he falls in love. However, it will take years for the two to see each other again and by then Carrie will be engaged.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) could not be missed, since we are facing one of the most important love films in the entire history of cinema. Blake Edwards ( The Pink Panther ) directed this delightful film in which he cast an unlikely George Peppard ( A-Team Hannibal ) as a hunk, making him look like a kept young writer.
The Princess Bride
Did you really think that we would leave this great tape out of the bag? The Princess Bride is one of the great films of its time and critics praise it. The Princess Bride (1987) is also a Rob Reiner film. It is based on the original book by William Goldman (which you have to read, by the way) and narrates a hilarious adventure in which chases, romance, adventures, duels are mixed… oh, and a kiss that surpasses five kisses most passionate and pure in history. And we feel the SPOILER.
Audrey Tautou wowed audiences beyond French borders with the quirky and lovable character of Amelie. Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, this film tells the story of Amélie, a waitress in Montmartre (Audrey Tautou), who is determined to change her life and fix life for others.
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What is fascinating about this film, in addition to the anecdote it narrates and its soundtrack, is the aesthetic language and rhythm that the director develops, leaving his personal stamp on each scene full of magic and surprising details. Amélie is one of the must-see films for anyone who enjoys cinema. The setting, the color, the story, the characters, Amelie herself and the music.
Gone With the Wind
Gone with the Wind is one of the most famous romantic films in cinema history, the highest grossing for many years, the one that received the most Oscars until 1959. In this feature film we meet an unforgettable Scarlet O’Hara (Vivien Leigh ), a southern beauty full of pride and ambition that added to her great passion for Ashley Wilkes. Wilkes not only rejects her but also commits himself to his cousin, Melanie O’Hara, constituting the love triangle winner of ten Oscars, one of them for Leigh as best actress.
Scarlett meets a rich ‘boner’ who somehow won’t stop watching for her, since she sincerely falls in love with someone similar to him: Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). Set during the Civil War in the United States, the film highlights the value of the land where you were born, the struggle to get ahead at whatever cost and how you can discover the love that has been close when it is too late.
The film tells the story of Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), two young men who met and fell in love during the summer of 1963 while working herding sheep on Brokeback Mountain, in Wyoming, United States..
Based on a short story by Pulitzer winner Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain takes us back to the traditional American society of the 1960s. Jack and Ennis are going to be in charge of herding sheep for a whole summer in a mountain area in Wyoming. After weeks of work, with the unapproachable landscape as a refuge, and with a few more whiskeys on his body, one night an unbearable sexual encounter breaks out. The next day, in a conversation of no more than three lines, both decide to make it private. And even though they pretend to deny themselves, the instinct is stronger.
The film tells the story of their lives and their ongoing but complex relationship for two decades, which continues as they both marry their girlfriends and have children.
Love me if you dare
Love me if you dare is a modern fairy tale tells the love-hate story of the protagonists under a series of tortuous relationships. Sophie (Marion Cotillard) and Julien (Guillaume Canet) start a game as children. Julien is given a tin box and proposes to his Polish classmate, Sophie, to play the game of “You dare.” Over the years, the game levels up and the couple is tested to unsuspected limits, passing from everything that surrounds them because the only thing that matters is the rules of their game, which they themselves direct. It all started as innocent fun, but as time goes by the fun restricts your own freedom to say “I love you.”
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With an “Amelie” style aesthetic, this film will produce mixed feelings of love and hate, as well as the feelings of the characters themselves.
Richard Linklater directs this film about youthful love. This film uses numerous resources that are very recurrent in commercial cinema of this genre, but the background is much deeper than it may seem at first. Before Dawn plays with time and space to show the relationship between these two characters: Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke).
Celine, a French student, and Jesse, a young American who is traveling Europe to get over the breakup with his girlfriend, meet on a train trip to Paris. Jesse has to get off in Vienna because the next day he returns to his country, but manages to convince Celine to spend the night with him in the Austrian capital.
During those hours together they will get to know each other thoroughly, talk and discuss about topics such as life, death or sex. The dialogues are very well elaborated and, thanks to this, the viewer will attend an authentic experience in every way. Linklater managed to create a good love movie that he surpassed a few years later with its sequel: Before Sunset. In 2013 he made Before Nightfall, a film with which he closed this romantic trilogy known as the Before Trilogy.
Call me by your name
Released in 2017, Call Me by Your Name tells the story of Elio Perlman, a 17-year-old who is spending the warm summer of 1983 in his parents’ country house in northern Italy lounging around until one day Oliver arrives., his father’s new American helper. Oliver is a charming young man and, like Elio, has Jewish roots. At first Elio is a bit cold and distant towards Oliver, but soon the two begin to go out together and as the summer progresses, the mutual attraction of the couple becomes more intense.
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Directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, the film won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and had four nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Chamaler. Without a doubt one of the best romantic movies to enjoy as a couple.
The shape of water
Directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg and Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water places us in the middle of the Cold War and tells the story of Eliza, a cleaning employee Mute woman who works in a government facility that hides secret laboratories and whose life will change completely when she discovers there a creature that is like a kind of amphibian-man with unique qualities that lives locked up and is the victim of various experiments. Little by little Eliza feels sympathy for this strange being and will end up falling in love with the creature, an unusual connection taking place between them. You can read our review of The Shape of Water here.
A star has been born
With eight Oscar nominations, obtaining the award for Best Song, A Star is Born is one of the best films that we can find today within the romantic genre.
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Starring Bradley Cooper (who also acts as director), Lady Gaga and Sam Elliot, the film tells the story of Jackson Maine, a consecrated music star who one night meets and falls in love with Ally, a young artist who fights for get ahead in show business. Just when Ally is about to give up her dream of becoming a singer, Jack decides to help her on her way to fame. But the tour will be much harder than you imagine. Here’s our review of A Star Is Born.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Following this review of the best romantic films we have The Blues of Beale Street, a film directed by Barry Jenkins and starring KiKi Layne and Stephan James. Its plot revolves around Tish, a young African American who lives with her family in Harlem in the 70s and who sees how her fiancé is wrongly accused of a crime he has not committed. In this way, the couple, who are expecting a child, see their plans and illusions of forming a home truncated. Together with his family, he will have to move forward with his relationship and try to clarify the case to recover his partner by facing the barrier of social prejudice.
Starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams, Disobedience is about a woman raised in an orthodox Jewish family who returns home on the occasion of the death of her father. Soon the controversy appears when she begins to feel attracted to an old childhood friend, with whom she begins a passionate relationship.
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The filmmaker Sebastián Lelio recounts this drama of forbidden love in a masterly way, where its protagonists have to keep their relationship a secret due to the strict regime that the religion and beliefs of their families impart. Undoubtedly one of the most recommended love movies of recent years.
The invisible thread
With a cast of the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville, Vicky Krieps, Richard Graham, Bern Collaco, Jane Perry, Camilla Rutherford, Pip Phillips, Dave Simon and Ingrid Sophie Schram, The Invisible Thread tells the story of Reynolds Woodcock, a designer tasked with creating the finest apparel for high society and the royal family during post-war London. Women go through their lives without leaving a trace in their minds until a beautiful young woman named Alma appears, who becomes their muse and lover. However, his perfectly structured life will be altered by the arrival of Alma and that is something that the designer did not contemplate.
My ex’s wedding
Starring Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder, My Ex’s Wedding tells the peculiar love story of Lindsay and Frank, two unfortunate and unfriendly wedding guests who share quite a few things in common: they both hate the bride, groom, concept the marriage itself, themselves and others. Little by little both will begin to feel something for each other, seeing themselves immersed in a process that they neither understand nor accept.
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This romantic film stands out especially for being quite atypical to the traditional style of the films of the genre, making certain parodies of the wedding clichés and seeing how the main couple has to deal with a sentimental relationship despite being quite against everything this style. Without a doubt, a highly recommended option for those couples looking to see something different from the usual.
So far our list of the best romantic and love films in film history to watch as a couple. They are not few, so you already have tasks for days. And for you, what is your favorite romantic movie?