With so many different tastes in movies, it can sometimes be a pain to settle on one film that everyone likes. The good news is that when it’s just you and your partner cuddling in front of the TV for a good ol’ fashioned romantic film, you’re bound to agree on one. Sure, there are lots of rom-coms out there, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend the majority of your night deciding on which one to watch. The films below are some of the best romantic movies of all time and you two will no doubt find one you’ll both love!
Okay. We had to start with the classics. This is one of the movies where there’s a little something for everyone: a love story, ships sinking, huge jewels, and a lively debate about whether there was enough room on that door. Titanic is one of the movies that might be a marathon to watch, but it’s also something you should see at least once in your life. And, hey, hopefully –SPOILER ALERT– when Rose lets go of Jack and watches him sink to his death, it’ll encourage you to hold onto your partner a little tighter.
The Big Sick (2017)
Here’s a modern-day romantic comedy that really focuses on the things everyday people need to deal with. Family issues surrounding interracial relationships, dramatic events that bring people together, and comedic breaks to break the tension are all things you have to look forward to with this film. The Big Sick garnered worldwide attention and easily became one of the best rom-coms in recent years due to its storytelling and incredible actors.
The Notebook (2004)
I’m fairly sure there isn’t one list of the top romantic movies out there that doesn’t have The Notebook on it. Skipping past the fact that Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams basically hated each other during filming, the movie is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name. It retells a love story between two people who probably shouldn’t have been together, but find their way to each other anyway. Plus, you know, there are plenty of scenes in there that will make you cry, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
This movie is another classic example of actors not getting along during filming, but that shouldn’t deter you from watching! Dirty Dancing also gave us classic scenes that drunk girls and couples alike still try to mimic to this day. A somewhat forbidden love, tons of dancing, and the infamous “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” await you and your partner in this flick that has been aging like fine wine.
Here’s another modern-day romance movie that focuses on Joaquin Phoenix’s brilliant acting and bizarre love story with a computer. Don’t scroll to the next one just yet! She’s a highly advanced computer who can think, feel, understand human emotions, and engage in deep conversations. She also just happens to be voiced by Scarlet Johansson. With incredible performances from supporting actresses Amy Adams and Rooney Mara, Her is something you should really give your time to.
Lost in Translation (2003)
Speaking of Scarlet Johansson, Lost in Translation is one of those terrific romantic films that also encapsulates the realness of mid-life crises, confusion towards one’s own relationship, and finding friendship in unexpected places. Bill Murray plays an aging actor who needs to shoot a whiskey ad in Tokyo. He then meets the young Johansson and the two develop a deep connection over their time in Tokyo. This adorable film is more on the romantic side of things than anything else and that’s what makes it so special.
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
It may have been a long time since we’ve seen Meg Ryan woo someone onscreen, but she used to be America’s darling and this film just proves it. The movie revolves around her and Tom Hanks essentially trying to find one another after Hanks calls into a radio show talking about how much he misses his late wife. His sassy 8-year-old son accompanies him throughout the city trying to find her and they get into some serious heart-to-hearts along the way. An oldie but a goodie.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
For those who have seen this movie, it might not seem like the most romantic thing for some. But, I beg to differ. Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey star in this masterpiece about a couple who undergo a breakup and then go to extreme lengths to try and forget one another. Essentially, each party agrees on a procedure that will effectively remove the other from their memories. The movie unfolds as Carrey’s memories begin to disappear and he relives all the best moments with this woman. This film will get you thinking and probably tearing up, which is why it’s considered one of the best films of the 21st century.
This is easily the oldest film on our list but it deserves a place here. Casablanca is a classic romantic film that holds up after all this time. The movie tells the tale story of a successful club owner, Rick, discovering his old lover, Ilsa, is in Casablanca with her current husband. Things only get stickier when Ilsa’s current husband is revealed to be a famed rebel, causing Rick to protect the two of them from Nazis. Amid all the action is the still-burning flame of Rick and Ilsa, which makes this classic film a perfect choice for a romantic movie night.
Before Sunrise series (1995 – 2013)
There’s no way we could have excluded this movie series in our best romantic movies list. We’re including the three (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight) as one because they really do work best when they’re together. Sometimes it takes three beautiful movies to fully explain the love between two people who always loved each other and never stop thinking about the other. Personally, I love Before Sunrise best because there’s something tragic yet romantic about only having one night with a person you could spend forever with.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
For some reason, Brokeback Mountain is still not given the credit it deserves as one of the top romantic movies of all time. This tale of forbidden love comes in the form of a cowboy and ranch hand who fall for each other hard. Once their time together is over they go on to marry separate women, but the feelings they had for one another continues to linger and they’re forced to remember their true loves as the movie progresses. This movie isn’t super old, but it deals with some serious topics that still linger in today’s world.
You know, there’s something to be said for a guy who comes back from the dead just to protect you from creepy men. After almost 30 years it’s hard to imagine anyone who hasn’t seen Ghost (or at least knows about that one pottery scene) but Patrick Swayze returns from the dead, using Whoopi Goldberg’s psychic character as a way to communicate, in order to protect his loved one from a thieving creep show. Talk about love.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
We all grew up with this one and for a good reason! There was something so charming about watching Belle enchant this beast so much that he not only changed his entire demeanor but also managed to have Belle love him back. Throw in a bad guy, singing candlesticks, and a romantic dance sequence with Belle in her classic yellow gown, and you have a recipe for one of the cutest Disney films of all time. That is, of course, if you stay away from all the current criticisms and just focus on what it was back in the ’90s.
Pretty Woman (1990)
Aside from the classic scene where Julia Roberts tells off those snooty saleswomen, Pretty Woman has maintained a special place in our hearts for decades now. Roberts plays a lady of the night who is picked up by the successful businessman, Richard Gere. The two form an unlikely duo as their feelings grow stronger for one another in this classic case of two worlds colliding. There are a lot of heartfelt moments that earned this flick the title of one of the best romantic movies.
Juno is easily one of the best little indie flicks with a strong cast (Ellen Page, J.K. Simmons, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, Allison Janney) and hilarious real-life scenarios. After Juno gets pregnant from her high school bud she needs to come to terms with carrying a child, the judgment accompanying a pregnant high school student, her feelings for her friend, and the definition of “sexually active.” This movie still holds up today and is a great, hilarious film to end our top romantic movies list with!