The 50 Best Romantic Movies Of All Time

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50 Best Romantic Movies Of All Time
Love

Classic romance never gets old.

No matter how many times you watch them, some classic romance movies will never get old. You can watch them a thousand times and still get the same feeling as the first time you watched them.

From Hollywood's Golden Age to beloved vintage classics, the greatest love stories in the best romantic movies are timeless.

The best romantic movies are those that are known for making us laugh, scream and cry — often all at the same time. Though they may not be based on true love stories, they ring true in a ways most of us can relate to.

Most people, even if they won't admit it, believe in true love, and movies that set our sense of romance on fire keep the flames of hope alive even on the darkest days.

Much of what makes some films truly great is way they inspire us to feel authentic emotions. The greatest romance movies of all time go beyond selling us a fairytale. They make us think about the power of love. They motivate us to keep going, even when everything and everyone seems to be against us.

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It is in our nature as human beings to love and be loved. The best of the best movies remind us to hold onto that simple fact.

While there is an endless supply of good movies to watch when you're in the mood for some romance, we've narrowed the choices down to what we feel are 50 must-sees for anyone who loves a good love story.

Enjoy! Here's are the 50 best romantic movies of all time, plus where you can watch them right now.

1. Dirty Dancing (1987)

This classic romance stars actress Jennifer Grey as Francis "Baby" Houseman, a young woman spending the summer at a resort with her parents. While there, she meets a dance instructor named Johnny, played by the late Patrick Swayze. They end up falling in love as Baby is enlisted as Johnny’s new dance partner. What started off as another boring summer ends up being the time of their lives.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

2. Titanic (1997)

This movie captures a fictional take on a historical tragedy: the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic, the largest moving object to have been built at the time. The Titanic was a ship of dreams, so it's fitting that James Cameron's epic film is centered around the dream-like love story of Rose, a 17-year old noblewoman played by Kate Winslet, and Jack, the 20-year old portrait artist of a lower class played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

"Titanic" quickly smashed records as the highest-grossing film of all time. Over two decades later, it's currently holding strong at number 5.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

3. Pretty Woman (1990)

In this romantic comedy, Julia Roberts plays a prostitute whose life is forever changed when Richard Gere asks her back to his hotel for the night. The two grow closer as they spend more time together, even though they soon realize coming from such different worlds presents multiple obstacles.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

4. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Tom Hanks stars as a widowed father who unexpectedly ends up on a talk radio show after his young son calls in to say his dad needs a new wife. His story is heard by women across the world, who send letters to his home in Seattle. Meg Ryan finds herself so moved by Hanks’ story that, despite being engaged to someone else, Ishe decides she must meet him.

Where to watch: Amazon, Vudu

5. Before Sunrise (1995)

During a fateful train ride, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meets Celine (Julie Delpy), and the two build a unique connection as they engage in a long and meaningful conversation. Taking a leap of faith, Jesse asks Celine to get off the train with him in Vienna instead of continuing on to Paris as she'd planned. The two explore the city, having the time of their lives, and making parting ways in the morning terribly hard.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

6. Before Sunset (2004)

This sequel takes place nine years after "Before Sunrise." Jesse, now an author, travels around Europe sharing the story of his one night spent in Vienna with Celine. When he stops in Paris, he encounters Celine and they spend another day together catching up.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

This science fiction take on romantic drama revolves around an estranged couple, played by Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, who erase each other from their memories, The filmmakers used "elements of the psychological thriller and a nonlinear narrative to explore the nature of memory and romantic love."

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

8. The Notebook (2004)

Based on Nicholas Sparks' novel of the same name, "The Notebook" has become revered as one of the greatest love stories told. The two lovers face many struggles, including being separated by Allie’s (Rachel McAdams) upper-class parents, who disapprove of her relationship with Noah (Ryan Gosling).

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

9. Romeo + Juliet (1996)

This classic Shakespeare tragedy features Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo, who falls in love with Claire Danes' Juliet after the star-crossed lovers meet at a masked ball. Their love presents a major problem, as their families are rival gangs who hate each other.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

10. Beauty and the Beast (2017)

"Beauty and the Beast" proves that true love can conquer all. A prince-turned-Beast (Dan Stevens), must fall in love with Belle (Emma Watson), or be forever doomed to remain in the form of a monster.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

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11. Always Be My Maybe (2019)

This film revolves around characters played by Randall Park and Ali Wong, both of whom also served as screenwriters. The two play Marcus and Sasha, childhood friends who cut off contact after a failed attempt at romance as teenagers. When they meet again as adults, chemistry sparks once again — but not without a few challenges.

Where to watch: Netflix

12. Casablanca (1942)

This old Hollywood classic follows night club owner Rick (Humphrey Bogart), who has hidden letters from refugees desperate to escape Nazi Germany. In the midst of resulting troubles with the police, Rick is reunited with Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), with whom he shares a rocky past.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

13. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

"Brokeback Mountain" follows lives of two married men who unexpectedly find themselves falling in love with one another. The highly acclaimed performances by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal take the viewer through an emotional journey on which powerful love is accompanied by both great joy and tremendous heartbreak.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

14. While You Were Sleeping (1995)

Lucy Moderatz, played by Sandra Bullock, finds herself in a sticky situation after she rescues her crush Peter (Peter Gallagher) from a train accident. While Peter remains in a coma, his family takes Lucy in after they mistakenly come to believe she is his fiancée.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

15. Ghost (1990)

"Ghost" tells the story of a banker named Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze), who is murdered by a corrupt friend, leaving his girlfriend, Molly Jenson (Demi Moore), in grief and alone. Sam's spirit finds itself roaming the Earth, engaging the help of psychic Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg) in order to set things right and prevent any harm from coming to Molly.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

16. Love and Basketball (2000)

"Love and Basketball" focuses on the love story that develops between neighbors and aspiring basketball players Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy McCall (Omar Epps).

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

17. The Graduate (1967)

Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), a recent college graduate returns to his parents home, where he is seduced by Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), a married friend of his parents, before falling in love with her daughter.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

18. Moonstruck (1987)

Loretta Castorini (Cher) begins to fall in love with her fiancé's estranged brother Ronny (Nicholas Cage). As family secrets collide, they must each make an effort to find resolution.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

19. Shakespeare In Love (1998)

Filled with drama, this classic romance is centered around playwright William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes), who is suffering from writer's block. He soon finds his voice after meeting a beautiful woman (Gwyneth Paltrow), who is posing as a man in order to act in his play.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

20. Grease (1978)

"Grease" captures the adventures of a group of high school students in the 1950s. After what they thought was a sweet but short-lived summer romance, Sandy Olsen (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny Zuko (John Travolta) meet again when their senior year at Rydell High begins.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

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21. Ladyhawke (1985)

Matthew Broderick stars as a young thief who find himself stuck as the unwilling assistant to a cursed warrior and his lady.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

22. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Timothée Chalamet plays Elio Perlman, a teen who falls in love with his father's assistant, Oliver (Armie Hammer), over the course of a summer spent at the family's Italian villa.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

23. The Big Sick (2017)

This semi-autobiographical story follows Pakistani Uber driver by day, stand up comic by night Kumail Nanjiani as he meets and falls in love with American graduate student Emily (Zoe Kazan), who soon ends up hospitalized and in a coma.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

24. The Princess Bride (1987)

To comfort his sick grandson (Fred Savage), a loving grandfather (Peter Falk), reads him the story of The Princess Story, enacted in the boy's vivid imagination by one of the best casts of all time, including Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, André the Giant, and Billy Crystal.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

25. Carol (2015)

"Carol" tells the compelling story of an affair between an aspiring photographer (Rooney Mara) and an older woman (Cate Blanchett) in the grips of a bitter divorce during the 1950s.

Where to watch: Amazon, Vudu

26. Belle (2014)

This British period piece was inspired by a 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle beside her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, at Kenwood House, "which was commissioned by their great-uncle, William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, then Lord Chief Justice of England... The fictional film centres on Dido's relationship with an aspiring lawyer; it is set at a time of legal significance, as a court case is heard on what became known as the Zong massacre, when slaves were thrown overboard from a slave ship and the owner filed with his insurance company for the losses. Lord Mansfield rules on this case in England's Court of King's Bench in 1786, in a decision seen to contribute to the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act of 1807."

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

27. About Last Night (2014)

Per Somy Pictures official synopsis of this remake of the 1986 film of the same name, this film is a "modern reimagining of the classic romantic comedy, this contemporary version closely follows new love for two couples as they journey from the bar to the bedroom and are eventually put to the test in the real world."

Where to watch: Amazon, Vudu

28. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

This indie pic, starring Nia Vardalos as Fotoula "Toula" Portokalos, a Greek American woman who falls in love with non-Greek Ian Miller (John Corbett), took everyone by surprise when it became the top grossing romantic comedy of all time back in 2002.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

29. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

This timeless classic follows the decades long journey of Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) from grudging post-college road trip mates to best friends to lovers to sworn enemies to husband and wife.

Where to watch: Amazon, iTunes

30. Two For The Road (1967)

As Mark Wallace (Albert Finney) and his wife Joanna (Audrey Hepburn) drive through Northern France to reach a celebration in Saint-Tropez, the troubled couple simultaneously take a winding trip up and down the proverbial memory lane, revisiting their very best and worst of times.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

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31. Say Anything... (1989)

Would be professional kick-boxer Lloyd Dobbler (John Cusack) is determined to win the seemingly cold heart of valedictorian Diane (Ione Skye). The challenge is surprisingly easier than anyone expected, but there are greater challenges to come for them both.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

32. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

This film's title pretty much says it all. Hugh Grant plays an adorable chap named Charles who, over the course of four weddings and one funeral, eagerly, if sometimes floppingly, pursues the heart of a glamrous American named Carrie (Andie McDowell).

Where to watch: Amazon, Tubi

33. Moulin Rouge (2001)

Christian (Ewan McGregor), ​a young English poet, falls desperately in love with actress and courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman), who also happens to be the star of a cabaret called the Moulin Rouge.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

34. Monsoon Wedding (2001)

Per IMDB, "A stressed father, a bride-to-be with a secret, a smitten event planner, and relatives from around the world create much ado about the preparations for an arranged marriage in India."

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

35. To All the Boys I Loved Before (2018)

Based on the 2014 novel of the same name, this film tells the story of Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor), a high school junior who writes letters to boys she has crushes on, then locks them in her closet for (what she thinks is) safe keeping.

Where to watch: Netflix

36. Like Water for Chocolate (1992)

This Mexican film, which uses a style known as "magical realism" to tell the story of a woman named Tita struggling with love and family tradition in the early 1900s, became the highest grossing foreign-language film ever released in the U.S. at the time.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube, Netflix

37. An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

Richard Gere plays a man working to complete the necessary requirements of Navy Officer Candidate School in order to become an aviator. He is helped along the way by his tough gunnery Sergeant (Louis Gossett Jr.) and his girlfriend (Debra Winger).

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

38. Love Story (1970)

This tear-jerker of a classically tragic love story (hence the title) tells the story of snooty Harvard student Oliver Barrett IV (Ryan O'Neal) and endearing but working class Radcliffe student Jennifer "Jenny" Cavilleri (Ali MacGraw). Fun fact: this film gave us the famous, albeit ridiculously toxic quote for the ages: "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

39. The Bodyguard (1992)

It's a little known fun Hollywood fact that this film about a former Secret Service agent-turned-bodyguard (Kevin Costner) who falls in love with an Academy Award winning actress and musical superstar (Whitney Houston) after being hired to protect her from a stalker, was originally written in the 1970s for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

40. Somewhere In Time (1980)

If you've never seen this one, you're probably far from alone, but you're also missing out on what is undeniably one of the most romantic movies of all time. Christopher Reeve plays Richard Collier, a present-day playwright who becomes obsessed with a photograph of a young woman (Jane Seymour) that was taken in 1912. Using self-hypnosis, he travels back in time to find her.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

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41. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Set in the late eighteenth century, a female painter (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned to paint a secret wedding portrait of a young woman (Adèle Haenel), leading the two into a forbidden affair.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

42. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Bradley Cooper plays Patrizio "Pat" Solitano Jr., "a man with bipolar disorder who is released from a psychiatric hospital and moves back in with his parents... Pat meets a young widow, Tiffany Maxwell, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, who offers to help him get his wife back if he enters a dance competition with her."

Where to watch: Amazon, Vudu

43. Splash (1984)

This joyful film follows the story of Allen Bauer (Tom Hanks), as he falls in love with Madison (Darryl Hannah), the "woman" (read: mermaid), he soon realizes he first met when they were both children (or child and mer-child?).

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

44. The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

Adapted from the 2010 novel of the same name, this film follows the Kadam family as they move from India to France and open a restaurant, putting them in direct competition with the snobbish Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube, Netflix

45. A Walk to Remember (2002)

Another film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, "A Walk To Remember" tells the story of Landon Carter (Shane West) and Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), teenagers living in North Carolina who find themselves thrown together when Landon is given after-school community service as a punishment for pulling a dangerous prank.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

46. The Photograph (2020)

"The Photograph" tells the story of "the estranged daughter (Issa Rae) of a famous photographer who falls in love with the journalist (Lakeith Stanfield) who is investigating her late mother's life."

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

47. The English Patient (1996)

Over the course of this beautiful film, a man known as the English patient, his face having been burned beyond recognition, tells his story to the young nurse who is caring for him, eventually revealing his identity as the details of his pre-World War II love affair unfold in flashbacks.

Where to watch: Amazon, Vudu

48. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

This modern take on Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" set in an Anywhere, USA, high school first introduced us to Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

49. Notting Hill (1999)

Julia Roberts plays an American movie star who casually strolls into the store of a London book seller (Hugh Grant), eventually winning his heart.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube

50. For Lovers Only (2011)

"For Lovers Only" follows ex-lovers Sofia, a journalist and former model, and Yves, a former fashion photographer, as they reunite and travel together from Normandy to St. Tropez via train, car and motorcycle.

Where to watch: Amazon, Tubi

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Alexis George is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.

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