Whether you’re blissfully in love or you roll your eyes every time you see another piece of Valentine’s Day propaganda, sometimes all it takes is a little nudge to get you into the spirit of the season. With that in mind, here are our top 20 Best Romance Movies to indulge in while you knock back on the cinnamon hearts, smell the roses, and pretend that you didn’t just singlehandedly eat an entire box of chocolates.
Bridget Jones’ Diary
If you’re tired of the typical female protagonists in many romantic movies, Bridget Jones will be your new best friend. Jones is middle-aged, single, a smoker, an alcoholic, full-figured, and completely endearing. René Zellweger is hilarious as the offbeat Bridget Jones, who is trying to turn her life around as she attempts to quit smoking, exercise more, achieve career success, and find the right
guy, all the while keeping a diary of her progress.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
This film is more com than rom, giving your anti-romance movie partner reason to watch it. This movie celebrates not only romantic love in marriage, but also self-love as protagonist Toula needs to accept herself before she can fully enjoy her romance with Ian. Even if you’re not Greek (which I am not), this movie will have you laughing at the Portokalos family’s traditional values and applauding Toula’s efforts to make changes to her life.
This movie follows perpetual bridesmaid and hopeful romantic Jane Nichols as she plans her sister Tess’s wedding to the man that Jane is in love with. Throw in cynical wedding reporter Kevin Doyle’s competing ideas about romance, and you have the perfectly crafted traditional rom-com plot. Whether you relate to Jane’s or Kevin’s opinions on love, no one can resist smiling at the conclusion of the film.
The Spectacular Now
This movie is acclaimed for its gut-wrenching, honest portrayal of young love. Shailene Woodley is the shy, friendly Aimee Finicky, who ends up hitting it off with the popular and outgoing Sutter Keely (Miles Teller). While Keely believes that “living in the now” means being as adventurous and irresponsible as possible, Finicky dreams of leaving their small town to get a university education. This movie does away with traditional romance movie clichés and instead shows audiences the highs and lows of young love.
Any film produced, written, and directed by John Hughes becomes a classic, setting the tone for many of today’s teen movies. Sixteen Candles is no exception. Follow Molly Ringwald as Samantha Baker, whose sweet sixteen is nothing like she imagined it would be. Full of embarrassing and hilarious teenage encounters, this movie will bring you back to your high school days, when love seemed like the most enticing and forbidden treat.
The F Word
Harry Potter in a romantic film? You bet! In this movie, Daniel Radcliffe plays adorably awkward Wallace, who has a crush on his friend Chantry. The big problem? Chantry already has a boyfriend. Anyone who’s ever been stuck in the “friend zone” can relate to this smart and slightly unconventional rom-com.
Thirty-seven-year-old Mike gets a chance to go back to being 17 and rethink his decision of marrying his wife Scarlet. After going through it all again, he realizes it was the best decision of his life. This Valentine’s Day, take some time to rekindle the love between you and your partner by watching this movie and remembering the exact moment you fell in love, and why you wouldn’t change that moment for anything.
Like many movies these days, this one was based on a novel. As someone who has experienced this story through both mediums, I can say that One Day doesn’t fall into the category of “movies that sucked compared to the book”. This love story takes us on a journey as we watch the unfolding of Emma and Dexter’s romance through the lens of the same day every year. It’s equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking. Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess perform the complications of a true love with grace.
Imagine yourself going through an accident that steals memories from your life. Or imagine watching this happen to someone you love, realizing that you are one of the memories they lost. The Vow takes us through both of these difficult situations. You’ll root for Channing Tatum’s character, Leo, as he tries to make the love of his life, Paige (Rachel McAdams), remember the life they built together. This movie will make you believe in the possibility and power of a true, enduring love.
Letters to Juliet
This is one of my favorite love stories because it models the idea of love that lasts forever. Today we express our feelings to each other through social media and technology. But this movie is about a couple that separated years ago and lived their lives without any contact. Yet when one letter reunites them years later, they discover that the love between them never left. If a romantic letter isn’t enough to make you fall in love with the film, the Romeo and Juliet–themed balcony scenes and the romance of Italy surely will.
The Back-Up Plan
The Back-Up Plan is the story of Zoe, a woman who has given up on finding Mr. Right. After deciding that she wants to be a single mother and undergoes artificial insemination, Zoe finds the love of her life in a hunk named Stan—but she’s pregnant. This is a perfect Valentine’s Day movie for you and your partner because like Zoe and Stan, your love life may not always go as planned. If you stick together though, you might just end up being part of an unexpected fairy tale.
The Hundred-Foot Journey
As a foodie, I totally think that romance and food go hand-in-hand. This film is about two competing restaurants situated across the street from one another. One is owned by an eccentric Indian family, the other by a strict French chef. While both the owners and their novice chefs eventually warm up to each other, the antics of each restaurant trying to out-do the other is hilarious. This movie will feed your love affair with food, while the stunning visuals stir up a different brand of desire.
This epic film starring Tom Hanks follows the loveable Forrest Gump as he regales a collection of strangers at a bus stop with the story of his incredible life. In snapshots we see Gump meet childhood friend Jenny, whom he remains lifelong friends with despite the very different lives they lead. Gump’s innocence and desire to protect Jenny as she grows into a rebellious young woman makes for an epic love story that never feels cheesy or fake.
Whoever said robots weren’t capable of love has definitely never met Wall-E, garbage-collecting robot and hopeless romantic. While humanity lives on a spaceship since the destruction of Earth’s environment, Wall-E lives alone on Earth. That is, until he meets Eve, a robot sent on a mission to Earth. While Eve and Wall-E share few words, their romance is as genuine as any human love. While Eve is fierce and driven, Wall-E is timid, and yet finds courage as the two journey to save the planet.
Beauty and the Beast
Sure, it’s a kid’s movie, but you can’t deny that it’s got a beautiful message: true love has no eyes and admit it, the Beast is one smooth leading man. I’m sure all my fellow bookworms can agree that getting an entire library as a gift is amazing. Oh, and battling Gaston on the precarious castle roof? Now that’s what I call a romantic gesture.
Who says Christmas movies can’t get a shout-out for Valentine’s Day? I say that twinkling lights and a snowy countryside scream “romance” no matter what time of year! Strangers Amanda and Iris decide to exchange homes for the holidays to escape their problematic love lives, Amanda travelling to snowy England and Iris to sunny California. Despite their efforts to forget about love, romance finds the ladies wherever they are. Hot chocolate and cozy blankets are required while watching this one.
Crazy Stupid Love
If the star-filled cast wasn’t alluring enough, the irresistible, funny, and heart-warming stories in this movie will brighten your night. At first, each plotline seems to stand on its own, but an unpredictable twist will have you jumping up in your seat. You’ll laugh, cry, and reflect on your own experiences with love. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a topless Ryan Gosling lift Emma Stone in that iconic Dirty Dancing dance move?
500 Days of Summer
Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt make the perfect pair in this dysfunctional and creative romantic comedy. It’s not your typical love story, and it’s so easy to fall in love with. It’s not told in chronological order, and it doesn’t have a predictable ending. As a viewer, you may have to do some brain work to follow the plot. But the chemistry between Zooey and Joseph is just too adorable. The humour and quirkiness infused into every scene will leave you feeling all warm inside.
Meet the Parents
If you are planning to introduce your special someone to your parents over dinner sometime, this movie is great motivation. If Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) can succeed in convincing Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro)—who, by the way, is a former CIA agent with a lie detector—to give him his daughter’s hand in marriage, you can get through anything. And I mean ANYTHING. Ben Stiller’s chivalry and dedication against a crazy protective father is sure to remind you of the importance of fighting for your love. After all, ladies, if he can win over your father, he’s a keeper!
Okay, so the title might scare you off a bit, but Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl will definitely keep you and your partner in the “love bubble” as you watch this action-comedy-romance. It can be a shocker when your husband turns out to be a professional killer, but Kutcher becomes Heigl’s Prince Charming by redefining the concept of love. It may not be the typical die-for-each-other love story, but it’s a “killing anyone who tries to hurt the other” kind of relationship. This movie will definitely teach you how to keep your love alive!