18 Movies To Turn On When You Need A Little Romance In Your Life

Ah, love. That warm, tingly feeling you get when you see the one who makes your heart skip a beat! The look between two people so in tune, they know just what the other is thinking by a simple raise of the eyebrow. Feeling the warmth of another next to you in bed, and being completely comforted just by their presence. There’s nothing like it! But sometimes, even when you’ve got the love, you need some romance, too. Or maybe you don’t have the love (hi, it me), and you just want to feel warm and fuzzy all by yourself. Singles need that too! These 18 romantic movies are perfect to watch with a partner, a friend, or alone. Grab tissues though, they’re pretty much all tearjerkers.

The great thing about romantic movies is that they can make us laugh, they can make us cry, they can even make us scream at the TV. Sometimes they’re exactly what we need to feel good. Other times, they’re what we need for a good cathartic release. Life sucks a lot of the time, and romance helps us forget about the suckage for just a bit! We connect with the characters, and maybe we get a bit jealous when it all works out in the end. But either way, romantic movies are just what we need from time to time, and these ones never miss the mark.

Romantic movies will give you all the feels. They’ll make you laugh, cry, love, and cry some more. Take out first entry, for example. Titanic is romance wrapped in action, and will even (probably) make you angry!


The doomed love affair between Jack and Rose is a heart-breaker, for sure. But I’m sorry, I don’t care what anyone says, JACK WOULD HAVE FIT ON THE DOOR. Romantic movies need happy endings, too! But let’s be honest – there’s not a whole lot of happy endings in this movie. We all knew how it was going to end, so we shouldn’t have been surprised. But for a movie about a sinking boat, Jack and Rose’s romance definitely takes center stage. But that door thing. Man, what a different ending it would have been if she’d just scooted over a bit.

Pretty Woman

This movie about the hooker with the heart of gold and the jerk-turned-good guy who saves her isn’t exactly a traditional romance. I certainly don’t encourage anyone to go out and start turning tricks to land a partner. But that ending? With the limo and the flowers and the “Then she saved him right back”?? BEST. While Pretty Woman isn’t a romantic movie in the traditional sense, it does follow a lot of the same blueprints that most do. Girl sees guy, girl falls in love with guy, some drama happens, but girl eventually gets guy and they presumably live happily ever after.

Love Actually

8 different love stories, set a month before Christmas? Sign me up! Every time I watch this movie, I find something I love about it that I hadn’t noticed before. It’s the perfect holiday romance. And OK yes, some of the romances in this particular movie are a bit … problematic. Rewatching as an adult made us question a lot of the, uh, love that happens in Love Actually. But as far as romantic movies go? This one hit all the right notes. No one said they had to be realistic or even particularly healthy, LOL. Plus it has Alan Rickman. 

Dirty Dancing

OK, so it wasn’t until I re-watched this as an adult that I realized Baby was 17 and Johnny was like, 24. Romantic? Eh, not so much anymore. Sexy as hell? Always. I know, I know, it was a different time then! We should probably just mentally account for age and maturity inflation when it comes to romantic movies of the 60’s through 80’s. But there’s no denying this movie is full of hotness and plenty of sex appeal. And sometimes that’s what we need in romantic movies! Not love, necessarily, but lots and lots of lust. This movie is perfect for that.

The Princess Bride

Mystery, suspense, action, and romance? The Princess Bride is literally the perfect movie. All I wanted as a little girl was to grow up and have someone love me the way Wesley loved Buttercup. Still waiting, in fact. It’s easy to lose track of the fact that this is a love story. There’s so much going on! Sword fights and giants and wizards and giant, murderous rats. But then you realize the lengths Wesley went to in order to reunite with his true love, and it just warms your heart. Perfect movie, like I said, and maybe the perfect love story, too.


A supernatural romance with some ghost lovin’? On paper, it sounds insane. But the end, when Sam has to go into the light, and Molly says, “ditto?” COME ON. Very few movies can make me cry as much as Ghost. I vividly remember crying my eyes the first time I saw it. And now, I cry in anticipation of what’s going to happen. Like, I’m crying before Sam even dies. Because it’s just so sad! But so pure. Isn’t that how the best romantic movies go? They lure you in with a false sense of romance, then punch you right in the throat with a dead husband and psychotic, traitorous friend. 

Romeo + Juliet

I’m including this movie not just because it’s a romance (although the story is incredibly problematic), but for baby Leo and that soundtrack. We know how it ends, and it doesn’t end well, but sometimes we need to witness the all-encompassing drama of young love. And baby Leo. I’ve read the play several times, and I’ve seen most adaptations, but this version is the first one I watched where I actually felt that Romeo and Juliet were in love. Foolish young love, yes. But love nonetheless. Plus the entire movie is just cool AF. And, ahem, BABY LEO. Come to mama. 

The Notebook

You knew it was coming, right? The Notebook is one of those romantic movies that just tugs at all the right heartstrings. It’s schmaltzy, it’s cheesy, it’s predictable, AND WE LOVE IT. I’ve read the book 10 times and seen the movie at least 20, and I cry every damn time. This love story is good for your soul. Is it believable? Maybe not. But maybe that’s what we love about it. Not that it’s so unrealistic. But that it opens us up to believing that this kind of love is real and does happen! Be a whole lot better if it happened with Ryan Gosling, but what are you going to do, right?

When Harry Met Sally

Come for the angsty should-we-shouldn’t-we love story, stay for the simulated orgasm over a pastrami sandwich. The thing about romantic movies is that even the neurotic over-thinkers need some couples to look up to and some happy endings to shoot for! Harry and Sally are definitely the couple for that, and watching them dance around the obvious for the entire movie is sort of soothing, in a way. We’ve all in a relationship like that, where your head tries to overtake your heart and lead you down a different path. Yet sometimes, the heart wins out after all and everything works out in the end.

Say Anything

OK, so underachiever Lloyd probably isn’t on Diane’s level. But isn’t that what romance is all about? Love is love is love. And nobody, and I mean NOBODY, could resist the boombox over the head playing Peter Gabriel. You know you wanted your own Lloyd to show up in your driveway and win you back in the nerdiest way possible. We ALL wanted that. Some of us still want that, OK? Some of us will want that for the rest of our lives. It’s always the unassuming ones you never see yourself falling for, but I’m betting the super popular jock wouldn’t have held that boombox up.

Brokeback Mountain

Ugh, this movie murders my soul. This tragic story about forbidden romance is absolutely heartbreaking, but so, so beautiful. Several boxes of tissues needed for this one. It’s a love story on so many levels. There’s love between Ennis and Alma. There’s a certain kind of love between Jack and Lureen. But the tortured, years-long affair between Jack and Ennis is one of the most beautiful and tragic love stories in recent memory. You know that they don’t want to hurt anyone, and they don’t want to give in, but the heart wants what it wants. That ending though, hurts so much.

Love Story

My god, why are all the best romantic movies so sad?! Jenny and Oliver’s ill-fated romance will rip your heart right out of your chest. Love may mean never having to say you’re sorry, but I could use an apology from whoever made this movie. But, and here’s the real kicker, I will watch it every time it comes on. Hands down. Doesn’t matter if I was even in the mood for a romantic and incredibly sad movie! I can’t resist it. Happy endings aren’t always possible, but this movie proves that making the most of the time we have is precious. 

Harold and Maude

OK, hear me out! If you’ve never seen Harold and Maude, you need to remedy that right now. It’s not your traditional romance, but it’s weird, it’s dark, it’s funny, and the love between 20-year old Harold and 80-year old Maude is oddly sweet. Through their odd and sometimes downright weird relationship, they teach each other lessons that the other desperately needed to learn. People look at me weird when I say that it’s one of my favorite romantic movies. But trust me, there’s a simple sweetness there that’s hard to find. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about.

{Also read: 18 of the Most Outdated Pieces of Parenting Advice We’ve Ever Heard}

The Way We Were


Katie and Hubbell were never going to make it work, but their story made for a lovely movie. “Your girl is lovely, Hubbell.” And that hair swipe, though. You know from the beginning that the relationship is doomed to fail. But does that stop you from cheering them on? From hoping against hope that they manage to find a way to make it work? Nope, it does not. Because we want to know that star-crossed lovers can find happiness! We want to know that relationships don’t require perfect circumstances. Alas, it doesn’t work, but they sure had some good times. 

You’ve Got Mail

Before the advent of Tinder and Bumble, there was You’ve Got Mail. Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, and a really cute dog. You can’t go wrong! I will be honest here: this movie sort of infuriates me. I mean, it has a happy ending, so I can’t knock it too much. But all the near-misses and paths almost crossing is frustrating! But I do love the whole opposites attract thing. You just know that every single person who embarks on an online dating adventure/nightmare is hoping for their own You’ve Got Mail ending. If only, right? A girl can dream, I suppose.

Before Sunrise

A chance meeting on a train, a romantic night in Vienna, and Ethan Hawke. You really don’t need anything else in terms of what makes good romantic movies. But if you want to keep this one going, make it a movie night with the trilogy: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. This trilogy will definitely satisfy all your romantic movie needs, and then some! It’s deep, it’s real, and it doesn’t sugarcoat everything or wrap it up neatly in a pretty bow. It’s one of those romantic movies that gives us hope, but also keeps us grounded. It’s good, guys.

A Walk to Remember

Popular jackass falls in love with sweet loner girl, and then of course, she dies. Because someone always dies in romantic movies. Love hurts. But this movie was every outcast teenage girl’s fantasy. OK, maybe not the dying part. But definitely the having the popular guy fall madly in love with you and finding out that he’s actually a really sweet guy who’s trying to hide behind a tough image. That, like, never happens? But it’s nice to imagine it can, one day. We are all Mandy Moore, but hopefully we live long enough to see if the popular jackass stays a good guy.

Jerry Maguire


“You complete me.” “You had me at hello.” Part romance, part comedy, part sports drama, this movie checks all the boxes. It’s another one of those romantic movies that sort of pissed me off at first. Jerry Maguire just isn’t very likable! Sure, he gets better. He sees the error of his ways, he follows his heart, blah blah blah. He’s really just lucky he had a good woman willing to wait it out and put up with his bullshit. This movie could have ended very differently. But as it stands, definitely a good love story. The cute kid doesn’t hurt, either.

So there you it! 18 of the most romantic movies you can watch, and just in time for Valentine’s Day! If romance isn’t your thing, check out these mother/daughter movies that are sure to make you cry just as much as the movies on this list.

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