The best romance movies of all time

Love takes many forms, one of which is to watch a love story unfold in front of your very eyes on the big screen. So, if you’re in the mood to fall in love with people falling in love why not check out these brilliant romance movies?

We’ve got everything from modern classics, like Quentin Tarantino’s stylish True Romance, to the old favourites, like the legendary Casablanca. In writing this list we’ve taken into account the best romantic movies from across length and breadth of the cinematic world and we guarantee it will convince even the most sceptical of film fans to take a chance on love (warning, list may not convince sceptical film fans to take a chance on love).

So whether you’re curled up on the sofa with the partner you’ve had for years, setting out on a new relationship, or lying in your bed alone on a Saturday night (no shame we’ve all been there), if you need to get deep into your feels, this in-depth list offers a whole lot of love.

What are the best romance movies of all time?

  • When Harry Met Sally…
  • Titanic
  • The Notebook
  • True Romance
  • The Big Sick
  • 10 Things I Hate About You
  • 500 Days of Summer
  • Pretty Woman
  • Never Let Me Go
  • Casablanca

When Harry Met Sally poster

When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

Written by Norah Ephron, the celebrated writer behind iconic romantic movies like Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, this true classic follows two friends unsurprisingly named, Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan).

The pair have known each other since college, and their history is littered with encounters, but they’ve never taken it to the next level. This film tackles the conventions of relationships, both platonic and romantic, and asks the difficult question – can men and women ever truly be friends? Plus, there’s the famous fake-orgasm scene set in Katz Delicatessen, which has gone down in history as one of those must-see comedy moments.

Jack and Rose say goodbye in Titanic


Titanic (1997)

A beautiful love story set against the backdrop of tragedy sees Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), a poor young artist, meet Rose (Kate Winslet), a wealthy aristocrat on board the maiden voyage of the doomed Titanic.

Prefer scares to love? Check out the best horror movies

Their tender love story unfolds on the ship that, infamously, sank in the middle of the ocean after hitting an iceberg. This epic and heartbreaking romance shows how love can blossom even on the cusp of disaster and shows how opposites in society can attract.

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams hug in The Notebook

The Notebook (2004)

Based on the book by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook tells the extraordinary tale of two lovers, Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling), from its early beginnings to its tragic end.

The narrative flicks between the past and present, depicting a profoundly touching story that will leave your heart aching. Prepare to witness a tale of love overcoming all obstacles that will have you reaching for the tissues.

Clarence and Alabama in True Romance

True Romance (1993)

Writer Quentin Tarantino takes romance to a new level with his genre-blending crime love story. . A prostitute, some drugs, and a pimp might not sound like the right ingredients for romantic movie, but Tarantino makes it work.

The movie follows Clarence (Christian Slater) and Alabama (Patricia Arquette), two star-crossed lovers forced to run after robbing a pimp. This off-beat romance isn’t your typical love story, but it’s stylish, exciting, and funny.f that doesn’t do it for you, the pimp is played fantastically by Gary Oldman and that’s something worth seeing.

The Big Sick poster

The Big Sick (2017)

Based on actual events in comedian Kumail Nanjiani’s life, this movie fictionalises the first year of his relationship with his wife, Emily Gordon.

Whilst their relationship initially struggles with Kumail’s own battle with their cross-cultural romance, it’s only when Emily contracts a mysterious illness, and is put into a medically induced coma, that he realises the depth of his feelings for her. Earnest, warm, and honest, this surprisingly funny romantic comedy is a charming slice of real life.

The cast of 10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, this movie updates the setting to a modern high school, and follows Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Patrick (Heath Ledger) as they try and woo two sisters.

More explosions please: High-octane action movies here

Unfortunately for our heroes, the girl’s protective dad has strict rules about who he lets date his daughters. Strong performances elevate this late 90s teen romance, which catapulted Levitt and Ledger to stardom.

Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel) in 500 Days of Summer

500 Days of Summer (2009)

While the story isn’t what you’d typically expect from a romantic movie, 500 Days of Summer manages to be oddly relatable. The film follows Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as he reminisces on the past year he spent with his girlfriend, Summer (Zooey Deschanel).

We see them meet, go on dates, and even go to Ikea (the ultimate test for couples). There’s just one problem – Summer doesn’t believe in relationships. This clever movie captures exactly what it’s like to fall in love, be loved, and to not love at all.

Edward, and Vivian from Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman (1990)

Los Angeles prostitute Vivian (Julia Roberts) meets Edward (Richard Gere) one night o as he struggles with his car. A night together turns into days as Edward pays to keep her around, and the pair slowly start to fall in love. This film put Roberts on the rom-com map, and its entertaining plot makes it an easy one to watch time and time again.

The cast of Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go (2010)

Adapted from the novel by Kashuo Ishiguro, three friends, Cathy (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield), and Ruth (Keira Knightley), are all growing up in a seemingly normal boarding school. But nothing is normal.

A love triangle emerges in the midst of this dystopian movie fuelled by the emotions and hormones of growing up. It’s a perfect combination of love and loss, and its unpredictable plot will leave you thinking about it for a long time afterwards.

Rick and Ilsa say goodbye in Casablanca

Casablanca (1942)

You can’t make a list or romantic movies and not include the enduring classic, Casablanca. Set during the early days of World War 2, Rick (Humphrey Bogart) meets his past lover Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband in the club Rick owns in Casablanca.

Here’s looking at you kid: The best movies of all time

Old feelings bubble up to the surface, and Rick has to choose between the woman he loves or helping fight the Nazis. Casablanca is full of unforgettable moments, and memorable quotes you may be surprised to learn are from this movie. So, here’s looking at you, kid.

Fancy crying some happy tears next? Why not check out our best comedy movies of all time and get some of those belly laughs out.

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Grace Dean

Updated: Jun 04, 2021

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