Music Gateway
Login or Join for Free
or sign up with
Spotify icon
Burger menu
Large chevron
close icon


The Best Romantic Movies Of All Time

Photograph of the blog post author, Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson


Small blue and purple gradient divider


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Whether or not you have a date for the occasion, a movie marathon is one of the best ways to spend the day. There’s a lot of competition when it comes to the best romantic movies of all time. Creating a shortlist has been a difficult process!

best romantic movies

But, we feel a rich assortment of romances from a variety of perspectives such as romantic comedy movies, best romantic Christmas movies to the best romantic drama movies means there is something for everyone!

Our top 10 best romantic films will make you swoon, giggle, weep, or maybe a combination of all three! Today we will make you believe that love truly conquers all, stay tuned!

What Makes Great Romantic Movies?

Great romantic movies typically feature compelling characters who have a strong connection and a strong chemistry. They also often feature a strong story line, often with a twist or surprise ending. Themes of love, loss, and redemption are common in romantic movies, and they often feature beautiful settings and music to set the mood. Additionally, great romantic movies often have a unique and memorable dialogue, with witty one-liners and heartfelt moments.

Top 10 Best Romantic Movies

Get your popcorn and tissues at the ready and check out our best romantic movies, let’s go!

Love Actually (2003)

love actually

This romantic film is not just for Christmas. 

Although this Richard Curtis has become a yuletide favourite, it wasn’t always the way. It’s understandable to see why ‘Love Actually’ failed to connect with a mass audience straight away – it is remarkably corny. However, it is equally this reason why it has become a Christmas cult classic.

‘Love Actually’ tells various short romantic stories that are loosely connected. It will take you through the emotions of falling in love, falling out of love, and tipped off with some classic Christmas Music. Its relaxing tunes became synonymous with Christmas. Although the majority of the songs don’t contain any mention of the holidays.

The soundtrack, like the film, can be described as a cup of hot cocoa on a grey day. Uplifting, welcoming, and inducing. The same warm feeling you get when seeing your decorated Christmas tree or snuggling in front of a fire with a special someone! 

More importantly, the songs will remind you of everything that’s gotten you through one Christmas to the next. It’s unsurprising that the soundtrack pulls off a perfect romantic vibe.

Once (2007)


John Carney is world-renowned for creating passionate, character-driven movies paced with amazing music such as Begin Again and Sing Street. ‘Once’ is possibly his infectiously lowkey masterpiece. 

This lovely romance stars Glen Hansard as a busker in Ireland. Who, when not singing songs on the streets about his latest breakup is working in his father’s vacuum cleaning repair shop.

His music captures the ear of a Czech immigrant portrayed by Marketa Irglova. They spark up a friendship based on their mutual appreciation for music. Naturally, they fall in love and all they can do is scrape together whatever money they can, write some songs, and make a record.

Carney creates a truly romantic drama. He understands that the real impact of watching their tale play out lies in seeing the art created by the characters. Opposed to the contrived conspiracies of a story pushing them this way and that. 

There’s a powerful realness to ‘Once’. Brought together by the way music connects people, this shines through to make a truly special film.

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

best romantic movies

For most, their first love is often the most intense. ‘Call Me by Your Name’ captures all of those churning emotions. A teenager finds his first true love, and it’s momentary, in Luca Guadagnino’s superb romance

Based on the book by André Aciman, it follows the young son of academics. Who, while on summer break in Italy, falls hard for his dad’s research assistant. Timothée Chalamet plays Elio, whose object of affection is Oliver, played by Armie Hammer. 

Over the last decade, there has been a notable increase in the number of LGBTQ romances that have reached mainstream audiences. The rules of who can and can’t be the subject of a Hollywood romantic movie is progressively being redrafted.

‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a summer of yearning glances and will-they-won’t-they suspense. Until it finally concludes in a passionate love affair they won’t forget. Even if destiny has other plans for their future!

It is essentially a love letter with the film’s outstanding Italian villa – which is the ideal locale for a romantic drama. The music is gripping, and the cast is spectacular.

A Star is Born (2018)

best romantic movies

If you’re searching for a story about people brought together by talent and ripped apart by fame, then ‘A Star Is Born’ should be the top of your list. 

There are various versions of this story. Including 1937 original with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. The 1954 version with Judy Garland and James Mason. Last but not least, the 1976 remake with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

Most recently, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper have taken on the roles except this time there is a powerful performance of the heart-rending song “Shallow.” It’s a story of an ambitious artist taken under the wing of an alcoholic who uses his status to lift her to stardom. As she falls in love with him, he sinks into alcoholism which comes with scandal.

A Star is Born is a love story focussed on the entertainment industry and the downfall which can occur with fame. Portrayed is an exploitative environment centered around selfish behaviours and sacrifice. 

Cooper’s interpretation keeps that contrast front and center. Although it doesn’t lose track that if the love story doesn’t work, nothing will. Cooper and Gaga have passionate onscreen chemistry with each other. Which really captures the audience’s attention. As well as the Oscar-winning music which supplements their rise and fall to create a beautifully told story.

The Notebook (2004) – One Of The Best Romantic Movies Of All Time?

the notebook

No list would be complete without this heart wrenching romantic drama. Based on the novel by Nicolas Sparks. The story spans decades changing between a couples first love in the ‘40s and the modern-day reality of how a relationship has progressed into old age.

It is a moving tale and topped off by the iconic scene with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdam’s passionate kiss in the rain.

The score for the film encompasses the tone and the emotional journey you take. Composed by Aaron Zigman, ‘The Notebook’ is a tender love story. The score relies on gentle, passionate romantics throughout. Piano-dominated, it draws on a wealth of beauty and sadness for scenes with the elderly couple. As well as a tone that remains as it moves into the 1940s.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

best romantic movies

Are you looking for a fun, sweet romance to improve your day? Then you won’t be disappointed by the Netflix original ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ (based on a YA book series).

There’s nothing like that uncomfortable and awkward, brand-new love. Based on the novel created by Jenny Hann, the story shadows Lara Jean (Lana Condor). A teenager whose worst nightmares are realised when without her knowledge, five letters she wrote to her secret crushes are sent. 

When confronted by her previous crush Peter (Noah Centineo), she’s worried it may stand in the way of her current crush Josh (Israel Broussard). Lara Jean and Peter agree to fake a relationship in order to get with who they really want to be with. Scandal!

Unsurprisingly, faking a relationship starts to produce real feelings between the two. The film is a pleasure from beginning to end. Allowing you to re-experience a time when who “liked” you was the most important thing in the world – without all the traumas of high school! If you want to recall your teenage years, this film is one to watch.

The Big Sick (2017)

the big sick

The Big Sick is one of the best romantic comedies you can stream on Amazon Prime. All you need is a comfy seat on the sofa and a bowl of popcorn.

This Oscar-nominated film is based on the real-life relationship of Kumail Nanjiani and his writing partner and wife, Emily Gordon.

Nanjiani, is a comedian who was born in Pakistani from a traditional family. He falls in love with grad student Emily but struggles to deal with the familial culture clash. Though he starts to show a change of heart when Emily falls sick with a mysterious illness.

Fundamentally, The Big Sick is a lovely, happy-go-lucky examination of loving someone or falling in love with someone even during hard times.

Moulin Rouge (2001)

best romantic movies

Moulin Rouge is the 2001 exaggerated remake of the 1952 movie. This arthouse musical, is a pleasantly quirky yet refreshing romantic movie. 

Director Baz Luhrmann has created a natural successor to his Romeo + Juliet, upping the ante in about every way possible. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor have real chemistry which gives an outstanding and deeply moving performance.

The Elephant Love Medley comprises a remix of song lyrics including Love Is A Many Splendored Thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. 

All you need is love (and more), Luhrmann’s fast-paced movie musical reminds people of what’s most significant in the world: freedom, beauty, honesty and, above all – love.

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

best romantic movies

The cinematic adaptation of Helen Fielding’s chick-lit classic. The modern-day Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones’s Diary is a charming romantic comedy. 

Starring Renee Zellweger as Bridget. She is a woman stuck in a love triangle with dreamy Daniel played by Hugh Grant and disinterested Mr.Darcy (Colin Firth).  

It is easy to say that Zellweger makes the film and she even earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance however director Sharon Maguire truly equipped her for it. Bridget Jones’s Diary demonstrates all the smoldering romance and biting commentary.

They Came Together (2014)

best romantic movies

There is a certain type of romantic comedy that doesn’t get made as much anymore but was very popular in the 1990s. If you are a fan of ‘You’ve Got Mail’, ‘While You Were Sleeping’ or ‘Notting Hill’ you will recognise every splendidly clichéd storytelling convention from a mile away. 

Furthermore, if you have a sense of humour, then you will appreciate David Wain’s brilliant parody ‘They Came Together’. It is a perfect comedy starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler.

Focussing on a couple so different they couldn’t possibly get along, but they have one thing in common – a unique passion for fiction books. So, will their love survive deceiving plot points, quaint digressions or will New York City become a character in the film? 

You probably can already guess the answers, but that’s what makes it even funnier.  With a wacky supporting cast, Wain takes you through the motions in the oddest, most self-aware ways possible. 

The showcased song by Norah Jones is accompanied by black-and-white footage of Rudd and Poehler. Evidently, visiting the recording studio and hanging out with the artist, the producer, and visiting celebrities – it is a toe-curling masterpiece of romcom self-love.

‘They Came Together’ doesn’t feel malicious or patronising. The only way you’ll get all the jokes at the romantic comedy genre’s expense, is if you sincerely enjoy the romantic comedy genre. Wain’s film is a delightful comedy roast of the genre.

Summary – The Best Romantic Movies

best romantic movies

Sometimes you might want romance without the jokes getting in the way. Other times you might want a movie that starts with a passionate kiss and ends with a box of tissues.  Whether you are looking for a romantic film to make you cry or laugh, this list is bound to take you on an emotional journey.

Netflix and Amazon Prime are full of romantic films from past and present. With these epic love stories, you will have an idea of what to search for and luckily, most of the best romantic movies of all time are still available to stream!

The list includes a mixture of romantic dramas, musicals, romantic comedies as well as Christmas movies.  This list is designed to give you all those good, old fashioned romantic feels. From the grand kisses, to over the top moments, as well as bring joy and fun.

Most importantly though, if you’re a music fan like us, you’ll be able to listen to how the soundtracks to the films take you through the motions in order to tell captivating stories.

Speaking of music! If you haven’t yet got your Valentine’s Day playlist sorted then you’re in luck – you can use ours! Let our playlist be the soundtrack to your February 14th. Enjoy!


closed button
Music Gateway Company Logo

Get started today

Join for Free