Top Ten Romantic Movies
Here are our picks for the best romantic movies!
Honorable Mention: Far and Away
Far and Away is Ron Howard's most underrated movie. It's a sweeping epic which tells the story of two immigrants from opposite sides of the tracks who must fight for survival in what they believe is the land of opportunity. Both Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman give excellent performances and have palpable chemistry on screen. The cinematography and music are outstanding and help tell the story. This is a criminally underseen gem from 1992.
10. Romancing the Stone
When a bored writer meets a reckless soldier of fortune in a South American jungle, an unexpected romance blooms amidst a deadly adventure. This is an action film in the same vein as Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it focuses more on the romance and comedy elements. Robert Zemekis directs the film wonderfully getting amazing performances from both Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner who play off each other incredibly well. The film is fun to watch anytime anywhere.
9. La La Land
Perhaps the best modern romance, La La Land is both a throwback to the golden age of musicals and something entirely new and different. Young director Damien Chazelle does an outstanding job handling his actors and the more fantastical elements of the film while keeping everything grounded and relatable. The choreography is absolutely astonishing as every number is flawlessly executed. Music in this film is as big a part as the brilliant script and Justin Hurwitz and Pasek and Paul do a phenomenal job with the score and songs. Emma Stone deserved her Oscar for Best Actress in this film as you understand her journey and connect with her along the way, but Ryan Gosling may have deserved Best Actor as his character is just as important and instrumental to the story of two people struggling to achieve their dreams.
8. The Princess Bride
A classic fairy tale brought to life, The Princess Bride remains Rob Reiner's best film because it's the one that's most timeless. As a grandfather tells his sick grandson the story we're just as drawn into this strange tale as the boy. Robin Wright and Cary Elwes carry this film with poise as two long lost lovers struggling to stay together. It's hilarious, frightening, full of action, and very romantic. This is perhaps one of the most quotable movies on the list as the script by William Goldman (who also wrote the book on which it's based) is pure genius.
7. The Quiet Man
Maybe the most underseen film on our list, The Quiet Man features John Wayne's best performance. This is one of Wayne's many collaborations with acclaimed director John Ford who won the Best Director Oscar for this film. It's a departure for both Ford and Wayne who were known for more action-oriented westerns, but the duo took a risk with this comedic and romantic story of an American-Irish boxer who return to his European homeland to take back his family's land. Soon he meets a feisty red-headed woman (the magnificent Maureen O'Hara) and her obnoxious big brother (the significant Victor McLaglen) and a funny story of conflict and love begins. This one's got great characters, astonishing cinematography (which also won the Oscar), and an engaging and entertaining story.
James Cameron's greatest achievement as a director and storyteller is Titanic. This big-budget film takes us back in time to the maiden, ill-fated voyage of the titular ship, but tells a more intimate, fictional story of a poor young man who meets a wealthy aristocrat and their passionate, yet dangerous relationship. This film's special effects were revolutionary and they are seamlessly integrated into the story to help tell the harrowing tale. It's full of beautiful production design, set design, and costumes, and the music from James Horner is sweeping, heartbreaking, and romantic.
5. The African Queen
Earning Humphrey Bogart his first and only Best Actor Oscar, The African Queen also features the incomparable Katherine Hepburn in one of her best roles. The entire film rests on their shoulders and they deftly handle every moment they're on screen together (which is basically the entire film's runtime). Directed by virtuoso John Huston, the film has a rough boat captain taking a proper missionary down a deadly river back to civilization. It's hilarious to watch their interactions as they battle the wiles of the South American jungles and waterways, and gain understanding and affection for one another. This is a joyous tale of adventure, comedy, and romance and is based on one of the best scripts ever written which is performed brilliantly by it's two-person cast.
4. Pride & Prejudice
Maybe the most well-known and beloved romance story of all time, Jane Austen's book Pride & Prejudice has been adapted many times over, but never as skillfully as in this 2005 film by Joe Wright. Stars Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen deliver delightful performances and bring us into each character's world and give them believable and emotional arcs. The rest of the cast is just as distinguished including Donald Sutherland, Bredna Blethyn, Tom Hollander, Judi Dench, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, and Carey Mulligan. The entire team of filmmakers from the costume designers to the set designers, to the composer and the make-up and hairstylists all do top-notch work here proving to be the best in the business.
An outstanding achievement in animation, WALL-E is masterful Pixar Animation Studios' greatest film. Telling a story without dialogue is challenging enough, but making your audience connect with a machine is even more difficult. However, director Andrew Stanton pulls it off with help from his amazing animators and mastermind sound designer Ben Burtt who breathe life into the titular robot. The relationship between WALL-E and EVE is enjoyable to watch blossom, and the curious, dirty old droid teaches the clean, no-nonsense business lady to loosen up and live life to it's fullest. It's an intimate romance inside of a larger story about a conspiracy to destroy the future of the entire human race.
2. Forrest Gump
A classic American film, Forrest Gump follows the life of a simple man across decades as he traverses the American landscape meeting famous faces and becoming involved in major events along the way that shape the history of the country. However, at the heart of the story is his girl Jenny and their tumultuous relationship. This remains both Tom Hanks and Robin Wright's best performances as they both imbue their characters with pathos and play them with truth. The groundbreaking visual effects, awesome soundtrack and score by Alan Silvestri, and touching script from Eric Roth based on the book by Winston Groom all work together perfectly. It's Robert Zemekis' most powerful cinematic accomplishment, and is still the most epic story of a uniquely American romance ever told on screen.
The best romantic movie is Casablanca. There has never been a better screenplay written in the history of Hollywood. It doesn't just have tons of memorable lines; every line of dialogue has meaning and purpose. Actor Humphrey Bogart and his counterpart Ingrid Bergman play their roles to perfection giving us their best acting performances ever. Michael Curtiz proves a master filmmaker here with his expert handling of his actors, the brilliant screenplay, and the camera with help from brilliant cinematographer Arthur Edeson. The moving music is composed by proficient composer Max Steiner who supports every scene with his skillful ability. It's a romantic film noir set during the height of World War II and is consequently full of intrigue, but is focused on former lovers who must make difficult decisions for their future despite their feelings. As Rick Blaine would say, "Here's looking at you, kid."