20 Best Classic Romance Movies
1 – Dirty Dancing
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey come together in perhaps the most romantic movie of all time – Dirty Dancing. It might be a bit old now (1987) but age hasn’t stopped it becoming one of the most successful films ever with stage shows, digital remastering, and a firm following almost twenty years later.
Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman and Johnny Castle dance their way into true love showing that two very different people really can get it together and make it work, even when it seems oh so unconventional. They may be from very differing backgrounds but one thing is true – true love really does always conquer all.
2 – Casablanca
This 1942 hit might be a bit old now but it is still well known for being one of the most romantic movies of all time, and also stars some of the most formidable actors and actresses of all time too! There’s a big dramatic ending following the rather dramatic and exotic love triangle storyline, and with Paul Henreid, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman on the starring list, you know it’s going to be a really good movie!
3 – Pretty Woman
Richard Gere and Julia Roberts come together in this 1990 romance rocker, but it’s not all plain sailing as you may have probably guessed. Non of the good romance movies have a plain sailing storyline, do they? He plays a wealthy businessman while she’s a street hooker looking for her Prince Charming. Despite the odds and all the obstacles that are placed in their path, somehow they just manage to pull themselves together but does it have a happy ending….? You’ll just need to watch and find out.
4 – Titanic
Who hasn’t seen this amazing 1997 hit starring the beautiful Kate Winslet and the delectable Leonardo Di Caprio? This time, he’s not the wealthy one, she is, but that doesn’t stop them from being drawn together despite the fact the ship around them is sinking, her mother doesn’t approve of her new love, and she’s actually engaged to someone else. Those are just formalities when love gets in the way but will their love story flourish forever, or will it go down with the sinking ship….?
If you’ve not seen it, you’d best rent it – this is a must-watch romance movie!
5 – Silver Linings Playbook
Perhaps not one of the most conventional of love stories, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence come together in the most bizarre of ways but there’s something that keeps them springing back to each other irrespective of the fact that he’s in love with his ex still and they are both battling mental health problems.
The 2012 hit was very well received by critics and with two of our generations hottest starlets in there, you definitely should give it a watch if you haven’t already… Although you might want to be prepared – it’s not your usual kinda love story!
6 – Ghost
Back in the day when Patrick Swayze was the equivalent of our Bradley Cooper, he played the heartthrob in the paranormal love story, Ghost. Released in 1990, Demi Moore was his love interest and when he is killed suddenly, she learns that death is sometimes just the beginning.
Can a real love story really survive after death? Perhaps not, but Whoopi Goldberg certainly tries to help things along!
7 – Love Actually
No real British romance movie would be complete without floppy haired Hugh Grant and this one is a definite must-watch! Starring a whole host of brilliant actresses and actors, most of which are British born and bred, you can expect to see the likes of Martine McCutcheon, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson and many more besides. Following eight different couples, things can get a little confusing but it certainly helps you to find your faith in love again… Perhaps a great romance movie to watch while you’re going through a breakup?
8 – Gone With The Wind
An even older romance movie this time and we come to the 1939 romantic beauty Gone With The Wind. This time, Clark Gable and Vivienne Leigh are stealing the show with a love affair between the typical Southern Belle and a Civil War blockade runner. Easy it might not be, a beautiful love affair it most definitely is. You will need a box of Kleenex to hand.
9 – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
From back in 1961, the breathtakingly beautiful Audrey Hepburn stole the hearts of men all around the world playing the park of a socialite from New York who falls in love with a dashing young man that happens to move into the same building as her. Classic, sophisticated and beautiful, this is a must-have movie to watch, not just for the romance factor (and trust us, there’s some serious old-fashioned romance going on in this hit!), but also for the elegance factor. It makes us all wish we lived in the same era!
10 – Brokeback Mountain
Not really the most conventional of love stories, Brokeback Mountain is a love story nevertheless. The 2005 hit starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger playing parts you never would have associated with them and even won three Oscars. Two cowboys manage to keep their relationship together a secret for years and you will be following their forbidden love. Let’s face it, there’s nothing better!
11 – The Notebook
Another classic in the romance movie file and The Notebook is one that will definitely have you clubbing for hours afterwards. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams play an absolute blinder in this 2004 hit that follows the story of Allie and Noah – two very different people from two very different backgrounds. For years they didn’t speak until years later they happened to bump into each other again showing that love really does last for a lifetime. Again, the fact that he’s seeing another woman and she’s engaged to another man means nothing…
12 – Sleepless in Seattle
This 1993 beauty starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks is one of the original romance movies from the early nineties and if you haven’t seen it, you haven’t lived a full life yet! It was nominated for two oscars and when you watch it, you’ll see why. The son of a widower calls in a radio station to try and find his dad a new love. Will they? Won’t they? Watch and see!
13 – How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Again, not really the conventional and traditional love stray but despite this, the film proves to be a very cute and novel watch. You’ll be splitting your sides with laughter in places, especially when you realise that you make the same relationship mistakes Kate Hudson pokes fun of…
Matthew McConaughey plays the ladies man a little too well and when he accepts a bet at the same time she accepts a new writing project for the magazine, things really do go a little awry. She’s trying to lose him, he’s trying to woo her, who will win…?
14 – Jerry Maguire
“You had me at hello!”
It’s one of those lines you can’t help but remember once you’ve heard it in the 1996 hit starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger, plus the film is actually quite funny at the same time as being super romantic in places.
Tom Cruise is a sports agent that kinda screws up with a moral epiphany at work, Renee Zellweger is the faithful assistant that vows to stay by his side, and Cuba Gooding Jr. is the only sportsman that Tom manages to keep on his new team. It’s definitely worth a watch!
15 – Beauty and the Beast
It’s a “tale as old as time” and that’s why we love it so. You can’t mention the greatest romance movies of all time without having a good Disney movie in here and we decided upon this one simply because it shows appearances CAN be deceiving, you SHOULDN’T judge a book by its cover, and love really can conquer all.
The whole world is against their relationship when he takes her father hostage and she is compelled to save him. With the evil ‘suitor’ Gaston hot on their heels, things really do take a turn for the worse, but can they overcome that nasty spell?
16 – While You Were Sleeping
This 1995 Sandra Bullock gem is one that literally will have you believing that girls are crazy, especially as you learn that Sandra Bullock’s character states she’s engaged to an unconscious man and no one, including his brother, believes her. Also starting Bull Pullman, you might get a bit carried away watching this… Try to keep your feet on the ground ladies!
17 – Amelie
Back in 2001 this hit movie came out, and was nominated for a whopping five Oscars! Starring Audrey Tatou as a very young and naive girl in Paris, she decides to follow the path of justice and go out of her way to help people, even going as far as falling in love along the way. It’s definitely a thought provoking movie, and one you might want to watch with your girlfriends!
18 – Secretary
With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, (which we’ve seen – it’s pretty damn raunchy!) we decided to add something a little naughtier to the list. Secretary follows Maggie Gyllenhaal in a battle, trying not to fall in love with her boss who is, in every sense of the term, very much into BDSM! It’s a story of love but in a very different world – a world where pain is a great as pleasure, something that the recent Mr. Grey has shown us can be true. Overcoming the opinions and judgements of others, as well as battling their own heads, the two main characters play their roles spectacularly. Probably best to avoid watching this one with your parents though…
19 – (500) Days of Summer
This movie is seriously cute. First of all, Zooey Deschanel is in it and she is simply adorable. Secondly, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in it and he’s super cute too.
A fairly novel story line of unrequited love, she doesn’t believe in the concept and he falls for her… Go figure. Boys like girl, girl doesn’t like boy, boys heart gets broken, eventually finds love again.
This is one of those films that practically everyone on the planet can relate to. After all, haven’t we all been a victim of unrequited love? Funny, cute and at times, overpoweringly sad – give it a watch if you haven’t already!
20 – An Officer and a Gentlemen
This romance movies really does kick the butt out of the other romance movies with Richard Gere carrying that girl in that white naval suit and stealing all of our hearts.
Back in 1982 this beauty of a film was released and it literally did set the stage for true romance for many women after. Also starring Debra Winger, you might want to prepare yourself for the unrealistic expectations that are about to be set by this movie (and indeed a few others on this list), but don’t worry – there’s always a happy ending somewhere along the line!
So there you have them – the 20 best classic romance movies ever made. There were so many that we wanted to put on this list so just in case you’ve seen all of the ones already mentioned, don’t forget to check out some other beauties that we feel deserve a special mention such as Cinderella (obviously), Giant, Notorious, The Philadelphia Story, The Quiet Man, The Fault in our Stars, Pitch Perfect, Her, Grease and more!