The 20 Best Romance Movies on Netflix
These films are officially date-night approved.
Sometimes, the best date nights are the ones that forgo fancy clothes and even fancier meals for PJs and some good ole Netflix. And while it might be easy to make the decision to stay in and watch a movie, finding the perfect film could require some effort. Obviously, you’ll want to pick something you’ll both enjoy…but still manages to set the mood. (In other words: John Wick is out. Sorry, fellas.) So, whether that means you’re looking for a light romantic comedy or a straight-up tearjerker, Netflix has you covered. To help you sift through the streaming service’s extensive catalogue, we’ve rounded up the best romance movies on Netflix for 2019.
1. P.S. I Love You (2007)
The traditional wedding vows say “until death do us part,” but this love story goes beyond the grave. No matter how hardened your heart, P.S. I Love You is sure to make you believe in true love again. In this tear-jerker, Hillary Swank plays the widow of Gerry Kennedy (Gerard Butler), who comes to find out that he has left her a series of love letters sending her on numerous adventures. By the end, you’ll be bawling and awwing at the same time.
2. Always Be My Maybe (2019)
After having had a falling out, childhood friends Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) cross paths years later—only to realize their remarkable chemistry never faded. Is their friendship the only thing that’s rekindled in this Netflix original? It’s funny, it’s romantic, and it has just the right amount of sappiness. Yes, Always Be By Maybe may be the perfect date-night movie.
3. Sixteen Candles (1984)
In this 1984 coming-of-age classic, Molly Ringwald stars as Sam Baker, a high school teen who struggles to make it through her sixteenth birthday after her family commits the cardinal sin of (gasp) forgetting it. To make matters worse, she continues to get unwanted attention from the school’s nerdiest boy (Anthony Michael Hall), when the only person she fantasizes about is suave senior Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling).
4. About Time (2013)
If you could relive any moment, would you? In the movie About Time, Domhnall Gleeson plays a time traveler who has such a gift. After learning about his profound ability—and using it to his advantage—he realizes that living each day once may just be the ultimate gift of time. Be prepared for some serious emotional whiplash, anxiously experiencing first-hand a true love that’s consistently interrupted by a series of unfortunate events. (As it turns out, hopping around the time-space continuum has unintended consequences.)
5. Meet Joe Black (1998)
Look: If Brad Pitt is the lead in a romance movie, it’s worth throwing it on the tube for date night—no matter how “bad” critics say it is. (Meet Joe Black clocks in at just 53 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.) The movie kicks off with billionaire Bill Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) being visited by the living manifestation of Death—because it’s Bill’s “time to go” and all—who shows up in the form of a clean-cut, golden-haired man named Joe. Soon enough, Death, as Joe, falls head over heels for Bill’s daughter, Susan (Claire Forlani). It’s a tale as old as time—Dad doesn’t like his daughter’s new beau—but with a dangerous, philosophical twist (and a whole lot of crazy good looks).
6. The Ugly Truth (2009)
No, not all love stories begin with “When I first laid eyes on you…” What starts out as a hate-hate relationship eventually turns into undeniable chemistry. Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler) plays a not-so-charming morning show commentator on Abby Richter’s (Katherine Heigl) morning show. The two don’t exactly hit it off, and quickly end up in a competition to prove whose theory of romance is more accurate: Abby’s steadfast belief in true love, or Mike’s scorched-earth cynicism.
7. She’s Out Of My League (2010)
Sure, She’s Out Of My League may sit at a relatively low 58 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but in our eyes, it ranks a solid 100 as a potential date night flick. In the film, Kirk Kettner (Jay Baruchel) seems to be at a loss for words when the beautiful Molly McCleish (Alice Eve) falls smitten for him. The question then becomes: Will he ruin things by getting in his own head—or will their love prevail?
8. The Kissing Booth (2018)
Life is pretty good for high schooler Ella Evans (Joey King), until she decides to run a kissing booth and happens to land a smooch with her secret crush…who happens to be her best friend’s older brother (Jacob Elordi)! Is it possible for love to blossom even under such awkward circumstances? Though their fling is certainly socially taboo, good luck watching this and not pulling for the duo.
9. Blue Valentine (2010)
Sure, Blue Valentine might not move your heart as much as most date night movies, but it’ll certainly get your brain working. Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling play a couple who fall madly in love…and then fall madly out of it (after getting married and having a kid). The film bounces back and forth between two timelines, presenting a melancholy, heartrending dissolution of a seemingly ironclad romance that, upon viewing, seems wholly preventable—the type of thing where you want to scream at the screen, “No, don’t do that!” Best to have someone scream right next to you.
10. One Day (2011)
Do you believe in destiny? If there’s one movie that has you wanting nothing more than for two people to be together, it’s this one. Called One Day for a reason, watch as Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) and Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway) spend what seems like an eternity with other people, while still managing to always find their way back to one another. As A. O. Scott, the film critic for The New York Times, put it, “One Day turns an episodic story into an anthology of feelings and associations, many familiar, a few surprising, some embarrassing, and one or two worth holding onto.”
11. A Cinderella Story (2004)
In this modern spin-off of a fairytale classic, Hillary Duff stars as the mistreated stepdaughter/sister. This time around, there are no fairy godmothers or singing birds, but Cinderella does have a mysterious online friend. Little does she know, it’s the dreamy high school quarterback, Austin Ames (Chad Michael Murray). Will this mystery man turn out to be her Prince Charming? (And what, in the 21st century, counts as a glass slipper?)
12. Beautiful Creatures (2013)
It’s a post-Twilight world, which means there are more supernatural teen romance stories on film than you could possibly watch in a lifetime. But, if you have to pick just one, make it Beautiful Creatures. Alden Ehrenreich plays Ethan, a regular teenage boy (in other words: mortal), who quickly becomes smitten with Alice Englert’s character, the dark, mysterious Lena—who just so happens to be imbued with magical powers. The two kick off a frenetic romance, but—and this will surely surprise you—her family has other ideas. Romance, fantasy, forbidden love…you can’t possibly go wrong!
13. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
Breakups are already the worst. So imagine how bad you’d feel if you found out your ex underwent a procedure to erase all memory of you? That’s the core concept of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. While it isn’t exactly sunny fare, it is the type of heady exploration of love that can make any couple appreciate theirs. Plus, it has serious high-art bona fides—indie film icon Michel Gondry directs a script written by the ever-brilliant Charlie Kaufman—and the sheer emotional intensity of its leads (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) alone is worth watching. Small wonder it holds a 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
14. Set It Up (2018)
Ever seen the movie The Parent Trap? Well, Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell), two assistants to high-powered people in New York City, may have learned a thing or two from those iconic clever twins. In an effort to get much-needed time away from their jobs, the duo attempt to set up their bosses: Rick (Taye Diggs), a venture capitalist, and Kirsten (Lucy Liu), editor-in-chief of an ESPN-like sports publication. But, c’mon, who is Netflix fooling? You know that’s not the only match in the film…
15. Sleeping With Other People (2015)
After randomly running into each other at a meeting for those suffering from sex addiction, old college “acquaintances” (they mutually lost their virginities to each other, and never spoke about it) Lainey (Alison Brie) and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) start to realize they have a lot more in common than they thought. After confiding in each other their romantic problems, the two start to hang out, and eventually become close friends—close friends who agree to keep their relationship strictly platonic, that is. (Yeah, yeah, we all know how that story goes…)
16. The Breakup (2006)
Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn star in this not-so-formulaic mid-2000s rom-com about a couple who, after a long stretch of strife and argument, end their relationship. The catch? Neither wants to give up their (admittedly stunning) Chicago condo. So they both stay, and agree to live together as roommates, kicking off the ultimate battle: not over real love, but over real estate.
17. When We First Met (2018)
Noah (Adam Divine) is hopelessly in love with Avery (Alexandra Daddario). Thing is, Avery is engaged and has always ever thought of Noah as a friend. But then, in a twist of magical happenstance, Noah stumbles upon a time-traveling photo booth and has the opportunity to go back to the very first moment the two met. Think of it like Edge of Tomorrow, except, instead of endless hordes of killer aliens, you get endless moments of aww-worthy romance.
18. Carol (2015)
Widely regarded as one of the best films of 2015, Carol, set in 1952, stars Rooney Mara as Therese, an aspiring photographer in an unhappy marriage. Soon enough, Therese meets and falls smitten with Carol (Cate Blanchett), and the two start a romance. Then, Carol’s ex-husband, Harge (Kyle Chandler) grows suspicious and tries to uncover dirt on Carol to help him win custody of their child. (Remember, it’s the 1950s, when “morality clauses” for homosexuality were acceptable grounds for such arguments.) Subtle, tense, and meticulously produced, this film is nothing short of a true classic. (If you prefer your tales on-page, read the novel Carol was adapted from: The Price of Salt.)
19. Mamma Mia! (2008)
Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried star as the ultimate mother-daughter duo in the feel-good musical Mamma Mia! Just as you think nothing can break their bond, the bride-to-be (Seyfried) invites three of her mom’s ex-lovers to her wedding with the hopes of finding out which one of them is her father. This loving, romantic, and hilariously unpredictable musical will have you and your date ready to queue up the sequel next.
20. Music and Lyrics (2007)
In Music and Lyrics, Hugh Grant plays a once-popular musician looking to make a comeback. Thing is, he can’t write a song to save his life. Luckily, his plant-keeper, Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), is a total undiscovered pro. Though both are hesitant to join forces at first, their professional relationship soon develops into something much deeper. It’s safe to say this film sings with romance.
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