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20 Date Night Movies You and Your Partner Will Both Love

Pop on one of these flicks instead of scrolling endlessly through your streaming services.

You and your partner are staying in tonight. Maybe one of you cooked a nice meal. Maybe you ordered takeout. Maybe the kids are asleep, or perhaps you've just started dating. In any case, you can't do dinner and a movie without something to watch. A good date movie is an essential part of a good date night, but then you're stuck with the challenge of deciding what movie to put on.

Luckily, there's no wrong movie to pick for a romantic date night. It all depends on what you as a couple are into. If you and your partner get a kick out of watching a gory horror movie together, then that's a perfect date film. Traditionally, though, people tend to think of a date night film as something a little more agreeable—maybe a romance movie or a light-hearted comedy. Something that'll make you and your partner feel good and enjoy watching together.

With that range in mind, read on for 20 of the best date night movies from several genres.

RELATED: The 15 Movies That Won the Most Oscars.

Best Movies to Watch With Your Boyfriend

1. Southside With You

Not every date night movie needs to feature a romantic relationship on the screen, but that is certainly a great option—especially if it's a true story. The 2016 film South Side With You, Richard Tanne's directorial debut, is about a young couple's first date in 1989. That couple? Oh, just Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson, the future president and first lady of the United States, respectively. Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter play the young versions of the public figures.

Watching the Obamas fall in love probably hits a little bit differently in 2024 than it did in 2016, so Southside With You has a nice nostalgic factor going for it in addition to the romance.

RELATED: 25 Movies Like Knives Out That Will Bring Out Your Inner Detective.

2. The Big Sick

No offense, but chances are the story of how you and your partner started dating doesn't sound like something straight out of a movie. The story of how real-life couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon started dating is such a wild and beautiful tale, that it's no wonder they turned it 2017's The Big Sick. Nanjiani stars as himself while Zoe Kazan steps in as the fictional version of Gordon. The two meet in Chicago and start hooking up, only to break off their relationship right before Gordon falls seriously ill and is placed in a medically induced coma. Nanjiani is then left in the strange position of getting to know his ex's parents, played here by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. It's not a spoiler to say that Gordon gets better, making The Big Sick a lovely movie about an unusual start to a lasting relationship.

3. The Big Short

Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt lead this star-studded cast of the most watchable movie about a financial crisis you've ever seen. You might not think that "subprime mortgages" would be good date night fodder, but the way that Adam McKay, who before this was better known for raunchy comedies like Step Brothers, synthesizes complex information in a manner that makes it fun while never ignoring the real human impact of the 2007-2008 crisis, making 2015's The Big Short a good pick for just about any movie-viewing occasion. It's a date night movie that you can walk away from feeling like you've learned something.

4. Murder Mystery

A whodunit with plenty of "ha ha ha's," Netflix's 2019 big-budget comedy stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston as a married couple who finally take a long-promised vacation to Europe. While on the plane, they meet an aristocrat (Luke Evans) who invites them to his yacht. Only problem is that, once aboard, there's a murder, and it's up to the Sandman and his wife to crack the case (and crack up the audience). A sequel, Murder Mystery 2, came out last year.

5. I Love You, Man

Perhaps you and your partner's romance requires some bromance. This 2009 comedy stars Paul Rudd as Peter, a newly engaged real estate agent who decides he needs some more guy friends. He meets and quickly becomes best buds with Sydney, played by Jason Segel. However, some of Sydney's antics start to drive a wedge between Peter and his bride-to-be, played by Rashida JonesI Love You, Man is a fun comedy in the mold of Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and it's a great pick for date night because it might help you remember to share your attentions between your partner and your friends.

RELATED: 23 Movies Like Interstellar That Will Also Bend Your Brain.

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Can a movie about a breakup be romantic? You might not think so, but Michel Gondry's sci-fi romance Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which was written by Charlie Kaufman, is a must-watch. Jim Carrey, in one of his fantastic dramatic roles, stars as Joel, a man who learns that his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has undergone an experimental procedure to erase the memory of their relationship from her mind. Joel sets out to do the same thing, but as he's under and his memories of both the bad times and the good times begin to slip away, he realizes he doesn't want to forget. It's a beautiful, gripping, and trippy exploration about the nature of love and memory.

7. Confess, Fletch

This criminally under-appreciated mystery-comedy from 2022 is the third Fletch movie, though this Jon Hamm-led flick requires no knowledge of the Chevy Chase movies of the '80s. All you and your partner need to know is that Irwin Maurice "Fletch" Fletcher used to be a journalist "of some repute," and he uses those skills and his laid-back demeanor to help crack a case when a dead woman is found in the Boston apartment he's renting and the police finger him as the prime suspect. It's a low-key comedy with high-quality laughs.

8. Together Together

Expectant couples should especially consider watching this underseen 2021 comedy for date night. It follows a middle-aged single man (Ed Helms) as he decides to have a child via a surrogate (Patti Harrison). The arrangement puts the two in a unique relationship—she is not the mother of his future child, but they become very involved in each other's lives despite not being, as the title says, "together together." You'll laugh and—if this happens to be a last date night before the baby arrives—you'll cry happy tears, too.

Best Movies to Watch With Your Girlfriend

9. Two Weeks Notice

You can't have a list of date night movies without Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock, so what better than Two Weeks Notice, the 2002 rom-com starring both of them? Bullock plays Lucy Kelson, a talented liberal lawyer with a passion for historic preservation. Grant plays George Wade, a New York City billionaire real estate developer. Despite their opposing worldviews, George hires Lucy to be his Chief Council. Hijinks—and, of course romance—ensue.

10. The Swimmers

This 2022 Netflix film tells the true story of Yusra and Sarah Mardini, two Syrians who escaped as refugees when they were teenagers. The pair helped 18 other refugees safely cross the Aegean Sea, because they opted to swim alongside their unsteady boat rather than weigh it down. Yusra would continue swimming, going so far as to make it to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio as a member of the Refugee Olympic Team. It's a harrowing, if ultimately uplifting story, and might be the sort of (mostly) happy tearjerker your date night needs.

RELATED: 27 Movies With Shocking Twist Endings You Won't Recover From.

11. Good Will Hunting

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon star in this acclaimed 1997 drama that won the wunderkind duo a Best Original Screenplay Oscar. Damon plays the titular Will Hunting, a math savant who is living below his potential in South Boston. When he gets a chance to keep himself out of jail if he studies under the MIT professor who has taken an interest in his skill (Stellan Skarsgård), it's up to a therapist, played to perfection by Oscar-winner Robin Williams, to keep Will on the up-and-up and try to make peace with his inner turmoil. If you choose to watch this for your date night movie pick, chances are you and your partner will like dem apples very much.

12. You People

Another Netflix rom-com, You People stars Jonah Hill and Lauren London as an interracial, interfaith couple who get along great despite their differences. Who they don't get along with, necessarily, are their prospective in-laws. His parents, played by David Duchovny and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are blithe latte liberals whose progressiveness isn't as deep as welcoming as they might think. Her parents, played by Eddie Murphy and Nia Long, would prefer their daughter be dating another Nation of Islam member. If you've seen a romantic comedy before, you probably know how this one is going to end, but the specific, very relevant-premise makes You People stand out.

13. Clue

Tim Curry leads an iconic ensemble in this adaptation of the board game—yes, the board game, Clue—but rather than being a cheap IP-grab, this 1985 comedy is an absolute riot. Consider Clue if your date night is also a couple's game night and you're looking for a movie to watch after you're done rolling the dice .

14. She's All That

The late '90s meets Pygmalion and My Fair Lady in She's All That, a classic high school rom-com. Freddie Prinze Jr. plays Zack, one of the most popular boys in school, and he accepts a bet that he can make anybody into prom queen-material in just six weeks—even Laney, an awkward, unpopular art student played by Rachael Leigh Cook. The pair end up actually developing feelings for each other despite the deception, and although Cook's big makeover scene is, like most makeover scenes, absurd (she looked great with the glasses on, too!) She's All That is an absolute classic of the genre.

Movies to Get You in the Mood

15. Maid in Manhattan

Jennifer Lopez stars in this classic early '00s rom-com as a maid (in Manhattan) who falls in love with a powerful politician, played by Ralph Fiennes. Does Maid in Manhattan, which was based on a story by The Breakfast Club's John Hughes (though he went uncredited), reinvent the rom-com wheel in any way? No, but that doesn't matter when you've got JLo in a modern Cinderella story.

RELATED: 8 Classic Movies That You Can't Watch Anywhere.

16. The Favourite

Before Emma Stone and director Yorgos Lanthimos teamed up for last year's Poor Things, they made The Favourite together. The 2018 drama, which is darkly comedic, documents the historical power struggle between Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Hill (Stone) as they vie to be court favourite of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) in early 18th-century England. A twisted romance as much as it is a political thriller, The Favourite was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, though it only took Colman for Best Actress. In addition to being a riveting and delightfully strange take on history, The Favourite can also serve as an example of what you and your partner's relationship hopefully doesn't look like.

17. Sleepless in Seattle

Nora Ephron delivered one of the greatest romantic comedies of all-time with Sleepless in Seattle, which stars Tom Hanks as a recently widowed architect in Seattle and Meg Ryan as a Baltimore-based reporter who writes to him after she hears him on a radio talk show. Although their characters don't actually meet until (spoiler!) the very end of the movie (something that initially deterred studios from wanting to make what would become a beloved film), the romance is truly moving and the laughs are plenty. Bill Pullman, Rob Reiner, and Rosie O'Donnell co-star. Sleepless in Seattle is one of the highest grossing rom-coms in box office history, and when people say "they just don't make 'em like this any more," they're usually talking about this film.

18. Your Name

Chances are, if the average American moviegoer knows the name of one anime director beyond Hayao Miyazaki, it's Makoto Shinkai, whose breakout 2016 film Your Name is a profoundly beautiful sci-fi romance. Taki Tachibana and Mitsuha Miyamizu are a high school boy and girl living in Tokyo and rural Japan, respectively, when they inexplicably begin swapping bodies despite not knowing each other. These Freaky Friday-esque shenanigans soon give way to deeper themes about memory, love, and longing.

19. The Martian

Sometimes it can be a pleasure just to watch people be good at their jobs, and there's perhaps no better example of so-called "competence porn" than The Martian, Ridley Scott's 2015 film starring Matt Damon as an astronaut who is stranded on Mars and must use his own ingenuity to stay alive while the folks at NASA must use theirs to mount a rescue mission. Featuring a star-studded cast also including Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Donald Glover, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, The Martian is a fantastic choice if you and your partner want to watch excellence on screen.

20. An American in Paris

The one and only Gene Kelly stars in this classic MGM musical that won the Oscar for Best Picture after its release in 1951. Musicals can be a dicey proposition for date nights as not everybody is so inclined, but it's impossible not to get swept up in Kelly's tap-dancing and sheer charisma as he plays the titular American in Paris, madly in love with his acquaintance's girlfriend Lise (Leslie Caron).

James Grebey
James has been an entertainment journalist for more than a decade, writing and editing for outlets like Vulture, Inverse, Polygon, TIME, The Daily Beast, SPIN Magazine, Fatherly, and more. Read more
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