We all know Valentine’s Day is about chocolate, flowers, promises you don’t intend to keep…and heartbreakingly romantic movies that leave you weeping into your date’s shoulder.
But what romantic movies should you absolutely watch? From grand gestures to quietly restrained moments, romance abounds in the film world.
So whether you’re settling in on the sofa with your loved one or going it alone we have a few romantic movies you can weep away to.
…it’s not all sadness and tears we promise.
The Notebook (2004)
A love story told by the old couple as they look back on their life, we learn how they met, fell in love and broke part only to come back to each other years later.
We defy you not to cry with joy when Noah and Allie kiss in the rain after being reunited after years apart.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
They may not seem the likeliest of pairs, and who knew Billy Crystal would be such a heart throb? not us, but Harry and Sally were clearly meant to be. If you want to see the pair realising they love each other in the sweetest of way this is for you.
When Harry shares his feelings on New Year’s Eve giving Sally all the little details he loves about her in one of film’s corniest but sweetest love declarations.
"When you realise you want to spend your rest of your life with someone, you want it to start straight away."
The script nearly ended with them remaining friends, but the directors quickly realised they need to change the ending.
Valentine’s Day 2018
"Here’s looking at you kid!" or "We’re always have Paris!"
The classic war time story with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman is full of romantic moments, though it’s not all sweetness and light.
Brief Encounter (1945)
"This misery can’t last…not even life lasts very long"
Ok so turns out these old movies aren’t that cheery, but they definitely knew how to do romance. The term stiff-upper lip applies here, but who needs overblown moments? The movie has one of the most restrained goodbyes, as the married man and woman call time on an affair that never was.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Watch it just for the final conversation in the hallway when the word okay means so much more – even more than the simple I love you.
The profound love story hits all the right romantic notes with a heartfelt sincerity under its wackiness.
The James Cameron is full of romantic moments, but the two that probably stand out…
and who could forget…
We could go on, but the movie speaks for itself. You know early on that things aren’t going to end well – hello, Titanic – but that doesn’t stop you becoming Jack and Rose’s greatest cheerleader. We still think that door had room for two. Just saying.
The pottery making scene is an iconic moment in a movie that’s really about letting go than falling in love. Also Patrick Swayze.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
“Nobody puts Baby in the corner”.
Baby and Johnny’s romance never gets old and with a great soundtrack (and Swayze again) why wouldn’t you watch it?
Love Actually (2003)
There’s two camps when it comes to this film – the first, it’s the most romantic movie ever, the second, it’s so creepy it hurts.
Full disclosure, I’m in the second camp.
Mark proclaims his love to Juliet at her door using cue cards (let’s remember for a hot second that she’s married to his mate).
Some people think this is the best love proclamation ever.
Get ready for Valentine’s Day
Pretty Woman (1990)
Edward falls in love with prostitute Vivian, this isn’t how it sounds. Actually it is. climbs up the fire escape to Vivian at the end of the film
An Officer and a Gentleman
Richard Gere. Here endeth your lesson.
Zack, a new member of the U.S. Navy, has a bad attitude. When he signs up for the Aviation Academy, he is met with the strict leadership of Sgt. Emil Foley (Louis Gossett Jr.), who gives Zack a rude awakening in terms of relating with other people.
Through an unexpected romance with Paula (Debra Winger), an outsider who hangs around the naval base he learns how to change.
Cue the romantic sighs.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
“I’ll give you the moon, Mary”
After George Bailey (James Stewart) wishes he had never been born, an angel (Henry Travers) is sent to earth to make his wish come true.
He realises looking back at his life that he’s had an impact on so many people – Mary being one.
Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
Just watch it for the Mark Darcy kiss in the snow at the end of the film.
"You had me at Hello."
Notting Hill (1999)
When a famous actress turns up in a bookstore the owner’s life is thrown into turmoil. In the end: “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a guy, asking him to love her.”
Four Weddings and a Funeral
"Is it still raining, I hadn’t noticed?"
High Grant again! He and his friends seem unlucky in love – then he meets a lovely American (I’m seeing a pattern for Hugh).
She returns to the States but their paths continue to cross. One for those who believe in destiny.
Romeo & Juliet (1996)
We all know it doesn’t end well, but it still makes us want to believe in love at first sight.
The most romantic moment comes as Romeo and Juliet first see each other through the fish tank at the Capulet masquerade party.
500 Days of Summer
Tom is caught off guard when his girlfriend dumps him so he looks back on their 500 days together to figure out what went wrong.
In the end his reflections help him discover his true passions in life.
You’ve Got Mail
Bookseller Kathleen hates Joe Fox – who owns a corporate chain of book stores. They meet online anonymously, totally oblivious to each other’s identities. Spoiler: They discover who each other are. Very cute.
Setting the standard for cool gestures Lloyd Dobler holding up his ghetto blaster over his head blasting out In Your Eyes for Diane has to be up there. They’ve broken up and Peter Gabriel’s song the first they made love to is playing.
Lady and the Tramp
The tale of how a Lady comes to love a Tramp – they just happen to be two dogs in this Disney classic. There’s the classic spaghetti kiss too.
The Wedding Singer
Robbie can’t let Julia marry her cheating fiancé so crashes her wedding – and sings her the song he wrote her.
Sleepless in Seattle
Annie is all set to get married, but risks it all heading to the top of the Empire State Building to meet soulmate Sam.
A Walk to Remember
Landon knows Jamie is dying, so he takes on her bucket list, crossing state lines and getting married. Prepare to cry.
Watch it because it’s so quoteable and a classic.
It becomes clear Wesley’s As You Wish is just another way of saying I Love You after years apart.
"I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is."
Forest shows his dedication in many ways, but when he declares his love with self deprecation your heart can’t help but break.