Over the years, there have been many films that have, in one way or another, changed our perspective on what love really is (like Pretty Woman), and perhaps made us set our standards higher (thank you, Nicholas Sparks). These movies have earned a space in our little broken hearts and still linger in our minds from time to time. Romantic movies all have one thing in common, besides starting HOTTIES as protagonists, they always make us want to fall in love, if we aren’t already. Love is such a beautiful feeling to share with others, and these films do an awesome job at demonstrating it. That’s why putting together a list of the best ones is crucial for both men and women who like to watch these types of movies (Yes, guys also love these movies. It’s not just the girls anymore!). From classics like Pretty Woman, to novel-based movies like The Notebook, to recently released successes like La La Land (Ryan Gosling is in many of them… coincidence much? He is literally prince charming). Whether you just broke up with your boyfriend or are in a stable relationship, or it’s Valentine’s day and you have no plans, or you’re just into Romantic movies like we are (literally OBSESSED), this is a list of films that will change your life (pinky promise), making you laugh and cry, all while slowly and consistently breaking your naive, innocent heart.
15. Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)
This classic 1961 film is based on Truman Capote’s novel “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. The famous movie stars Audrey Hepburn (Talk about girl boss) as its main character, Holly Golightly, a girl that lives on Manhattan’s East Side who owns a nameless cat. Holly is looking for a wealthy man to marry, and as luck would have it, she eventually meets Paul, a man who has moved into her building… Unfortunately, he is already dating an older woman. However, as the story progresses, Paul (George Peppard) and Holly fall in love and must face a series of obstacles before they can finally be together. This film is definitely an American classic, it’s also Blair Waldorf’s favorite thing in the world (remember how her daddy named the kitten Cat, just like Holly’s? DAD GOALS.), and therefore, something you need to watch before you die! This movie earned two Oscars, two Golden Globe awards, and 5 Grammys, along with many other noteworthy awards. Now it’s time to judge for yourself. As Truman Capote wrote in his novel: “It should take you about four seconds to walk from here to the door. I’ll give you two” to go and watch this movie (ASAP!!!!!!).
14. Grease (1978)
People’s Choice Awards recognized Greast 5 times with awards for favorite motion picture actress and supporting actress, favorite female muscial performer, favorite musical motion picture, and favorite overall motion picture. Grease also won a Golden Screen award in Germany as well, and was the breakthrough film for Olivia Newton John. If you’ve come across this list and see films you haven’t seen yet, that’s okay… we understand. But, please tell us you’ve seen this one (sigh). However, if you haven’t, here is a brief rundown. Sandy (Olivia Newton John) and Danny (John Travolta) meet on the beach during summer school break and fall in love. This film is a musical so keep in mind there will be many numbers throughout it (they are AWESOME). When summer ends and Sandy and Danny go back to school, they realize they are both attending the same school. (OMG). They are shocked to see each other and have problems at first because they discover how different their personalities really are. But will they be able to work it out? Will their love be stronger than their reputations? (Pretend there’s suspense music in the background so we’re on the same page) You’ll have to watch it to find out.
13. Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)
Face it. This movie will make you tear you up every single time. How could it not? With Mr. McDreamy Patrick Dempsey pushing all your emotional buttons? -Sigh-. This film is really important because of how innocent and pure it is; some might find it shallow but the truth is if you look deeper into what it’s really saying, you’ll realize just how amazing the message really is. This 1987 film tells the story of a high-school nerd and how he makes a deal with the most popular girl in his school in order to become one of the “cool kids”. Later he will learn what the true cost of popularity is and will have to make a decision about what he wants his future to be like. Directed by Steve Rash, this PG-13 movie is definitely a classic. With Amanda Peterson and Patrick Dempsey as protagonists, the movie was bound to be a success. Even thought this is an older movie, it is really fun to watch! We promise. Besides, seeing skinny, 21 year old Patrick Dempsey killing it on the big screen with nerdy glasses, high-waisted jeans and colorful 80s outfits is PRICELESS.
12. Pretty Woman (1990)
Who doesn’t love Julia Roberts? In this film, there is a Cinderella vibe and you can’t possibly hate Cinderella! However, it’s a bit different… now Cinderella isn’t a girl that cleans houses for her evil stepmother and sisters… she’s a prostitute. Our beloved prince charming is a very important, very wealthy businessman (Richard Gere) who, instead of meeting her at a ball, hires her to stay with him for a weekend while he’s on a business trip. It’s an entertaining, lovely film that will make you feel many wonderful things all at once… As for the ending, we can’t tell you (sorry kids)! You’ll need to see it. This classic movie has won an endless number of awards, including a Golden Globe, and was nominated for many more. Like Cinderella, it’s a film we’ve watched hundreds of thousands of times without ever getting tired of it. Again, even if it’s an older film, it’s worth your time (believe us)! So, please do yourself a favor and write this one down on your to-see list right now and buy lots of ice cream!
11. Love Actually (2003)
There’s no excuse to not watch this film, since it’s shown every year in one or two Christmas TV specials. Love is actually all around us and that’s easy to see in this movie. The film, set in London, tells the story the lives of eight different couples during the Christmas season , and everything they go through as they deal with their relationships. Written and directed by Richard Curtis, this film became a hit when it first came out, and is still popular to this day. Even though some people don’t care for this movie (we still don’t understand how), many others find it heart wrenching and poignant. With an amazing British cast that includes Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson and Colin Firth, this movie will make you smile and fall in love again (we promise!) We highly encourage you (if you haven’t already… I mean and if you have and would like to again, you’re more than welcome) to watch this movie.
10. The Notebook (2004)
How can you live without seeing this Nicholas Sparks classic? You can’t. This movie is a life-changing treasure we need to share with everyone we care about. This 2004 award-winning movie is based on the New York Times bestselling novel and is definitely going to tear your heart and soul into a million pieces. Set in the years folowing World War II, this movie tells the story of a man (Noah), and his undying love for a woman (Allie). They soon separate, due to Allie’s family dislike for Noah, only to meet years later, and fall even more deeply in love. This film is captivating and portrays their love in such a sincere way it’s painful. It’s raw and pure and complicated, and that’s what makes their love worthwhile. The story is told in the present, by Noah, who is now an old man, as he reads it to Allie, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease (AWWWWE!). Nicholas Sparks made this movie more poignant by choosing Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams to bring the characters to life (And for that we LOVE you Nicholas Sparks!). Who better than Ryan to say all those passionate lines and kill us slowly every time? NO ONE!! This film earned 12 awards when it was released including best kiss. And in case you missed it, Ryan and Rachel made out IN FRONT OF US at the MTV movie awards which is another reason for you to add this one down to your movie bucket list.
9. Letters to Juliet (2010)
Is there anything more romantic than falling in love in Italy? Or more specifically in Verona, Italy (where Romeo and Juliet was set)? The answer to that question may vary, depending on the circumstances, but it almost always is NO. Italy is the country of love, where accents and gestures drive us crazy -sigh-. If you’ve ever been there or met an Italian guy, you know what we’re talking about (Mamma mia!!!)! In Letters to Juliet, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), goes on vacation with her fiancée Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal), who dedicates his time to cooking and wine tasting instead of spending it with her. Sophie, bored, goes sightseeing by herself and comes upon Juliet’s house. She watches as other tourists leave Juliet love notes. She then meets Juliet’s secretaries, whose job is to answer the letters, and she, herself, gets to answer one that was sent 50 years ago. The problem? She hears back from the author of the note, who has traveled back to Verona to find her true love. Sophie’s task now is to start a journey throughout the city to help this old woman on her quest. Will she find it? We promise you, it’s nerve wracking and heart wrenching!
8.Remember Me (2010)
In this beautiful film, Tyler (Robert Pattinson) is a man whose parents have split after his brother committed suicide. Soon after he meets Ally, a girl who enjoys life and is quite adventurous and funny. He falls in love with her. One thing that makes this movie truly special and touching is how Ally’s personality and behaviors help Tyler heal after all the pain he’s been through; love, is one meaningful, healing force and it’s fantastic how Allen Coulter (the director) portrayed this in this movie. Set in New York City in 2001, the movie tells the stories about both Ally and Tyler lives and why they have become who they are. For instance, Ally saw her mother get killed when a man shot her in a subway station. This makes us feel for the characters and as we continue to watch we are affected by all the things they go through Who ever thought Edward Cullen (Pattinson’s Twighlight character) could love any other than love Bella Swan? Quite an amazing actor he is. Along with Emilie de Ravin (Ally), these two will make you so optimistic about life in spite of difficult situations. This movie will also (SPOILER ALERT) break your heart.
7. Crazy Stupid Love (2011)
Quick question: how could a movie with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (the fantastic duo) suck? Hint: it can’t. This film’s is packed with other outstanding actors like Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, and even Josh Groban (everyone loves Josh Groban)!!! The movie was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a series of awards that include Choice Movie Actress: Comedy and Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Big Budget Feature – Comedy, among others. This 2011 film, directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, (rated 7.4 in IMDb) tells the story of Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) and how their perfect life takes a twist when Emily decides she wants a divorce (BUMMER!). Now that Cal is single, he tries to dive into the mingling lifestyle but has no luck until his friend Jacob (Ryan Gosling) helps him -a lot- with tips and strategies to flirt with women. Everything goes perfectly fine, until Cal realizes he is still in love with his wife and wants to get her back. Meanwhile, Ryan is helplessly in love with Hannah (Emma Stone), but the problem is, she has a boyfriend! This complicated, tongue-twisting love story goes through a series of events that will have you wanting to pull your hair out. But fear not, the ending is quite lovely and happy. Definitely a movie you want to see.
6. One Day (2011)
One Day has to be one of the saddest, loveliest movies out there, and don’t fight us on this one. Starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, this story will most certainly break your heart. The movie shows the viewer the lives of Emma and Dexter, who spend the night together the day after their graduation, but decide to just be friends and spend one more day together before parting ways. However, when something’s meant to be, it will be, and that’s how fate decided to reconnect them for 18 years during that one July 15th day. Every year that passes we see the changes in both Emma and Dexter’s lives, and how their ever-lasting friendship is affected by those changes. The unsettling thing is that they never accept the fact that they love each other on a much stronger level than they let on, and failing to express those feelings leads to making many mistakes in the future (which we won’t tell you about). This is one of our favorite movies because of the simplicity and beauty of their friendship, which is realistically portrayed here giving us glimpses of what friendship truly is. It is inspiring.
5. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
This film starts off winning just because of its amazing cast; Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro (who doesn’t love these three???). This one is a different kind of love story; it is unsettling and complicated at first. Pat (Cooper) is a patient at mental health institution. His dad (De Niro) discharges his son, with the condition that he’ll live with him in Philadelphia. Pat suffers from bipolar disorder and was first admitted to the institution because he beat up his wife’s lover. His wife divorced him and filed a restraining order against him. He is supposed to be medicated but doesn’t take his meds because they make him feel weird. Pat doesn’t accept his situation and feels that he can win his wife back. Tiffany, on the other hand, is a widow, who has self-esteem issues. She meets Pat because her sister Veronica, is married to Pat’s dad’s best friend (Ronnie). This love story is twisted and dark, but beautiful and naive at the same time. These two will start a friendship you’ll adore, and help each other through their difficult times, only to find true love waiting for them at the end of the tunnel (Meredith Grey would approve).
4. Love, Rosie (2014)
This film is purely heart-warming. If you think dating your best friend is something utopic, this movie will make you doubt your judgment. With Lily Collins and Sam Claflin (sigh!) in the cast, this movie will have you sobbing for all the right reasons. To enjoy it even more, ask your girlfriends to watch it with you; trust us, you’ll be screaming and throwing pop corn at the TV before you even reach the halfway mark (doing so won’t make the characters listen to you though, just a heads up!). In this movie, life-long friends Rosie and Alex experience an awkward situation that sends them both opposite ways… (Awe!) But fate makes sure they meet again, and again, and again! Based on Cecelia Ahern’s bestselling novel (yeah, this one’s based on a novel too! Awesome, right?) “Where Rainbows End”, this rated R film will have you laughing and smiling and wondering to yourself whether Rosie and Alex will get another real shot at love or whether it’s too late for them. And even worse (Yes, there is worse), you’ll have your heart torn apart a couple of times before you get the answer to your question.
3. The Longest Ride (2015)
Another Nicholas Spark’s hit… we expected this film to make the cut. We highly suggest you keep a box of tissues next to you because you’ll be using them… ALL. Hint hint: Scott Eastwood (aka Taylor Swift’s costar in the Wildest Dreams music video) plays the main character… A BULL-RIDING COWBOY BYE. Directed by George Tillman Jr., this film is based on Nicholas Spark’s 2013 novel of the same name. The story revolves around Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood) and Sophia Danko (Britt Robertson); Luke is a professional bull rider and she’s an art lover that lives with her friends in a sorority house. They meet one day at one of his shows, and after going on their (SUPER ROMANTIC) first date, they see a car crash in the woods and spot a man inside the vehicle. In an attempt to save him, Sophia notices a box filled with letters and takes them with her believing they might be important for the old man. They bring the old man, play by Ira Levinson, to the hospital where Sophia visits him regularly. He explains the letters as he tells the story of how he met his wife in 1940. She offers to read them out loud and they start connecting the story little by little, and we promise, it’s the cutest story EVER! Two love stories in one movie? This movie is such an amazing gift. Thank you, Mr. Sparks.
2. The Choice (2016)
Nicholas Sparks just WON. He is the only one to have three movies in this list, all based on his novels to boot. He is an amazing writer and his stories just get cheesier by the minute. In this 2016 movie, Travis (Benjamin Walker), a veterinarian, and Gabby (Teresa Palmer), a med student, meet when they become neighbors; not exactly the “hi, welcome” kind of meeting, but the “PLEASE TURN THE MUSIC DOWN” kind. At first, Gabby thinks of Travis as an egocentric, full of himself player, and doesn’t give him too much thought; but after meeting the real Travis and getting to know him better, their relationship becomes what a 21st century teenager would call OTP (one true pairing). Gabby and Travis marry and start a family, but after a series of sad events, Travis is faced with the hardest choice he’ll ever have to make in his life. You will never believe what that choice is (get your tissues ready ladies! Nicholas Sparks did it again!). This PG-13 movie, directed by Ross Katz, is most certainly going to stay in your hearts forever… and ever.
1. La la land (2016)
La La land was a hit before and after it came out. The film won 6 Oscars along with another 184 wins (Wow!). The movie’s plot revolves around Mia and Sebastian’s story. Mia is an actress trying to make it in Hollywood, while Sebastian is a piano player who’s trying to be someone in the Jazz industry. Before meeting each other, they both have dreams which they never let go of. This movie is so well written, it is truly mesmerizing. Throughout the story, we follow Mia and Sebastian’s lives separately, and then together when they meet and fall helplessly in love. We can’t help but fall for their love as well. Neither one ever forgets where they came from and where they’re going, even if it means putting their relationship on pause for a bit which makes it heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. The songs, the lines and the numbers in this film are what make it what it is. Damien Chazelle did a fantastic job when she chose Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (the fantastic duo… yet again) to play the main characters; these two have amazing chemistry which is undeniable in this movie.