Every movie is a love story, right? Well, maybe not. But, there’s no denying that love is the central theme in many of the most popular cinema’s biggest blockbusters. It’s all about the search for, and the experience of, love. We’re all on a quest to love and be loved. So, we watch movies to watch other people navigate that quest—and we watch them just as much for the love we can relate to.
The movies on this list are the best romantic comedies, dramas, and romances of all time. Find your favorite love story, and get ready to fall head over heels.
1. Before Sunset | 2004 | 8.1 IMDB
Richard (Ethan Hawke), an American writer living in Paris, and Céline (Julie Delpy), a French woman, met and fell in love during a brief encounter nine years earlier. Although it was a brief encounter, they both remember it very well, and the couple is brought together again when Céline is in town for a conference and Richard is in Paris on business.
The two meet up and, over the course of a day, they discover that what they felt for each other before is still true, but the obstacles to their being together have changed.
2. Her | 2013 | 8 IMDB
Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a complex, soulful person who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a life-changing love affair, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive entity in its own right, individual to each user.
Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha,” a bright, female voice (Scarlett Johansson) who is insightful, sensitive, and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other. The film explores the implications of living in a world in which any form of love – even a potentially destructive one – is possible.
3. Crazy, Stupid Love | 2017 | 6 IMDB
In the beginning, Cal Weaver is a devoted husband to his wife, Emily, and a loving father to his son, Robbie. Cal is a pediatric surgeon and he loves his job. One day, Robbie introduces Cal to Jacob Palmer, a charming, charismatic man who lives a seemingly perfect life.
Cal is instantly drawn to Jacob, who is 20 years younger than he is. However, his infatuation with Jacob is a threat to his marriage, his happiness, and his life.
4. The Fault In Our Stars | 2014 | 8 IMDB
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a patient named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
5. Lala Land | 2016 | 5 IMDB
A story about the singer-songwriter Serge who has an unusual way of falling in love. It is a story about how he meets Lola, a girl who inspires him to make the best songs of his life. This is a story about how he loses his true love, how he finds her again, and how he overcomes the obstacles that life has put in his way.
6. The Notebook | 2004 | 8 IMDB
A poor and passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman and gives her a sense of freedom. They marry against the wishes of her father, a wealthy older man, who keeps them apart.
The movie is a great watch for those who like romance movies. The Notebook is a story of an intense love affair between an older man who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and a woman who is engaged to be married. The movie is the story of their unconventional love affair.
7. Bridget Jones’s Diary | 2001 | 8.2 IMDB
Love can make you do crazy things. Bridget Jones is an everywoman who knows what it’s like to be in love. She may not be the prettiest girl in the room, but she’ll do anything to find her Mr. Right.
The movie is the story of Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) is a 30-something-year-old single British woman, working on television and living alone. She decides to change all of that when she writes in her diary about how she wants to change her life.
8. Pride and Prejudice | 2005 | 8.5 IMDB
A five-part British television drama adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel about the societal pressures faced by upper-class women in early 19th-century England.
The movie is a perfect watch for those who like romance movies. It is the story of the Bennet family, whose five unmarried daughters are being brought up in a society where daughters are nothing more than an accessory of the house. The story is about the love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.
9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | 2004 | 8 IMDB
Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst are starring, this film is directed by Michel Gondry. Joel Barish, heartbroken that his girlfriend Clementine underwent a procedure to erase him from her memory, decides to do the same. However, as his memories vanish, he realizes that he still loves her, and maybe too late to correct his mistake.
10. Amelie | 2001 | 8 IMDB
Amelie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love. The movie is directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and is a great watch for romantic comedy lovers.
Amelie is the kind of movie that you can watch again and again. It is a story that will touch your heart every single time. It is a story of a girl who has a very active imagination. The movie has a lot of light moments because of her. It is a very refreshing change from the usual kind of romantic comedies.
11. The Spectacular Now | 2013 | 8 IMDB
Sutter Keely is a hard partying teenager in high school. He lives in a small town in America with his single mother, Janice. Sutter is popular in school, but he’s not bright. He’s a very bright student, but he’s not interested in studies. Sutter is a good boy, but he always finds trouble.
12. Before Sunrise | 1995 | 8 IMDB
Jesse and Céline meet on a train. They spark up a conversation and quickly find out that they share the same tastes and opinions on pretty much everything. They instantly feel a strong connection and undeniable chemistry. They want to spend more time with each other and keep talking. They don’t want the night to end, and so they agree to meet six months later.
13. Moulin Rouge! | 2007 | 6 IMDB
Christian, a young English writer, enters the Left Bank, where he becomes entranced by the denizens of the Moulin Rouge, a world of sexual depravity and artistic license.
Moulin Rouge, yet another great movie for the fans of romance films. The movie will keep your heart beating hard from the beginning to the end.
14. A Walk To Remember | 2002 | 6 IMDB
Landon Carter is a popular, but reckless, high school senior. As the school year begins, Landon is forced to become involved in school activities he would rather avoid, especially in light of his recent breakup with his girlfriend, Jamie Sullivan. Landon is in for a change in his life when he meets Jamie’s sister, Jamie Sullivan, a preacher’s daughter who is unlike anyone he’s ever met. She is beautiful, charming, and intelligent, but she is also very different from Landon in almost every way. She is kind, caring, and genuinely interested in others.
15. 500 Days of Summer | 2009 | 8 IMDB
Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is an aspiring greeting-card writer who falls in love with his girlfriend, Summer (Zooey Deschanel), an aspiring artist. The two are perfectly matched until Summer gets cold feet and calls off the wedding three months before the big day. Tom is devastated and struggles to get over the breakup. He remains single, attending parties and trying to meet new women, but to no avail. Then, out of the blue, Summer reappears, and Tom gets the second chance he’s been waiting for.
16. Atonement | 2007 | 8 IMDB
Described by its makers as “a love story with a great big hole in the middle of it”, this adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel tells the story of Briony Tallis, a 13-year-old who lives an idyllic life in 1930s England. However, when her chance to be a part of the family she loves so much is shattered, Briony’s life takes a devastating turn.
17. Shakespeare in Love | 1998 | 8 IMDB
A young man named William Shakespeare is stuck in a rut with his writing. He is approached by a woman named Viola De Lesseps who is seeking Shakespeare to tutor her in the ways of love so that she might win the heart of the man she loves. Shakespeare agrees to help her, but in doing so, he neglects his own lover, until she too falls for Viola.
18. Shape of Water | 2017 | 8.7 IMDB
A strange, aquatic creature is found in South America, but it is captured by the government agency of a mysterious government official, who forces the creature to live in a water tank. A mute janitor forms a bond with the creature.
19. The Bodyguard | 1992 | 7 IMDB
A young woman awakens from a coma to discover her husband has been killed. Soon she is being stalked by his killer and must rely on the bodyguard she hired prior to the murder to protect her and her child.
20. Love Story | 1970 | 8 IMDB
When Oliver Barrett IV, heir to a fortune, meets Jenny Cavalleri, a working-class girl, university life is the last thing on his mind. She is sure of everything she wants, except Oliver Barrett. She is the first person he has ever met who has made him feel like an ordinary person.
Our Honourable Mentions
1. Pretty Woman | 1990 | 7 IMDB
When an uptown businessman is hired by a Beverly Hills, California, merchant to escort his socially awkward daughter to a Mediterranean cruise, the two are set on a collision course with love.
2. Dear John | 2010 | 7 IMDB
A soldier working at a military base falls in love with a girl. Her father doesn’t approve of his daughter’s relationship with him, so he sends the soldier to the front lines of the war in Afghanistan. He writes letters to her, but they can never be delivered.
3. A Cinderella Story | 2004 | 6 IMDB
Ashley (Hillary Duff) is a 17-year-old girl who is tired of being a wallflower in her school. She constantly gets criticized by her mother, who says that she has to be perfect in everything she does. Ashley also constantly hears comments about how she is not good enough for her boyfriend, Austin Ames. One day, she is feeling very depressed, when she sees a commercial for the “Miss Perfect” contest, which will be held in her town. Ashley decides to sign up for the contest, much to her mother’s dismay. She meets the requirements and enters the contest.
4. Notting Hill | 1999 | 6 IMDB
William Thacker owns a bookshop in Notting Hill, London. He’s in his early 30s, has come to the realization that he will never have a serious relationship, and that his life will be lonely. One day, a famous Hollywood actress, Anna Scott, comes into his shop. Though he doesn’t know who she is, she takes an interest in him. The two begin to see each other, but in true Hollywood fashion, she is hiding something from him.
4. Silver Linings Playbook | 2012 | 8 IMDB
After spending eight months in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
6. Knocked Up | 2007 | 8.1 IMDB
Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd are starring, this film is directed by Judd Apatow. After sleeping together on the night of their college graduation Dan finds out that Alison is pregnant. Dan wants to do the right thing so he does what any guy would do in his situation, he proposes to her.