The Best Romance Films of All Time

The Best Romance Films of All Time

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Sometimes there’s just nothing better than curling up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a fantastic romance film. In a time when every movie at the cinema seems to be a crass comedy or a crashingly-loud superhero saga, it can be nice to slow down and savor a heartfelt love story.


If you’re in the mood to swoon, stream or pick up a copy of one of these unforgettable films. Whether you’ve seen them before or not, you’re sure to have a wonderful viewing experience.




Set against the backdrop of war-torn Europe, Casablanca is widely considered one of the most heart-wrenching, artfully-crafted romance films of all-time. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical, embittered American nightclub owner living in Casablanca, Morocco, comes into possession of two precious letters of transit. The individuals in possession of these letters would be able to travel freely around the Nazi-controlled European continent, making it possible to escape to the United States. Through a strange twist of fate, it turns out that the couple trying to purchase the letters are Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) and Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), a Czech Resistance leader and his wife. Ilsa, however, is the love of Rick's life. Remembering the times they had together and the seemingly heartless way in which Ilsa left him, Rick must decide whether or not to save the couple. What will he do?


Dramatic and romantic with brilliant dialogue and camerawork, Casablanca is a film everyone should watch at least once in their lives. Even those as hardened as Rick Blaine himself are guaranteed to enjoy this timeless film.


The Big Sick


Though released just last year, The Big Sick is already considered one of the best rom-coms of the decade. The film follows the budding romance between Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), an Uber driver and struggling stand-up comedian, and Emily (Zoe Kazan), a young grad student. Though the pair claim they don't want to get into a serious relationship, they continue growing closer. Kumail, however, has been keeping his relationship a secret from his parents, who desire to see their son in an arranged marriage with a traditional Pakistani bride. When Emily finds out about Kumail's lies, she storms out of his apartment.


Everything becomes even more chaotic when Emily winds up in the hospital. Put under a medically-induced coma, Kumail must face Emily's parents, Beth (Holly Hunter) and Terry (Ray Romano), who aren't happy about how things ended between Kumail and their daughter.


Tackling the awkwardness of modern-day relationships head-on, The Big Sick artfully captures the struggles caused by culture clashes, familial expectations, and "messy" romantic feelings. Equal parts funny and touching, The Big Sick is a modern love story you certainly won't forget.


An Affair to Remember


Nickie Ferrante (Cary Grant) is a debonair playboy sailing from Europe back to New York City. Though he plans to settle down with a wealthy heiress upon his return, his flirtations with nightclub singer Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) while aboard the ship soon change his mind. By the time the ship lands, they have fallen for one another. Despite both being engaged to others, they agree to meet atop the Empire State Building in six months' time if their feelings remain the same. Will Nickie and Terry have a romantic reunion, or will both return to their former lives?


A nearly-identical retelling of 1939's Love Affair, An Affair to Remember is a grand, sweeping romantic classic. Packed with both coquettish exchanges and tear-jerking moments, An Affair to Remember is the perfect film for any die-hard romantic.


When Harry Met Sally...


Penned by the brilliant Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally... is among the most definitive romantic comedies of our time. Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) have run into each other multiple times throughout the years. Upon first meeting in 1977, Harry insists that men and women can never be friends, as sex and attraction always get in the way. Though Sally disagrees with this assertion, their sporadic chance encounters seem to prove Harry right. Years later, however, the pair meet up again. This time, the two strike up a friendship, discussing their lives and unsuccessful recent romances.


Can Harry and Sally stay "just friends?" Drawing inspiration from the real-life dynamics between Ephron, Crystal, and director Rob Reiner, When Harry Met Sally... is packed with hilarious dialogue and relatable romantic calamities. If you're in the mood for a breezy, laugh-out-loud funny love story, grab some snacks and enjoy When Harry Met Sally....


Somewhere in Time


Aspiring playwright Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) is startled when an older woman approaches him on the opening night of his first play, imploring him to “come back to her.” Years later, while visiting the Grand Hotel, Richard finds himself entranced by a turn-of-the-century portrait of a beautiful young actress. Learning more about the actress, Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), Richard becomes obsessed with meeting her. Through self-hypnosis, Richard manages to travel back in time to 1912, meeting Elise and falling in love with her.


Time travel, however, poses risks to their relationship, as do the suspicions of Elise's manager, William (Christopher Plummer). Will this young couple's passionate love affair survive despite the obstacles?


Featuring top-rate acting, picturesque scenery, and an achingly romantic musical score,  Somewhere in Time is a beautifully crafted masterpiece. Hopeless romantics are guaranteed to shed a tear while watching this timeless romance film.



Though real-life relationships are certainly more complicated than romance films would have us believe, sometimes it’s nice to simply suspend our disbelief and enjoy the joys and sorrows of a dramatic love story.


When you’re feeling in the mood for a heartfelt tale, watch one of these amazing movies. You certainly won’t regret it!



Photo: © ra2 studio /

Editor, 08/09/2018