7 Most Romantic Movies To Swoon Over

There are movies about love, movies you love, and movies you fall in love with. We’ve gathered a list of those rare romances that overwhelm us with charm, bring out the sincerity within all, and show the power of romance. From period pieces to screwball comedies to loves that could have been, this is cinema at its peak.

1. Shakespeare in Love 

John Madden’s apocryphal look at the life and times of William Shakespeare is one of Hollywood’s greatest delights. Carried by Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes as muse and Shakespeare himself, this romantic comedy is a theater nerd’s delight. There’s mistaken identity, gender swapping, murder, soliloquies, and a sense that fate guides the movie in the right direction — which is to say that Shakespeare in Love imbues all of the good of Shakespeare’s greatest works. From the lush setting to the amazing on screen chemistry, Shakespeare in Love is a gorgeous romance.

2. Amélie

Part love letter to Paris, part love letter to film, part love letter to love, Amélie is a sepia-toned tale of finding ‘the one.’ Though its style has been cribbed since its release over 15 years ago, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s incredible world building is something that can’t be missed. Audrey Tatou brings an unparalleled charm as the eponymous character desperate to fit in despite her naïveté. Amélie is a movie that glows with love.

3. Before Sunrise

Co-written by director Richard Linklater and stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, Before Sunrise is a perfect look at young love. Set across one long walk through Vienna, Jesse and Céline talk about love, loss and everything in between, learning the contours of the others’ personality as they fall in love. The first in a trilogy that details a lifelong love, Before Sunrise perfectly captures that feeling of being abroad with a whole life ahead of you.

4. The Princess Bride

What can be said about The Princess Bride that hasn’t been said a thousand times? It’s hilarious, it’s sweet, it’s iconic and well-written, and on and on. At this point, if you haven’t seen this fairytale romp you need to drop what you’re doing and go watch it right now. As you wish.

5. The Apartment

The Apartment might be the most depressing movie on this list, but it might also be the best. Written and directed by the iconic Billy Wilder, this look at suicide, Christmas, and true love is razor sharp and deeply insightful while evoking the messy politics of yesteryear. It features Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine at the heights of their powers, bringing sass and charm in equal measure. Though the movie can be somewhat morose at points, you’ll fall in love with its faith in humanity.

6. Carol

It’s difficult to make a compelling romantic movie about repression because so much of repression and desire are about the unsaid. But director Todd Haynes met this challenge head on with the moody, beautiful Carol, a look at queer love in postwar New York. Perhaps the ideal winter movie, Carol catalogues the taboo relationship between Cate Blanchette and Rooney Mara as they try to navigate their gender roles. The score alone is something to fall in love with — it helps that the rest of the movie is just as stunning.

7. Adventureland

Adventureland finds an agitated Jesse Eisenberg stuck in a crappy summer job, pining for a cool and confused Kristen Stewart. Set in the ’80s and adorned with an era-defining soundtrack, this underrated tale of young love is as funny as it is heartbreaking. Make sure to see this for Ryan Reynolds’ role as a total sleaze — a fun departure for the charming actor.