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The Best Sports Romance Movies

Updated November 11, 2020 1.6k votes 426 voters 34.8k views57 items

When the thrill of competition is combined with an emotional love story, great filmmaking can be achieved. The best romantic sports movies feature rivals fighting for first place in life and in love. This is a list of the top cinematic sports love stories including everything from The Karate Kid to Cinderella Man to Run Fatboy Run.

What films will you find on this list of athlete romance movies? Tom Cruise makes a few appearances here. In 1990's Days of Thunder, he and Nicole Kidman fell in love on screen and off, while Jerry Maguire finds him telling a sports story from the agency side. Varsity Blues is a good sports movie that finds a starting quarterback dealing with newfound attention from pretty cheerleaders. Other good movies featured on this best athlete love stories movies list include Bull Durham, Major League, and Bring It On.

Which sports love story is your favorite? Give the best unconventional sports films a thumbs up.

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  • Love & Basketball1
    148
    59

    Love & Basketball

    Tyra Banks, Gabrielle Union

    Released2000

    Directed byGina Prince-Bythewood

    Love & Basketball is a 2000 American romantic drama film starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan....  more
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  • Wimbledon2
    79
    33

    Wimbledon

    Kirsten Dunst, James McAvoy

    Released2004

    Directed byRichard Loncraine

    Wimbledon is a 2004 romantic comedy film directed by Richard Loncraine. The film centers on a...  more
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  • The Cutting Edge3
    73
    30

    The Cutting Edge

    Terry O'Quinn, Moira Kelly

    Released1992

    Directed byPaul Michael Glaser

    The Cutting Edge is a 1992 romantic comedy film directed by Paul Michael Glaser and written by...  more
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  • 424
    62
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    42

    Chadwick Boseman, Nicole Beharie

    Released2013

    Directed byBrian Helgeland

    42 is a 2013 American biographical sports film directed by Brian Helgeland. The powerful story...  more
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  • The Karate Kid5
    50
    20

    The Karate Kid

    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G....  more
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  • Bend It like Beckham6
    63
    33

    Bend It like Beckham

    Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

    Released2002

    Directed byGurinder Chadha

    Bend It like Beckham is a 2002 British comedy-drama film starring Parminder Nagra, Keira...  more
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  • Bring It On7
    63
    37

    Bring It On

    Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku

    Released2000

    Directed byPeyton Reed

    Bring It On is a 2000 American teen comedy film that was directed by Peyton Reed and written...  more
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  • Jerry Maguire8
    49
    26

    Jerry Maguire

    Tom Cruise, Lucy Liu

    Released1996

    Directed byCameron Crowe

    Jerry Maguire is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama sports film written, produced and...  more
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  • Summer Catch9
    44
    24

    Summer Catch

    Jessica Biel, Brittany Murphy

    Released2001

    Directed byMichael Tollin

    Summer Catch is a 2001 romantic comedy film starring Freddie Prinze, Jr., Jessica Biel and...  more
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  • Cinderella Man10
    36
    17

    Cinderella Man

    Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger

    Released2005

    Directed byRon Howard

    Cinderella Man is a 2005 American drama film by Ron Howard, titled after the nickname of...  more
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  • Varsity Blues11
    35
    19

    Varsity Blues

    Ali Larter, Paul Walker

    Released1999

    Directed byBrian Robbins

    Varsity Blues is a 1999 American coming-of-age sports comedy-drama film directed by Brian...  more
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  • Bull Durham12
    34
    19

    Bull Durham

    Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon

    Released1988

    Directed byRon Shelton

    Bull Durham is a 1988 American romantic comedy sports film. It is partly based upon the minor...  more
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  • Fever Pitch13
    34
    26

    Fever Pitch

    Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon

    Released2005

    Directed byPeter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly

    Fever Pitch is a 2005 Farrelly brothers romantic comedy film starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy...  more
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  • Tin Cup14
    23
    17

    Tin Cup

    Kevin Costner, Rene Russo

    Released1996

    Directed byRon Shelton

    Tin Cup is a 1996 romantic comedy film co-written and directed by Ron Shelton, and starring...  more
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  • Days of Thunder15
    20
    15

    Days of Thunder

    Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman

    Released1990

    Directed byTony Scott

    Days of Thunder is a 1990 American auto racing film released by Paramount Pictures, produced...  more
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  • Major League16
    18
    19

    Major League

    Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger

    Released1989

    Directed byDavid S. Ward

    Major League is a 1989 American sports comedy film written and directed by David S. Ward,...  more
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  • Lucas17
    18
    20

    Lucas

    Charlie Sheen, Winona Ryder

    Released1986

    Directed byDavid Seltzer

    Lucas is a 1986 American teen tragicomedy film directed by David Seltzer and starring Corey...  more
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  • High School Musical18
    5
    2

    High School Musical

    Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale

    Released2006

    Directed byKenny Ortega

    High School Musical is a 2006 American teen/children's romantic comedy musical television film...  more
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  • The Wrestler19
    17
    24

    The Wrestler

    Evan Rachel Wood, Mickey Rourke

    Released2008

    Directed byDarren Aronofsky

    The Wrestler is a 2008 American sports drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by...  more
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  • Bottom of the 9th20
    5
    10

    Bottom of the 9th

    Joe Manganiello, Sofía Vergara

    Released2019

    Directed byRaymond De Felitta

    Bottom of the 9th is a 2019 American drama film, directed by Raymond De Felitta. A...  more
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  • Run Fatboy Run21
    12
    26

    Run Fatboy Run

    Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria

    Released2007

    Directed byDavid Schwimmer

    Run Fatboy Run is a 2007 British-American comedy film directed by David Schwimmer, written by...  more
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  • Mr. Baseball22
    11
    28

    Mr. Baseball

    Tom Selleck, Ken Takakura
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  • For Love of the Game23
    1
    2

    For Love of the Game

    Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston

    Released1999

    Directed bySam Raimi

    For Love of the Game is a 1999 American drama sports film based on the novel of the same title...  more
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  • A League of Their Own24
    4
    1

    A League of Their Own

    Madonna, Tom Hanks

    Released1992

    Directed byPenny Marshall

    A League of Their Own is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized account...  more
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  • Blue Crush25
    5
    0

    Blue Crush

    Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez

    Released2002

    Directed byJohn Stockwell

    Blue Crush is a 2002 surfer film directed by John Stockwell and based on the Outside magazine...  more
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