Entertainment

The Top 25 Must-See Quintessential Romance Movies  

Ranker Film
421 votes 100 voters 1.9k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up the romantic movies that define the genre and should be required viewing for beginners in an Intro to Romance Films class.

Ah, romantic movies! As sung in a song made famous by the quintessential romance film Casablanca, moonlight and love songs are never out of date. From generation to generation, romantic films are a consistent box office staple. True love, unrequited love, and star-crossed lovers can all be found in the essential romantic movies listed below. 

If you're new to the genre, consider this romance movies for beginners. These are the films that helped establish the conventions of the genre, presenting romance in the way we wish it could truly be, but often isn't. Many of these stories are idealized portrayals of romantic love, dotted with grand romantic gestures that most of us will never actually experience in real life. While you may never get that dramatic kiss in the rain or mad dash to the airport, you can always live vicariously through the likes of Humphrey Bogart and Rachel McAdams. Even if you're a cynic, these are films everyone should watch at least once. 

This list isn't going to throw anything too obvious your way. Everyone already knows the tragic tale of Romeo & Juliet, but that sort of play/film isn't appropriate given that its principal genre is tragedy, not romance. Here, you will find an intro to romance movies featuring some of the most popular and famous romance movies of all time. Give some of these must-see romance movies a watch and then vote your favorites to the top of the list! 

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

A Walk to Remember is a 2002 American coming-of-age teen romantic drama based on the 1999 romance novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Shane West and Mandy Moore, was directed by Adam Shankman, and produced by Denise Di Novi and Hunt Lowery for Warner Bros. A Walk to Remember was panned by critics. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Mandy Moore, Marisa Miller, Daryl Hannah, Paz de la Huerta, Shane West, + more

Released: 2002

Directed by: Adam Shankman

More A Walk to Remember

#41 of 292 on The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #41 of 170 on The Greatest Date Movies of All Time #27 of 810 on The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #9 of 284 on The Best Teen Romance Movies

Is this a must-see?
see more on A Walk to Remember
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

The Notebook is a 2004 American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fall in love during 1940. Their story is narrated from the present day by an elderly man telling the tale to a fellow nursing home resident. The Notebook received mixed reviews but performed well at the box office and received several award nominations, winning eight Teen Choice Awards, a Satellite Award and an MTV Movie Award. The film became a sleeper hit and has gained a cult following. On November 11, 2012, ABC Family premiered an extended version with deleted scenes added back into ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, James Garner, James Marsden, Joan Allen, + more

Released: 2004

Directed by: Nick Cassavetes

More The Notebook

#89 of 361 on The Best Movies Based on Books #24 of 292 on The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #28 of 412 on The Best Rainy Day Movies #18 of 170 on The Greatest Date Movies of All Time

Is this a must-see?
see more on The Notebook
Titanic is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Top 25 Must-See Quintessential Romance Movies
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Fair use

Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A seventeen-year-old aristocrat (Kate Winslet) falls in love with a kind but poor artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, James Cameron, Bill Paxton, + more

Released: 1997

Directed by: James Cameron

More Titanic

#38 of 1720 on The Most Rewatchable Movies #22 of 292 on The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #52 of 412 on The Best Rainy Day Movies #14 of 93 on The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies

Is this a must-see?
see more on Titanic
Romeo + Juliet is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Top 25 Must-See Quintessential Romance Movies
Photo:  Romeo & Juliet

Romeo + Juliet is a 1996 American romantic drama film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It was directed by Baz Luhrmann. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in the leading roles. The film is an abridged modernization of Shakespeare's play. While it retains the original Shakespearean dialogue, the Montagues and the Capulets are represented as the opposing empires and swords are replaced with guns. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Paul Rudd, Brian Dennehy, John Leguizamo, Pete Postlethwaite, + more

Released: 1996

Directed by: Baz Luhrmann

More Romeo + Juliet

#61 of 170 on The Greatest Date Movies of All Time #26 of 284 on The Best Teen Romance Movies #49 of 99 on The Greatest Movie Remakes of All Time #36 of 319 on Movies with the Best Soundtracks

Is this a must-see?
see more on Romeo + Juliet