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The 10 Top Romantic Movies You Haven’t Seen Yet—but Should

Get ready for some major swooning! Here are the must-see romances you probably haven't seen yet—but definitely should.



 Don’t neglect Persuasion when you need a Jane Austen fix. Mr. Darcy is more popular, but Persuasion’s Captain Wentworth is worth your time and attention. Played by the dashing Ciaran Hinds, the captain is lovestruck by Anne (Amanda Root), who’s considered a washed-up spinster at age 27. Prepare for high-society finagling and letter delivery shenanigans! Anne just has to end up with the right man! When the two finally get a moment alone amid street circus performers, your heart with swell with jubilation and relief. Did you know Jane Austen fans were called Janeites? Check out these fascinating facts about iconic authors.

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Punch-Drunk Love

Adam Sandler may seem an unlikely leading man, but he will wow you and woo you in this appealing and little-seen indie. Sandler stars as a hapless salesman who falls victim to a credit card scam. Enter the lovely Emily Watson, playing a woman who took a liking to his photo and wants to date him. You’ll fall hard for their thrilling and awkward romance even as bad guys, airline mile mishaps, and yelling family members get in the way. Punch-Drunk Love offers the realization that love can make you brave and invincible even in the face of danger.

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 Cinema Paradiso

If you haven’t seen this 1988 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner, then you’re missing out. If you love the sweeping ecstasy of movie kisses, get ready to be swept off your feet watching this Italian romance. It’s basically an ode to the romance of movies themselves. A film director returns to the village of his youth and remembers his childhood and first love and their connection to the town movie theater—all seen in flashbacks. The ending montage will have you in tears and rapture. Check out the most iconic movie set from every state.


Medicine for Melancholy

If you loved Best Picture winner Moonlight, check out director Barry Jenkin’s earlier romantic drama. The movie starts post-one night stand during the tepid morning after for Jo and Micah. Oh, the awkwardness! But when Jo accidentally leaves her wallet in their shared cab, the two end up spending the day together. You’ll find yourself drawn in to their engaging and modern take on relationships, race, and identity as the two stroll through San Francisco. Despite a budget of just $15,000, this movie features gorgeous cinematography and artistry. Definitely worth your while!

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In the Mood for Love

Don’t miss this romance from acclaimed master director Wong Kar-wai, known for his stylized and dream-like films that put you close to his character’s lives—and their often painful and thwarted love affairs. This one stars Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung as the spurned spouses of two people having an affair. The two slowly discover the truth—but then realize they’ve fallen for each other! They can’t bear to do what their spouses have done. Which is tragic now that they’re in love. You’ll fall too when you give this artsy romance a viewing. Also worth watching: the best movies about breaking up.

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What happens when you meet a guy on Friday, fall in love, but then you have to catch a train for a two-year trip in a different continent by late Sunday afternoon? Such is the set-up for Weekend, a thrilling and intimate look at the confusion of hooking up when you don’t want a boyfriend—under any circumstances. Weekend stars Tom Cullen and Chris New as the two gay men who confront issues of coming out, relationships and dealing with love in this acclaimed British indie. You’ll be on the edge of your seat for the final goodbye (or is it?) on a train platform with the clock ticking. Romance galore! These are the all-time best movies about friendship.

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Bright Star

This true story of sonneteer John Keats’ romance with Fanny Brawne will destroy you—in the best possible way. The costumes and settings are beautiful as Abbie Cornish as Fanny, and Ben Whishaw as Keats dissolve in longing and verse as society works to keep them apart. There’s a gorgeous scene with caught butterflies—Fanny brings them indoors to console her heart while Keats is away. Director Jane Campion’s breathtaking drama is all you need to indulge in romance and wonder. Check out these movies with the best happy endings.


Written on the Wind

You haven’t seen a true romance film until you’ve indulged in one of Douglas Sirk’s glittery technicolor melodramas from the 1950s. This one stars Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall as star-crossed lovers drawn into the epic dysfunction of a millionaire oil family. This is the movie that inspired the TV show Dallas, so get ready for drama, intrigue, and wealth. If you love this one, you might as well go for All that Heaven Allows, with Rock Hudson as a dreamboat gardener too poor to date. Or check out the modern update Far from Heaven starring Julianne Moore as a 1950s housewife and Dennis Haysbert as the gardener she has no business falling in love with—even though her husband, played by Dennis Quaid, is romantically unavailable to her (we’ll leave it at that). Shock, scandal, and soapy intrigue right when you need it!

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Sliding Doors

Why can’t all rom-coms be this charming and lovable? And what happens when you’re racing to catch your train, but a space-time continuum opens up and one of you makes it and the other doesn’t? So one of you finds your boyfriend in bed with another woman and your other self gets played. Gwyneth Paltrow plays the woman who gets a great haircut in one timeline so we can tell her apart from the other timeline. Both stories drive toward her ultimate romantic fate. What happens? Watch and see! You’ll love it! Here are 12 more time travel movies to make you question everything.


A Little Romance

This madcap romance about young love was Diane Lane’s film debut at age 13. She plays a young American girl in Paris who steals away with a young French boy with Laurence Olivier in tow. The two youths just want to share a kiss under the Bridge of Sighs in Venice to seal their love. How do two kids hatch a plan to travel across Europe alone? Find out in this sweet ode to young love and tender romance.

Next up, don’t miss the most romantic movies of all time.

Molly Pennington, PhD
Molly is a writer and professional astrologer with a PhD in Critical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. She covers the zodiac, books, movies, TV, and culture for She loves puns, puzzles, people, the planet Mars, and philosophizing.

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