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The 16 Best Romantic Movies And Where To Stream Or Rent Them Online

Clarke Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night.
(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Romantic movies lift the spirit in times of doubt. They can be funny, dramatic, sad, confusing, adventurous, and often hopeful. Romantic movies highlight the wonders and joy that love and being in love brings. Luckily for romantic movie fans, the internet is full of mesmerizing, inspiring, and sometimes sobering movies about love. These films are available across multiple sites to rent or stream.

For this list, I chose a variety of romantic movies to appeal to all types of movie fans. Many of them well-known flicks, but a few are movies that you may have never heard of but definitely should watch.

Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as Jack and Rose in Titanic

(Image credit: Paramount)

Titanic (1997)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet went from relative unknowns to household names in this epic love story. In Titanic, they play Jack and Rose, two young lovers from completely different social classes who meet and fall in love on the Titanic ship. Their brief but powerful love story plays out aboard the ill-fated ship.

Titanic inspired a global debate about whether Jack could fit on the Titanic door if Rose just moved over. The debate doesn’t matter (he definitely could). What matters is that Titanic has become a beloved romance story about unshakable love even in the face of death.

Stream Titanic on Netflix. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Titanic on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

The main couple in Crazy Rich Asians.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Rachel (Constance Wu) suddenly discovers that her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) is rich and part of a powerful dynasty in Singapore. The Crazy Rich Asians cast includes Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Ken Jeong, and Awkwafina.

Crazy Rich Asians is full of glitz and glamour but at the heart of this romantic comedy is Nick and Rachel’s relationship. Constance Wu and Henry Golding have great chemistry together: you really want to see them work it all out and find their happily ever after. We can’t wait to see this delightful pair in future Crazy Rich Asians sequels.

Stream Crazy Rich Asians on HBO Max.  (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Crazy Rich Asians on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

nick robinson love simon

(Image credit: Fox 2000 Pictures)

Love, Simon (2018)

Love, Simon is the coming age story of Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) who is gay but hasn’t come out to his family. He becomes entangled in romantic drama as he tries to keep his sexuality a secret and explore a romance with an online pen pal.

For those who haven’t seen or read Love, Simon I won’t spoil Blue’s identity, but the film is a compelling coming of age story and an engaging romance and mystery one. You don’t only root for Simon to get that fairytale high school romance, but you hope that he finds acceptance and strength to be himself.

Stream Love, Simon on Freevee via Amazon.  (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Love, Simon on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan in The Big Sick

(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

The Big Sick (2017)

Starring Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan, The Big Sick is a film based on Nanjiani’s real love story with wife Emily V. Gordon. Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) goes against his Pakistani traditions to date Emily (Zoe Kazan). They end their relationship and Kumail discovers weeks later that she’s in a medically induced coma. While she’s in the coma, he bonds with her parents, played by Ray Romano and Holly Hunter

The Big Sick is as much about family traditions and finding your own life path as it is about the romance between Kumail and Emily. Kumail’s story resonates with many because it’s not easy going against traditions and expectations, but sometimes it’s necessary to find love.

Stream The Big Sick on Amazon.  (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy The Big Sick on YouTube.

Robin Wright and Cary Elwes as Westley and Buttercup in The Princess Bride

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

The Princess Bride (1987)

The Princess Bride is a story being read to a grandson by his grandfather. The book is the tale of farmhand Westley (Cary Elwes) and his quest to save his love Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright). Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Carol Kane, and Billy Crystal star.

The Princess Bride is a hilarious movie with a very sweet love story. Princess Buttercup and Westley are able to communicate passion and love with body language and few words. The lines “as you wish” have never been hotter than they are in this film.

Stream The Princess Bride on Disney+. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy The Princess Bride on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan star in this romantic comedy about Harry and Sally who have brief encounters before trying this whole just being friends thing.

When Harry Met Sally has become a romantic comedy classic because of the undeniable chemistry between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. The on-screen chemistry combined with a smart script from the romantic movie queen Nora Ephron and the directing legend Rob Reiner makes this film surefire romantic comedy gold.

Stream When Harry Met Sally on Netflix.  (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy When Harry Met Sally on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps in Love and Basketball

(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

Love And Basketball (2000)

Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps star in Love and Basketball, a romantic drama about two lifelong friends who pursue basketball careers while also falling in love with each other.

Love and Basketball is an excellent basketball movie, tells a very enthralling story about hoop dreams, and about being vulnerable enough to find someone who truly loves you scars and all. Love and Basketball has become a cult classic for romance and sports movie fans.

Rent/Buy Love and Basketball on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Cate Blanchett in Carol

(Image credit: The Weinstein Company)

Carol (2015)

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara star in Carol. Carol follows the forbidden love affair of two women in the early 1950s, photographer Therese (Rooney Mara) and soon-to-be divorced Carol (Cate Blanchett).

Carol is the tragic story of how prejudices can shame and force people to hide their identity. Despite the very real and depressing circumstance of Carol and her on going battle with her ex-husband, Carol offers a bit of hope in the form of Therese and Carol’s budding romance.

Stream Carol on Tubi. 
Rent/Buy Carol on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Casablanca (1942)

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman star in Casablanca. American expatriate Rick (Humphrey Bogart) must pick between being with the woman he loves (Ingrid Bergman) or helping her escape with her husband (Paul Henreid).

Casablanca is set during World War II. Rick’s decision (SPOILER) to let Ilsa go is a metaphor about making sacrifices for the greater good. Casablanca’s powerful message is made even more impactful when told through the lens of this beautiful romantic film.

Stream Casablanca on HBO Max.  (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Casablanca on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

god's own country cast

(Image credit: Picturehouse Entertainment)

God’s Own Country (2017)

Johnny (Josh O’Connor) runs the family farm now that his father has suffered a stroke. The family decides to hire a Romanian migrant worker named Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu) to help with the farm work. Tensions mount as the two men clash over culture and their growing attraction to each other.

God’s Own Country is one sexy movie, but it’s a lot more than that. It’s a film about a broken man who finally finds a sense of hope when he falls in love. Johnny’s love for Gheorghe allows him to be a better son, worker, and happy for the first time. He’s also able to fully accept himself.

Stream God's Own Country on Hulu.  (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy God's Own Country on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Ethan Hawke and Julia Delpy in Before Sunrise.

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Before Sunrise (1995)

Richard Linklater directed Before Sunrise, a 1995 romantic drama about an American named Jesse (played by Ethan Hawke) and a French woman named Celine (Julie Delpy). They meet on a train and spend the day walking around getting to know each other. It spun a three film trilogy with Before Sunset and Before Midnight coming next.

Personally, I adore episodes or movies about two people spending the whole day just getting to know each other. It’s a simple concept, but can be so beautiful when told in an engaging way. It feels more intimate and real than characters who fall in love under extreme circumstances. Before Sunrise is one of the most successful versions of this type of storytelling.

Rent/Buy Before Sunrise on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night.

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

It Happened One Night (1934)

Frank Capra directed the romantic comedy It Happened One Night. The film stars Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert as reporter Peter and spoiled heiress Ellie who meet one day on the Greyhound bus. While experiencing various adventures, their love-hate relationship turns to real love.

There is something so charming and funny about watching Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert work together and bicker throughout It Happened One Night. They are such a hilarious duo in this film. If you want to watch an actually funny romantic comedy, then It Happened One Night is a safe bet.

Rent/Buy It Happened One Night on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle

(Image credit: TriStar Pictures)

Sleepless In Seattle (1993)

Sleepless in Seattle is the second Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie collaboration. Sam (Tom Hank)’s son Jonah (Ross Malinger) calls a radio talk show and has his father speak about missing his deceased wife. This segment makes women instantly fall for this grieving widow, including Annie (Meg Ryan).

Sleepless in Seattle brings you back to the 1990s, and tackles themes of destiny and taking a chance. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks don’t even technically get together until the end of the movie, but you’re mesmerized by the possibility of their love story.

Stream Sleepless in Seattle on HBO Max. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy Sleepless in Seattle on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson in About Time.

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

About Time (2013)

In About Time, at 21, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson)’s father James (Bill Nighy) tells him that the men in their family have time traveling abilities. He uses his abilities to try to win Mary (played by the wonderful Rachel McAdams)’s heart.

Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson have a very cute romance, but About Time is a more complex than a simple romantic comedy. It’s also about the limitations of time, even with the ability to alter it. It’s a precious commodity that must be appreciated while in the moment.

Stream About Time on Starz. (opens in new tab)
Rent/Buy About Time on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in An Affair To Remember.

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

An Affair To Remember (1957)

Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr star in An Affair To Remember, a drama about two people who agree to meet in six months on top of the Empire State Building if they leave their current partners and start new careers. Both plan to meet the other, but Terry (Deborah Kerr) gets in a terrible accident that leaves her paralyzed. She hides this fact from him.

An Affair To Remember is a beautiful, tragic love story that ends with a sense of hope. If he can paint, she can walk. Anything is possible with the power of love.

Rent/Buy An Affair To Remember on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in The Notebook.

(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

The Notebook (2004)

Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling play star crossed lovers in the 1940s. They want to be together but their social class, duties, and families jeopardize their romance.

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams’ chemistry is so infectious in The Notebook that you can’t help but want them to end up together. I mean if she’s a bird, he’s a bird. It’s destiny, people, destiny.

Rent/Buy The Notebook on Amazon. (opens in new tab)

There are many great romantic movies available to rent or stream. Unfortunately, we couldn’t name them all, but a few worth mentioning are Pretty Woman, Amelie, Call Me By Your Name, A Star Is Born, Pride and Prejudice, Roman Holiday and Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind.

Jerrica Tisdale
Jerrica Tisdale

Spent most of my life in various parts of Illinois, including attending college in Evanston. I have been a life long lover of pop culture, especially television, turned that passion into writing about all things entertainment related. When I'm not writing about pop culture, I can be found channeling Gordon Ramsay by kicking people out the kitchen.