Whether you’re jonesing for a good cry or looking for something to bring a smile to your face, there’s nothing that can meet the need as efficiently and effectively as a great romance movie. From tried-and-true romantic comedies that you’ve nearly memorized to sweet tearjerkers that will reaffirm your belief in love, there’s a romantic film (or three) out there for, well, most of us.
With that in mind, in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up the 15 best movies about romance that are currently streaming on Netflix — and thanks to the streaming platform’s staunch commitment to leading the genre’s revival, there were plenty to choose from.
Whether you plan on cuddling up with your boo and a romantic flick for some Netflix and chill or are looking for a laugh about the trials of finding true love, read on for our selection of the best romantic movies now playing on Netflix.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You (2020)
Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, adapted from the first novel in a series by Jenny Han, is geared toward teenagers, but it won the hearts of viewers of all ages when it hit the streaming service last year, thanks to its fresh take on the typical rom-com formula and the adorable chemistry between Lana Condor’s Lara Jean Covey and Noah Centineo’s Peter Kavinsky.
Superfans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before are in for a treat this year, because Lara Jean and Peter’s adventures continues in the sequel, To All the Boys 2: P.S. I Still Love You, which dropped in time for Valentine’s Day and introduced some romantic competition.
The Notebook (2004)
The Notebook has become a classic of the genre, and for good reason — its blend of unapologetic romance and adherence to the long-revered tenets of these narratives (Young love! Passion! Sweeping gestures!) has made the Ryan Gosling-Rachel McAdams Nicholas Sparks adaptation a modern and beloved part of the canon.
Obvious Child (2014)
Don’t let its frank dialogue about reproductive rights overshadow Obvious Child’s witty and winsome love story. In Gillian Robespierre’s directorial debut, stand-up comedian Donna (Jenny Slate) gets more than she bargains for after a one-night stand with the nice-but-square Max (Jake Lacy) that leads to a pregnancy, an abortion, and another chance at love.
In a world where the lines between the personal and the technological are increasingly blurred, Spike Jonze’s Her is the wistful science-fiction romance we need. Recent Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix’s Theodore Twombly unsuccessfully searches for connection before finding it with the most unlikely individual: his virtual assistant powered by artificial intelligence, Samantha (voiced by Scarlet Johansson). The limitations of their charming romance soon show, however, leading to an ending that’s both heartbreaking and hopeful.
The First Wives Club (1996)
Finding life after love, to borrow the old Cher adage, has never been as fun as it is with The First Wives Club, adapted from Olivia Goldsmith’s novel. Bette Middler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton form the titular club after their husbands leave them for younger women, with hilarious and heartwarming results.
Set It Up (2018)
It isn’t romantic love, but the promise of more downtime that motivates two overworked and underpaid assistants (played by Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell) to set up their bosses from hell (Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs). As might be expected, it’s not just the bosses who fall in love.
P.S. I Love You (2007)
In P.S. I Love You, Hilary Swank’s Holly is widowed after her husband Gerry (played by Gerard Butler) dies of brain cancer. But his impact on her life is still felt in a series of letters he’s written to her that are delivered posthumously, helping her to cope with grief and learn to live without him. The film is an ode to love that’s lost — and a call to new beginnings. Speaking of which, a sequel was recently announced, so the time to catch up on this one has never been better.
Always Be My Maybe (2019)
What happens when friendship turns into something more? Ali Wong and Randall Park revisit the When Harry Met Sally conundrum in Always Be My Maybe, in which childhood friends Sasha and Marcus reconnect after years apart. Come for the meet-cute decades in the making and stay for the much-lauded gem of a Keanu Reeves cameo.
Duck Butter (2018)
Can you flash forward to intimacy with a complete stranger? That’s the question posed in Duck Butter, in which Alia Shawkat and Laia Costa’s characters get to know each other physically and emotionally over the course of 24 hours during which they have sex on the hour, every hour. It’s an unusually profound look at sexuality from a female perspective.
The Incredible Jessica James (2017)
In The Incredible Jessica James, comedian Jessica Williams gives the tropes of breakups a fresh lease on life. As the titular character, a playwright hustling in New York City, Williams makes the case that the greatest love story of all might just start with yourself.
The Lobster (2015)
While Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark comedy about single people who must either find romantic partners or be turned into animals may not seem like the first choice for a romantic film, the sweet relationship that somehow develops between Colin Farrell’s David and a stranger played by Rachel Weisz is delightful enough to make you want to risk it all for the chance of a connection.
Kate and Leopold (2001)
In Kate and Leopold, Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman share a passionate love affair that travels through time and space, after Jackman’s 19th century duke falls through a time portal that takes him to Manhattan in the early aughts.
The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
Falling in love is hard enough, but it’s even more difficult when you’re navigating high school. Hailee Steinfeld plays whip-smart but awkward Nadine, whose life gets infinitely more complicated after her best friend begins dating her popular older brother. It’s as much about growing up and about friendship as it is about love, but Hayden Szeto’s Erwin makes for a charming new love interest for Nadine.
About Time (2013)
In this film from Love Actually‘s Richard Curtis, Tim discovers that the men in his family have the ability to time travel, which he uses to the advantage of his love life. But there are unseen consequences to this power, which leads him to reconsider how he lives across the board.
Will Smith stars as Alex “Hitch” Hitchens, a “date doctor” who helps men with their dating woes in Hitch. His methods are challenged, however, when he finds Sara (played by Eva Mendes), a woman who’s immune to his charms.
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