The 10 Best Romance Movies Of All Time ------- My Favorite Love Stories (My Lifetime)

Oct 1, 2005 (Updated Feb 8, 2006)

The Bottom Line This is my list of what I feel are the 10 best romance movies of all time.

When it comes to a nice, romantic movie, that has a strong story, and great character development, I am really a sap. I'm not the type of guy who is afraid to sit down to watch a love story, and I actually find some of them to be it the category of better made films. In order for them to work, and for the viewer to believe the love is real, the characters have to be developed well, and the story has to be a strong one. A Romance movie doesn't have to end happily, and I think the main quality (or rule) is that there has to be some sort of sacrifice; be it time, a job, a way of life, or even life itself for the other person. Love stories really are what drive nearly every film, as you have someone falling for someone else, but it is the truly great ones where you remember more about the interactions of the two main characters than the story itself.

I have listed here what I believe to be the 10 best Romance Movies that I have seen, and ones that I would hang my hat on as being some of the best films that Hollywood has produced. There is no fodder on this list, but rather a group of movies, some of which could crack the toughest heart with the love and sacrifice that people have and are willing to do for each other. I will admit, that the romance is more from my time on this Earth, because a lot of more recent stories apply more to the life that I live, and if I can see myself in the situation, it is that much more powerful to me. Thus, a lot of my choices come from films in recent memory. So, without any further explanation, here is my list:

Moulin Rouge! (2001) -- Starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor

Baz Luhrmann directs this film about a poet who falls for a beautiful courtesan, whom a jealous duke covets. The poet is played by McGregor, and the courtesan is played by Kidman in roles that both of them seem destined to play. Not only are they able to show off their acting talents as Satine and Christian, but they have to sing as well in this musical. Set at the turn-of-the-century in France, the Moulin Rouge is a lively, sometimes dark, nightclub that caters to all walks of life. Christian goes there with the hopes of scoring he and his fellow Bohemian actors a sponsor for the play that he wants to put on, but instead finds more than he had ever hoped. He quickly falls for Satine, who will not be loved if she can help it. The story progresses into a love story, as Satine lets her guard down just enough to realize that she can feel love for another. Moulin Rouge is one of those films that I am able to watch over and over again. The music in the film, especially the remake of the song Roxanne, soars the entire time, and the story is one that can hook any audience into watching it. At times fun, and at other times very serious, Moulin Rouge was the best film of 2001.

Quotes That Made The Movie:

"The greatest thing, you'll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return."

"Tell our story Christian, that way I'll-I'll always be with you."

The Notebook (2004)-- Starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

The Notebook was a great romantic tale about 2 young lovers who come across each other at a small-town carnival one night. The girl's parents disapprove, and it becomes a struggle right away for the relationship to get off the ground. When war hits the country, Noah is called off to war, and Allie is left wondering if she will ever see him again. Not hearing from him, she gets married to another man, and the story really begins. Starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as the loving couple, the film is great as it depicts two people that should be spending their lives together. The story is strong from start to finish, and there are parts of the film where it just tears at your heart that things can't be easier for the two main characters. I loved this film a lot, and it will always have a place in my top 10. James Garner also plays a great role in the film, and the romance of the film just gushes off of the screen.

Quotes That Made The Movie:

"I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who's ever lived: I've loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough."

"Why didn't you write me? Why? It wasn't over for me, I waited for you for seven years."

Before Sunrise / Before Sunset (1995/2004) -- Starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy

This is actually two films, but they are one premise, about two lovers. Two travelers meet on a train in Europe, and strike up a conversation that ends up lasting the duration of the movie. Though simple in plot, it is very deep in the way that these two people are able to learn everything about each other in such a short time, and develop feelings for each other that could last a long time if they weren't going separate ways the next morning. The end of the first film leaves you wanting so much more as they go in different directions, and you wonder what became of either character. In the sequel, they cross paths again 9 years later. Their lives have changed a lot, but they still cling to the importance of that one day where they had a chance meeting so long ago. The film does as good of a job, if not better than the first one, and showing an encounter filled with realism, and devoid of mere acting. Directed once again by Richard Linklater, this film does its best to stick to the same themes that made the original film so great. Instead of ruining the fantasy that we had from before, it expounds upon it, and at times makes you long for the couple to reunite. The film is deep, but at the same time, we feel that real life is unfolding in front of us, rather than the fact that we are watching a movie. It is films like these that make the whole experience worth-while.

Quotes That Made The Movie:

"Isn't everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?"

"I like to feel his eyes on me when I look away."

50 First Dates (2004) -- Starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore

Adam Sandler takes another step towards serious acting in a role that he hasn't been given very much credit for. Adam Sandler plays the role of Henry Roth, who is a veterinarian at a Hawaiian water-park. He has been going through life dating women who are on vacation in Hawaii, looking for excitement and an escape from jobs that they have back in the great 48 states. Little does each of them know, but he has been playing a role for each of them as they come to meet him. That was the case, until one day he met Lucy at a local restaurant. Lucy is played by Drew Barrymore, and it turns out that she has a shocking back-story. Lucy was in a car accident with her father, and the lasting effects of it, have left her with no ability to form new memories. She lives her life for a day, goes to sleep, and in the morning cannot remember anything after the accident. What evolves from there is a great love story where Sandler's character shows just how far he is willing to go, to make the person he loves happy. It is innocent, funny, and if you let it be, heart-warming. The ending is one of the best endings I have seen in film, and I will keep going back to it as the ideal ending to a great romantic comedy.

Quotes That Made The Movie:

"Can I have one last first kiss?"

"There's nothing like a first kiss."

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) -- Starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett

Jim Carrey has come a long way since his days as Ace Ventura, and in his latest film, he stars as a jaded man wanting to forget his ex-girlfriend. The break-up has not gone well for him, and he goes into a process that will erase her existence from his mind. The procedure is basically brain damage, and kills the parts of his brain connected to her memories. Once the process has started though, he has second thoughts, and wants to put a stop to it. From there we go through many twisted sequences as his brain relives moments that are left in his memory. He must find a way to "out-run" the procedure if he wants to remember her later on. The film is extremely original in its depiction of these events, and with Kate Winslett serving as his better half, we are treated to some top-notch acting from both of them. This film stood out as one of the great films of 2004, because it didn't try to be anything more than a story about two lovers who have seen better days in their lives. This was a 5 star film all the way and the genuine love that we could see in the eyes of Winslett and Carrey throughout the duration of the film. The extent to which Carrey is willing to go in this film truly shows off the romantic qualities that some people possess.

Quotes That Made The Movie:

"Constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating."

"I wish you'd stayed." "I wish I'd stayed, too. NOW I wish I'd stayed. I wish I'd done a lot of things. I wish I'd... I wish I'd stayed... I do."

The Butterfly Effect (2004) -- Starring Aston Kutcher and Amy Smart

A different kind of romance story, this one actually tests the bounds of time itself as one man obsession with a woman drives him to do some very intense things. Ashton Kutcher plays a character who has gone through his life having blackouts of stressful events that happened during his life. Grown up, he realizes he has the ability to go back to those moments, and change the events that happened. The most important part of the story, is that he does not remember why the blackouts happened, or what they are blocking out of his mind. Instead, he is going back to the moment to see what happened, and hope that he can change it to perfect his current life and save his girlfriend who has died. His thought is that if he can change just one small moment of their past, that he can end up saving her. This is a very dark time-travel movie, and shows just how evil people can be, but at the same time showing how much one person can love another. Kutcher, even with bad acting, carries the strong story, and extremely interesting plot to a climactic conclusion that makes it one of the best time-travel movies ever, as well as being a lovely, all be it dark, romance.

Quotes That Made The Movie:

"Just think of your mind as a movie, you can pause, rewind or slow down any details you want."

"If anyone finds this, it means my plan didn't work and I'm already dead. But if I can somehow go back to the beginning of all of this, I might be able to save her."

Titanic (1997)-- Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Bill Paxton and Kathy Bates

In the epic film of my time, and the highest grossing film of all time, we follow the story of the last days of the Titanic. At the center of the story is a love-triangle between Jack (DiCaprio), Rose (Winslet), and Cal (Billy Zane. We are able to see the love-story unfold, with the back-drop being the sinking of an unsinkable ship. The ill-fated voyage fills out this movie with emotion packed scenes, and a great story that helped this movie win a ton of academy awards, including best picture. The trick that makes this movie so good, is that James Cameron makes sure to develop all of the characters as far as he can go with them. The story is deep in its exploration of the final moments of the Titanic, and it does not hold back from showing what probably really happened on the ship, and in the water following the sinking. The is a great film, that will go on being a great film, not because of the acting, but because of the themes and the way that the story flows. Of course the biggest aspect of the film is the ship sinking, but that becomes a back-drop to the love story developing between Rose and Jack. They become willing to do anything for each other, and though their relationship turns out to be all too brief, for a few moments they are both able to truly live.

Quotes That Made The Movie:

"You're crazy..." "That's what everybody says. But with all due respect miss, I'm not the one hanging over the back of a ship here. Give me your hand. You don't want to do this."

"I'm The King of The World."

"Excuse me, Mr. Andrews, but I've been doing the math in my head and it seems that with the number of people there are on board, there aren't enough lifeboats."

Ghost (1990) -- Starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg

Ghost is a different kind of love story, in that the best parts of the film take place after one of the main characters dies. The film does a great job of developing the chemistry between Swayze and Moore up to that point, so when the tragedy does occur, we understand completely what both characters are feeling. The love story here goes further than normal, because even after death, the interactions between the two main characters are intoxicating. Swayze and Moore are excellent in their roles within the film, and it is amazing how the story was turned into a love story involving a ghost. What normally would be the plot of a horror film, this one shows just how strong love can be, and that there are things that people can do to express their love even after they have passed. The romantic tones of this movie are as thick as anything, and really add a lot to the story that it carries along with it.

Quotes That Made The Movie:

"I Love You." "Ditto."

"It's amazing, Molly. The love inside, you take it with you."

City of Angels (1998) -- Starring Nicholas Cage, Andre Braugher, Dennis Franz and Meg Ryan

Cage plays an angel who has been watching over people in the city of Los Angeles, and one day comes across Ryan's character who is taking care of someone he is coming to "claim," He sees something inside of her, and falls in love with her. Ryan is a doctor, grounded in science, and the world she can see, and can't convince herself that Cage is really an angel. But he will stop at nothing to show how much he has started to care for her, and she sees just how beautiful of a person he is. This of course leads to Cage deciding to make the ultimate sacrifice, and that is choosing to "fall" and become human. This is where the romantic elements of the film really kick into high gear, and you see how these two characters were meant for each other. Everything that Cage is willing to do for his love exemplifies what the word "romance" means, and the movie is as beautiful as it is romantic.

Quotes That Made The Movie:

"When they ask me what I liked best, I'll say it was you."

"I can't see you, but I know you're there."

What Dreams May Come (1998) -- Starring Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Annabella Sciorra

When a tragic twist of fate takes their children from them, a couple is left to try and piece together an already fragile life. Their undieing love for each other is the only thing that keeps them going, and the love they see in each others eyes is the only way to escape the pain of their lose. Tragedy strikes again though, and William's character Chris dies in a car accident. Annie (Sciorra) is left alone in the world, and doesn't have the strength to go on by herself. But Chris isn't moving on either. He won't accept that he will exist on a different plain than Annie, and does everything he can to still watch over her. But unable to interact directly he is unable to keep her from taking her own life. Doing so sends her someplace far more sinister than where he is, and he must risk the life that he has been granted to seek out his wife in the very depths of hell. This is the truest type of love story, as a man shows that he not only willing to do everything in this world for the woman that he loves, but in the next one as well. Extremely sad in parts, and painful to watch because of the emotions at other times, this is a deep story that truly is one of the great romantic stories of our time.

Quotes That Made The Movie:

"Thank you for every kindness. Thank you for our children. For the first time I saw them. Thank you for being someone I was always proud to be with. For your guts, for your sweetness. For how you always looked, for how I always wanted to touch you. God, you were my life. I apologize for everytime I ever failed you. Especially this one..."

"A whole human life is just a heartbeat here in Heaven. Then we'll all be together forever."

"Is that a kind of occupational hazard of soul mates? One's not much without the other?"

Read all comments (6)

About the Author ID:
Member: Ryan
Location: Somewhere near the land of the lost
Reviews written: 1753
Trusted by: 612 members