There are so many epic love stories in Bollywood and throughout Hollywood that it really is hard to pick just 10 favorites. However, we managed to cook up a list that is as comprehensive as it is eclectic. The following is our top 10 list of the most romantic films ever made. The criteria for inclusion are pretty high, so you might be surprised by some of the choices. Don’t forget to check out our other lists as well; there is sure to be something here to fit any taste. So sit back, relax and get ready to swoon. Here we go.
10. The Notebook
One of the most beautiful and epic love stories ever committed to celluloid. The story of two star-crossed lovers is wrapped in an elaborate tale that spans across several different time periods. It tells the tale of a young woman who leaves her home in the morning to go to work, and an old man who waits at home for her to return. Once she does return home, she finds that he has committed suicide, and is overcome with grief. The woman decides to start a new life without her husband, and heads off to Paris for some culture, and then moves on to live with a painter in Venice. While she is there, she begins an affair with a much older man. When her lover returns from a business trip, he finds that she has disappeared, and sets off a search that leads to an Italian villa in the early part of the 20th century. There he finds her in a state of undress, having just had sex with a younger man. In the villa’s library, they read letters from fans, admirers of the painter, who speak about their feelings for the beautiful young entrepreneur. The most romantic comedy of all time. Worth watching again and again for its unparalleled storytelling and romantic lead performances. One of the greatest love stories of all time. Simply put, if you haven’t seen it, then you have to. You will be missing out if you have never experienced the magic of The Notebook. It is the ultimate love story, and it will make you believe in happily ever after. This movie is a must-see for fans of the genre.
9. My Fair Lady
If you are a fan of vintage cars, catty fashion and haughty English accent then you will love My Fair Lady. Based on the popular musical of the same name. It tells the story of Eliza Dolittle who, upon arriving in London, wishes to fit in and feels that the only way to do so is to speak with a cockney accent. As a linguistics professor, I can tell you that the accent is not only a great way to speak but is also used as a tool for comedy. In one of the funniest scenes in the movie, Her Majesty (MG) welcomes the charming green-eyed linguistics professor to her palace, where she promptly greets him with, “Oh, you’re Latin!”. Not only that but a great accent can add a layer of humor to otherwise sentimental scenes as in the case of Eliza and Mr. Henry Higgins’s (HD) love story. It was a match made in heaven, and a story that has endured the years because of its charm and wit. Even if you do not speak a word of English, you will enjoy this charming film. One of the most romantic movies of all time. A must-see for fans of the genre.
8. An Affair to Remember
An Affair to Remember is one of the most iconic and romantic films of all time. It was released in 1944, and follows a man named George Sanders as he returns home from war. One day, while out on a walk with his fiancee, he spots a woman in distress calling for help. He rushes to her aid and asks if she needs a ride. In the process of helping her, he inadvertently knocks the wind out of her, and the two share a passionate kiss. His fiancee, played by Barbara Hutton, does not take kindly to this development and breaks off their engagement, leaving George to wonder what would have happened if he had not answered the call for help. It is the perfect romantic drama with beautiful cinematography and legendary costumes, designed by Travis Banton. There is also one of the most iconic romantic scenes in the film when Barbara gets into her car and drives off, taking the train back to her family. If you have ever felt like the love of your life was just out of reach, then this is the movie for you. There is also a happy ending to this story, which will bring a smile to your face. It is a timeless classic and definitely worth a watch if only for that wonderful kiss.
Another iconic piece of cinema that continues to spark romantic interest. Perhaps the most recognizable face in this movie is that of a very beautiful woman named Julie Christie, who plays the part of a cabaret singer. In one of the most memorable scenes, she performs “Falling in Love Again”, singing and dancing in a tiny red dress that leaves little to the imagination. The movie was based on a play by Dennis Kelly, and won the Oscar for Best Music (uncredited). It is the story of a struggling actress who finds herself pursued by several wealthy men. She eventually accepts an offer from a German businessman, and heads off to Europe, leaving her theatrical aspirations behind. The movie has a timeless charm to it, and it still holds up well today because it is a classic example of how a romantic comedy should be played. One of the most memorable and iconic romantic comedies of all time. If you love Julie Christie, then you will love this movie. Also, check out the musical version as well; it is arguably even more romantic. A must-see for fans of the genre.
Another icon of romantic comedy, and one of the most beloved classics of all time. It tells the story of a legendary lover named Casanova. After surviving an shipwreck, he decides to seek out adventure and sets off to Italy, accompanied by a young woman named Martha. They stay in various palaces and sumptuous villas, and are introduced to local artists, scientists and architects. The movie is often cited as one of the best examples of the romantic comedy genre. Casanova is a man of many complex and contradictory character traits, but perhaps most notably a tireless energy that is seemingly endless. He has affairs with married women, and introduces the two to the wonders of sexual exploration. One of the most engaging and captivating stories ever told. For those who love classic romances, this is a must-see. No wonder it has been re-made so many times. A must-see for fans of the genre.
5. Roman Holiday
This year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture, the romantic comedy-drama, Roman Holiday is one of the most beautiful and charming movies of all time. It was based on the novel, The Blue Train by Erich Kästner, and follows the story of a Princess who travels to Italy with her family to visit her villa in the country. While there, she meets a handsome stranger who helps her escape the oppressive royal court and embarks on a journey across Europe. It is the perfect example of a lavish period piece, set against the beautiful background of an Italian city. The film won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, which is quite an honor. The princess’ outfit in particular has been cited as one of the best examples of fashion design in film. The elegant and extravagant nature of this film is a celebration of fashion and film, as the designer whose outfits she wears throughout the movie, Elsa Schiaparelli, designed the costumes for several notable movie productions, including Roman Holiday. We couldn’t think of a more fitting movie for our list. If you love romantic comedies and fashion, then this is a must-see. A must-see for fans of the genre.