Romantic Movies Streaming Guide: What to Watch on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and More
By Meredith B. Kile
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ETonline/Netflix/Columbia PIctures/20th Century Fox
Looking for something to watch? Everyone loves a good love story!
Streaming services are chock full of rom-coms, heartfelt dramas and other sweet offerings, but between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and more, there are just too many movies to keep track of.
So we've decided to put together a list of our favorites to prevent you from scrolling endlessly for that perfect romantic flick.
Read on to find the ideal movie for you -- and check back as we keep this list updated with new additions!
He's Just Not That Into You
Can't decide between a few different rom-coms? He's Just Not That Into You is sure to scratch that sentimental itch. Essentially the Avengers of rom-coms, this 2009 film -- which is based on the self-help book of the same name -- follows nine people and their varying romantic dramas and features a star-studded lineup, including Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson and more.
Netflix warmed hearts over the holidays with the Vanessa Hudgens-Josh Whitehouse fish-out-of-water romanceThe Knight Before Christmas, in which a modern working woman falls in love with a chivalrous man who has been hurtled forward in time. If you liked the 2019 iteration of the story, you'll love the version of it from the Meg Ryan era of rom-coms, featuring a Hugh Jackman who had just done his first X-Men film and a Viola Davis who was still playing unnamed policewomen characters. Notable for being Ryan's last true rom-com, Kate & Leopold is sweet and just a little cheesy, the perfect fare for a snuggly night in.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before & To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
Relive Lara Jean Covey's (Lana Condor) epic love story from the very beginning -- or anxiously await the third film in the trilogy -- with a back-to-back viewing of To All the Boys and P.S. I Still Love You. Everyone loves a fake dating storyline, and this one pays off in spades as Lara Jean struggles to make the best of her private love letters getting accidentally mailed to the boys she wrote them to. However, just as soon as she's blissfully settled with Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), back comes John Ambrose McClaren (Jordan Fisher) to mix things up. Are you Team Peter or Team John Ambrose?
The title is a mouthful, but don't worry, the film itself is much more delicious than the titular wartime concoction. When writer Juliet Ashton (Lily James) begins corresponding with Dawsey Adams (Michiel Huisman), a handsome pig farmer who is also a founding member of a mysterious literary society, she decides to travel to the island of Guernsey -- newly free from its World War II German occupation -- to learn more about this tight-knit group of book lovers. Will she stay with her posh fiance, Mark, or leave London life behind for seaside bliss? We'll give you exactly one guess.
A twist on Parent Trap featuring two overworked assistants, Harper and Charlie (Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell), who attempt to set up their bosses (Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs) in order to score some personal time, Set It Up is a charming corporate rom-com for the millennial era. Both pairs have chemistry from the start, but it isn't until the bosses' relationship falls apart that Harper and Charlie realize what was right in front of them all along. Truly, two people have never had more chemistry while drunkenly stuffing their faces with late-night pizza.
If you're looking for someone a little less saccharine, look no further than this Cannes darling from director Abdellatif Kechiche. Starring Adèle Exarchopoulos as Adèle, a teen just beginning to explore her sexuality, and Léa Seydoux as Emma, an eccentric artist with whom she forms her first real relationship, Blue Is the Warmest Colour is about the perils of growing up, the taboos of sex and the white-hot burn of first love. In true French style, it's not exactly a happy ending, but the journey is the beautiful part.
In more of a literary mood? Check out the 1999 adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, starring Frances O'Connor as a bolder take on heroine Fanny Price -- writer and director Patricia Rozema blended details from Austen's own life to add color and confidence to the character -- and Jonny Lee Miller as her cousin-turned-paramore, Edmund Bertram. (Trust us, he is by far the best option available.) Common Austen themes of class and privilege run throughout, but the chemistry between O'Connor and Miller leave no doubt that it is, at its heart, a love story.
A raunchy rom-com featuring some of your favorite comedy stars, Sleeping With Other People is a salty-sweet modern antidote to the sappy love story -- without being too proud of itself for it. Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis play former college hookups who meet again years later in a sex addicts meeting. Despite their obvious chemistry, they agree to just be friends, noting that any relationships beyond that tend to end horribly for both of them. Easy money says they probably don't stick to that bet, right?
Ever dreamed of running off to a foreign country and falling in love with a celebrity? Gillian Jacobs' Harper does just that in Ibiza, in which she and her two best gal pals (played to hilarious perfection by Vanessa Bayer and Phoebe Robinson) turn a work trip into a Hangover-level bash, complete with raucous parties, epic adventures and Harper's instant-but-complicated connection with superstar DJ Leo West (played by Game of Thrones hunk Richard Madden).
A modern rom-com retelling of A Christmas Carol through the eyes of playboy Connor Mead, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past stars Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner as childhood friends who clearly belong together -- if only he could get his act together. Visited by three life-changing ghosts on the eve of his brother's wedding, Connor finds himself just in time, of course, thanks to hilarious scene-stealing turns from Michael Douglas and a young Emma Stone.
The Crown star Josh O'Connor plays Johnny, a young Yorkshire sheep farmer who finds an intense romance with Gheorghe (Alec Secăreanu), a Romanian migrant worker, in writer and director Francis Lee's debut film, which premiered at Sundance to critical acclaim. God's Own Country is a complicated, but mercifully not tragic, love story, with incredible performances and beautiful shots of the idyllic English countryside. (Bonus fact: Lee's follow-up film is a lesbian romance starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, so, you know, prepare yourself.)
A grungy, broke take on the friends-to-lovers trope, Zack and Miri stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as the titular life-long BFFs, who decide to make a dirty movie with their friends in order to pay the bills. Will it get complicated when the pair are put in an intimate situation for the sake of their project? Of course it will!
If you're in the mood for a documentary, there's plenty of love to be found there too, particularly in Netflix's new offering, A Secret Love, which tells the story of Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, a lesbian couple who kept their relationship secret from their families for nearly seven decades. Produced by Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum, the film is equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking, with an intimate look at how life has changed -- and how it hasn't -- for members of the LGBTQ+ community throughout the years.
A new classic of the rom-com genre, Crazy, Stupid, Love was written by This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman, which shows itself in the film's three interweaving romantic subplots. Featuring heartfelt turns by Steve Carell and Julianne Moore as a newly separated couple trying to find their way without each other, and hilarious appearances from supporting stars Marisa Tomei and Josh Groban, the film is great on its own, but iconic as the first on-screen pairing of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, whose chemistry alone makes it worth a rewatch.
Another blast from the not-so-distant-past, parts of My Best Friend's Wedding haven't stood the test of time quite so well as some others -- there are whole think pieces devoted to exploring how Julia Roberts' Julianne is actually the villain of the movie -- but it is still undeniably a Hall of Fame-level classic. From the prime of Roberts' rom-com reign, with iconic memorable moments (dancing lobsters!) and a stellar supporting cast (Rupert Everett!), thank goodness you no longer have to "say a little prayer" to happen upon this movie on cable.
Director Céline Sciamma's historical romance won Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm awards at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival before being released to critical acclaim (and a notable Oscar submission snub). The quiet and visually stunning film stars Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel as star-crossed lovers whose forbidden affair lasts only the time it takes to paint a portrait -- but stays with them for the rest of their lives.
For a story about love strong enough to overcome even the most heartbreaking adversity, look no further than Barry Jenkins’ acclaimed adaptation of the James Baldwin novel. Featuring stunning breakout turns from KiKi Layne and Stephan James, and an Oscar-winning supporting performance by Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk isn’t a sunshiney rom-com, but it is a powerful depiction of the realities of love, loss and the black experience in America.
Were not saying Jack Quaid was born to do rom-coms, but when your mom is Meg Ryan (and your dad is Dennis Quaid), you might just have it in your blood. In Plus One, he gets his first real shot at the genre, starring opposite PEN15's Maya Erskine as friends who team up to be each other’s dates to a series of summer weddings, falling into a relationship of their own in the process. It's a sweet, simple indie with a few real gems in the supporting cast and some hilariously-real riffs on the wedding toast -- well worth a watch.
Tired of all the classic romantic comedy tropes? So is Rebel Wilson's Natalie in Isn't It Romantic. That is, until she suffers a head injury and wakes up in a version of her life that plays out exactly like a cliched PG-13 rom-com -- right down to the lavish NYC apartment, flamboyantly gay (but otherwise personality-free) BFF, and incredibly detailed choreographed sing-alongs. She can only break the spell by falling in love, and, no spoilers, but it was right in front of her all along!
Somewhat bafflingly Will Smith's only starring rom-com role, Hitch is a perfect 2005 flick, starring the former Fresh Prince as a relationship expert who can coach any man into the arms of the woman he admires -- and yet is rendered bumbling and foolish when around his own true love, a gossip columnist played by Eva Mendes. It's charming, if a little dated, and the perfect date night flick if you want to remember romance in a time before Tinder.
The rare rom-com to land its leading actress an Academy Award nomination, Bridget Jones's Diary is the modern-day Pride and Prejudice update that had fans everywhere breaking out their diaries and lusting after Colin Firth...again. A breakthrough role for Renée Zellweger, the film was instantly iconic and remains a cult classic. And, if you're a Bridget completionist, 2004's Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and 2016's Bridget Jones's Baby are also available to stream.
Before he was super yoked and starring in Marvel's phase 4 tentpole, The Eternals, Kumail Nanjiani had his breakout film role in the acclaimed movie he and wife Emily V. Gordon wrote about the unusual circumstances of their real-life love story. Weeks after the fictional Kumail (played by Nanjiani) and Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) break up due to pressures from his family to marry a Pakistani woman, she is placed in an induced coma as she battles a mysterious illness. The film is a perfectly raw look at just how messy love can be, as Kumail meets Emily's parents (the stellar Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) for the first time and supports her throughout her hospital stay, but realizes when she wakes up that their reconciliation is just beginning. Watch it with a box of tissues.
An ultimate '80s classic and the third and final collaboration between star Molly Ringwald and legendary Brat Pack writer-director John Hughes, Pretty in Pink is the tale of one of teen cinema's most debated love triangles. (Even Hughes himself was torn, switching up the final pairing when the other performed poorly at test screenings.) But whether you're Team Blaine or Team Ducky, one thing's for sure: Andie Walsh is a rom-com icon.
Once you’re ready to move beyond the eternal punchline that is the “friends with benefits” genre, it's time to admit that this Natalie Portman-Ashton Kutcher iteration is far superior to the Mila Kunis-Justin Timberlake version that came out around the same time. The formula's not hard to follow (spoiler alert: they make grand plans to not get attached but "accidentally" fall in love), but the chemistry and the jokes are both on point, and watching Portman lend her acting chops to a straightforward rom-com is a treat.
Featuring some of your favorite funny people in interesting rom-com roles, Friends With Kids is the brainchild of writer-director Jennifer Westfeldt, who stars opposite Adam Scott as the two remaining single members of their longtime friend group, who decide to platonically have a baby together. Does it get emotional and complicated? Yes. Do great performances and hilarious chemistry between the cast -- which also includes Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm, Chris O'Dowd, and more -- make the journey totally worthwhile? Also yes.
Everyone thinks of "I Will Always Love You," but did you know that The Bodyguard soundtrack also spawned two other simultaneous Top 20 hits for star Whitney Houston -- "I'm Every Woman" and "I Have Nothing," the latter of which was nominated for an Oscar and a GRAMMY alongside yet another hit from the movie, "Run to You." Are we saying you should watch The Bodyguard -- which stars Kevin Costner as the titular protector opposite Houston playing to type as a mega-famous performer -- just for the soundtrack (which is, by the way, the bestselling album by a female artist in history)? Maybe.
Looking for a rom-com and a sports movie in one? Try The Cutting Edge, an iconic early '90s flick that stars Moira Kelly as an "ice queen" figure skater trying to find a new doubles partner and D.B. Sweeney as a former hockey hot shot that ends up with her in one last ditch attempt to win Olympic gold after being sidelined with a debilitating injury. While the skating scenes look a little dated these days, the crackling love-hate chemistry and triumphant final routine more than makes up for it.
A somewhat cautionary tale about meeting your heroes (or rather, other people's heroes), Juliet, Naked is an adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel of the same name, which tells the story of Annie (Rose Byrne), a woman who strikes up an online correspondence with Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), the mysteriously disappeared musician with whom her longtime boyfriend (Chris O'Dowd) is obsessed. Exploring themes of family, fame and falling in and out of love with yourself and others, Juliet is a charming modern love song.
If you're into a more morbid kind of love story, try this Hal Ashby-directed cult classic about a young man obsessed with death and the 79-year-old woman he falls in love with. Harold (Bud Cort) and Maude's (Ruth Gordon) relationship is unconventional to be sure, but the film is darkly funny and uniquely poignant -- gallows humor with a Cat Stevens soundtrack probably shouldn't work as well as it does, but thank goodness for it.
Sure, it’s TV, but who are you to question maestro Phoebe Waller-Bridge when she looks directly at the camera in the season premiere and declares, “This is a love story." Both seasons of Fleabag are spectacular, but season 2 really shines -- and has picked up the awards to prove it -- as Waller-Bridge's titular protagonist continues to wrestle with grief, family, and responsibility. Oh, and of course, the Hot Priest.
A newer classic, but a classic all the same, this modernized retelling of The Taming of the Shrew has an all-star supporting cast (Allison Janney! Gabrielle Union! Save Ferris!) but is lifted up to the top tier of rom-com royalty by the pairing of Julia Stiles as the shrew herself, Kat Stratford, and Heath Ledger as Patrick Verona, the "bad boy" hired to woo her. The secondary Larisa Oleynik–Andrew Keegan–Joseph Gordon-Levitt love triangle is also sweet (and perfectly late '90s), but any millennial slumber party veteran will tell you, this movie is about Kat and Patrick, from that epic stadium serenade to the tearful poetry reading. We're swooning just thinking about it.
"As you wish!" is a Top 10 romantic movie line of all time, Inigo Montoya is a legendary character, and the love story between Robin Wright's Buttercup and Cary Elwes' Wesley has become a cult classic for a reason, even if baby Fred Savage rolls his eyes the whole time. Have fun storming the castle!
The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Two of the most iconic Disney rom-coms, it's impossible to pick just one of these to recommend, as they're both stellar in their own right. Both have Anne Hathaway as geek-turned-chic Genovian princess Mia Thermopolis, both have the legendary Julie Andrews as the queen herself, Clarisse Renaldi. Only one, however, has Chris Pine, and a scene in which Andrews raps and then surfs a mattress down the stairs, and a charming conclusion to Clarisse's love story with bodyman Joe (Héctor Elizondo) -- OK, we have to admit it, we're Princess Diaries 2 stans through and through! Both are streaming on Disney+, however, so feel free to pick for yourself.
A heartbreaking Nicholas Sparks take on the story of a troubled teen sent away for the summer to reconnect with her estranged father, everyone knows The Last Song is really about the genesis of the real-life romance between stars Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth (currently off-again, though we're always holding out hope!).
Lizzie fans know this movie is all about those four little words: "Sing to me, Paolo!" The feature film finale of the Disney Channel series follows Lizzie (Hilary Duff) and her classmates to Rome, where the titular teen gets ensnared in a Hannah Montana-esque mixup when she's mistaken for Italian pop star Isabella. But the real capper of the film -- and the one that has fans wondering where Lizzie's heart lies in the upcoming Disney+ reprisal -- is the sweet final moment between her and best friend Gordo (Adam Lamberg). We can't wait to see what happens next!
Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance and Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal
As you read up on the latest headlines about their decision to step back from palace life, check out Lifetime's telling of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's love story for the ages. A Royal Romance stars Murray Fraser and Parisa Fitz-Henley as the titular royals, detailing their initial meeting and courtship, while Becoming Royal stars Charlie Field and Tiffany Smith, and tells the story of their adjustment to royal life as a married couple.
While you're on a royal kick, you may as well check out Harry's big brother's love story too. Starring Grey's Anatomy'sCamilla Luddington as Kate Middleton, and Nico Evers-Swindell as Prince William, William & Kate tells the story of the meeting and courtship of the future Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and was released just before their wedding in 2011.
Starring Meagan Good, Kelly Rowland, Keri Hilson and Kellee Stewart as four friends on their own romantic journeys, Love by the 10th Date explores the modern world of dating, sexuality and romance as Gabby (Good) and Nell (Stewart) set out in pursuit of the elusive "10th date," Billie (Hilson) faces a crossroads in her marriage and Margot (Rowland) fights her attraction to a famous musician she's been assigned to interview. As a bonus? The trailer features Lizzo's "Good as Hell" -- all the way back in January 2017!
A two-part miniseries that stars Lucy Liu as Rae Ann Carter, an artist turned social worker who is trying to find the right man to commit to, Marry Me (along with Set It Up, above) proves that Liu is an under-utilized rom-com talent. Her chemistry and crackling delivery alongside Rae Ann's three prospective paramours -- played by Steven Pasquale, Bobby Cannavale and Enrique Murciano -- is a true delight.
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