- Romance movies on Netflix offer a wide range of stories that audiences can personally identify with, whether it’s set in a different time period or culture.
- The formulaic nature of romance movies allows filmmakers to create timeless cinematic love stories, either by following the traditional formula or subverting it with something new.
- From heartbreak to heartwarming, Netflix has a perfect romance movie to satisfy any viewer’s needs, providing a diverse selection of films that break traditional tropes and offer self-awareness.
From lighthearted comedies to devastating dramas (and everything in between), there are plenty of great romance movies on Netflix for streaming audiences to enjoy. The global audience of Netflix subscribers love a good romance movie because love is a universal language. Falling head over heels in love is a feeling that most can relate to. Whether it takes place in a different time period like Lady Chatterley’s Lover, or in a different culture like the glitzy, glamorous Hollywood setting of La La Land, viewers can always personally identify with a touching love story.
Romance is one of the most formulaic genres, but that formula is a recipe for a great movie. Filmmakers can create a timeless cinematic love story by either following that formula with earnestness and a deeply personal touch or by subverting the expectations of that formula with something entirely new. Whether fans are looking for a romance movie that will break their heart or one that will warm their heart, Netflix has the perfect film to satisfy their needs.
15 Love At First Sight (2023)
One of the newest Netflix original romance movies is inspired by the novel The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight. In it, two people meet on a flight and have an instant connection, leading to a handful of brief adventures between the two and the question of whether an instant connection like that can be maintained. The chemistry of leads Haley Lu Richardson and Ben Hardy is what really helps make the movie charming and unforgettable.
14 A Whisker Away (2020)
Anime movies have a way of making even the simplest love stories fantastical. In A Whisker Away, the fantasy elements are turned up high. A young woman with a crush on a classmate is given a magical mask that turns her into a cat temporarily. She finds that when she’s a cat, her classmate is much more appreciative of her, and she considers just turning into a cat forever. As the boy who initially ignored her comes to care about her as a human and a cat conspires to take the girl’s human face, however, her love story becomes even more complicated.
13 Holidate (2020)
Some of the best romance movies on Netflix are also some of Netflix’s best Christmas movies. Holidate, starring Emma Roberts, is one of those. Roberts plays a young woman who is tired of her family hassling her about not having a boyfriend or a date to holiday gatherings. She makes a deal with a single guy (Luke Bracey) that they’ll be each other’s holidates for as long as they’re both single so that their families will leave them alone. Along the way, the two get to know one another and become genuine friends, and eventually, even more than that. The movie combines a lot of holiday rom-com tropes, but is self-aware about its use of them, which is part of what makes it so great.
12 Along For The Ride (2022)
Inspired by the Sarah Dessen novel of the same name, Along for the Ride isn’t just one of Netflix’s best romances, but also one of Netflix’s best coming-of-age movies. It combines the story of Auden (Emma Pasarow) falling in love while spending the summer with her father and stepmother with the story of her making her first real friends her own age. Auden has lived a sheltered life around the academic colleagues of her parents and has never really felt like she fit in with kids her own age. Spending a summer with a trio of teenage girls who work for her stepmother, learning to ride a bike, and falling in love, all help her get in touch with who she really is.
11 Love, Actually (2003)
This classic holiday ensemble is a movie that audiences seem to either love or hate. It plays to holiday movie tropes and rom-com movie tropes among its many interconnected stories. The theme of the movie is love, but not necessarily romantic love and happy endings. While there are some couples finding love for the first time, there are also some dealing with their relationships crumbling, some in which familial love is more important to them, and some in which their friendships are more important than an unrequited crush. Love, Actually features all kinds of love and relationships, which is why it’s one of the best romance movies on Netflix.
10 Set It Up (2018)
The very quotable Set It Up is a modern rom-com initially about two assistants (Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell) who are interested in making their bosses happy. They work together to set their bosses up together to give themselves less stress at work. While the plan works to their advantage, it also means the two of them spend a lot of time getting to know one another while they scheme. As they fall for one another though, it’s refreshing, because they’re able to do it without some of the romance traps that characters can fall into. Their friends who share pizza and beer together, get messy, and don’t hide their flaws. They are not the picture-perfect romantic couple, and that makes them one of the best Netflix romance movie couples to watch.
9 Runaway Bride (1999)
Richard Gere and Julia Roberts have amazing chemistry. Because of that chemistry, there were a lot of movie audience members excited to see them reunite after appearing in 1990’s Pretty Woman together. Runaway Bride is a very different movie than Pretty Woman though. The two don’t connect right away. Gere plays a journalist who writes a human interest piece on a woman (Roberts) who has bolted from the altar instead of going through with multiple weddings to different people. When his initial article doesn’t go over very well because he hasn’t actually talked to any of the people involved, he pays a visit to her hometown and gets to know her and her exes, uncovering her fear of commitment and falling for her himself. It might not be quite as beloved as Pretty Woman, but Runaway Bride is definitely one of the best romance movies on Netflix right now.
8 Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Luca Guadagnino’s coming-of-age romance Call Me By Your Name, adapted from André Aciman’s novel, stars Timothée Chalamet as 17-year-old Elio Perlman, who falls in love with his father’s assistant Oliver (played by Armie Hammer). The relationship becomes complicated when they reckon with the fact that it won’t last. While there has since been controversy surrounding the plot and casting, the movie did end up being nominated for several Academy Awards, with James Ivory winning for Best Adapted Screenplay. The cinematography and setting also led some to consider Call Me By Your Name a quintessential summer romance movie.
7 Carol (2015)
One of the best Netflix romances is not a modern-set one. Set in 1950s New York, Carol stars Cate Blanchett as a wealthy socialite going through a bitter divorce and Rooney Mara as the younger shopgirl she falls in love with. Blanchett received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her powerful work in the title role of Carol Aird, while Mara was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for playing her love interest, aspiring photographer Therese Belivet. Todd Haynes’ steady-handed direction gives Blanchett and Mara’s performances plenty of room to breathe, allowing the audience to bask in the characters’ forbidden romance.
6 Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Ali Wong and Randall Park star in Always Be My Maybe as childhood sweethearts who reconnect as adults and find that they still have feelings for each other. The premise has been seen in many previous rom-coms, but Wong’s uniquely biting wit and Park’s unmistakably affable presence make Always Be My Maybe stand out from the crowd and provide a fresh take on the formula. Not only is Always Be My Maybe a wonderful love story; it also has an unforgettable cameo appearance by Keanu Reeves as a ridiculous version of himself. It’s absolutely one of Netflix’s best original romance movies.
5 Loving (2016)
A beautiful and moving film, Loving tells the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, whose interracial marriage became the subject of criminal charges and led to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia in 1967. Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga are perfectly matched in the lead roles, bringing one of history’s most inspiring romances to life with depth and nuance. The Lovings’ true story is so powerful and poignant that the filmmakers felt no need to embellish the facts, which is a rarity in Hollywood biopics.
4 Lady Chatterley’s Lover (2022)
Emma Corrin gives a stunning lead performance as Lady Chatterley in Lady Chatterley’s Lover; an aristocratic woman who escapes from her loveless marriage by entering into a torrid affair with the handsome gamekeeper on her husband’s estate. Netflix’s 2022 version is the 10th film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s classic novel, but it’s arguably the best of the bunch. It’s well-acted by Corrin and her co-star Jack O’Connell, well-written by Life of Pi screenwriter David Magee, and director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre doesn’t shy away from the moral complexity of the story’s themes.
3 To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)
This movie is responsible for ushering in an era of teen romance movies on Netflix. Based on Jenny Han’s YA romance novel of the same name, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before stars Lana Condor as shy high schooler Lara Jean Covey, who secretly writes open-hearted letters to her five crushes and is horrified to learn that all five letters have been mailed out. Condor’s charming, lovable performance has made Lara Jean one of the definitive teen rom-com heroines of her generation. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is everything that romance fans could want from an entry in the genre: it’s sweet, it’s funny, it’s earnest, and it tells a great story.
2 Marriage Story (2019)
Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver each give Oscar-nominated performances as two sides of a couple going through a difficult divorce in Marriage Story. Although Nicole and Charlie initially agree to split amicably, the legal proceedings quickly turn ugly. Every argument goes through lawyers, every tiny mistake is extrapolated in court as a sign of bad parenting, and every single emotion from their marriage is laid out on the table. Marriage Story is a raw, honest examination of what brings couples together in the first place, the challenges that each relationship faces, and the irreparable problems that eventually lead to a breakup. This is not a charming rom-com, but the dissolution of a relationship is just as compelling of a watch and makes for one of Netflix’s best romance movies right now.
Directed by Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story follows Charlie and Nicole Barber, a theater director and his actress wife, through the dramatic disintegration of their marriage and subsequent divorce. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson star as Charlie and Nicole, with a further cast that includes Laura Dern, Alan Alda, and Ray Liotta.
1 La La Land (2016)
Emma Stone plays an aspiring movie star and Ryan Gosling plays a struggling jazz pianist who fall in love while chasing their dreams in Damien Chazelle’s glitzy musical throwback La La Land. Chazelle brings the musical numbers to life with vibrant colors, energetic camerawork, and affectionate homages to classical Hollywood filmmaking techniques, while Stone and Gosling’s easy chemistry ensures that the romance rings true. Stone won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Mia Dolan, while Chazelle became the youngest Best Picture winner at the age of 32 (via The Guardian). La La Land is truly one of the best romance movies on Netflix.