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Always Be My Maybe
Photo: NetflixAlways Be My Maybe

The most romantic movies on Netflix right now

The best way to feel the love tonight is from the comfort of your couch

Written by
Time Out Film
Andy Kryza

Valentine’s Day may have a stranglehold on the warm and fuzzies, but a great romantic movie is timeless. Whether you’re snuggling up on the couch alone or with the one you love, romantic movies have a special power to make you swoon, cry, laugh or cringe... often across the same narrative. Check out our guide to the best romantic movies streaming on Netflix now for a mix of heart-swelling classics and new-school comedies perfectly suited for date night... or alone time with a pizza and bottle of wine.

RECOMMENDED: See all of the best movies on Netflix or thumb through our guide to the 101 most iconic movie sex scenes

Best romantic movies on Netflix

Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Photograph: Ed Araquel / Netflix

1. Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Ali Wong and Randall Park absolutely are brilliant in this Netflix Original romantic comedy about two childhood friends who lose touch after a teenage fling turns sour, only to be reunited in adulthood. It might sound like familiar romcom territory, and it is, but it’s done so well and in such a relaxed manner that you don’t mind any retreading. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a show-stealing cameo from Keanu Reeves.

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  • Action and adventure

Merchant and Ivory turned again and again to EM Forster, and they must have been in sync with his lyrical, wordy prose style, because they got the tone right every time. Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham Carter excel in this Oscar-winning adaptation of what many consider Forster’s greatest work.

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  • Drama

The Academy anointed it Best Film in 2017 and who could argue? Moonlight is a deeply humane, heartfelt drama about growing up, with immaculate performances throughout. Told in three segments – childhood, adolescence, and adulthood – it explores first love, sexuality and Black masculinity with tender poeticism.

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While My Best Friend's Wedding — also streaming in all its '90s glory — is the apex of Julia Roberts' rom-com charms, this classic slice of '80s Americana was one of Roberts' breakout roles. The ensemble dramedy about women finding (and losing) love in a tiny Connecticut town also features Annabeth Gish and Lili Taylor, the latter of whom strikes up a lovely and believable romance with Vincent D'Onofrio's hunky fisherman. There's heartbreak and uplift aplenty, all served up charmingly with extra cheese and a side of melodrama.

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  • Comedy

A tour through Richard Curtisland, this British rom-com ticks off all the old Curtis favourites: picturebook London locations, doe-eyed romance, Bill Nighy being a mensch, and a funny bit with Richard E Grant. It’s not going to win over the Curtis agnostics but its easy familiarity, good-natured lessons about the path of true love not running smoothly, and touching father and son relationship make it a moorish slice of movie comfort food.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)
Photograph: Netflix

6. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

Netflix’s efforts to revive the romantic comedy has yielded mixed results, but this teen romcom is definitely one of its stronger attempts. While it plays up to some tropes – awkward but attractive girl and school’s hottest jock pretend to date only for the pair to fall desperately in love – the central premise feels unique and relatable. The casting is also ace: Lana Condor is excellent as protagonist Lara Jean, while Noah Centineo ticks all the teen heartthrob boxes. The film was a big enough hit to spawn a trilogy, with PS: I Still Love You and this year's Always and Forever ready to queue up for a binge.

Love Actually (2003)
Photo: StudioCanal

7. Love Actually (2003)

Whether ensemble classic Love Actually is really a really all that romantic is up for debate: This is a rom-com in which Alan Rickman philanders, Andrew Lincoln borderline stalks Keira Knightly and Hugh Grant's prime minister courts scandal by courting an aid. But the Christmas-in-July vibes are undeniably cheery, and if the platonic relationship between Bill Nighy's aged rocker and manager Gregor Fisher doesn't stir up at least a little love, you might just be dead inside.

She's Gotta Have It (1986)
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Spike Lee’s first feature focuses around the attempts of Nola Darling (Tracy Camilla Johns) to sort out the three steady men in her life with a view (maybe) to marriage: the sincere and caring Jamie (Tommy Redmond Hicks), the self-obsessed model Greer (John Canada Terrell), and the outrageous bicycle messenger Mars (Lee himself). Loose and light on its feet, its series of painfully funny romantic vignettes offer a handy snapshot of what dating in the pre-iPhone app age felt like. 

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  • Drama

Part-love story, part-mental health drama, this David O Russell film gets right into the tall grass of relationships – romantic, platonic and somewhere in between. How do we connect with another person when we’ve lost our sense of ourselves? How much weirdness is too much weirdness? And what do you do if the dad-in-law is Robert De Niro? Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrencem are on top form in a bittersweet kinda-love story for lost souls.

Why Do Fools Fall In Love? (1998)
Photo: Warner Brothers

10. Why Do Fools Fall In Love? (1998)

Spanning the golden age of R&B from the '50s-'60s, this musical biopic centers Frankie Lymon (Larenz Tate) — who penned the titular makeout classic — and features Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox and Lela Rochon as the women vying for his estate upon his estage. The overlooked film is teeming with great performances and emotional upheaval, with a soundtrack of classics by Lymon, Little Richard, The Platters, Otis Redding and Bobby Womak. 

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