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The 15 best romantic movies on Netflix

Looking for a romantic film on Netflix UK? It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen them 117 times already, these will melt you to a puddle of mush on the floor

Written by
Rob Martin
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  • Film
  • Drama

Starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, this latest version of an old Hollywood staple about the pitfalls of celebrity is officially a cultural phenomenon. Directed by Cooper, it tells the love story of Jackson Maine (Cooper), a successful musician who is also an alcoholic, and Ally (Gaga), an unknown singer who Jackson discovers singing in a bar one night. The pair fall in love but booze soon gets between them, as does his inability to celebrate Ally’s musical success. The songs – by Gaga, Cooper, Mark Ronson, Diane Warren and various other collaborators – are just one more good reason to revisit this weepy. ‘Shallow’ is already a karaoke favourite in the making.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)
Photograph: Masha Weisberg/Netflix

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)

To deal with her intense crushes, Lara Jean (Lana Condor) writes secret love letters to the boys she lusts after, which no one is ever meant to see. Of course these letters end up being sent out and Lara Jean must deal with her feelings, and the implications of the letters, head on.

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  • Film

Portobello Road bookshop owner William Thacker (Hugh Grant) and Hollywood superstar Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) have a meet-cute involving some spilled juice and find the stars aligning and unaligning in all sorts of unexpected ways. Bumbling Brit and buttoned-up celeb finding common ground is a Hallo! magazine fairy tale and, sure, this Richard Curtis-penned romance is glossy in the extreme, but Grant and Roberts are delightful together and the non-stop zingers make it a joy to ride along on their London love story.

She's Gotta Have It (1986)
  • Film
  • Comedy

Indundated with prospective partners? Hinge melting down? Take a leaf out of Nola Darling’s (Tracy Camilla Johns) book as she figures out which – if any – of the three men in her life to settle down with. Spike Lee’s lo-fi, black and white charmer is an indie classic and a still-modern-feeling romance about monogamy, polyamorousness and everything in between.

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  • Film
  • Drama

Having become a sleepover rite of passage, it’s easy to forget that Dirty Dancing isn’t just 90 minutes of pelvic grinds, watermelons and babies in corners. Dirty Dancing is dark. This is a film in which Patrick Swayze plays an older dance instructor with a storied history of hooking up with his young students… and who himself laments his status as a sex toy for vacationing cougars. It is a film in which a teenager girl (Jennifer Grey) falls in love with an older guy while trying to raise money for another woman’s back-alley abortion. Yet by the moment ‘(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life’ plays, that darkness is miraculously overwhelmed by two megawatt stars ripping up the dance floor.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)
  • Film

This comfy period romance should be a firm favourite with fans of The Dig and films in which Tom Courtenay makes a fairly niche-looking pie out of a root vegetable (a small subgenre, admittedly). Lily James stars as novelist who goes on a journey of discovery to the Channel Islands that involves some long-buried wartime secrets and at least one dashing farmer (Michiel Huisman). A gentle watch with a unquenchable romantic spirit.

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The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
  • Film
  • Action and adventure

Michael Mann’s sumptuous adaptation of American author James Fenimore Cooper’s Colonial-era adventure reimagines the period drama as a chase movie and action spectacle. It also reimagines Daniel Day-Lewis as a smouldering romance-novel hunk, dripping wet with a flowing mane and billowing blouse. The central romance between Day-Lewis’s Hawkeye and Madeleine Stowe’s Cora simmers amid the carnage and verdant forests, and the swelling score captures every moment of burning intensity. Never again would audiences so thirstily desire to go full Method on Day-Lewis again. 

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
  • Film
  • Comedy

John M Chu’s gorgeous ensemble comedy marked the first Hollywood-produced studio film with an all-Asian cast since The Joy Luck Club. Much of the discourse surrounding the film justifiably focused on how deeply problematic that is. But even if Hollywood’s representation problems were nonexistent, Chu’s story of a working-class New Yorker (Constance Wu) whisked away to Singapore to marry her incredibly wealthy Prince Charming (Henry Goulding) sparkles with old-Hollywood charm. The leads are great, capably backed by a cast of ringers that includes Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan and Awkwafina. As the title implies, no expense was spared here. As a result, the film is an opulent, eye-popping fairytale and an instant inductee into the rom-com hall of fame.

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  • Film
  • Comedy

For all the multi-character antics from stars Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, John Landis’s Coming to America is most effective as old-fashioned romantic comedy… and Murphy radiates warmth as Akeem, the heir to a wealthy African kingdom who travels to Queens in search of, well, a queen. The fish-out-of-water comedy is some of the best in Murphy’s career, but the film truly works because of Murphy's sweetheart innocence in pursuit of Shari Headley’s Lisa. For all its iconic scenes, it’s that central relationship that truly makes Coming to America a classic. 

  • Film
  • Drama

Sparkly-skinned vampires and unbridled teenage passion might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this fantasy franchise has one hell of a fanbase. The first movie in the series is the best, as Kristen Stewart’s Bella and Robert Pattinson’s Edward shoot sexually frustrated glances at each other during biology class.

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