Saoirse Ronan stars as a young Irish woman, Eilis, who immigrates to New York in the early 1950s in this gorgeous adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel. Forced to leave her family and hometown for a new future in New York City, she’s at first crippled by homesickness before falling for a handsome Italian-American. When a death calls her back to Ireland, Eilis is torn between two worlds and two lovers.
The feistiest high school movie of them all. ‘Clueless’ might have hit cinema screens over 20 years ago, but this adaptation of Jane Austen's ‘Emma’ is as fresh as one of Cher’s newly laundered plaid shirts. Alicia Silverstone defines perkiness as Cher, the spoiled little daddy’s girl on a quest for the perfect boyfriend.
Forget standard high-school love stories, this is a teenage tear-jerker with a difference. Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort) meet at a cancer support group, bond over their love of books and embark on a sad, sweet romance in this surprisingly excellent adaptation of John Green’s YA bestseller.
It’s the film that launched a thousand pottery classes. And you’d have to have a heart of stone not to melt into a puddle of tears watching ‘Ghost’. Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze are mad-about-each-other yuppies (remember them?). Whoopi Goldberg is the psychic who steps in to communicate between them when he gets murdered by a mugger.
A historical sob-fest set on the ill-fated RMS Titanic. Teenage aristocrat Rose, played by a fresh-faced Kate Winslet, falls hopelessly in love with a floppy-haired artist from the lower decks, but we all know how this one ends and their fledgling romance is cut short when disaster strikes.
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.
Oscar-nominee Felicity Jones makes a big impression in this earnest indie romance, playing a British student who falls in love with an American kid (Anton Yelchin). ‘Like Crazy’ is a splitter: you’ll find the improvised dialogue and will-they-or-won’t-they plot irresistible or incredibly irritating.
Here, at long last, is an honest romantic comedy about abortion. Comedian Jenny Slate plays a stand-up comic who gets pregnant after a one-night stand after a gig with a random stranger (Jake Lacy) – a guy so square he wears slip-on shoes. Refreshingly, he never questions her right to terminate her pregnancy, and the relationship between the two, as they awkwardly work out how they feel about each other, is genuinely lovely.
This 1971 hippie romcom was forgotten for years. These days, thanks to Wes Anderson and other friends in high places, ‘Harold and Maude’ is considered one of the all-time classics. It’s the love story of depressed 20-year-old Harold, whose hobbies include faking his own death, and fun-loving 79-year-old eccentric Maude.
Set in a charming French village at the end of the 1950s, this movie is as much about chocolate as it is about romance. Juliette Binoche is Vianne, an expert chocolatier who is drifting across Europe with her young daughter Anouk. Johnny Depp is the river gypsy who steals her heart.
This sweetly sad indie follows an ageing gay couple (Alfred Molina and John Lithgow), who’ve been living together for years in New York. After they marry, Molina, a music teacher, loses his job at a Catholic school and the couple are forced to sell their apartment, each moving in with different relatives. As an exploration of the ways romance changes – or stays the same – as we grow older, this is deeply moving.
Before a best actress Oscar nomination for ‘The Theory of Everything’ and before landing the plum role as a rebel leader in the ‘Star Wars’ spin-off ‘Rogue One’ there was Brit comedy ‘Chalet Girl’. Felicity Jones stars as a working-class Londoner working in the French Alps to help her bereaved father pay the bills when she finds herself falling for a wealthy – and taken – client.
On the surface, this easygoing comedy seems pretty cynical about matters of the human heart. Susan Sarandon plays a baseball groupie who always hooks up with the youngest, hottest new players (this year it’s Tim Robbins’s goofball batsman), with Kevin Costner as the wry old hand who sees through her brittle facade. But by the end it’s all gone gooey, in the best possible way.
It was the must-read memoir of 2007. Julia Roberts brings the travelogue to the big screen as author Elizabeth Gilbert, who, after running away from an unhappy marriage in America, flew to Italy, India and finally Indonesia in search of an inner peace (and a book deal).