The Best Romantic Movies To Watch On Netflix
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The Best Romantic Movies To Watch On Netflix

One (opinionated) writer’s guide to the best romantic movies

As a self-defining rom-com connoisseur – specialising particularly in the 90s/00s teen rom-com variety – I’m always on the lookout for my next favourite flick, alongside constantly rewatching the heavy hitters. But sadly, in this modern streaming age, we don’t all have access to every film at all times – long gone is my collection of neatly stacked DVD cases – meaning my favourite romantic films and I are often separated for months at a time while they dance across other streaming sites and I watch (or, crucially, don’t watch) forlorn from the sidelines. Goodbye Clueless (1995; currently on Paramount+), farewell John Tucker Must Die (2006; currently residing on Disney+). If Netflix is your streaming service of choice, too, here are the best romantic movies to watch right now – or to save for Valentine’s Day.

Best Romantic Movies On Netflix Right Now

Haley Lu Richardson as Hadley Sullivan and Ben Hardy as Oliver Jones in Love at First Sight on Netflix

Haley Lu Richardson as Hadley Sullivan and Ben Hardy as Oliver Jones in Love at First Sight. Rob Baker Ashton/Netflix © 2023

Love At First Sight (2023)

This short Netflix original film was quietly release in mid 2023 – but Valentine’s Day offers the perfect opportunity to stream it. A charming rom-com based on The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith, we follow Hadley (Haley Lu Richardson) who misses her flight from New York to London, and meets Oliver (Ben Hardy) in a chance encounter while she awaits the next flight. There’s an instant connection, and a long night on the plane together passes in the blink of an eye. Upon landing at Heathrow, however, the pair are separated and finding each other in the chaos seems impossible. Will fate intervene to transform these seat mates into soul mates?

Little Women (2019)

Like your romantic movies with a side of historical dress and a sprinkling of sisterhood? Greta Gerwig’s Little Women is the one for you. Transporting us to 1860s Massachusetts, we follow Jo March, a spirited writer who pushes back against love in pursuit of a career. A star-studded affair, expect the likes of Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson and Laura Dern to grace your screen.

Easy A (2010)

For the rom-com lovers out there, Easy A is a great choice. Starring a young Emma Stone and Penn Badgley, it’s a classic American high school comedy with a little more literary edge. Olive (Stone) is a witty high school student successfully flying under the radar until she tells her best friend an ill-informed lie (that she lost her virginity to a college student over the weekend), which is overheard and quickly spreads like any high school gossip: wild fire.

a still from Lady Chatterley's Lover

(L-R) Emma Corrin as Lady Constance, Jack O’Connell as Oliver in Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Parisa Taghizadeh/Netflix © 2022.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (2022)

Another relatively new kid on the block, Netflix’s original Lady Chatterley’s Lover was released toward the end of 2022. It’s simple – based on the old classic D. H. Lawrence novel – but effective, based almost entirely on one sprawling country estate, with very few characters, and love (and lust) at the fore.

Pretty Woman (1990)

Another classic romantic movie to watch on Netflix is Pretty Woman, directed by Garry Marshall and starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in the lead roles (who were praised for their on-screen chemistry). We follow Vivian Ward (Robers), a Hollywood escort who is hired by wealthy businessman Edward Lewis (Gere) for various events, and their relationship develops during her week-long stay with him.

Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

It’s romance with a slice of Italian wanderlust: based on Andre Aciman’s 2007 novel of the same name, Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name gathered instant acclaim, inspiring love-longing in many despite the ethically dubious nature of the central relationship. Elio (Timothée Chalamet) is 17 and Oliver (Armie Hammer) is 24, the latter living with the former’s family while working as the assistant to Samuel, Elio’s father, an archeology professor. It’s deliciously angsty, brimming with lust and longing, over-analysing and charged touches.

Friends With Benefits (2011)

Led by Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, Friends With Benefits is one of many romantic movies on this topic – but, I would argue, the best (my apologies to Ashton Kutcher’s version). Dylan (Timberlake) and Jamie (Kunis) meet in New York City and commence a friends-with-benefits situation, naively believing they won’t develop feelings for each other. We all know how it goes – but, though predictable, the ending is surprisingly tender and un-cringe.

To All The Boys I've Loved Before is one of the best romantic movies to watch on Netfix

(L-R) Noah Centineo and Lana Condor in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Netflix © 2018.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

It’s cute, it’s wholesome, it’s (dare I say it) funny. It’s based on a book (by Jenny Han), it’s the film that shot Noah Centineo to stardom, and it honestly holds up five years after it debuted on Netflix. With two sequels – romantic movie marathon, anyone? – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before follows Lara Jean Covey, a hopeless romantic who has never been in a relationship, but has written a heartfelt love letter to every boy she’s ever had a major crush on. But what should happen if these letters were mysteriously posted to their addressees?

Crazy Stupid Love (2011)

Led by an ensemble cast – Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Julianne Moore and even a young Joey King – this romantic comedy is laugh out loud funny while also being heart-rending and passionate, with a great plot twist to boot. We follow Cal (Carell), a middle-aged man who is heartbroken when his wife asks for a divorce. However, to get over his loss, he starts picking up women at a bar on the insistence of his new-found friend, Jacob (Gosling).

All streaming now on Netflix.