These classic romances will have you feeling all the feels, whether you have someone to watch with or are living vicariously through film. Be sure to cook something delicious, and feel free to ugly-sob right into your oversize knit blanket).
It Happened One Night (1934) became the first film to win all five major Academy Awards, including Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Screenplay, a feat that would not be repeated again until 1975 by One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The film's success can be attributed to its stellar cast, namely Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, but we bet their beautiful almost-didn't-happen romance has something to do with it.
While (spoiler alert) there is no happy ending, Gone with the Wind is a whirlwind classic, with passion, devastating loss, and scandal. Based on the 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell, the epic Civil War period piece is nearly four hours long. Plan ahead if you have dinner reservations.
Cary Grant and Rosalind Russel play journalist exes covering the story of a murderer's execution. The only thing they're more passionate about than a juicy story is each other, making this romance a perfect V Day flick.
Wartime passion, telltale letters, and a love triangle make Casablanca an iconic romance—it swept at the 1944 Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. The chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman doesn't hurt either. Film critic Roger Ebert summed up their performance nicely: "She paints his face with her eyes."
Peck and Hepburn. Cast those two in leading roles, and you know you have yourself a romantic comedy that is the crème-de-la-crème—the best of what classic romance has to offer. Roman Holiday, a love-meets-adventure story, wasn't Hepburn's first role, but it was her first big one. Let's just say it most certainly put her on the map.
This musical rom-com isn't much like its Broadway predecessor, but has the same male lead, Fred Astaire. The 1957 film follows a fashion-magazine publisher, a photographer (Astaire), and an intellectual bookshop clerk turned model (Hepburn) on a revelatory journey to Paris. This one ends with the sweetest reunion. "I love your funny face," Astaire sings, as he finds Hepburn by a church in a couture wedding gown. "Your funny, sunny..." And then, that kiss.
Starring Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon, The Apartment tells the story of a young businessman who allows his bosses to make use of his apartment for extramarital activities, in hopes that he'll be promoted. Of course, nothing is ever that easy, and he ends up falling in love with the elevator operator, who unfortunately is having an affair with his boss. The film won several awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.
Audrey Hepburn plays capricious Holly Golightly, a runaway socialite living in a New York City apartment (funded by, ahem, suspicious activity) in one her most idyllic roles. Paul "Fred" Varjak (George Peppard) is just as taken with her as we are. Our favorite highlight? Definitely the cat.
The onscreen romance between Cleopatra and Mark Antony is nothing compared to the epic real-life romance between lead actors Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. They met while filming the movie, setting off one of the most scandalous, dramatic Hollywood love affairs of all time.
The landmark film follows Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty as titular criminals Bonnie and Clyde. The often violent portrayal of their high-stakes robberies (and untimely end) was considered revolutionary at the time. The fatal attraction between the two characters even sparked something called "," which is basically being attracted to someone because they're dangerous. Romantic indeed.
Critics will always remain divided over whether this film can really be considered "romantic," but it's certainly an interesting study of relationships nonetheless. It's a captivating tale of a young man who begins an affair with an older woman, only to end up falling in love with her daughter.
Please, just rip my heart out now. Streisand and Redford take viewers on a heart-wrenching journey through love, reminding us that things don't have to work out for it to be beautiful. The ending hurts, but the couple's past—the "memmmmmmories!"—meant something (everything). And that song.
This tormented love story, based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, will have you seeing the (green) light. Mia Farrow and Robert Redford play Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby, agonized lovers ripped apart by time, money, and murder.
Diane Keaton's charm and Woody Allen's deadpan self-depreciation make this romantic comedy, well, an unromantic comedy. The film follows two people who love each other on two sides of a divide, never able to meet in the middle. The film, however, was front and center at the 50th Academy Awards in 1978, where it was nominated in five categories—Keaton took home the statue for Best Actress.
Dirty Dancing gave us major doses of Patrick Swayze's sex appeal—and his moves, of course—but also delivered one of the most iconic lines of all time: "No one puts Baby in a corner."
Moonstruck gives us a class love triangle between two brothers and one woman who must choose the man she was promised to or the man she loves. Cher and Nicholas Cage inspired critics and viewers alike—the film went on to be nominated for six Oscars, winning three for Best Actress (go, Cher!), Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay.
The scene where Lloyd holds a boombox playing "In Your Eyes" below Diane's window is one of the most romantic movie moments of all time, in a film that Entertainment Weekly called the . It's a beautiful portrayal of young love and all that comes with it.
One of Nora Ephron's most famous and beloved works, this movie follows two people over several years as they go from irritating acquaintances to friends, to something more. Plus, it's got that famous Katz's Deli scene.
A Cinderella story for the '90s, Julia Roberts plays L.A. prostitute Vivian, who meets fancy man Richard Lewis, played by Richard Gere, and agrees to spend the week with him for $3,000. With the ultimate shopping montage, the snap of a jewelry box, and a serenade on a fire escape, these two make us swoon every. single. time.
If you're in the mood for romance and a genuine sob fest, look no further than this supernatural weepie. It takes just one scene with a pottery wheel to establish how Molly (Demi Moore) and Sam (Patrick Swayze)'s love can transcend Sam's untimely death. Throw in some Oscar-winning Whoopi Goldberg, and you're ready for the ultimate ugly cry.
This film is a beautiful tale of two people who meet on a train and spend a magical, crazy night wandering the streets of Vienna. It's the kind of movie that makes even the most practical person believe in whirlwind romance, making it a great Valentine's Day viewing choice. If you're really committed to cozying up for the night, you could make it a marathon with Before Sunset and Before Midnight, which follow the same couple.
"Wove, twue wove" is the subject of Rob Reiner's classic fairy tale. Wesley battles pirates, deadly swordsmen, giants, and being mostly dead to fight for his beloved Buttercup. Come for the humor but stay for the quotes, like "Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind." 💖
The movie that had us at hello, Cameron Crowe's redemption romance tells the story of down-on-his-luck Jerry Maguire and his quietly suffering but endlessly charming secretary (Renee Zellweger). Plus, the movie features some of the most famous lines in recent movie history—"you complete me," "show me the money," and of course, "you had me at hello."
The greatest love story ever told gets a modern update with hot young thing Claire Danes and what might be peak Leonardo DiCaprio. Things get real sad, real fast, so focus on the reimagined balcony scene that is brilliantly relocated to a pool.
When was the last time you actually watched Titanic? Don't worry, it's just as wonderful as you remember. In case you forgot (but how could you?), third-class passenger Jack Dawson sweeps first-class lady Rose Dewitt Bukater off her feet, right before their big boat hits an iceberg. Regardless of debates about whether there was room on that door for the both of them, you'll never let go of the feeling you had when you saw it the first time.
The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return—no other movie encapsulates this message more than Moulin Rouge! I can't think of a better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than singing along with Satine (Nicole Kidman) and Christian (Ewan McGregor) as they try to put on a spectacular show, and, of course, fall in love.