17 of the Best Romantic Movies Ever Made
Whether you spend Valentine's Day with the object of your affection or have the couch all to yourself, these movies will put you in the mood for love.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Director: Joe Wright
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: There are a slew of adaptations of Jane Austen's classic. We like this one for its earthy sensibility that still maintains the humor, wit, and (yes) sexual tension between Lizzie Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfayden).
Favorite Quote: "A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment." —Mr. Darcy
Director: Richard Linklater
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: Dreamy Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy seduce each other with their minds and words while taking in a picturesque day in Vienna
Favorite Quote:"Isn't everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?" —Celine
LA LA LAND
Director: Damien Chazelle
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: A big red Valentine to Los Angeles and the dreamers who inhabit it, La La Land has gorgeous costumes, dizzying choreography, and a singing, dancing Ryan Gosling. What's not to love?
Favorite Quote:"You could just write your own rules. You know, write something as interesting as you are." —Sebastian
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: That iconic rain-soaked kiss makes The Notebook a romantic classic, powered by the palpable chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, but what really brings on the tears is the relationship between their older characters, played by James Garner and director Cassavetes's mother Gena Rowlands.
Favorite Quote:"So it's not going to be easy. It's gonna be really hard; we're going to have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, every day. You and me... every day."—Noah
THE THIN MAN
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: Fast-talking, cocktail-swilling married detectives Nick and Nora Charles are the definition of #relationshipgoals.
Favorite Quote:"The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. Now a Manhattan you shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time, a dry martini you always shake to waltz time."—Nick
ROMEO + JULIET
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: Shakespeare's greatest love story, rendered in Baz Luhrmann's inimitably pop-culture pastiche style—with teen heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio no less.
Favorite Quote: "And when I shall die, take him and cut him up in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will fall in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun." —Juliet
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: This romantic caper defined the French New Wave, inspired a pixie-cut craze, and introduced us to Jean-Paul Belmondo as the coolest hunk in France as the Bogey-worshipping scamp Michel.
Favorite Quote: "When we talked, I talked about me, you talked about you, when we should have talked about each other." —Michel
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
Director: Michel Gondry
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: Who hasn't fantasized about erasing all the painful memories of lovers lost? The remarkable thing about Gondry's surreal fantasy is that it reminds us how indispensable and fundamental those memories and experiences are—they make us who we are.
Favorite Quote: "Random thoughts for Valentine's Day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap." —Joel
10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
Director: Gil Junger
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: Young, fresh-faced Aussie Heath Ledger faces off with saucy Julia Stiles in a classic '90s high school Shakespeare adaptation.
Favorite Quote: "I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair. I hate the way you drive my car. I hate it when you stare. I hate your big dumb combat boots, and the way you read my mind. I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme. I hate it, I hate the way you're always right. I hate it when you lie. I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you're not around, and the fact that you didn't call. But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all." —Kat (Stiles)
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
Director: Frank Capra
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: The definitive screwball comedy features Clark Gable in his prime (those dimples!), hitchhiking with Claudette Colbert. It'll take you back to the good old days, when heiresses were sassy and reporters wore three-piece suits and hats.
Favorite Quote:"I want to see what love looks like when it's triumphant. I haven't had a good laugh in a week."
Ellie Andrews: Aren't you going to give me a little credit?
Peter Warne: What for?
Ellie Andrews: I proved once and for all that the limb is mightier than the thumb.
Peter Warne: Why didn't you take off all your clothes? You could have stopped 40 cars.
Ellie Andrews: I'll remember that when we need 40 cars
Director: Andrew Haigh
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: The Looking creator's signature and sensitive style was first seen in this 48-hour love story between two British men.
Favorite Quote: "While you're projecting who you want to be... this gap opens up between who you want to be and who you really are. And in that gap, it shows you what's stopping you becoming who you want to be." —Glen
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: This is the origin story of Channing Tatum, which does, yes, start in an all-male exotic dance revue (it's a strip club). But aside from the eye candy, this film boasts creative flair, a sweet love story between Mike (Tatum) and Paige (Cody Horn), and Matthew McConaughey as the unforgettable club MC, Dallas.
Favorite Quote: "Fact is, the law says you cannot touch … but I think I see a lot of lawbreakers up in this house tonight." —Dallas
HAROLD AND MAUDE
Director: Hal Ashby
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: This most unconventional and life-affirming romance proves misfits can find connection in the unlikeliest places. The Cat Stevens's soundtrack is pretty great too.
Favorite Quote: "A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they are not dead, really. They're just backing away from life. Reach out. Take a chance. Get hurt even. But play as well as you can. Go team, go! Give me an L. Give me an I. Give me a V. Give me an E. L-I-V-E. LIVE! Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room." —Maude
Director: Mike Mills
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: Aside from the sweet romance between Ewan McGregor and Mélanie Laurent, his father's (Christopher Plummer) late-in-life coming out reminds us that romance is ageless, and for everyone.
Favorite Quote: "We didn't go to this war. We didn't have to hide to have sex. Our good fortune allowed us to feel a sadness that our parents didn't have time for and a happiness that I never saw with them." —Oliver (McGregor)
LOVE AND BASKETBALL
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: Love that blossoms between childhood pals on the neighborhood basketball court prove that friendship is the foundation of the greatest romances.
Favorite Quote: "All's fair in love and basketball." —Quincy
Director: Tony Scott
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: For those who don't go in for a traditional rom-com, True Romance offers all the stylized, violent, Tarantino-scripted thrills to with the love story of Clarence and Alabama.
Favorite Quote:"Okey dokey doggie daddy." —Alabama
WHEN HARRY MET SALLY
Director: Rob Reiner
Why It's Swoon-Worthy: Nora Ephron's classic examination of male-female friendships that turn into love is best remembered for Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan's portrayals of Harry and Sally, but the true relationship-goals romance is between pals Jess (Bruno Kirby) and Marie (Carrie Fisher), above, who show what communication and humor in a relationship is all about.
Marie: "Tell me I'll never have to be out there again."
Jess: "You'll never have to be out there again."
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.