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The Best Romantic Movies on Netflix Right Now

9 Mins read
  • Looking for a good love story? We’ve put together the best romance movies streaming on Netflix right now, from rom-coms to tear-jerking dramas to something a little sexier. Netflix has been leaning into their own original romantic content in recent years, so there are plenty of new releases to check out but there are also some bonafide classics, award-winners, and box office hits in the mix. So without any further ado, settle in for meet-cutes, public professions of love, mind games, romantic gestures, slow dances, seductions, and all the classic romance movie beats.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga


Director: David Dobkin

Writers: Will Ferrell and Andrew Steele

Cast: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, and Demi Lovato

I did not go into Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga expecting one of the most touching and romantic movies of the year, but one should never underestimate the power of Rachel McAdams. The Mean Girls and Game Night star proves once again that she’s one of the most underrated comedic actors of her generation with the goofy-yet-poignant Netflix Original comedy, starring alongside Will Ferrell as a pair of Icelandic singers with dreams of winning the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, but the big surprises here are the fabulously catchy original songs and the surprising tenderness between the laughs that might just leave you with a tear in your eye and warmth in your heart. That’s not just because of the love story, but that’s sure a big part of it. Bonus: Dan Stevens giving the comedic performance of his career, which is also (you’re probably noticing a theme here) surprisingly touching. — Haleigh Foutch

Sleeping with Other People


Writer/Director: Leslye Headland

Cast: Allison Brie, Jason Sudeikis, Adam Scott, Adam Brody, Billy Eichner, Amanda Peet, Jason Mantzoukas, Natasha Lyonne

Take your standard rom-com format, make the leads extra messed up, turn the sexy factor up several notches and you’ve got Leslye Headland‘s Sleeping with Other PeopleAllison Brie and Jason Sudeikis co-star as two monogamy-challenged peas in a pod who reunite in a sex addicts anonymous meeting years after losing their virginity to each other. Naturally, they proceed to drive each other nuts, fall in love and all that sweet stuff that makes for a good romantic comedy, except Sleeping with People has a bit more of an edge. There’s a sizzling undercurrent of sex appeal thanks to Sudeikis and Brie’s shared charm, confidence, and chemistry, but Headland also overtly amps up the carnal factor at every turn. With plenty of heart and breezy comedic beats Sleeping with Other People is a familiar romantic comedy, just way sharper, way more foul-mouthed and way hotter. — Haleigh Foutch



Director: Spike Jonze

Writer: Spike Jonze

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, Kristen Wiig and Olivia Wilde

Her is one the most unusual and brilliant “romantic” comedies ever made. From notable writer/director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich), the film follows the journey of Theodore Twombley (Phoenix) an introverted, depressed man navigating a divorce shortly. He buys an operating system that comes with an AI virtual assistant who he names Samantha (Johansson). Theodore spends a majority of the rest of the film having conversations with Samantha about love, life, and relationships. She becomes his guide thru his depression and loneliness while she, in turn, is learning more about humanity and the human condition thru him. It’s a fascinating and topical relationship that is most likely not THAT far away from happening in our world. Eventually, Theodore and Samantha consummate this relationship thru a surrogate, but it exposes cracks in the relationship and leads to their separation. Samantha eventually returns to Theodore to tell him that she has joined the other AI virtual assistants and they are moving beyond the physical realm into a deeper and broader consciousness. Theodore is initially hurt by the idea, but Samantha’s loss leads him to understand the process of finally letting go and rediscovering who he is again so he can be ready for the next possibility of a love that appears in his world.

He will challenge you in all the best ways that a film should challenge you. It will expand your definition of a romantic relationship, present the themes of love and loss in new ways, and maybe leave you with a powerful lesson that just because something ends it doesn’t mean that you must end. Not many romantic comedies can say that about themselves…but I bet Samantha would. — John Rocha



Director: Barry Jenkins

Writers: Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney

Cast: Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harries, Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monae, and Andre Holland

The 2017 winner of the Best Picture Oscar, Moonlight is a stunning cinematic achievement that is equal parts coming-of-age story and coming-out story. A triptych in structure, the film is told in three sections each focusing on a different stage of the life of a young black man named Chiron. We see how the events of his life shaped him into the man he became, from his drug-addicted mother to his benevolent but criminal father figure to his first experiences coming to terms with his sexuality. Barry Jenkins’ direction is masterful and the performances astound, as you feel the three different actors who play Chiron all inhabit the same character—no easy feat. This is a phenomenal achievement from start to finish, and an incredibly moving story that is ultimately universal: how do the experiences of our lives shape us into the adults we become? In addition to Best Picture, the film also won the Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. – Adam Chitwood

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before


Director: Susan Johnson

Writer: Sofia Alvarez

Cast: Lana Condor, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, Noah Centineo, Israel Broussard, and John Corbett 

If you’re looking for a fun, sweet, YA romance to brighten your day, you won’t do much better on Netflix than To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Based off the novel by Jenny Han, the story follows Lara Jean (Lana Condor), a teenager whose worst nightmares are realized when five letters she wrote to her secret crushes are sent out without her knowledge. When she’s confronted by her old crush Peter (Noah Centineo), she’s afraid it could get in the way of her current crush Josh (Israel Broussard), so Lara Jean and Peter resolve to fake a relationship so they can get with who they want to be with. Naturally, pretending to together start to create real feelings between the two. The film is a joy from start to finish, letting you relive a time when who “liked” you were the most important thing in the world, but without any of the trauma high school entails. – Matt Goldberg

About Time


Director/Writer: Richard Curtis

Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lindsay Duncan, Tom Hollander, and Margot Robbie

The 2013 film About Time is not just an absolute gem of a romantic comedy, it’s also one of the best time travel movies ever made. Oh yeah, and it’s a total tearjerker. Written and directed by Love, Actually filmmaker Richard Curtis, the film stars Domhnall Gleeson as a young man who learns from his father (Bill Nighy) that the men in their family have the ability to time travel. This comes in handy when he misses his chance with a charismatic American girl (Rachel McAdams) and goes back to the night they first met to start their relationship off right. But what begins as a delightful, grounded, and romantic romp soon turns emotional, as About Time slowly reveals itself to be a gut-wrenching father-son story at heart. – Adam Chitwood

Jerry Maguire


Director/Writer: Cameron Crowe

Cast: Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, Cuba Gooding Jr., Bonnie Hunt, Regina King, and Jonathan Lipnicki

“You complete me” took the world by storm for a reason. Writer/director Cameron Crowe’s uniquely structured 1996 romantic drama Jerry Maguire doesn’t follow your typical “opposites attract, fall in love, the end” formula, as the story instead is far more interested in seeing what happens after two very different characters get together. Tom Cruise is the titular sports agent who throws away his career and finds himself left with only one client. Renee Zellweger is the only one at his agency who agrees to leave with him. The two strike up an unlikely romance, with both characters navigating periods of significant change in each other’s lives. Your mileage may vary on whether you believe these two are MFEO, but if that “you complete me” scene doesn’t get you, you’re dead inside. – Adam Chitwood

Set It Up


Director: Claire Scanlon

Writer: Katie Silberman

Cast: Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Lucy Liu, and Taye Diggs

If you’re looking for a charming romantic comedy, but don’t want to rewatch something from a previous decade for the umpteenth time, you should give Claire Scanlon’s charming Set It Up a look. The plot follows two beleaguered assistants (Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell) who decided to set up their bosses (Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs, respectively) to just get some precious free time away from their demanding jobs. However, with all their scheming, they start to fall for each other. You can see the rom-com beats coming from a mile away, but they’ve done so well and so effectively that you won’t mind. Plus, the film sizzles thanks to the outstanding performances from the dazzling Deutch and Powell, who should be the streaming generation’s Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. – Matt Goldberg

Let It Snow


Director: Luke Snellin

Writers: Laura Solon, Victoria Strouse, and Kay Cannon

Cast: Isabela Merced, Shameik Moore, Liv Hewson, Odeya Rush, Jacob Batalon, Kiernan Shipka, Joan Cusack

If you’re in the mood for some seasonal romance, Netflix delivered a bit of a Love Actually for the teen set with Let It Snow, a breezy holiday rom-com that finds a series of overlapping love stories on one fateful Christmas-season snow day. It’s a sweet film from top-to-tail, as interested in the dramas of teen friendship and domestic struggles as it the blossoming romances, and it’s filled with delightful performances from a knockout cast of young up-and-comers. A lot of the Netflix Christmas romances follow in the Hallmark channel vein, and no judgment if that’s your preferred thing, but for those who want an old-fashioned feel-good holiday romance, Let It Snow is just the ticket.– Haleigh Foutch

Just Friends


Director: Roger Kumble

Writer: Adam Davis

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, and Chris Klein

Now that Ryan Reynolds is a bona fide action hero, let’s not forget the guy is also an incredibly talented comedic actor. Roger Kumble’s underrated romantic comedy Just Friends is a terrific showcase for Reynolds’ skills, as the dichotomy between his impossibly good looks and goofy comedic sensibility is put to good use as he plays a formerly chubby, sensitive-type who is now a trim, successful music producer. Anna Faris also turns in phenomenal work here as a play on a Britney Spears-Esque pop star, and she and Reynolds have fantastic chemistry. The story is a pretty standard “home for the holidays” type deal—Reynolds’ character gets unexpectedly stranded in his hometown with Faris in tow and is forced to confront his former BFF who is also the girl he was in love with in high school. But the whole thing is just elevated to another comedic level courtesy of its A+ performances. Sneakily great? Chris Klein as a stereotypical “nice guy.” – Adam Chitwood

Someone Great


Writer/Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

Cast: Gina Rodriguez, LaKeith Stanfield, Brittany Snow, DeWanda Wise

Pitched somewhere between a love story and a wild night out comedy, Someone Great is one of Netflix’s better recently comedy efforts, centred on a young woman (Gina Rodriguez), who head out for one last crazy night with her best friends before leaving town. Oh, and she just got dumped by her boyfriend of seven years. The boyfriend in question is played LaKeith Stanfield in peak charming mode, and the chemistry between the two is a knockout, keeping you wrapped up in their love even though you know it’s over. There’s plenty of raunchy comedy to go around in this one, but the dynamic between Rodriguez and Stanfield gives the film its heart and its spark. — Haleigh Foutch

Blue Is the Warmest Color


Director: Abdellatif Kechiche

Writers: Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix

Cast: Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos

Some of the biggest buzz out of the Cannes Film Festival debut for Blue Is the Warmest Color revolves around its explicit sex scenes, and indeed this movie goes there. But it also remains an epically intimate portrait of love that is among the most engrossing and effective romances of all time. The film tracks the life of a young woman named Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos), who falls in love with another girl (Léa Seydoux) while in high school and develops a complex and deeply emotional relationship. This is a deeply felt love drama that, while lengthy, feels wholly complete and personal. Exarchopoulos turns in a brilliant lead performance that deserved much more recognition upon release, and the cinematography is hauntingly beautiful. If you’re in the mood for a love story that feels real, human, epic, and yes, very, very, sexy, go for Blue Is the Warmest Color. – Adam Chitwood

The Incredible Jessica James


Writer/Director: Jim Strouse

Cast: Jessica Williams, Chris O’Dowd, Lakeith Stanfield, Noel Wells

Jessica Williams still hasn’t got the breakout she deserves since her tenure on The Daily Show, but the indie rom-com The Incredible Jessica James is the first time since then we’ve got to see her step into a leading role and she just lights up the screen. Now, the character of Jessica James may not be quite as incredible as the title leads you to believe — she’s pretty selfish and naive — but she’s passionate, raw and ambitious, and Williams makes you love her despite her faults. A supporting performance from the constantly charming Chris O’Dowd certainly doesn’t hurt, and the two have electric chemistry as they try to navigate the waters of heartbreak together toward something healthy and new. Sexy, funny and decidedly modern, The Incredible Jessica James is a refreshing spin on the rom-com that doesn’t pander to the lowest common denominator. — Haleigh Foutch

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