My love for romance isn’t just limited to books. I’m a sucker for a killer romance movie. I love them all — everything from tear jerkers to romcoms. So here are six of my favorite romance movies to watch depending on your mood.
When you’re in the mood for a hate-to-love romcom: Leap Year
Anna is a successful and independent woman who has everything except the one thing she wants: a proposal from her boyfriend. So she takes matters into her own hands and travels to Ireland to crash her boyfriend’s work trip in Dublin so she can propose to him on Leap Day (according to Irish tradition, a woman can propose to a man on Leap Day). But then Anna encounters every possible obstacle on her trip to her intended fiance: terrible weather, travel delays, and a grumpy Irish innkeeper named Declan who she constantly butts heads with. Too bad he’s her ride to Dublin. Along their journey, there’s bickering galore and the inevitable buildup of attraction. As Anna and Declan open up, they help each other realize that sometimes what you think you want isn’t right at all. Sometimes, what you truly want — what you need — can be found in the place you least expect.
When you’re in the mood for a mumblecore romance: Drinking Buddies
This indie mumblecore film offers a realistic take on navigating that sometimes awkward and always emotional journey from friends to “something more” territory. Kate and Luke are close pals and coworkers who banter and flirt — and they’re also in relationships with other people. As they endure the ups and downs of their respective relationships, they also attempt to untangle their feelings for one another. The dialogue flows naturally because it’s unstructured — and that’s a good thing. When Kate and Luke are having conversations with their significant others and each other, they sound a lot like the conversations you’ve had in your own life, which makes it all the more relatable.
When you’re in the mood for a melancholy romance: Like Crazy
Anna, a British exchange student studying journalism, falls in love with Jacob, an aspiring designer, while they’re both college students in LA. They fall fast and hard for each other. After graduating, Anna makes the unwise decision to overstay her student visa to spend the summer with Jacob. After returning to the UK for a family engagement and then trying to fly back to the US to be with Jacob, she’s deported back to the UK. What follows is the nightmare of navigating seemingly insurmountable immigration issues while trying to maintain a long-distance relationship. Anna and Jacob love each other, but they learn that love sometimes isn’t enough to build a future if you can’t even live on the same continent. Anyone who’s ever tried — and failed — at long distance will find themselves nodding along while watching… and probably tearing up while reliving all of the emotions this movie evokes.
When you’re in the mood for a wrenching romance: Blue Valentine
Warning: Blue Valentine does not have a happy ending. But that’s okay. Because sometimes you need a movie to give you a good cry. That’s exactly what Blue Valentine delivers. It follows the story of Cindy and Dean while shifting back and forth between their charming beginning and the demise of their marriage. The way this movie is shot makes every moment seem real. You can’t help but feel swept up and smile when you see the two of them flirting shyly with one another when they meet. And you bite the inside of your cheek, fighting back tears, when you see how years of an unhappy marriage have taken its toll. Blue Valentine shows the ugly side of romance, which is sometimes just as important to see as the HEA most of us are obsessed with.
When you’re in the mood for a second-chance meeting romance: It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong
The first time American ex-pats Ruby and Josh meet, it’s outside a Hong Kong bar. Ruby is trying to locate friends she’s separated from while Josh is taking a breather from a rambunctious party. They chat, hit it off, and Josh offers to walk Ruby to her destination. But they have such a nice time that she decides to blow off her friends in favor of hanging out with Josh. Things end on a sour note when Josh reveals who he ditched to spend time with Ruby. They don’t see each other until a year later while riding the same ferry in Hong Kong. The description is vague, I know, but I only do that to refrain from spoilers. This is a worthwhile watch if you want cute dialogue and an interesting depiction of chance meetings that also explores the very real possibility of developing feelings for someone who’s not your significant other.
When you’re in a mood for a socially conscious romcom: Something New
Something New is one of my all-time favorite romcoms because it gives a racially conscious twist to an age-old trope: opposites attract. In this case, the opposites are Kenya, a perfectionist CPA, and Brian, a laidback landscaper. Kenya and Brian initially meet when a mutual friend sets them up, but when Kenya sees Brian is white (she is black), she’s initially turned off. But then she decides to hire him to landscape her yard, and a switch flips. Seeing Brian all sweaty and shirtless in her home makes Kenya realize there’s an undeniable attraction between them, which leads to hooking up, then dating, then a relationship. One of the best parts about this movie is how it addresses interracial relationships, specifically disapproving family and friends. It also showcases the discrepancies between Kenya’s life experiences and Brian’s due to their different racial backgrounds, and the conflicts they have as a result. It’s a romcom with substance that also delivers a joyful and satisfying HEA.