Are you looking for a wonderful love story to read? From rom-coms to tear-jerking tragedies to something a touch hotter, we’ve compiled a list of the best romance movies currently streaming on Netflix. There are plenty of new movies to check out, but there are also some true classics, award-winners, and box office smashes in the mix, thanks to Netflix’s recent focus on original romantic material. So, without further ado, prepare yourself for meet-cutes, public declarations of love, mind games, romantic gestures, slow dances, seductions, and all the other traditional romance movie beats.
If you don’t see what you’re looking for here, check out our lists of the Best Rom-Coms on Netflix, the Sexiest Movies on Netflix, the Best Netflix and Chill Movies Right Now, or our list of the Best Romantic Comedies of the Twenty-First Century So Far.
Table Of Content
- 1 365 Days
- 2 A Whisker Away
- 3 About Time
- 4 Alex Strangelove
- 5 Always Be My Maybe
- 6 Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
- 7 Let It SnowEurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
- 8 Marriage Story
- 9 Set It Up
- 10 Stardust
- 11 Someone Great
- 12 To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
- 13 The Incredible Jessica James
- 14 The Half of It
- 15 The Old Guard
Move over, every single sexy film on this list; there’s a new child on the block named 365 Days, and it’s maybe the sexiest thing to ever hit Netflix. Ever.
The Polish film (originally named 365 dni) premiered on Netflix in June and is based on the first book in author Blanka Lipinska’s hot adult romance novel series. 365 Days follows Laura (Anna Maria Sieklucka), a young Polish woman whom Massimo (Michele Morrone), the head of a Sicilian crime family, believes is the same woman who saved his life months before after a botched deal. When Massimo spots Laura in a bar when she is on her birthday vacation in Sicily, he decides to separate her and hold her for a year to see whether she will fall in love with him.
Now, I understand that this plot seems extremely difficult; it certainly begins that way. Thankfully, 365 Days takes Laura’s point of view and shows how messed up it is for Massimo to abduct her and imprison her at his palazzo for a whole year. While you’ll have a couple more “Hey, that’s really fucked up!” moments while watching, it’s impossible (haha) not to be turned on by Massimo and Laura’s chemistry. Massimo’s life as a young, hot, super jacked Italian mafia don (Christian Grey who?) is easy to be enchanted by the glamor and Eurotrash luxury porn of his life. While the film captivates you with the fantasy of this existence, it also deftly builds the cat-and-mouse game of seduction that he and Laura engage in. As a result, they’re an exciting relationship to watch develop. With the highly visceral, steamy scenarios Massimo and Laura find themselves in as their relationship grows, 365 Days gives Pornhub a run for its money in terms of sex scenes. Their BDSM-fueled escapades are pure spank bank fantasy, spanning from shower fun to full-on yacht sex with enough thrusting and hair-pulling to keep your eyes glued to the screen.
A Whisker Away
When you first hear the premise of A Whisker Away, it sounds completely ludicrous. Miyo Sasaki, a middle school student, is smitten with Kento Hinode, a classmate. She employs a weird disguise to change herself into a cat in order to get closer to him. Exactly! Isn’t it ridiculous? However, appearances can be deceiving, which is the central premise of this upcoming anime film. In reality, the Japanese title of the film translates to “Wanting to Cry, I Pretend to Be a Cat,” which is a much better summary of the plot.
A Whisker Away is a wonderfully sweet story that is as much about loving others as it is about loving yourself once you get past the initial oddity. Miyo is a terribly sad girl who desperately wants to find a sense of belonging, despite her cheery exterior. All of the cat stuff is just a lovely, whimsical, and visually stunning vehicle for her to get what she’s looking for. A Whisker Away has stunning artwork, well-crafted characters, and a genuinely happy story at its center, making it a must-see for romance aficionados.
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About Time, released in 2013, is not only a fantastic romantic comedy, but it’s also one of the best time travel films ever made. Oh, and it’s a genuine tearjerker. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson as a young man who discovers from his father (Bill Nighy) that the men in his family have the capacity to time travel. It was written and directed by Richard Curtis, who also helmed Love, Actually. This comes in useful when he misses out on a captivating American girl (Rachel McAdams) and has to travel back to the night they first met to get their relationship off to a good start. But, as About Time gradually exposes itself to be a heartbreaking father-son story at heart, what begins as a joyful, grounded, and romantic adventure soon turns tragic.
Alex Strangelove is, after all, a romantic comedy, which is why it made our list. The personal growth of the primary character, rather than the romance, is what makes the film so endearing. Alex Truelove, a high school senior and class president who is dating his best friend Claire, is played by Daniel Doheny (Madeline Weinstein). The pair decides on a date to have their first sexual encounter. As you might expect, something goes wrong, and that something is the lovely, openly homosexual adolescent Elliot (Antonio Marziale). Alex begins to get closer to Elliot after meeting him at a party, which causes him to question his own sexuality. While the film isn’t extremely profound, it does provide an amusing and delightful story about loving oneself that is well worth seeing.
Always Be My Maybe
With 2018’s Set It Up, Netflix brought the rom-com back in a big way, and the streaming service’s 2019 offering, Always Be My Maybe, is just as bright and enjoyable. The film portrays a pair of young best friends who have since drifted away and are pulled together once more in adulthood, despite their lives having taken quite different roads. It was co-written by and stars Randall Park and Ali Wong. With some well-paced dramatic passages, Park and Wong are explosive together, and the picture takes time to breathe. It’s certainly not short on scene-stealers, with Michelle Buteau being a hoot and Keanu Reeves proving his genius knows no bounds once again.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
I didn’t anticipate Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga to be one of the year’s most poignant and romantic films, but Rachel McAdams is a force to be reckoned with. With the goofy-yet-poignant Netflix Original comedy, the Mean Girls and Game Night star proves once again that she’s one of the most underestimated comedic actors of her time, starring with Will Ferrell as a pair of Icelandic singers with ambitions of winning the Eurovision Song Contest. The main shocks here are the fantastically catchy original songs and the surprising sensitivity amid the chuckles, which may just leave you with a tear in your eye and a pleasant feeling in your heart. That isn’t solely due to the love tale, though it is a significant factor. Bonus: Dan Stevens gives the best hilarious performance of his career, which is also shockingly emotional (you’re definitely finding a pattern here).
Let It SnowEurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Fair warning: Marriage Story will wreck you. But it’s also not just one of the best films of 2019, it’s the best film Noah Baumbach has ever made. The story chronicles the process of divorce from separation to finalization, with Adam Driver playing the successful theater director husband and Scarlett Johansson playing the successful actress wife. Complicating matters is the fact that the couple shares a child, but the brilliance of Baumbach’s film is that it tells the story from both points of view, so no matter which side you fall on in the end, you have deep empathy for both individuals. Driver and Johansson give career-best performances as Baumbach writes full-bodied, complex individuals—you know, like actual human beings. And with regards to the subject matter, Baumbach vividly showcases how the voices of the two individuals—and the love they previously shared—get lost in the actual process of divorcing. Heartbreaking and deeply human, Marriage Story is not to be missed.
Set It Up
If you’re seeking for a lovely romantic comedy but don’t want to watch anything from a decade ago for the umpteenth time, Claire Scanlon’s charming Set It Up is a must-see. The plot revolves around two harried assistants (Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell) who plan to set up their bosses (Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs, respectively) in order to acquire some much-needed free time away from their stressful work. Despite their plotting, they begin to fall for each other. The rom-com rhythms are obvious from a mile away, but they’re executed so skillfully and effectively that you won’t notice. Furthermore, the film sparkles because to Deutch’s and Powell’s superb performances, who should be the streaming generation’s Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.
Stardust is a colorful, wonderful voyage through a mythical realm where stars crash to earth in human form, space pirates sail the skies, and the monarchy’s ghosts are entertained by fratricide, based on Neil Gaiman’s novella of the same name. Long before he became Daredevil, Charlie Cox enchanted audiences as Tristan Thorn, a young man who travels to a mythical world to capture a fallen star (Claire Danes) and discovers adventure and romance beyond the wall he was never supposed to pass. Michelle Pfieffer gives a colorful performance as a feisty witch on a quest for immortality in Stardust, which is funny and enjoyable to boot. Overall, Stardust offers everything a fantasy adventure should have, from wild imagination to sweeping romance to Robert De Niro as a space pirate.
Someone Great is a Netflix comedy that falls between between a love tale and a wild night out comedy. It follows a young woman (Gina Rodriguez) who goes out for one more wild night with her best friends before leaving town. Oh, and her seven-year-long lover just dumped her. The lover in question is played by LaKeith Stanfield, who is in peak charming form, and their chemistry is wonderful, keeping you engrossed in their romance even though you know it’s over. There’s plenty of crude comedy in this one, but it’s the interplay between Rodriguez and Stanfield that gives it its heart and soul.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
If you’re searching for a lighthearted, lovely YA romance to brighten your day, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a great choice on Netflix. The plot follows Lara Jean (Lana Condor), a teen whose greatest dreams are fulfilled when five letters she penned to her hidden crushes are sent out without her knowledge, based on Jenny Han’s novel. When Lara Jean is confronted by her previous crush Peter (Noah Centineo), she is scared that it will interfere with her current crush Josh (Israel Broussard), so she and Peter decide to fake a relationship so they may be with who they actually want to be with. Pretending to be together naturally leads to genuine sentiments between the two. From beginning to end, the video is a joy to watch, allowing you to experience a period when who “loved” you was the most important thing in the world, but without the trauma of high school. The full To All the Boys trilogy is now available on Netflix, however the sequels aren’t as good as the original.
The Incredible Jessica James
Jessica Williams hasn’t gotten the recognition she deserves since her time on The Daily Show, but the indie rom-com The Incredibles is a step in the right direction. Jessica James is the first time we’ve seen her in a prominent role since then, and she simply lights up the screen. Jessica James isn’t exactly as amazing as the title suggests — she’s actually very selfish and naive — but she’s passionate, honest, and ambitious, and Williams manages to make you love her despite her flaws. A supporting performance from Chris O’Dowd, who is always adorable, doesn’t hurt, and the two have explosive chemistry as they try to navigate the rivers of heartbreak together toward something fresh and healthy. The Incredible Jessica James is a refreshing take on the rom-com that doesn’t kowtow to the lowest common denominator. It’s sexy, humorous, and certainly current.
The Half of It
In recent years, Netflix has become home to some great home-run romantic comedies, and the most recent gem, The Half of It, may have just threatened to dethrone To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Alice Wu wrote and directed the film, which is an update on the classic Cyrano de Bergerac, but not in the terribly uncomfortable catfishing sense that Sierra Burgess Is a Loser was. Three teens are looking for their identity and yearning for their first love in Wu’s moving, beautifully photographed story, which is tied up in a messy, hungry love triangle that never feels cheap or exploitative. The Half of It is a standout self-aware teen romance that’s as heartbreaking as the real thing, shot beautifully, brilliantly timed, and packed with people you can’t help but love.
The Old Guard
You might be shocked to find Netflix’s latest big-budget action picture The Old Guard on this list, but when you realize that it’s directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the director of Love & Basketball and Beyond the Lights, it all makes sense. Those are two of the best love stories of the twenty-first century, and Prince-Bythwood tucks another magnificent romance into her ass-kicking superhero thriller. Of course, most of the credit goes to original writer Greg Rucka, who made it clear that the queer love story would remain in his film deal, as well as actors Marwan Kenzari and Luca Marinelli, who make you fall in love with Nicky and Joe as much as they do. But in the hands of Prince-Bythewood, their eternal love tale becomes a swooning, gorgeous subplot that almost steals the show.
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