We love nothing more than a good old-fashioned romantic weepie, and there are few movies that fulfill that urge as wholly as The Notebook. What’s not to love about Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams kissing in the rain?
The tale of forbidden love, decades of yearning, and that heart-wrenching ending are enough to have us reaching for the wine and tissue-box every single time. If you’re in the mood for something with swoons and tears, we have eight movies to recommend for fans of The Notebook.
P.S. I Love You
Holly and Gerry seem to have the perfect life together, but then Gerry dies of a brain tumor and Holly doesn't know how she's meant to go on. After withdrawing from her life due to the insurmountable grief, a letter arrives from Gerry, promising that more messages are to come.
Before he died, he wrote her a series of letters encouraging her to go on adventures and live a full life after his passing. With the encouragement of Gerry from beyond the grave, Holly soon finds the courage and determination to be herself once more.
Me Before You
Louisa "Lou" Clark is a screw-up who is hired to be the carer for a tetraplegic man named Will. He was once a successful banker and sportsman but an accident left him disabled and depressed.
While he's initially cold to Lou, Will soon grows close to his caretaker, and he finds a new kind of happiness with her. Yet he has already decided that he wants to die by assisted suicide in several months’ time, and nothing Lou or his family say can change his mind.
The Age of Adaline
The Age of Adaline is a classic romantic fantasy that feels like it would have been made in the Golden Age of Hollywood, and therein lies its charms. After an accident in 1937, Adaline Bowman, played by Blake Lively, stopped aging. The years pass but she still looks 29 years old, even as her own child becomes an elderly woman. Forced to live on the run, she adopts new identities and avoids getting too close to others.
Things change in 2014 when she meets Ellis, only to discover that his father, William (played by Harrison Ford), was a man she fell in love with decades prior. Yet she can't stop running away, not as long as she's stuck in her current ageless state.
Sam and Tusker, played by Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, are romantic partners who have been together for 20 years. They go on a road trip in a camper van across England to visit friends and family while stargazing at their favorite spots.
Time is short, however, because Tusker has early onset dementia, and his illness is progressing fast. As the illness puts a strain on both men, they must enjoy the time they have left and appreciate what life has given them. If The Notebook made you cry, then Supernova will make you sob.
The Fault in Our Stars
John Green’s romantic drama is one of the defining young adult books of the millennium, having inspired millions of devoted readers, a slew of Tumblr fandom posts, and a sturdy film adaptation starring Shailene Woodley. The Fault in Our Stars centers on Hazel, a teenager living with thyroid cancer that has spread to her lungs. At her weekly cancer support group, she meets Augustus, who lost a leg to bone cancer but is currently in remission.
Together, they bond over their unique situation as sick kids and their favorite books. They find solace in one another but cancer is a beast that won't leave them alone, and they must cherish the short time they have together. John Green knows how to make people cry, and The Fault in Our Stars will certainly have to reaching for the tissues.
Jane Austen’s romances will never be beaten, and centuries after she wrote her novels, they’re still inspiring legions of fans. The most recent adaptation of Emma, directed by Autumn de Wilde and starring Anya Taylor Joy, is one of the best versions of it. Joy is perfect as Emma Woodhouse, the pretty and meddling young woman who loves to play matchmaker for those closest to her, whether they like it or not. She takes it upon herself to be the guide of Harriet Smith, an awkward young lady who seeks a good match.
Yet she soon becomes entangled in the world of Mr. Knightley, a rare man who can match her for wits and savvy. If you love gorgeous costumes, snappy dialogue, and one of the great happy-ever-afters, then Emma. is for you.
Love + Basketball
Gina Prince-Bythewood is currently best known for her epic historical drama The Woman King, but she got her start with this impeccable romantic drama. Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps play Monica and Quincy, childhood best friends who have long bonded over their shared desire to be professional basketball players. As they grow, their professional struggles clash with their growing romantic feelings for one another.
Things get even more complicated when they are forced to deal with media attention, injuries, and Monica having to battle sexism in the sports world. Love and Basketball has a scorching leading pair who have chemistry to burn, and it's fully committed to its romance and the ambition of its characters. It's also one of a rare handful of modern romance films to be included in the Criterion Collection, so you know it's good!
Romeo + Juliet
If we're talking about melodramatic love with a tragic twist, then we can't ignore William Shakespeare's classic play that inspired centuries of romantic tales. There are so many adaptations of Romeo and Juliet but the most enthralling, in our opinion, is the Baz Luhrmann take that modernized the tale for the '90s.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes play the titular young lovers who fall for one another amid a family feud that threatens to destroy them all. What makes Romeo + Juliet stand out is its lavish aesthetic, eye-burning visuals, and oh-so-cool soundtrack. Tragic love never looked so stylish.