The best romantic movies on Netflix UK
Ivan Radford | On 14, Feb 2017
Boy meets girl. Boy gets with girl. Boy and girl move in together and get a shared Netflix account.
It sounds like a happy ending, but much like true love, a good rom-com is hard to find. A good drama can prove just as elusive. To help you find the perfect match, we round up the best romantic movies on Netflix UK…
Best romantic comedies on Netflix UK
It Happened One Night
Frank Capra’s 1934 flick, which sees a spoiled heiress (Claudette Colbert) flee her controlling father, only to wind up stuck with a cynical newspaper reporter (Clark Gable). Their odd couple exchanges were not only laugh-out-loud funny and endearingly sweet, but also went on to define the romantic comedy for the whole of cinema.
My Best Friend’s Wedding
From the moment I wake up…
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Woody Allen’s delightful post-modern romance sees a lonely housewife fall in love with a movie matinee idol. When he comes out of the screen and into the real world, though, she has to work out whether reality can ever live up to fantasy. Moving, funny and beautiful to boot, this is Allen at his most magical.
Amy Heckerling brings Jane Austen’s Emma into the 1990s with this coming-of-age comedy that has not only become one of the seminal high-school flicks but also one of the best romantic comedies of all time. The satire of materialism and superficiality is delivered flawlessly by star Reese Witherspoon, who takes it upon herself to play matchmaker.
Harold and Maude
Hal Ashby’s 1971 romantic comedy is as dark as it is sentimental, telling the twisted story of a suicidal young man and the older woman he meets while attending a funeral – a hobby that they both share.
Bend… and snap!
The fantastic Felicity Jones gets a chance to take the lead in this hugely enjoyable film about a snowboarder-turned-chalet-girl for a wealthy family. The rich son may be heartthrob Ed Westwick and his dad may be played by Bill Nighy, but don’t be fooled: this is more sports movie than rom-com, which makes it a welcome piece of character-driven fun. Think Bridget Jones on ice.
Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart bond over broken fairground rides in this charming coming of age comedy.
Play It Again, Sam
Netflix adds to its Woody Allen collection with this cute comedy based on his own play, which sees a hapless writer given romantic advice by a guardian angel in the form of Casablanca’s Humphrey Bogart.
Set in France, Chocolat is an adaptation of the novel by Joanne Harris, starring Juliette Binoche as young single mum and chocolatier, Vianne, who moves into a small town with her daughter. She sets up shop just before Lent and is frowned upon by devout locals. An attractive woman who befriends the outcasts might cause a bit of a stir, but can she tempt them to try her chocolates or, perhaps, to live a little? Also stars Johnny Depp, Alfred Molina and Judi Dench. Words: Ruby
Is it possible to derive pleasure from something artificial and manmade? That’s the question asked every day by users of the electric vibrator – and people who watch Adam Sandler films. Hysteria tells the story of the former. And, thanks to knowing turns from Hugh Dancy and Jonathan Pryce, it’s pleasurable stuff.
Jude Law shines in this remake of the Michael Caine classic.
Best romantic dramas on Netflix UK
The shouts of swearing. The noise of wind. Andrea Arnold’s beautifully natural adaptation of Emily Bronte’s familiar novel sounds completely, breathtakingly modern in this searing take on the doomed romance between Heathcliff and Catherine. Kaya Scodelario is magnificent in the lead.
Saoirse Ronan stars as Eilis, a young Irish immigrant who moves to New York in the 1950s, where she falls into a romance with strapping local Italian boy Anthony Fiorello (Emory Cohen). Soon, though, she finds herself pining for her home country – and another male suitor (Jim Farrell – Domhnall Gleeson) who proves just as charismatic. John Cowley’s Oscar-nominated drama is a gloriously old-fashioned tale of identity, belonging and starting over.
Love Is Strange
Alfred Molina and John Lithgow are sublime in Ira Sachs’ film about a gay couple who stay together despite losing their home. A beautiful tribute to the simple joy of commitment.
The Theory of Everything
Eddie Redmayne transforms completely for this turn as Stephen Hawking in James Marsh’s moving biopic.
Andrew Haigh’s drama about an elderly couple – Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling – plays out more like a horror story than a romance, as husband Geoff receives a letter out o the blue informing him that the body of a former girlfriend has been found, after falling off a mountain in The Alps 50 years ago. The powerful movie earned its leading lady a deserved Oscar nomination.
Yorgos Lanthimos’ superb, surreal comedy stars Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C Reilly and Ben Whishaw and is set in the near-future, where being single is illegal. Not coupled? Then you check in at The Hotel, where you have 45 days to find a mate. Succeed and you’re moved to a yacht for a honeymoon before being sent out into the wider, married world. Fail and your stay comes to an end. Oh, and you’re turned into an animal of your choice.
The One I Love
Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss star in this psychological drama about a couple who spend a weekend at a getaway recommended by their therapist, which emerges as a unnerving and sincere examination of marital loyalty and the deceptive nature of appearances. Understated, smart and astonishing.
“I’ll never let go, Jack…”
The Way He Looks
Daniel Ribeiro’s coming-of-age story, based on his 2010 short film, follows a blind high school student in Brazil, who is taking his first steps towards both independence and sexuality. It ranks among the best teen movies. Read our full review.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Arguably 2015’s best comic book movie adaptation, this emotionally bombastic film is a staggeringly candid story of sexual awakening.
Holding the Man
Epic, intimate, universal. This drama, based on the true story of an ill-fated romance between two men, deserves to be a crowd-pleaser. Read our full review.
Charlie Kaufman’s remarkable stop-motion oddity follows a motivational speaker who has a strange condition: everyone he hears sounds the same. So when he crosses paths with a woman at his hotel during a business trip whose voice is all her own, his existence is immediately shaken up. Eerie, intimate and awkwardly moving, this is sumptuous, profound stuff – if not exactly “romantic”.
The latest in Netflix’s deal with the Duplass brothers, this romantic comedy, written by Mark Duplass, stars him and Sarah Paulson as two former high-school sweethearts who return to their small California hometown.
Carey Mulligan stole a nation’s heart with her superb performance in this coming-of-age drama. which sees young Oxbridge candidate Jenny whisked away into a world of glamorous possibilities by the Peter Sarsgaard’s older man, David. Watch out for a scene-stealing turn by Rosamund Pike.
What are your favourite romantic movies on Netflix UK?