My Top 25 Movies About Love

By Laura Crisp Davis - February 1, 2023
My Top 25 Movies About Love

Happy Valentine's (or anti-Valentine's) Day, my friends! 

This is an incomplete list of my favorite movies about love as romance, family connection, and friendship. I'm a fan of profound endings, wickedly clever dialogue, interesting character relationships, and cheering for the underdog. (There are at least 50 more movies that belong on this list, btw.)

25. The Lost Valentine (drama, romance, 2011 TV-PG 1h 17m)

why I love it: A sappy, must-see, Hallmark movie in the vein of The Notebook. Perhaps a bit overly nostalgic for a bygone era, but I don't care because I swear to all that’s holy, Betty makes me sob like I need medication. If I need a good ugly cry, I can count on the ending to push me way, WAY over the edge. Just typing the line, “My husband’s coming home today,” I have to reach for a Kleenex. Adapted from the book by James Michael Pratt. Betty White, Jennifer Love Hewitt 

screenwriters: Maryann Ridini Spencer, Barton Taney

24. Instant Family (comedy, drama, 2018 PG-13 1h 58m)

why I love it: A heartwarming, funny story about a couple navigating new parenthood to three foster children. Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro, Margo Martindale

screenwriters: Sean Anders, John Morris

23. The Half of It (comedy, drama, romance 2020 PG-13 1h 44m)

why I love it: A smart teen girl writes a love letter for an athlete, then falls in love with the girl he's crushing on. Wholesome, sweet, and poignant. Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire

screenwriter: Alice Wu

22. Singles (comedy, drama, 1992 PG 1h 43m)

why I love it: An immersion into the '90s, dating, and the 20-something search for self-identity. Bonus: Sweet Seattle grunge soundtrack and Chris Cornell, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, and Eddie Vedder cameos. Ensemble includes Bridget Fonda, Matt Dillon, Campbell Scott, Kyra Sedgwick 

screenwriter: Cameron Crowe

21. The Lovebirds (action, comedy, crime 2020 R 1h 26m)

why I love it: A couple in the middle of a breakup become inadvertently entangled in a murder mystery. Hilarious dialogue, great humor around stereotypes and race, excellent romantic and comedic chemistry. Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani

screenwriters: Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall, Martin Gero

20. The Story of Us (comedy, drama, romance 1999 R 2h)

why I love it: It hurts to see a couple on the brink of divorce, but stay with it to the end. Fantastic supporting cast—they each offer moments of well-meaning, bad advice. The bit about not being able to be intimate when you’re mad at your spouse is priceless. "Does he not see it? Does he not see it?!" Michelle Pfeiffer, Bruce Willis, Rob Reiner, Rita Wilson

screenwriters: Alan Zweibel, Jessie Nelson

19. Deliver Us From Eva (comedy, drama, romance 2003 R 1h 45m)

why I love it: A modern twist on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. Eva is the overbearing eldest, and her three sisters' boyfriends are tired of her meddling. They pay a player to date her, but things get complicated when he falls for Eva. LL Cool J, Gabrielle Union 

screenwriters: James Iver Mattson, B.E. Brauner, Gary Hardwick

18. Fools Rush In (comedy, drama, romance, 1997 PG-13 1h 49m)

why I love it: A hilarious real life story turned into Rom-Com gold. This one has it all: interfering family, cultural clashes, pregnancy, Vegas, and falling in love. Selma Hayek, Matthew Perry

screenwriters: Joan Taylor, Katherine Reback

17. The Thing About Harry (comedy, drama, romance 2020 TV-14 1h 25m)

why I love it: When two boys who were high school enemies are stuck driving together to friend's engagement party on Valentine's Day, they connect in a surprisingly vulnerable way. We need more LGBTQ rom-coms, please. Jake Borelli, Niko Terho, Keramo Brown

screenwriters: Peter Paige, Joshua Senter

16. Laws of Attraction (comedy, romance, 2004 PG-13 1h 30m)

why I love it: Two New York divorce attorneys fall in love while battling each other in court. I love the high profile rockstar/model divorce, and the juxtaposition of Ireland and NYC. Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Michael Sheen, Parker Posey, Frances Fisher, Nora Dunn

screenwriters: Aline Brosh McKenna, Robert Harling

15. Always Be My Maybe (comedy, romance, 2019 PG-13 1h 41m)

why I love it: A funny story about family and childhood friends. They reconnect as adults and reconsider their feelings for each other. Keanu Reeves plays himself in a hilarious cameo. And if you're ever in the mood to laugh, there was once a twitter feed of Keanu's scene entrance dubbed with nearly every song on the planet. Ali Wong, Randall Park, Michelle Buteau

screenwriters: Ali Wong, Randall Park, Michael Golamco

14. The Proposal (comedy, drama, romance, 2009 PG-13 1h 48m)

why I love it: All the fun of rom-coms here. A controlling publishing exec forces her assistant to marry her in order to keep her visa and avoid deportation to Canada, but his well-meaning family thinks they're in love. An overzealous immigration agent, weird friends, and the infamous Betty White scene make this hilarious. Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Betty White

screenwriters: Peter Chiarelli

13. Moonstruck (comedy, drama, romance 1987 PG 1h 42m)

why I love it: A heartwarming story about not settling. A Brooklyn, NY bookkeeper falls in love with her stable fiancé's oddball brother. So many quotable moments, like, "Snap out of it!" Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello

screenwriter: John Patrick Shanley

12. 10 Things I Hate About You (comedy, drama, romance 1999 PG-13 1h 37m)

why I love it: Another modern take on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. I love the overprotective OB/GYN father, the little nods to Shakespeare, the school principal, and the wholesome romantic chemistry. Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larissa Oleynik, David Krumboltz, Larry Miller, Gabrielle Union, Allison Janney

screenwriters: Karen McCullah, Kirsten Smith

11. Sleepless in Seattle (comedy, drama, romance 1993 PG 1h 45m)

why I love it: If you haven't seen this, you were probably born after 1993, because this is one of the most re-watched rom-coms of all time. A Seattle boy who misses his recently deceased mom calls a radio talk show to find his father new love, which escalates to a cross-country adventure that pays homage to Love Affair (1939).Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Rita Wilson, Ross Malinger, Rosie O'Donnell, Bill Pullman

screenwriters: Nora Ephron, Jeff Arch, David S. Ward

10. Booksmart (comedy, coming of age, 2019 R 1h 42m)

why I love it: A story of self-love and first-love, two high school besties who regret being too focused on academic success try to cram four years of fun into the night before graduation. Oddball supporting character Gigi is my favorite. Great ending. Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein

screenwriter: Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, Katie Silberman

9. The Answer Man (comedy, romance 2009 R 1h 37m)

why I love it: A reclusive new age author is pursued for advice from a single mom who's also a new chiropractor, and a man struggling to work his 12-steps after rehab. LOL moment: “He may have written Me & God, but he did NOT read it.” Hysterical. Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham, Lou Taylor Pucci, Kat Dennings, Nora Dunn, Tony Hale

screenwriter: John Hindman

8. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (comedy, drama, romance 2002 PG 1h 35m)

why I love it: When your real life is this funny, you have to write a rom-com! The perfect combination of late bloomer, self-identity, family, cultural clashes, self-love, and falling in love. Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, 

screenwriter: Nia Vardalos

7. Say Anything (comedy, drama, romance 1989 PG-13 1h 40m)

why I love it: Who can resist an authentic underdog with a boombox over his head, playing Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes? Not this girl. Average Lloyd and class valedictorian Diane fall in love after high school graduation, but she's leaving for college in the fall and there's a family secret that could ruin everything. One of my favorite endings ever. Jon Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Lili Taylor

screenwriter: Cameron Crowe

6. Terms of Endearment (comedy, drama, 1983 PG 1h 42m)

why I love it: It doesn’t matter what I am doing, I will stop everything to watch Shirley MacLaine’s character Aurora Greenway scream at the nurses to “give my daughter the shot!” It catches my breath in my throat every single time. This perfect scene is why I’ve watched every single other thing Shirley MacLaine has ever been in. Kleenex required. Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jeff Daniels, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito

screenwriter: James L. Brooks, based on the novel by Larry McMurty

5. Hello My Name is Doris (comedy, drama, romance 2015 R 1h 30m)

why I love it: Quirky late bloomer has a crush on the new, younger coworker. Doris has layers of complexity that showcase Sally Field's talent and leave me feeling inspired to seize the day. Awesome supporting cast. Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Tyne Daly, Stephen Root

where to watch: Laura Terruso, Michael Showalter

4. Casablanca (drama, romance, war 1942 PG 1h 42m)

why I love it: A story so good, so timeless that it is one of the most quoted movies ever. It's got honor, loyalty, romance, danger, and for crying out loud it's Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman!

screenwriters: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch, based on the stage play by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison

3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (drama, romance, sci-fi 2004 R 1h 48m)

why I love it: A profound, existential love story with jagged timelines that wrestles with the question, if you could erase your painful memories, would you? Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet

screenwriters: Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth

2. Everything Everywhere All At Once (action, adventure, comedy 2022 R 2h 19m)

why I love it: On the surface it's a poignant story about a middle-aged Chinese immigrant mother, her husband, and their daughter. It's also about the oneness of all life everywhere in multiple universes, and the search for meaning and authentic connection. It's also a funny, absurd, cinematic wonder of art, acting, directing, editing, and special fx. Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis

screenwriter: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert (aka The Daniels)

1. When Harry Met Sally (comedy, drama, romance, 1989 R 1h 35m)

why I love it: It has the best lines, the best chemistry, and the best ad lib in the history of rom-coms. When I got my hands on the script, I was amazed to realize that 99% of the lines are not ad libbed by Billy Crystal, even though he seems so natural. That's the beauty of a writer knowing the actors well. However, the best line IS an ad lib from a pro comedic actress. Rob Reiner told his mother Estelle to react when Sally (Meg Ryan) demonstrated a fake orgasm in the diner. She looked at the waitress and said, "I'll have what she's having." I love how Sally orders in a restaurant. I love Harry's observational humor. I love the morning after scene. Billy Crystal, Meg RyanCarrie Fisher

screenwriter: Nora Ephron

Yes, I know this might be the strangest list ever, but that's me.

Happy viewing and Happy Valentine's Day,

Recent posts
By Laura Crisp Davis - July 25, 2023
By Laura Crisp Davis - June 13, 2023
By Laura Crisp Davis - May 23, 2023
By Laura Crisp Davis - April 26, 2023
By Laura Crisp Davis - April 13, 2023
By Laura Crisp Davis - March 30, 2023
By Laura Crisp Davis - March 14, 2023

Sometimes I'm serious, sometimes I'm silly. Any scripts referenced are for educational purposes only. (My lawyer made me say that part.)