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Love and Popcorn: 14 Romantic Date Night Movies for Couples

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Looking to get all cozy with your sweetie and share some laughs, tears, and buttered popcorn? Well, snuggle up because I've got 14 swoon-worthy romantic movie picks that are totally perfect for date night!

From timeless classics like Casablanca to quirky animated tales like Up, these films will tug at your heartstrings and transport you into enchanting worlds of passion. Dim the lights, queue up one of these gems, and get ready to fall even more in love - with each other and these captivating movies.

By the finale credits, you'll be wishing for a sequel to your magical movie date night! Now, let's explore dreamy options across all the romantic genres and find your perfect match!

popcorn popping out of the cup

The 14 romantic date night movies are separated into the following 7 genres:

14 Romantic date night movies for couples:

Classic Romantic Movies for a Nostalgic Date Night (Genre 1 of 7):

Sometimes you just can't beat the swept-away feeling of getting lost in an old Hollywood love story. Let's revisit some truly timeless classic romance films that have enchanted audiences for decades. With their alluring star power, lavish costuming, and enduring themes of passion - these classics are guaranteed to make you swoon even faster than Rhett Butler!

#1 Casablanca (1942):

Set in vibrant 1940s Morocco during World War II, this Best Picture winner stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in one of cinema's most legendary love triangles. Bogart plays Rick Blaine, a nightclub owner whose cynical exterior hides a wounded romantic heart. Enter his former love Ilsa (Bergman), who unexpectedly arrives in Casablanca on the arm of her husband Victor Laszlo, a fugitive Czech resistance leader.

Sparks fly as Ilsa and Rick rekindle their affair, but the question looms - will Rick give up his own chance at love's comfort again to help the noble Laszlo escape Morocco and continue his vital anti-Nazi work? Casablanca beautifully intertwines love and sacrifice amidst wartime turmoil for an iconic romance that still feels timeless over 80 years later. The ending, as Rick utters the immortal line "Here's looking at you, kid," will leave you reaching for the tissues and your sweetheart's hand.

#2 Gone with the Wind (1939):

Frankly my dear, you simply must watch Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler's tempestuous romance set against the dramatic backdrop of the Civil War if you consider yourself a film buff! Vivien Leigh is radiant as the coquettish Southern belle Scarlett, who pursues Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), her dapper neighbor destined for marriage to another.

Meanwhile, the roguish gambler Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) immediately falls for Scarlett's charms upon first encountering her at a barbecue. What follows over nearly 4 hours is a stunningly lavish saga of changing fortunes and romantic frustrations as war rages on, Atlanta burns, and pragmatic Scarlett and freewheeling Rhett are repeatedly drawn together and apart. Directed by George Cukor, Gone With the Wind is the definitive Hollywood epic, never losing steam through all the betrayals, marriages, and passion smoldering under the surface.

Contemporary Romantic Movies for Modern Love Stories (Genre 2 of 7):

Sometimes love in 2022 looks a bit different than romantic films of decades past. These contemporary cinema picks tackle modern relationship dynamics we can intimately relate to in today's world. Watching characters fall in love through texting, grappling with long distance, or questioning platonic friendships adds refreshing realism.

#3 The Notebook (2004):

Get your tissues ready! Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling star in this tearjerking romance spanning decades. In 1940s South Carolina, working-class Noah and well-to-do Allie have a passionate summer love affair before class differences tear them apart. Years later, while Allie is engaged to another man, they cross paths again when Noah returns from WWII.

But a tragic twist of fate means their chance of rekindled love hinges on Noah's steadfast devotion to Allie when she suffers severe memory loss in old age, no longer even recognizing him. Directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, their youthful passion sizzles with sensuality while their mature concluded love reveals that true intimacy transcends fading beauty or even cognition. It's impossible not to believe in lasting love after The Notebook.

#4 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004):

Would erasing the memory of an ex help you move on? Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey take a cerebral approach to modern love in this quirky sci-fi mindbender. Joel is devastated to discover his ex-girlfriend Clementine has had him deleted from her memory through a medical procedure. In retaliation, he contacts the obscure company to do the same. But mid-mind wipe as Joel re-experiences beloved memories fading away, he realizes he may have made a mistake losing Clementine completely.

Directed by Michel Gondry, Eternal Sunshine looks at relationships through an imaginative lens, forcing us to reconsider if some connections are worth preserving despite heartbreak. Carrey and Winslet bring ample humor and emotional depth to their complex characters. Visually stunning and philosophically engaging, this film will appeal to couples who like intricacy and abstraction with their romance.

Hilarious Romantic Comedies for Laughs (Genre 3 of 7):

Laughter is the spice of life and love! When you need a playful pick-me-up, look no further than these funny and charming romantic comedies. With their perfect blend of hijinks, banter, and feel-good happily ever afters, these films inject relationships with a delightful sense of play. Lighten the mood and let laughter lead the way to your heart!

#5 When Harry Met Sally (1989):

Can men and women really just be "friends" without romantic or sexual tension arising? This comedy classic tackles the question through Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan's bickering characters spanning 12 years from acquaintances to besties. Alongside the legendary diner scene where Sally hilariously fakes an orgasm, there's nonstop banter, wisdom, and will-they-won't-they anticipation as Harry and Sally navigate dating disasters.

Directed by legend Rob Reiner, When Harry Met Sally remains the quintessential modern romantic comedy. No matter how grating your partner finds you at times, this film reminds us that our perfect match could be right under our nose all along if we just give it time - and chuckles. Keep it handy for anytime you and your loved one need some cathartic laughs.

#6 Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011):

Recently divorced Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is thrown back into the chaotic world of modern dating, getting a bro-tastic image makeover from suave playboy Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Meanwhile Cal's first love Hannah (Emma Stone) resurfaces. This lively rom-com boasts an all-star cast including Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei and Kevin Bacon as colorful supporting characters. Those weary of Tinder can live vicariously through Cal's quest to win back Hannah amidst the madness. Crazy, Stupid, Love blends just the right cocktail of heart and humor.

Tearjerking Romantic Dramas for All the Feels (Genre 4 of 7):

Sometimes you're just craving an emotional rollercoaster ride! Grab a box of tissues and immerse yourself in these powerful tearjerkers overflowing with passion. Through years-spanning romances or love triumphing against unimaginable odds, these romantic dramas prove heart-wrenching stories can be as cathartic and spirit-soaring as any happy ending. Feel all the feels and walk away even more in awe of love's resilience.

#7 The Fault in Our Stars (2014):

Prepare your tear ducts! Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort play Hazel and Augustus, two witty teens who meet at a cancer support group and fall deeply, passionately in love, knowing their time together is heartbreakingly finite. Based on John Green's bestselling novel, this film reminds us of life's fragility and the redemptive power of connection when faced with mortality. Superb chemistry between the leads coupled with an indie soundtrack amplify all the emotions. Keep tissues close at hand.

#8 A Star Is Born (2018):

Follow the rise and fall of an alcoholic musician (Bradley Cooper) who falls for an aspiring singer (Lady Gaga) until fame and addiction threaten their bond. With exhilarating concert scenes and stripped-down acoustic ballads, A Star Is Born will dazzle your eyes as much as tug your heartstrings. Gaga and director/co-star Cooper crafted a modern classic with raw intimacy on full display. Let this epic saga of passion, sacrifice, and dreams deferred take your breath away.

Romantic Fantasy Movies (Genre 5 of 7):

Sometimes love stories are best told through the fantastical! Let your imagination run wild with these magical movies where romance flourishes beyond the bounds of our everyday world. Suspend your disbelief, embrace the extraordinary, and witness love achieve the impossible. These imaginative films are perfect for couples craving a transportive escape.

#9 The Shape of Water (2017):

This Oscar-winning sci-fi fantasy tells an unexpectedly moving story of connection. Elisa, a mute janitor, forms a unique bond with an amphibious humanoid creature being held in a secret government lab. As she plots to free him, their transcendent romance defies prejudice and conventionality. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water blends Cold War intrigue with an incredible love story that conquers communication barriers. Open your mind, heart and spirit to this genre-blending triumph.

#10 Edward Scissorhands (1990):

Johnny Depp is spellbinding in Tim Burton's offbeat fairy tale of an artificial man named Edward, whose inventor died before replacing his scissor hands with real ones. When suburban mom Peg (Winona Ryder) welcomes Edward into her pastel-hued community, a bittersweet romance blooms between these two eccentrics who don't fit prescribed molds. Edward Scissorhands blends magic, humor and allegory about societal norms into an unforgettable love story as imaginative as Edward's topiaries. Let Burton's touching masterpiece stir your spirits.

Foreign Language Romantic Movies (Genre 6 of 7):

Some of the most poignant cinematic love stories hail from beyond Hollywood and reflect their rich cultures. Embark on a global journey, letting these subtitled gems open your eyes to unique love narratives from around the world. You'll be amazed by how universal the language of love feels across boundaries when given a chance.

#11 Amélie (France, 2001):

Experience French whimsy and joie de vivre through the playful antics of oddball waitress Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou). She finds purpose secretly orchestrating small moments of happiness for the colorful characters in her Montmartre neighborhood all while navigating her own journey finding love with a mysterious man whose photo album she discovered. With lush Parisian scenery and a quirky retro soundtrack, Amélie is a sensory treat that beautifully blends eccentricity and romanticism.

#12 Y Tu Mamá También (Mexico, 2001):

Teenage best friends Tenoch and Julio embark on a sensual road trip with an alluring older woman named Luisa that forever alters their perspective. Director Alfonso Cuarón broke taboos showing Mexican youth exploring their sexuality, relationships and personal identities with refreshing authenticity. Funny, moving, and steamy, Y Tu Mamá También is a coming-of-age tale that confronts societal expectations through intimate character bonds.

Animated Romantic Movies for the Kid in All of Us (Genre 7 of 7):

Don't underestimate the emotional depth animated films can offer alongside playful joy and dazzling visuals! These acclaimed titles draw you into resonant love stories through humor, imagination, and tons of heart. Let their colorful w

orlds rekindle your inner childlike wonder as you embark on poignant adventures in romance.

#13 Up (Pixar, 2009):

I dare you not to ugly cry within the first 10 minutes of this vibrant Pixar gem! After elderly widower Carl ties thousands of balloons to his house fulfilling his late wife's dream visiting South America's Paradise Falls, he reluctantly takes young stowaway Russell under his wing. Their journey through the jungle landscapes teaches Carl about letting go while opening his heart again to fatherly love. Uplifting in every sense, this gem will give your spirits flight!

#14 The Little Mermaid (Disney, 1989):

Dive under the sea to Sebastian's catchy Caribbean beats for a timeless fairy tale romance! Spirited mermaid Ariel defiantly makes a deal with Ursula the sea witch, trading her gorgeous voice to gain legs and seek out the human Prince Eric who has captured her heart. The quintessential Disney Renaissance film, The Little Mermaid enchants with great music and smart, determined heroines. Let it reawaken your youthful spirit.

Recommendations for a Perfect Date Night:

Now that we've explored romantic options across genres, let's discuss the keys to engineering your ideal at-home movie date night!

First, chat with your partner about what you're both in the mood for - a nostalgic classic, good laughs, an emotional rollercoaster? Compromise if needed to align your tastes.

Next, create an intimate, cozy atmosphere. Dim the lights, light some candles, queue up a customized playlist, and whip up some movie snacks like popcorn, chocolate-covered strawberries, or charcuterie boards.

Get tactile with soft blankets to cuddle under and give each other massages during credits. Silence phones to minimize distractions.

During the movie, react together to memorable or silly scenes. Laugh, cry, and engage in each other's experience. Then discuss your thoughts on the story and characters afterwards.

Most importantly, savor this quality time together! Date nights feed our bonds when we cherish uninterrupted focus on each other.

So grab your sweetie, dim the lights, and get lost together in an enchanting world of romance! From beloved classics to quirky animated gems, movies let love speak across genres, cultures and generations.

If you want to take a break from movie date nights, check out our post on virtual date ideas. Even if you aren't in a long distance relationship, virtual date nights can leave your partner yearning for the next time they get to see you! Also, check out our post on quiet but unforgettable date ideas for introverts.


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