A good romance is one of the best things about film. And Hollywood has been turning out some wonderful romances since the beginning.
10. Wings of Desire- German director Wim Wenders created a strange film with Wings of Desire. It is definitely not a conventional romance. It’s an experimental film about an angel who wanders around Berlin, longing to be human. Eventually he sees a trapeze dancer, and she becomes a reason for him to become human. One of the most beautiful romances put on film, but definitely not for those who don’t like slow artistic movies.
9. The Apartment- A heartbreaking and beautiful romance, The Apartment features Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine as two people who keep missing each other, but who need each other more than they know. They are extremely well-drawn characters and their story is one of the best romances on screen.
8. Adam’s Rib- Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn take a classic turn in one of their many collaborations together as a contentious couple of married lawyers. The battle of the sexes in this movie makes Adam’s Rib one of Tracy and Hepburn’s best films, and one of the greatest romantic comedies of the 20th Century.
7. When Harry Met Sally- A list of romantic comedies would not be complete without When Harry Met Sally. While it may seem like a typical entry for this list, it is always talked about for a reason. There is great acting, great writing and great characters. Sure, in real life most platonic friends who have been friends for over a decade might not work out the way Harry and Sally did, but it is a great wish-fulfillment story for those of us who have ever crushed on a friend.
6. Before Sunrise- The romance that spawned two sequels that people still actually wanted to see. Maybe it’s because of the bittersweet fact that the two main characters played by Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke never quite end up together, although they connect immensely. Or maybe it is the lush backdrop of Europe, or their romantic meeting on the train. There are many components of this film that grab people and make us root for Jesse and Celine to make it, and that is why it is on the list.
5. West Side Story- A fresh take on Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story is one of the best musicals of all time. But the romance isn’t discussed as much as it should be. Natalie Wood’s performance as Maria is heartbreaking, and the duet of “Tonight” is iconic. West Side Story is the kind of romance that makes you feel that love is epic.
4. Bringing Up Baby- Katherine Hepburn makes it on the list once again for her iconic turn in Bringing Up Baby.The 1930s classic, which also stars Cary Grant, is about a paleontologist who gets a dinosaur bone stolen by a rich woman with a pet leopard named Baby. Sounds crazy? Well it is a screwball comedy. But by the end of the film, no matter how crazy things have gotten, you’ll be rooting for the two Hollywood heavyweights to kiss (even if doing so brings down a whole dinosaur skeleton).
3. Harold and Maude- Perhaps the greatest (and most unconventional) romances of all-time, Harold and Maude is the story of 79 year old Maude (Ruth Gordon) and the much younger Harold (Bud Cort). Maude teaches Harold, and the audience, everything important that there is to know about living life, loving life, and about love in general. If you don’t cry in the last twenty minutes, then you have no heart and will never know true love.
2. Roman Holiday- The classic Audrey Hepburn romance in which Hepburn is a princess who runs away from the embassy in order to enjoy Rome also features Gregory Peck. And perhaps one of the most romantic kisses, and tear-jerking final scenes in movie history. The movie is fun and funny and romantic as anything ever put on film.
1. It Happened One Night- Possibly the definitive romantic movie of all time, It Happened One Night is the Frank Capra directed road romance starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert and featuring the famous hitchhiking scene involving Colbert’s sexy leg. The characters of Ellie and Peter are the definitive sparring romantic couple who fight for more of the movie than they kiss. And it is delightful to watch. The film is a classic in its own right, having won the Best Picture Oscar in 1935, but as far as romances go, it is far and away among the very best.