In honour of Valentine’s Day, we thought we would take a look back at the onscreen movie romances that made us believe in love. From the bad boys finding a connection to the good girls to the tortured heroines who rescue the withdrawn, stand-offish heroes, we’ve watched and fallen in love with them all. They make us laugh, they make us cry and most importantly they help us believe in the possibility of romance and everlasting love.
Check out our list below for some romantic Valentine movie inspiration and snuggle up with a good love story or two:-
Baby and Johnny in Dirty Dancing
Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) and bad boy Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) danced their way into our hearts in this iconic 80’s movie. Good girl Baby meets bad boy Johnny at a holiday resort and ends up becoming his partner in dance and love. Whether they’re flirting on a tree trunk or getting wet in the lake whilst ‘practicing their lifts’, the chemistry between these two sizzles. We must have watched this movie about 100 times as a teenager. It made us want to dance, fall in love (with Patrick Swayze) and develop a fascination with bad boys in general!
Loretta and Ronny in Moonstruck
Yes, Cher and Nicolas Cage made a romantic movie together and it’s fantastic! Widowed Loretta (Cher) is getting ready to tie the knot again but first she wants to heal the rift between her fiance and his estranged brother, Ronny (Nicholas Cage). From their first meeting, passions ignite and Ronny makes it clear that he’ll stop at nothing to win her heart but Loretta tries to resist as best she can… We wouldn’t have bothered!
Vivien and Edward in Pretty Woman
From the moment successful businessman Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) picks up prostitute Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) on Hollywood Boulevard, we were hooked. An unconventional Cinderella story for the ages, Vivian wins both Edward’s and our hearts as she opens up to him and teaches him to appreciate his life and care for others again.
Katie and Hubbell in The Way We Were
Perhaps one of the most iconic ‘opposites attract’ romantic movies, The Way We Were tells the story of Katie (Barbara Streisand) and Hubbell (Robert Redford) who meet at college and fall in love after World War II. Katie is a politically active Marxist whilst Hubbell is a laid-back writer with no particular beliefs or ambition. Despite their differences, they embark on a love affair and the movie recounts their highs and lows as a couple before it inevitably comes crashing down.
Rose and Jack in Titanic
Not even class differences, freezing temperatures and a floating door could make Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) let go of Rose (Kate Winslet) in the epic Titanic. Meeting upon the doomed ship, the two lovers quickly fall head over heels for each other but we all know how this story ends right? We’re not crying, you’re crying.
Sandy and Danny in Grease
When good girl Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) meets Danny Zuko (John Travolta) during the summer, love quickly blossoms between the two teens. That summer lovin’ doesn’t last when school starts and Sandy learns the truth about bad boy Danny. Despite his love for her, he has a rep to protect and must choose what matters to him most – his high school reputation or the girl he loves. With his iconic dance moves on show, John Travolta did a hip wiggle into our hearts.
Molly and Sam in Ghost
The love story that made pottery sexy. Artist Molly, (Demi Moore), is widowed when husband Sam, (Patrick Swayze), passes away. Though he’s no longer among the living, Sam visits her from the grave as a ghost, watching over her as only a true love can and trying to solve the mystery of his death along the way. We’d happily do a bit of pottery if it ended up like this!
Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre
You can keep your Pride and Prejudice, for us Jane Eyre is the best love story that we were made to read in school. Orphaned and impoverished Jane goes through many trials and tribulations before she ends up working as a governess for the dark and tempestuous Mr Rochester. But secrets and lies abound thrusting the lovers apart. Can they overcome their pasts and create a future together? We love every version of this story but we have to admit that Michael Fassbender’s Mr Rochester is quite easy on the eye.
Pat and Tiffany in The Silver Linings Playbook
A modern love story about two damaged people who find hope in each other, Silver Linings Playbook is a gem of a romantic movie. Pat (Bradley Cooper) is released from hospital after an 8 month stint of treatment for his bipolar disorder and all he wants to do is reunite with his ex-wife Nikki but she’s having none of it. Through mutual friends he meets the widowed Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) who’s dealing with some demons of her own. Tiffany convinces Pat to enter a dance contest with her in a bid to win back Nikki’s heart but the newfound friendship starts to grow into something more. This is a cracker!
Shannon and Joseph in Far and Away
Reviled for the terrible Irish accents on display, Far and Away is a romantic movie that is often overlooked which is a real pity. Shannon (Nicole Kidman) and Joseph (Tom Cruise) first meet in Ireland through unusual circumstances. They both want land and a new home to call their own so they decide to immigrate to America together, posing as brother and sister for proprieties sake. Living in cramped conditions together, one thing inevitably leads to the other but can their love survive amid the harsh realities of life in the 19th century?
Belle and Beast in Beauty and The Beast
As far as we’re concerned the live-action remake never happened. Beauty and the Beast is very much a tale as old as time and makes our hearts smile every time we watch it. Also, was anyone else a bit disappointed by Beast’s human form?
Ennis and Jack in Brokeback Mountain
The story of Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) is beautiful and tragic as they hide their love for each other due to the societal norms at the time. After meeting whilst working as sheepherders on a ranch in the Brokeback Mountains, the two lovers continually meet over the years despite both getting married and having families. Despite the love they feel for each other, Ennis is reluctant to be with Jack as he fears reprisals and trouble for them in the long run. He doesn’t realise what they have until it’s too late… Get your tissues at the ready!
Satine and Christian in Moulin Rouge
Another tragic, beautiful love story for you. Satine (Nicole Kidman) is a courtesan who works for the Moulin Rouge and must sell her love to pay the bills to keep the show going. Christian (Ewan McGregor) is an idealistic, young writer who believes that love conquers all. Sparks fly when the two meet and embark on a love affair that will change both of their lives forever. This movie is absolutely stunning and a true delight to watch.
Rachel and Frank in The Bodyguard
My mother dragged me to the cinema 3 times to watch this movie when it first came out. She loved the music, the love story and Kevin Costner in equal measure (I could at least agree on the music and the love story). Frank (Kevin Costner) is hired to protect diva singer Rachel (Whitney Houston) after she starts receiving credible threats from a deranged fan. Try as he might Frank and Rachel can’t resist each others charms but Frank must push his feelings aside so that he can focus on keeping her alive.
Viconte de Valmont and Madame de Tourvel in Dangerous Liaisons
Before there was Cruel Intentions (a teen remake for the MTV generation) there was the original and best movie about scheming lovers in pre-revolution Paris. Valmont (John Malkovich) is a self-acknowledged cad who freely plays with the hearts of others for fun and profit. Taking a wager from his great love, the Marquise de Merteuil, he agrees to seduce and ruin the reputations of a few ladies on the condition that if they give in to him, so will the Marquise. All is going to plan until Valmont finds himself falling in love with the pious Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer) and tries to deny his true feelings to himself. You may need to grab the tissues again for this one but you’ll love to hate Valmont and find yourself falling a little bit in love with him as well.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our trip through our favourite romantic movies and picked up a recommendation or two. Let a love story into your heart this Valentine’s Day and join us for a bit of romance.