As a film school graduate who was taught to worship the works of Hitchcock, Scorsese or other film geniuses I should probably be ashamed to admit that romantic movies, especially silly rom-coms, are still my favorite movies to watch. And yet curiously I’m not. Because I don’t know about you but I’ll take a romantic scene with Ryan Gosling over a movie about men playing with guns any day (unless the man playing with guns is Ryan Gosling, but I digress). My favorite time to watch romantic movies is when I’m feeling down or when the weather is bad and since it’s been pouring down with rain in Melbourne lately I thought there was no better time to share a few of my favorites with you!
To make the list more manageable I decided to focus on my top 15 romantic scenes. Just a little warning though – the list contains many spoilers!
Tom Cruise may have gone a little bit off the rails in recent years with his over-the-top behavior and weird obsession with Scientology but there was a time when he truly was the sh*t. And every time I watch him walk into that room and tell Renee Zellweger how much she ‘completes‘ him I can’t help but think to myself: ‘Oh Tom, you had ME at hello‘.
This is one of the very few romantic movies that guys don’t mind watching and as such I have played it a A LOT at our house. Everything about it is just perfect: a great director, amazing actors and you know, an actual plot. But most importantly, it has Ryan Gosling. In a shirt. In the rain.
When Harry Met Sally
Although most people remember this movie for Meg Ryan’s ‘I’ll have what she’s having‘ epic scene it’s the love story that truly makes ‘When Harry met Sally’ a classic. The final scene where Billy Crystal runs through the night to find Meg Ryan and tell her that he’s in love with her gets me every single time.
Dirty Dancing pretty much combines all that I love in life: dancing, romance, a killer soundtrack and cheesy one liners. I used to have the biggest crush on Patrick Swayze growing up and pretty much all of my poor ex-boyfriends had to attempt the lift with me at some point (the water version of course – please).
As far as cheesiness goes this scene probably takes the cake. The music, the boat, the sunset… everything about it so overdone it’s almost too hard to bear. And yet Leo and Kate make it look so damn beautiful.
Hugh Grant is probably the king of modern romantic comedies and I could have easily put 10 of his movies on this list (Sense and Sensibility, Two weeks notice, the list goes on). Ultimately though, it’s this particular scene that made me choose Notting Hill over all the others. Because watching Julia Roberts saying to Hugh Grant that ‘she’s just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her‘ is just too good to ignore.
Romeo and Juliet
I don’t think there are any movies who have managed to capture love at first sight quite as well as Romeo and Juliet. The scene where Leonardo di Caprio catches a glimpse of Claire Danes through the aquarium and subsequently falls in love with her is romantic perfection.
John Cusack standing outside his girlfriend’s window and blasting their favorite song with a boom box is probably one of the most iconic images from the 80’s. I can’t help but think how silly it would look nowadays though, an iphone just doesn’t have quite the same appeal as a boombox. I guess this is one movie that’s safe from a bad remake!
Ok, so technically this is a little bit wrong since she’s married to this guy’s best friend and yet there he is declaring his eternal love for her. But it’s also one of the most romantic gestures of all time so I’m sure you’ll excuse me for putting it here. Plus who doesn’t like a good unrequited love story?
The Princess Bride
With a leading lady called Buttercup and a leading man who answers ‘As you wish’ to everything, you just know that you’re in for a good time. Just pick a scene, any scene.
Pride and Prejudice
I really hesitated between this version vs. the Colin Firth one but really, who cares? Jane Austen’s story is amazing and any version of it is great in my eyes, including Bridget Jones diary!
500 Days of Summer
This is a little bit of a controversial pick because if you’ve seen the movie you’ll know that things don’t end that well for these two love birds. Which is such a shame really because Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt make the cutest couple!
This is another one that ticks all the boxes. I had high hopes that The Great Gatsby was going to be another winner but it never felt quite as magical as Moulin Rouge for me. Perhaps this is one occasion where we needed a bit more Elton John and little less Leo. I know – how blasphemous of me.
Silver linings playbook
Although there’s a fair amount of romance in this movie, this is definitely not your typical love story. The main characters are both pretty messed up and it deals with some fairly heavy issues. Maybe that’s why the final scene is so great, because it just feels so real.
Last but not least is Casablanca. Originally, I didn’t want to put any classics in this list because I felt there were just too many to chose from. But really how could you leave Casablanca out of any best movies list? Besides this is possibly the most romantic movie of all time.Other movies that I really wanted to include in the list: Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Pretty Woman, Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind, Pretty in pink, Sleepless in Seattle, Ghost, The way we were, any movie with Hugh Grant…
Did I miss any of your favorite romantic scenes? Please let me know about your favorites in the comment section!