Romantic movies made women everywhere believe that the man of their dreams was waiting around the corner for them on any given day. There are the hysterical romantic comedies that (wrongly) convinced us that we could change the bad boy and turn him into the dude of your dreams. There are those Nicholas Sparks instant-classics that make you secretly weep into your popcorn, even if you’ve seen them a dozen times. And there are those classic movies that make you think love is real, even after you’ve been on enough awful dates to convince you otherwise. These are the movies that bring out the hopeless romantic in you, no matter how jaded you’re feeling when you watch them.
The Longest Ride.
Not to be confused with the Adam Sandler classic remake The Longest Yard, this is peak Sparks. If you’ve ever had a secret cowboy fantasy (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t?) you most certainly will after seeing the smokeshow also known as Scott Eastwood. If you thought that his grandfather Clint was smoking hot, it’s more than likely that Scott will give you heart palpitations. Sure, the cheese level on this one is high, but that’s what makes it a classic Nicholas Sparks movie.
Sleeping With Other People.
This is a more recent film, which means it’s not-quite-a-classic (especially since the main characters spend the majority of the movie actually sleeping with other people), but it’s actually realistic, which makes it even more swoon-worthy. It’s a best friends become more than (spoiler alert!) movie, but it takes on the trope in a new way. Plus, it stars Jason Sudeikis, who’s dream date-worthy because he’s laugh out loud funny. If you’ve watched a few too many Sparks-films in a post-break-up haze, this one will make you feel like you might actually meet the right dude in a funny (but ultimately adorable) way.
10 Things I Hate About You.
Heath Ledger was the most handsome bad boy of all time. Sure, anyone who actually experienced high school love knows that it involves more suburbia than sexy, but a girl can dream about a time where paint ball games would result in romance, not a hospital visit.
A solid romantic movie will be so cheesy that you’re kind of embarrassed to admit you love it, but will also result in tears every single time you watch. Love Actually hits all of those points and it has Hugh Grant looking incredibly handsome. Once the holidays roll around, this is in everyone’s DVD player.
Lloyd Dobler (also known as John Cusack) might not be the most handsome man of all time, but if you didn’t internally squee when he showed up with a boom box you definitely aren’t a baby of the 80s. This was the beginning of creating the perfect mixtape for a significant other… and now we just have Spotify playlists, which aren’t nearly as romantic as a boombox outside of your window.
My Best Friend’s Wedding.
This might not be classically romantic, and it’s definitely not Pretty Woman, but the chemistry is crazy. If you’ve ever had unrequited feelings for your best friend, or some type of marriage pact, you’ll relate. And you’ll probably start searching for the ultimate gay bestie.
Anything that Jane Austen has written, or even influenced, belongs on this list. After all, she was the OG when it came to creating smart female characters and the beyond dashing dudes who loved them. In Austenland, a cheesy, but adorable rom-com, Keri Russell and her beyond beautiful hair are obsessed with Austen and fall in love accordingly. It has a twist you don’t see coming, making it a precious take on Pride and Prejudice.
Never Been Kissed.
This made all late bloomers, and wannabe journalists, believe there was hope after all. It was an earnest, all-in Drew Barrymore performance that showed everyone who peaked in high school how much more there is to life and love.
Pride and Prejudice.
There are lots of versions of this Jane Austen classic, but the best one, hands down, stars Colin Firth as the incorrigible Mr. Darcy. It was the role he was born to play and the role that he basically has played in every movie since. While Bridget Jones’s Diary had its moments, nothing will ever live up to the absolute true romance that is Pride and Prejudice. Plus, the lake scene brought puberty to most of America (and I assume also England).
If you don’t cry every single time you watch The Notebook, are you even human? It’s unclear, because that movie is feels city. Not only does it star feminist gentleman/handsome pair of abs Ryan Gosling, his chemistry with co-star (and real life girlfriend at the time) Rachel McAdams is off the charts crazy. If you find yourself waiting for a text from a guy and he can’t seem to bother hollering at you, try not to think about how many letters Ryan wrote Allie…
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