Time Out Sydney

The 50 most romantic movies of all time (30-21)

Prepare to swoon at our loveliest of lists


 
30. WILD AT HEART (1990)
David Lynch brings his surreal worldview to this beautifully bizarre romance-noir. Sailor (Nicolas Cage) and Lula (Laura Dern) are lovers on the lam from a crazy mom and a bevy of baddies. There’s plenty of hot sex, but nothing turns on the gush quite like Sailor’s “Love Me” serenade. Elvis would be proud.—KU
 
 
 29. TITANIC (1997)
A boy, a girl, a boat: James Cameron’s historical epic—in which upper-crust Kate Winslet is romanced by steerage-class Leo DiCaprio on the unsinkable ship—made audiences worldwide weak in the knees. Unabashedly corny (oh, that nude drawing scene), yet continually thrilling, our hearts will go on for this one.—KU
 
 
 28. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940)
They can’t stand each other, but they’re perfect for each other. That’s the central predicament in Ernst Lubitsch’s immortal comic delight. Budapest co-employees James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan browbeat one another on the job, but unknowingly romance one another as pen pals. Are there Xs and Os at the end of their correspondence?—KU
 
 
 27. PRETTY IN PINK (1986)
Now widely considered the essential teencentric auteur, John Hughes doled out sarcasm with a huge heart. (He didn’t even need to direct this one for it to bear his stamp.) The soundtrack for the movie dominated cassette decks. So did one profound question: Why not Duckie? The film still works, in case you were thinking of returning.—JR
 
 
26. MOROCCO (1930)
Everyone mentions the smooch between Marlene Dietrich’s chanteuse and a female customer as being this melodrama’s steamiest moment, but the flirty scenes with Foreign Legionnaire Gary Cooper are really what give this movie its lusty allure. Dietrich’s doomed desert trek behind her man is the most romantic image her longtime collaborator, director Josef Von Sternberg, ever gave his star.—DF
 
 
 25. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004)
Nostalgia is one thing; rarer are the films that attend to the art of forgetting. And yet, how crucial it is when the past is painful. Charlie Kaufman’s script addressed these ideas in the context of a comedy (an amazing feat), while Hollywood stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet rose to the occasion.—JR
 
 
 24. THE GRADUATE (1967)
A classic American rom-com that set the standard for many films (and acting careers) to come, Mike Nichols’s nebbish-in-love tale must be counted as one of the most seismically influential movies of the 1960s. Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin toggles between MILF sex and youthful passions; stealthily, Nichols makes fun of both options.—JR
 
 
 23. HAROLD AND MAUDE (1971)
In Hal Ashby’s enduring cult classic, death-obsessed rich boy Bud Cort meets septuagenarian Ruth Gordon after they crash the same funeral. She teaches him the pleasures of the flesh, much to several characters’ hilarious chagrin. Harold falls head over heels and prepares to propose. Ready your tear ducts.—KU
 
 
 22. GROUNDHOG DAY (1993)
The movie’s brilliant gag—a glib weatherman (Bill Murray) is doomed to repeat the same 24 hours ad infinitum—positions Harold Ramis’s comedy at a philosophical height unheard-of for Hollywood. But remember, it’s love that saves the day. Ultimately, this is a film about opening your heart to the here and now.—JR
   21. NOTORIOUS (1946)
Alfred Hitchcock never directed a more erotic scene than this film’s lingering kiss between Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, right before Grant sends his comely undercover agent into the grip of Claude Rains. Their love is stronger than national security or Nazi poison—resulting in an equally hot climactic clutch as he swoops in to save her.—DF

 


   
               50 - 41
 


                 40 - 31
 


                30 - 21
 



               20 - 11




                  10 - 1
 
 


 

Sign up to our monthly film newsletter

First published on . Updated on .

By By David Fear, Joshua Rothkopf and Keith Uhlich   |  
The Dining Club

The Dining Club

Make the most of the silly season with food and drink pairings

Nixi Killick

Nixi Killick

Bend the rules for your chance to win a range of great prizes

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus