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20 Best Romantic Movies on Netflix 2020
Life is tough. We get it. There’s a lot of bad shit out there—in our personal lives, in the news, on TV, on social media. It’s hard to feel like there’s any magic out there at all. Thankfully, we can all escape into movies—where the love might not be realistic, but our desire for the fantasy to be real is a powerful feeling. And so, whether you’re feeling heartbroken or lonely or down—or even if everything is perfectly happy and you want to just be reassured—we’ve put together a list of the best romantic movies on Netflix to watch whenever your heart desires.
As Good As It Gets
Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is an obsessive-compulsive author who learns empathy, love, and compassion from his neighbors, a single mother Carol (Helen Hunt) and gay man, Simon (Greg Kinnear).
Blue Is the Warmest Color
Two teenage girls fall in (and out) of love in this sexy and intense coming-of-age drama that picked up the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival—and will put you through the emotional ringer.
Cindy (Michelle Williams) and Dean (Ryan Gosling) are in a strained marriage. While they struggle through their relationship, they reflect on happier times.
God’s Own Country
A young sheepfarmer named Johnny sees his life turned upside-down when his father hires a Romanian migrant worker, Gheorghe, with whom he falls in love.
Writer-director Spike Jonze’s futurist satire sees a lonely man (played by Joaquin Phoenix) falling in love with his AI assistant (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).
The third novel by Jane Austen was adapted into a 1999 movie about Fanny Price, who grew up poor but at age 10 goes to live at her uncle’s country estate at Mansfield Park. As she grows up, she meets Henry and Mary Crawford and learns about romance and how she does and doesn’t want to be treated.
Girl meets boy; boy gets girl pregnant. Can a romance blossom out of an awkward turn of events that lead to an abortion? You’ll end this one feeling pretty hopeful for these two kids.
Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) are two old friends who meet on the same day in July every year. But there’s always been more than just friendship between them.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
This irreverent and energetic movie stars Michael Cera as a slacker musician who hits the romantic jackpot when he meets his new girlfriend Ramona Flowers—but must defeat her seven evil exes in manic, video game-inspired fashion.
Set It Up
Two corporate assistants (Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell) are tired of their domineering bosses (Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs), so they scheme to hook them up in order to lighten their workload (and, naturally, also happen to fall for each other, too).
Sex and the City 2
The sequel to the first Sex and the City movie follows the story of Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) as they take a vacation to Abu Dhabi. Romance is in the air when Carrie runs into her ex, Aidan, and they realize the spark isn’t gone.
She’s Gotta Have It
Spike Lee’s first feature film is an indie black-and-white romantic comedy starring Tracy Camilla Johns as a young woman in Brooklyn who juggles three potential boyfriends.
Take Me Home Tonight
In the economic boom of the 1980s, recent MIT grad Matt Franklin (Topher Grace) has the opportunity to take a job at a Fortune 500 company but instead takes a gig at a video game store. His high school crush, Tori, walks into the store today and back into Matt’s life; she invites him to a Labor Day party. Matt decides to impress Tori by saying he works at Goldman Sachs. Healthy relationships always start with lies, right?
The Incredible Jessica James
2 Dope Queens’ Jessica Williams proves her leading lady status as a struggling New York playwright who, following a breakup, bounces back by dating a recently single older guy (played by Chris Dowd).
The Kissing Booth
Elle Evans (Joey King) might not be the most popular girl in school, but her social status definitely rises when she volunteers to run the kissing booth at the school carnival—a scheme to lock lips with her crush, who just happens to be her best friend’s brother.
The Spectacular Now
The Theory of Everything
This is based on the love story of the late Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his first wife, Jane Hawking (Felicity Jones).
The Ugly Truth
Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl) is a morning show producer, and when Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler) joins her work team to improve ratings, he also aims to teach Abby about what men really want. He gives Abby pointers about how to land her love interest, Colin (Eric Anderson), but it turns out Mike might be more than just some know-it-all TV personality.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Lara Jean Covey is your typical lovelorn teenage girl, drafting love letters to her former crushes for her eyes only. But when the letters wind up being mailed to the former objects of her affection, her life is thrown into chaos as the boys confront her about her former feelings.
Up in the Air
Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) travels around the country to fire employees for big corporations. He meets frequent-flyer Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga), and what started as a casual fling turns into something deeper for Ryan, who usually rejects the concepts of setting down roots and stability.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) has a lot on his plate. He has to care for his younger brother, Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his mother; his father died by suicide when Gilbert was young. On top of that, he has an affair with a married woman named Betty (Mary Steenburgen). When that ends, he builds a romance with a young woman named Becky (Juliette Lewis) who brings happiness to Gilbert’s challenging life.
Hilary Weaver is a freelance writer based in New York who writes about politics, queer issues, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, and every woman the Queen has ever made a dame.