It’s that time of year again… when love and romance are in the air! For those of us that need that extra pick-me-up to get into the spirit of things, there’s the wonderful world of cinema and its plethora of romance movies. However, how does one decide what they are in the mood to watch romantic movies? We’ve got you covered! 

In the spirit of sharing the love, we’ll provide several lists of romance movies you can borrow from the library. These lists will be organized by subgenres found in the romance movie genre and will also provide short descriptions of each genre to give you an idea of what kind of stories they will cover. Movie viewers should know that some materials listed can fit under more than one subgenre. They may also contain subject matter not suitable for children 18 years old and younger. With that said, let’s get started!

Chick flicks are usually associated with films targeted toward female audiences. Many make the mistake of identifying all romance movies as “chick flicks”; however, this is not the case. While many romance films target female audiences, it is not a defining characteristic. Meanwhile, a chick flick does not necessarily have to have any romance in it to be a chick flick. 

Some examples of chick flicks include…

  1. Gilda
  2. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  3. Sense and Sensibility 
  4. Pride and Prejudice 
  5. Emma
  6. Dirty Dancing
  7. The Notebook
  8. Dear John 
  9. A Walk to Remember
  10. Thelma & Louise
  11. Fifty Shades of Grey
  12. Romeo + Juliet

Historical romance, also known as epic romance, is a broad subgenre that typically has a historical period setting, with other characteristics such as war, revolution, and tragedy added for good measure. 

Some good examples of historical romances include…

  1. Gone with the Wind
  2. Doctor Zhivago 
  3. Titanic 
  4. The Great Gatsby 
  5. Little Women
  6. Anna Karenina 
  7. Australia 
  8. A Royal Affair
  9. The Other Boleyn Girl
  10. Belle
  11. Jane Eyre

Paranormal romance is a popular subgenre where a human character is in a relationship with a supernatural creature. This subgenre originated in literature and made its way onto the movie screen in the early 2000s after the success of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. Some famous tropes made popular by this subgenre include vampirism, time travel, ghosts, and psychic abilities.

Some examples of paranormal romance include…

  1. Warm Bodies
  2. Twilight
  3. The Shape of Water
  4. I Am Dragon
  5. Meet Joe Black 
  6. Beautiful Creatures
  7. Underworld
  8. City of Angels
  9. Interview with the Vampire
  10. Beastly
  11. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

A self-explanatory subgenre, action romance is a subgenre that combines romantic themes with action-packed ones.

Some examples include…

  1. The Hunger Games
  2. The Adventures of Robin Hood
  3. Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  4. The Bounty Hunter
  5. Knight and Day
  6. This Means War
  7. The Lost City
  8. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  9. Deadpool
  10. A Knight’s Tale
  11. Date Night
  12. True Lies 
  13. King Kong
  14. Avatar

Romantic comedies are films with lighthearted, comedic plotlines centered on romantic ideals and tropes, such as true love overcoming all obstacles. The humor in romantic comedies tends to be verbal, low-key, and situational rather than physical, like slapstick (although those exist as well).

Some examples include…

  1. Moonstruck
  2. When Harry Met Sally
  3. Along Came Polly 
  4. Say Anything
  5. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  6. Roman Holiday 
  7. A Philadelphia Story
  8. Crazy Rich Asians
  9. Crazy, Stupid, Love
  10. Pretty Woman
  11. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  12. You’ve Got Mail

Romantic dramas usually revolve around an obstacle, ranging from a war to a misunderstanding, that prevents true love between two people. Music is usually employed to indicate the emotional mood of the couple. The conclusion of a romantic drama doesn’t always indicate whether there is a final reunion between lovers.

Examples include…

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing
  2. The Bodyguard
  3. Brokeback Mountain 
  4. Call Me By Your Name
  5. Remember Me
  6. The Vow
  7. Atonement
  8. Carol
  9. The Lucky One
  10. Casablanca
  11. Shakespeare in Love
  12. Slumdog Millionaire
  13. Moonlight
  14. Memoirs of a Geisha
  15. The Artist

Romantic fantasies are described as fantasy stories that use many of the same elements and conventions from the romance genre. Some of the films in this genre include many of the same elements and conventions as the chivalric romance genre (or Medieval prose and verse). One of the key features of romantic fantasies is that they focus on relationships: social, political, and romantic.

Examples include…

  1. The Princess Bride
  2. Big Fish
  3. Edward Scissorhands
  4. Midnight in Paris
  5. Aquamarine
  6. Stardust
  7. Shrek
  8. The Mummy
  9. Beauty and the Beast
  10. Cinderella 
  11. Groundhog Day
  12. Enchanted
  13. Her
  14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 

Romantic musicals, or musical romances, is a subgenre of films that feature romantic relationships whose stories are told partially through song and dance. The genre originated on Broadway and found its way into films due to the popularity of their productions.

Examples include…

  1. Cyrano 
  2. Phantom of the Opera
  3. Hairspray 
  4. West Side Story
  5. South Pacific
  6. Grease
  7. High School Musical
  8. Mamma Mia!
  9. Across the Universe
  10. La La Land 
  11. Dear Evan Hansen
  12. A Star is Born 
  13. The Greatest Showman
  14. Moulin Rouge

Romantic thrillers are a subgenre that combines the elements of a romance film and the thriller genre. A thriller is not a genre with a precise definition and is mainly known for providing entertainment to viewers by making them uncomfortable with moments of suspense. With that in mind, thriller films can contain elements of many different genres, including the romance genre. That is why romantic thrillers are known for merging two or more genres together to make their stories.

Examples include:

  1. To Catch a Thief
  2. Vertigo
  3. Unfaithful
  4. The Tourist
  5. The Adjustment Bureau
  6. Rebecca
  7. Vanilla Sky
  8. All Good Things
  9. The Thomas Crown Affair
  10. Witness
  11. Ghost
  12. Crimson Peak