The best romantic movies on Netflix right now
19 mins read

The best romantic movies on Netflix right now

Is there anything more romantic than cuddling on the couch?! Of course not. There’s a reason modern dating can be summarized with the phrase “Netflix and chill.” Netflix is for lovers! 

With a deep catalog and a seemingly endless supply of rom-coms, the streaming giant has a lock on the love department. Whether you’re looking for something to make you cry, make you sigh, or put you in the mood, Netflix has a movie for you.

Here are the best romantic movies on Netflix (in no particular order).

1. Carol

Based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt (republished as Carol in 1990), Todd Haynes’s Carol stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as two forbidden lovers in 1950s New York. Therese (Mara) is an aspiring photographer working at a department store one Christmas when she meets Carol (Blanchett), who is shopping for a present for her daughter. The sparks fly immediately, but their blossoming love has a few roadblocks, such as Carol’s impending divorce from her crappy husband Harge (Kyle Chandler, no!), not to mention that era’s attitude towards homosexuality.

If you’re in the mood for queer yearning, a tense slow-burn, and one of the best sapphic love stories ever, Carol is the perfect watch. You will feel all the feelings. — Yasmeen Hamadeh, Freelance Contributor  

How to watch: Carol is now streaming on Netflix. 

2. Lady Chatterley’s Lover

A couple kisses.

Credit: Netflix

This modern adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s scandalous 1928 novel will leave you absolutely swooning. Emma Corrin (The Crown) is spectacular as Connie Reid, the titular Lady Chatterley. Her marriage to Clifford Chatterley seemed like the perfect match before the war, but when he returns paralyzed, withdrawn, and uninterested in her happiness, Connie feels utterly alone and isolated in their empty countryside manor. She finds a refuge for her oppressive loneliness in the estate’s gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors (Jack O’Connell). Very quickly the two begin a torrid affair that is both passionate and tender, exuberant and profound — and a threat to both of their lifestyles. 

Much like the source material, Lady Chatterley’s Lover puts sex on full display. Their trysts are steamy and explicit, but thanks to the incredible vulnerability of Corrin and O’Connell, and the steady hand of director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, it never feels pornographic. The lovers’ stolen moments are deeply intimate and personal. Together, in the sumptuous woods of the Chatterley estate, they explore each other’s bodies and souls with unbridled joy. It’s an elegant and sensual adaptation that makes an age-old story feel like a breath of fresh air. — Kristina Grosspietsch, Freelance Contributor

How to watch: Lady Chatterley’s Lover is now streaming on Netflix.

3. Really Love

Kofi Siriboe (Queen Sugar, Girls Trip) is Isaiah Maxwell, an artist trying to make a name for himself in Washington, D.C. With his mind focused on his career, falling in love is the last thing on his radar — until he meets a law student named Stevie (Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing).

Really Love is a tender and beautiful love story written by Felicia Pride and Angel Kristi Williams, and directed by Williams. The supporting cast here is top-notch, with Uzo Aduba, Mack Wilds, Naturi Naughton, Suzzanne Douglas, Jade Eshete, Blair Underwood, and Michael Ealy all sparkling on the sidelines as the two young lovers explore their place in the world. Sweet, touching, and authentic, Really Love is Black romance at its best.*K.G.

How to Watch: Really Love is streaming on Netflix.

4. When We First Met

A man peeks behind a white curtain at a party.

Credit: Jami Saunders

Groundhog Day meets Some Kind of Wonderful in this delightful romantic comedy from director Ari Sandel. Adam Devine and Alexandra Daddario star as Noah and Avery, friends who could’ve worked as a couple but didn’t get the timing right. So when the pining Noah discovers a magical photo booth that will transport him back to the night he and Avery first met, he’s willing to do anything to get it right this time(s). Funny and surprisingly sweet, When We First Met is a hidden gem time-travel romp with spectacular supporting performances and a predictable ending you’ll like all the same. — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: When We First Met is now streaming on Netflix.

5. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

Karan Johar’s directorial debut became an instant Bollywood classic when it hit theaters in 1998. Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) and Anjali (Kajol) are college besties until Rahul falls in love with Tina (Rani Mukerji) and Anjali realizes her true feelings for him. The friends become estranged before Tina dies, leaving behind a daughter, also named Anjali in honor of their old friend. Little Anjali grows up reading letters from her late mother, and she learns about her father’s old friend — his first love. Tina tasks her daughter with tracking down Anjali and reuniting the friends as lovers, once and for all.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai remains Johar’s best work to date, a film that made his name synonymous with pure power in the Hindi film industry. Khan and Kajol’s chemistry captivates throughout, from their Gap-clad days of college teasing to the unfathomable sexual tension of the gazebo scene. Despite being famous for its love triangle, the movie never pits Anjali and Tina against each other, instead depicting a beautiful friendship between the two women as well as their respective relationships to Rahul. “Pyar dosti hai,” Rahul declares early on: Love is friendship. And Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is nothing if not a timeless story about friends. — Proma Khosla, Senior Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is now streaming on Netflix.

6. Set It Up

A man and a woman smile in a party.

Credit: Netflix

Rom-coms are back, baby — and Set It Up, written by Katie Silberman (who also penned Booksmart) and directed by Claire Scanlon (The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), is one of the best entries of this new golden age! Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell are young assistants who hatch a plan to set up their high-strung, demanding bosses (Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs) so they can finally get a weekend off. What these two schemers never anticipated, of course, was that they might find themselves in their own romance in the process. Whoops!

Set It Up is a fun, hilarious romp that feels exponentially more real than your standard, candy-coated romantic comedy. The characters are charming because they’re flawed, and they talk like people you know (Zoey uses insider nicknames like “Golf Guy” when chatting with her friends about her dating life). If you’re looking for a romantic comedy that leaves you feeling like you just had the night out with your crew, this is the movie for you.*K.G.

How to watch: Set It Up is now streaming on Netflix.

7. Been So Long

A young couple embraces while walking on the street at night.

Credit: Netflix

Do you love musicals, romance, and Michaela Coel? Then Been So Long is the movie for you. This stylish musical epic follows Simone (Coel), a young, single mother in London completely wrapped up in caring for her differently abled daughter. After her friends and family tell her she’s too uptight, she finally agrees to a night out and meets the handsome, complicated Raymond (Arinzé Kene). The two tentatively begin a flirtation, though they’ll each have to contend with their own baggage before the relationship can thrive.

Directed by Tinge Krishnan and adapted from the successful stage show of the same name, Been So Long is a bright and buoyant musical for the modern era. The stories are grounded and complex, the characters are relatable, and — perhaps most importantly — the songs are absolute bops!*K.G.

How to watch: Been So Long is now streaming on Netflix.

8. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Two teenagers and a child laugh in a car.

Credit: Netflix

Netflix’s rom-com revival kicked off in 2018, a year whose slate included this criminally charming movie based on the novel by Jenny Han. Lara Jean (Lana Condor) is a hopeless romantic in the habit of writing letters to her most epic crushes — writing, not sending. When the letters are leaked, she starts pretending to date Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) to divert attention from her real crush on her sister’s boyfriend.

With a bouncy pop soundtrack and visual style that is the envy of your entire Instagram feed, To All the Boys is the kind of movie you can return to again and again, a comfort watch as sweet as Lara Jean’s baked goods. Will we ever tire of watching fictional characters fake love until it becomes real? If they’re even half as adorable as these two, the answer is no. — P.K.

How to watch: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is now streaming on Netflix.

9. Our Souls At Night 

Quiet, sweet, and touching, Our Souls at Night is a beautiful meditation on companionship and love. Jane Fonda and Robert Redford are excellent as two widowed, long-time neighbors who decide to start spending the night in the same bed to stave off loneliness. The arrangement is purely platonic, a simple solution to a problem — but as they get to know each other, a deeper love begins to bloom. 

Fonda and Redford are truly mesmerizing here, completely self-assured in bringing this spare, sophisticated script to life. There aren’t a ton of films about romance in our twilight years, but the poignancy of Our Souls at Night proves that the power of love will never get old. — K.G.

How to watch: Our Souls At Night is now streaming on Netflix.

10. Falling Inn Love

As a genre, romance can offer us a deep exploration of human relationships and what they demand of us — vulnerability, bravery, emotional intelligence — or it can simply be delightfully mindless fluff. Falling Inn Love is a truly excellent example of the latter. Christina Milian is delightful as Gabriela, a city girl from San Francisco who somehow wins a rustic New Zealand inn. And who happens to be the only person qualified to help her fix up the ramshackle property? That’s right — the hunkiest guy in town, Jake (Adam Demos, who co-stars in Netflix’s steamy series Sex/Life).

Look, you’re not here for the plot. You’re here to watch hot people fall in love in a beautiful location, and Falling Inn Love absolutely delivers, with charm to spare. — K.G.

How to watch: Falling Inn Love is now streaming on Netflix.

11. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Though this 1940s-set title is a bit of a mouthful, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a straightforward tale of boy-meets-girl. Or boy in a book club meets lady author who is staying in town to do research on the German occupation and uncovers WWII secrets. Lily James (Rebecca, Downton Abbey) and Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones) star as a bookish couple whose interest in history — and the author Charles Lamb — brings them together even as the world tries to move them away from each other. — Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment Reporter 

How to watch: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is now streaming on Netflix.

12. The Half of It

Two girls talk on a street.

Credit: Netflix

Director Alice Wu’s The Half of It hinges on straight-A student Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) and her journey towards self-acceptance. It does wonders for the streaming service’s rom-com catalog, not because it’s especially new in its ideas but because Wu executes them with a flair all her own.

A charming combination of unique subject matter and clichéd storytelling, The Half of It explores the perspectives of characters rare to the genre — namely, Ellie who is a queer, Chinese-American teenager — with some pretty predictable narrative turns. You haven’t seen this story done with these characters anywhere else before, but you’ll feel like you have. That’s a victory for the genre in its own right.*A.F.

How to watch: The Half of It is now streaming on Netflix.

13. Always Be My Maybe

A man and a woman walk on a street while talking.

Credit: Ed Araquel / Netflix

The thrill of a new romance often lies in just that — the fact that it’s new. But what if your truest love lies in one of your oldest relationships? Always Be My Maybe stars Ali Wong and Randall Park as a pair of childhood besties who lost touch in their teens but find their way back to each other as grownups. With a delightful supporting cast that also includes Daniel Dae Kim, James Saito, and Keanu Reeves, Always Be My Maybe is as deliciously cozy as a bowl of Mom’s kimchi jjigae — and just as satisfying. — Angie Han, Deputy Entertainment Editor

How to watch: Always Be My Maybe is now streaming on Netflix.

14. The Last Letter From Your Lover

The sweeping, soapy melodrama The Last Letter From Your Lover spans half a century and checks off all the romance tropes: love letters, deceit, impeccable costumes, and ill-timed amnesia. It’s The Notebook meets An Affair to Remember, with a dash of every period romance sprinkled in for good measure. Don’t think about it too hard, and you’ll be sure to enjoy the ride. 

It’s the ’60s, and Shailene Woodley is Jennifer Stirling, a woman putting the pieces of her life back together after a car accident damages her memories — and her connection to her husband, Laurence (Joe Alwyn). When she discovers a love letter between “J” and “Boot,” she can’t help but wonder what else she’s forgotten. At the same time, we also follow Ellie (Felicity Jones), a present-day reporter who stumbles across the letter in her publication’s archives and becomes determined to find out what happened to the mysterious, passionate pair. The Last Letter From Your Lover is moody, glamorous, and boasts a stellar cast — a cozy, stylish pick for movie night. — K.G.

How to watch: The Last Letter From Your Lover is now streaming on Netflix.

15. The Incredible Jessica James

A man and woman have a picnic in a park.

Credit: Netflix

Get a masterclass in self-confidence and healthy communication from The Incredible Jessica James. Jessica Williams stars opposite Chris O’Dowd, with a supporting performance from LaKeith Stanfield. This charming tale of a woman who will stop at nothing to be loved the way she deserves explores so much of what makes romance the sticky business that it is. But this rom-com boasts just the right amount of optimism to keep you invested until its stunningly grounded happily-ever-after.* — A.F.

How to watch: The Incredible Jessica James is now streaming on Netflix.

16. Love and Leashes

For those looking for an unusual romance, then the South Korean rom-com Love and Leashes might do just the trick. Ji-hoo and Ji-Woo are two co-workers who enter into a consensual BDSM relationship. At first, their meetings are purely sexual, but of course, sooner or later someone catches feelings. Love and Leashes is a surprisingly sweet movie, hitting all the rom-com beats while having an open and refreshing conversation about kink. This is a one-of-a-kind story, both heartfelt and taboo-busting. — K.G.

How to watch: Love and Leashes is now streaming on Netflix.

17. All the Bright Places

Two teenagers ride bikes in a forest.

Credit: Michele K. Short/ Netflix

There’s nothing like a good ol’ YA love story to get the tears going, and All the Bright Places is a guaranteed tear-jerker. Adapted from Jennifer Niven’s novel of the same name, All the Bright Places follows two lonely teenagers, Theodore Finch (Justice Smith) and Violet Markey (Elle Fanning), who serendipitously meet one day and become fast friends, then quickly fall in love. The two discover that they share many similarities despite never really talking to each other at school before, which All the Bright Places uses to navigate hefty themes like teen mental health, loss, and grief. The ending will make you cry. Theodore and Violet’s relationship will make you cry. And in my book, that’s a 10/10 romance movie. — Y.H. 

How to watch: All the Bright Places is now streaming on Netflix. 

18. Wedding Season

Fluffy, energetic, and fun, Wedding Season is a cheerful, low-stakes rom-com. Pallavi Sharda and Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi, How I Met Your Father) are Asha and Ravi, two thirty-somethings tired of being set up on Indian dating websites by their parents. So, what do they do when faced with a long season of weddings where they’ll face endless questions about their dating lives? You guessed it! They fake-date! It’s the only reasonable course of action!!!

The best romantic comedy trope gets new life in Wedding Season with its super charismatic cast and delightful wedding montages. If you like bright and shiny comedies and romantic leads with great chemistry, then RSVP “Yes!” to Wedding Season. — K.G.

How to watch: Wedding Season is now streaming on Netflix.

Asterisks (*) indicate the entry has been modified from a previous Mashable list.

UPDATE: Feb. 8, 2024, 1:09 p.m. EST This list has been updated to reflect Netflix’s current selection.

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