Fall is a great season to be in love, not least because even the most mundane activities suddenly seem exponentially cozier than they did before, especially snuggling up to your lover during a romantic movie. Movie nights are particularly great date nights for long-distance couples, because you can share the experience even if you happen to be living on different continents. For your date night pleasure, we’ve rounded up 10 our favorite romance movies for rom-com-lovers, the artsy types, and comedy lovers alike.
1) Pretty Woman As standard-bearers go, Pretty Woman is pretty much at the top of the list when it comes to romantic comedies. There’s a good reason for this: It’s the kind of movie you could watch with almost anyone, at any time, possibly 100 times. It’s Julia Roberts and Richard Gere being sweet but not treacly; bawdy but not over-the-top; and very, very, funny. Sure, you’ve seen it. But how long has it been? Crack open a bottle of wine and find out. 2) Annie Hall This Woody Allen classic is another rom-com for the ages – never mind the fact that it’s actually about a breakup. In the film, Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) is deconstructing the demise of his relationship with the titular Annie Hall, played by Diane Keaton at her finest. It’s quirky, romantic, and bittersweet, and a great reminder of what New York used to look like — and what people (especially Diane Keaton) wore in the 70s. For a movie that’s been around for awhile, it really never gets old. 3) Rear Window Okay, so Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window may not immediately be classified under “romance” – it is, after all, about a guy in a cast trying to solve a murder by looking out his apartment window – but it’s one of the sexiest thrillers ever. Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly are the stars, and in addition to being incredibly attractive and charming actors, they’ve got a great rapport as a crime-fighting couple. This one’s perfect if you and/or your partner is into classics or the whole “film noir” thing.
4) The Graduate
Another oldie, and another incredibly sexy and weird movie about growing up, embarking on an age-inappropriate affair with an older woman, and then asserting one’s independence by marrying her daughter. It’s jarringly hilarious and beautifully filmed, and off-kilter in a way that makes it wonderfully unique. People who are creeped out by plot lines involving mothers and daughters having the same lover may want to steer clear.
5) Jules et Jim
For the French New Wave crowd, this 1962 Truffaut film is a must-see. The tragic tale of two men who fall in love with the same woman, it’s majestic and beautifully shot, not to mention amazingly stylish (you’ll find yourself immediately running out to get striped shirts), and it explores age-old questions about love and choices. Reserve this one for a night when you’re feeling more contemplative than goofy.
6) I Love You, Man
Looking for some lighter fare to share with your comedy-loving loved one? “I Love You Man,” starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segal, and Rashida Jones, is about two dude bffs who have never heard of the term “boundaries.” It’s funny and sweet, and a nice inversion of the usual rom-com structure: In this one, it’s the dude (Rudd) who’s dealing with friendship problems in the lead-up to his wedding (to Jones). There’s plenty of fart joke humor, and a lot of possibly over-long air guitar scenes.
A classic bromance about finding love, gaining acceptance, and making it to that one killer party
before you leave for college. Insta-classic in the high school nostalgia genre.
Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore” translates the usual coming-of-age themes through the lens of his quirky, artistic vision. The story of an eccentric teenager (Jason Schwartzman) who’s aggressively pursuing an unrequited crush on his prep school teacher, the film creates a world unto itself – and that world is equal parts messed-up and totally, charmingly sweet. This one is a favorite among indie types.
9) Chungking Express
Wong Kar Wai’s “In the Mood for Love” is known as his most romantic film, but I can’t think of a movie that’s more romantic than “Chungking Express.” In two intertwined stories, this gorgeously shot film explores the various ways in which people go a little bit crazy when they fall in – and out of — love. Chinese actress Faye Wong is incredibly charismatic, and does quirky in a way that
even Zooey Deschanel hasn’t mastered. This one’s for romantic foreign film enthusiasts, or people who just really love the song “California Dreamin,” by the Mamas & the Papas., which is prominently featured.
10) Blue is the Warmest Color
A huge hit at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival (it won the Palme d’Or prize there this year), this French drama is the love story of two young women, and particularly explores the sexual and emotional awakening of the younger of the two. It’s been described as honest, intimate, and tender, but be warned: It also includes, in the words of Variety, “the most explosively graphic lesbian sex scenes in recent memory.” So if you’re not into that kind of thing, maybe pass on this one?
Those are our top 10 recommendations for movies to watch with your sweetheart this season. Did we miss anything? Share your favorites in the comments!