100 Best Fresh Romance Movies

One guiding thought in putting together’s Rotten Tomatoes’ 100 best Fresh romance movies was making a list with heavy dramas and darker delights, without making it totally dour. So lighter masterpieces that fit in our best romantic comedies list (see here) tended to stay over there, as we sought out movies with sweep, an amorous kind of spectacle, and, most importantly, at least 20 reviews. So whether your date is hot or Häagen-Dazs, get ready to be couchlocked by love with these 100 best Fresh romance movies!


Pretty Woman (1990)

Adjusted Score: 64.819%
Critics Consensus: Pretty Woman may be a yuppie fantasy, but the film's slick comedy, soundtrack, and casting can overcome misgivings.
Synopsis: Edward is a rich and sophisticated businessman who specializes in corporate raiding - buying up businesses to break them up... [More]
Directed By: Garry Marshall

Adjusted Score: 64.281%
Critics Consensus: Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger add strong performances to an unexpectedly clever script, elevating 10 Things (slightly) above typical teen fare.
Synopsis: Popular, pretty Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik) is in dilemma. A family rule forbids her from dating until her unpopular, rebellious,... [More]
Directed By: Gil Junger

Adjusted Score: 65.607%
Critics Consensus: There's not too much to it besides Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, but that's still enough to make this An Affair to Remember.
Synopsis: An Affair to Remember, director Leo McCarey's scene-for-scene remake of his own 1939 film Love Affair, isn't really an improvement... [More]
Directed By: Leo McCarey


Chocolat (2000)

Adjusted Score: 65.866%
Critics Consensus: Chocolat is a charmingly light-hearted fable with a lovely performance by Binoche.
Synopsis: The most tempting of all sweets becomes the key weapon in a battle of sensual pleasure versus disciplined self-denial in... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallstrom


Love Actually (2003)

Adjusted Score: 68.361%
Critics Consensus: A sugary tale overstuffed with too many stories. Still, the cast charms.
Synopsis: All of London is in love -- or longing to be -- in Four Weddings and a Funeral writer Richard... [More]
Directed By: Richard Curtis


Jason's Lyric (1994)

Adjusted Score: 64.725%
Critics Consensus: Jason's Lyric is a sexually charged film whose violent streak weakens or, depending on your perspective, supports the melodrama.
Synopsis: Two inner-city youths find love on the hard streets of Houston. Each has personal problems to work through, and is... [More]
Directed By: Doug McHenry


About Time (2013)

Adjusted Score: 73.01%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully filmed and unabashedly sincere, About Time finds director Richard Curtis at his most sentimental.
Synopsis: At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time... The night after another unsatisfactory... [More]
Directed By: Richard Curtis


You've Got Mail (1998)

Adjusted Score: 73.441%
Critics Consensus: Great chemistry between the leads made this a warm and charming delight.
Synopsis: The film tells of Kathleen Kelly, who owns a children's bookstore in New York. It is a small but profitable... [More]
Directed By: Nora Ephron

Adjusted Score: 73.395%
Critics Consensus: Sleepless in Seattle is a cute classic with a very light touch and real chemistry between the two leads -- even when spending an entire movie apart.
Synopsis: It's Christmas Eve and radio talk show psychologist Marcia Fieldstone has asked her listening audience what they are wishing and... [More]
Directed By: Nora Ephron


Dirty Dancing (1987)

Adjusted Score: 76.953%
Critics Consensus: Like its winsome characters, Dirty Dancing uses impressive choreography and the power of song to surmount a series of formidable obstacles.
Synopsis: A teenage girl learns about love, adult responsibility, and how to do The Dirty Boogie in this romantic drama. In... [More]
Directed By: Emile Ardolino


Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Adjusted Score: 75.148%
Critics Consensus: Baz Luhrmann's visual aesthetic is as divisive as it is fresh and inventive.
Synopsis: The classic Shakespearean romantic tragedy is updated by director Baz Luhrmann to a post-modern Verona Beach where swords are merely... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

Adjusted Score: 80.864%
Critics Consensus: Curious Case of Benjamin Button is an epic fantasy tale with rich storytelling backed by fantastic performances.
Synopsis: David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's story, re-teams the director with Brad... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher


Ghost (1990)

Adjusted Score: 78.58%
Critics Consensus: Ghost offers viewers a poignant romance while blending elements of comedy, horror, and mystery, all adding up to one of the more enduringly watchable hits of its era.
Synopsis: An interesting hybrid of popular film genres, Ghost showcases the talents of its entire cast. While out on the town... [More]
Directed By: Jerry Zucker


Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Adjusted Score: 82.364%
Critics Consensus: A love-it-or-hate-it experience, Moulin Rouge is all style, all giddy, over-the-top spectacle. But it's also daring in its vision and wildly original.
Synopsis: The third film from pop-music-obsessed director Baz Luhrmann tweaks the conventions of the musical genre by mixing a period romance... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

Adjusted Score: 81.618%
Critics Consensus: A well-crafted and visually arresting drama with a touch of whimsy.
Synopsis: Audrey Tautou, who rose to international stardom with the title role in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's worldwide smash Amà (C)lie, reunites with... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet


Pretty in Pink (1986)

Adjusted Score: 82.058%
Critics Consensus: Molly Ringwald gives an outstanding performance in this sweet, intelligent teen comedy that takes an ancient premise and injects it with insight and wit.
Synopsis: John Hughes crafts an exemplary '80s Brat Pack romance out of the standard Cinderella story in Pretty in Pink. Andie... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

Adjusted Score: 87.68%
Critics Consensus: Part biopic, part love story, The Theory of Everything rises on James Marsh's polished direction and the strength of its two leads.
Synopsis: Starring Eddie Redmayne ("Les Misérables") and Felicity Jones ("The Amazing Spider-Man 2"), this is the extraordinary story of one of... [More]
Directed By: James Marsh


Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Adjusted Score: 84.248%
Critics Consensus: Odd, touching, and unique, Punch-Drunk Love is also delightfully funny, utilizing Adam Sandler's comic persona to explore the life of a lonely guy who finds love.
Synopsis: A dark comedy centering around Barry Egan, the socially impaired owner of a small business-distributing novelty toilet plungers-in the San... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

Adjusted Score: 84.966%
Critics Consensus: Though there was controversy over the choice of casting, Zellweger's Bridget Jones is a sympathetic, likable, funny character, giving this romantic comedy a lot of charm.
Synopsis: Based on Helen Fielding's hugely popular novel, this romantic comedy follows Bridget (Renee Zellweger), a post-feminist, thirty-something British woman who... [More]
Directed By: Sharon Maguire

Adjusted Score: 83.021%
Critics Consensus: Old-fashioned without sacrificing its characters to simplicity, An Officer and a Gentleman successfully walks the fine line between sweeping romance and melodrama.
Synopsis: Richard Gere plays Zack Mayo, an aloof, taciturn man who aspires to be a navy pilot. Once he's arrived at... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

Adjusted Score: 86.008%
Critics Consensus: Lars and the Real Girl could've so easily been a one-joke movie. But the talented cast, a great script, and direction never condescends to its character or the audience.
Synopsis: Lars Lindstrom is a loveable introvert whose emotional baggage has kept him from fully embracing life. After years of what... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie


Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Adjusted Score: 87.886%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the best of David Lean's epics, but Dr. Zhivago is still brilliantly photographed and sweepingly romantic.
Synopsis: Based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago covers the years prior to, during, and after the... [More]
Directed By:


Notting Hill (1999)

Adjusted Score: 87.104%
Critics Consensus: Charming performances provide romance aplenty.
Synopsis: Can a beautiful and internationally famous American actress find happiness with a frumpy British bookstore clerk? She can -- at... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell


Jerry Maguire (1996)

Adjusted Score: 87.531%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by dazzling performances from Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renée Zellweger, as well as Cameron Crowe's tender direction, Jerry Maguire meshes romance and sports with panache.
Synopsis: Jerry Maguire is a man who knows the score. As a top agent at Sports Management International, Jerry is unquestionably... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe


Atonement (2007)

Adjusted Score: 89.714%
Critics Consensus: Atonement features strong performances, brilliant cinematography, and a unique score. Featuring deft performances from James MacAvoy and Keira Knightley, it's a successful adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel.
Synopsis: In 1935, 13-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis and her family live a life of wealth and privilege in their enormous... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

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