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!

#100

Pretty Woman (1990)
64%

#100
Adjusted Score: 69874%
Critics Consensus: Pretty Woman may be a yuppie fantasy, but the film's slick comedy, soundtrack, and casting can overcome misgivings.
Synopsis: A corporate raider (Richard Gere) pays a gorgeous hooker (Julia Roberts) to be his escort for a business week in... [More]
Directed By: Garry Marshall

#99
Adjusted Score: 72488%
Critics Consensus: Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger add strong performances to an unexpectedly clever script, elevating 10 Things (slightly) above typical teen fare.
Synopsis: A pretty, popular student can't date until her rebellious older sister (Julia Stiles) gets a suitor of her own.... [More]
Directed By: Gil Junger

#98
#98
Adjusted Score: 68107%
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: Engaged to others, two cruise-ship passengers (Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr) plan to reunite six months later atop the Empire State... [More]
Directed By: Leo McCarey

#97

Chocolat (2000)
62%

#97
Adjusted Score: 66766%
Critics Consensus: Chocolat is a charmingly light-hearted fable with a lovely performance by Binoche.
Synopsis: The mayor opposes a single mother (Juliette Binoche) who is opening a chocolate shop in his 1950s French village across... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallström

#96

Love Actually (2003)
64%

#96
Adjusted Score: 70616%
Critics Consensus: A sugary tale overstuffed with too many stories. Still, the cast charms.
Synopsis: A prime minister, an office worker (Hugh Grant), a pop star (Laura Linney), a jilted writer (Colin Firth), married couples... [More]
Directed By: Richard Curtis

#95

Jason's Lyric (1994)
61%

#95
Adjusted Score: 61062%
Critics Consensus: Jason's Lyric is a sexually charged film whose violent streak weakens or, depending on your perspective, supports the melodrama.
Synopsis: A TV salesman (Allen Payne) falls for a waitress (Jada Pinkett) and clashes with his wayward brother (Bokeem Woodbine) in... [More]
Directed By: Doug McHenry

#94

About Time (2013)
69%

#94
Adjusted Score: 76354%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully filmed and unabashedly sincere, About Time finds director Richard Curtis at his most sentimental.
Synopsis: After discovering that he can travel through time, a young man (Domhnall Gleeson) uses his ability to win the woman... [More]
Directed By: Richard Curtis

#93

You've Got Mail (1998)
70%

#93
Adjusted Score: 74640%
Critics Consensus: Great chemistry between the leads made this a warm and charming delight.
Synopsis: Professional rivalry threatens to thwart romance when anonymous e-mail pals (Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan) meet each other.... [More]
Directed By: Nora Ephron

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 80694%
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: A recently engaged newswoman (Meg Ryan) becomes obsessed with meeting a grieving widower (Tom Hanks) she heard on a late-night... [More]
Directed By: Nora Ephron

#91

Dirty Dancing (1987)
69%

#91
Adjusted Score: 75844%
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 doctor's (Jerry Orbach) teenage daughter (Jennifer Grey) gets slinky with the dance teacher (Patrick Swayze) at a Catskills resort... [More]
Directed By: Emile Ardolino

#90
Adjusted Score: 76151%
Critics Consensus: Baz Luhrmann's visual aesthetic is as divisive as it is fresh and inventive.
Synopsis: Twentieth-century teenagers (Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes) fall in love, despite feuding families, in an update of the classic tragedy.... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

#89
Adjusted Score: 82328%
Critics Consensus: Curious Case of Benjamin Button is an epic fantasy tale with rich storytelling backed by fantastic performances.
Synopsis: Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) is born an old man in 1918 New Orleans and ages in reverse and, in so... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#88

Ghost (1990)
74%

#88
Adjusted Score: 80261%
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: A slain Manhattan yuppie (Patrick Swayze) reaches out to his lover (Demi Moore), with a medium (Whoopi Goldberg) as his... [More]
Directed By: Jerry Zucker

#87

Moulin Rouge (2001)
76%

#87
Adjusted Score: 84025%
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: In 1890s France a courtesan (Nicole Kidman) falls in love with a young writer (Ewan McGregor) but strings along a... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

#86
#86
Adjusted Score: 82425%
Critics Consensus: A well-crafted and visually arresting drama with a touch of whimsy.
Synopsis: A Frenchwoman (Audrey Tautou) hires a private investigator to find her fiance (Gaspard Ulliel), a soldier presumed to have died... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

#85

Pretty in Pink (1986)
73%

#85
Adjusted Score: 77998%
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: A rich teen (Andrew McCarthy) asks an unpopular student (Molly Ringwald) to the senior prom, creating problems among their separate... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

#84
#84
Adjusted Score: 93364%
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: During the 1960s, Cambridge University student and future physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) falls in love with fellow student Jane... [More]
Directed By: James Marsh

#83

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
79%

#83
Adjusted Score: 84758%
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 shy oddball (Adam Sandler) prone to violent outbursts follows the woman (Emily Watson) of his dreams to Hawaii.... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 85275%
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: An outrageous British woman (Renée Zellweger) decides to take control of her life, but instead falls for two very different... [More]
Directed By: Sharon Maguire

#81
Adjusted Score: 81671%
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: A hardened loner (Richard Gere) shapes up for a military drill instructor (Louis Gossett Jr.) and a factory girl (Debra... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 85906%
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: Family and friends are unsure how to react when a lonely young man (Ryan Gosling) forms an emotional attachment to... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#79

Doctor Zhivago (1965)
84%

#79
Adjusted Score: 90912%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the best of David Lean's epics, but Dr. Zhivago is still brilliantly photographed and sweepingly romantic.
Synopsis: The Russian Revolution forms the backdrop for this tale of a sensitive Russian physician (Omar Sharif) who is torn between... [More]
Directed By: David Lean

#78

Notting Hill (1999)
83%

#78
Adjusted Score: 87747%
Critics Consensus: A rom-com with the right ingredients, Notting Hill proves there's nothing like a love story well told -- especially when Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts are your leads.
Synopsis: A man's (Hugh Grant) life changes when an international star (Julia Roberts) walks into his bookshop.... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell

#77

Jerry Maguire (1996)
84%

#77
Adjusted Score: 88894%
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: A Los Angeles sports agent (Tom Cruise) finds love with a pretty accountant (Renee Zellweger) after an attack of conscience... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#76

Atonement (2007)
83%

#76
Adjusted Score: 91381%
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: A false accusation changes forever the lives of a young teen (Romola Garai), her older sister (Keira Knightley) and the... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

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