Looking to settle down with a romantic film that doesn’t buy into unhealthy and unrealistic tropes? Press play on our recommendations
There’s nothing like settling down with a big blanket, a bowl of popcorn, and a heart-stirring romantic film – there’s something about watching love in action that’s bound to warm the cockles.
That said, we’d be lying if we said Hollywood gets it right every time.
Possession, manipulation, betrayal, unhealthy gender roles, and down-right objectification – there are a lot of potentially damaging tropes out there when it comes to the romance genre, and it’s about time we stopped glorifying outdated and harmful relationship models.
So, here, we’re rounding up seven films that get relationships right, so that you can switch off and bask in the power of love.
1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
It’s the hugely popular coming-of-age rom-com, and it’s making our list for all the right reasons. Lara Jean writes secret, searingly honest love letters to her five crushes to vent her emotions, but never meant to send them. But they get out, and she now has to deal with the fall-out. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a teen-rom-com done right, as it captures the butterflies that come with young love, without the dusty pitfalls it could have easily gotten into.
2. Pride and Prejudice
It doesn’t get much more romantic than Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and there’s a reason why this classic story has endured through the ages. The story follows the relationship between the headstrong and witty Elizabeth Bennet and the mysterious and aloft Mr Darcy, with plenty of family drama added into the mix. Immerse yourself in the 2005 adaptation, beautifully captured and delightfully cast, and get ready for the ultimate romantic escape.
3. If Beale Street Could Talk
Based on the novel by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk is a powerful romance like none other. Tish and Fonny’s lives are stunted when Fonny gets falsely accused of rape. With him in prison and her pregnant, Tish then sets out to prove his innocence. Working through themes of duty, family, race, identity, and love, this is a film not to miss.
4. The Addams Family
Alright, it’s not strictly a romance film, but the relationship between Gomez and Morticia is one we couldn’t possibly leave off the list. Passionate, devoted, honest, sensual? The pair tick all our boxes. Join the famous family as they work through some unique trials and tribulations of family life.
5. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
A knock-out winner at film festivals, Portrait of a Lady on Fire follows a woman who travels to an island to paint a portrait of a woman as part of an arranged marriage. But she falls in love with her subject, and a forbidden romance begins. A film that dives into the very heart of love, connection, and what makes us who we are – make sure you have the tissue box close by.
6. Crazy Rich Asians
With unrelenting energy that’s brimming with fun, Crazy Rich Asians is set to become a modern classic in the rom-com genre. Rachel, a professor, is dating Nick and is on her way to meet his family. But when she learns that Nick belongs to one of the richest families in the country, things get slightly more complicated. Does she need to choose between her career and her new extended family? And what can their relationship endure?
7. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
For a heart-warming, slow-burning, funny, witty, and moving watch, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is the perfect cosy romance film. A London-based writer begins exchanging letters with residents on the island of Guernsey. When she decides to visit the island, friendship and love follow…