The 30 Best Romantic Movies of The 21st Century

11. Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)


This feel-good romantic comedy film is one of the most famous films of this century. Its main attraction is its protagonist Amelie who is asocial (during her childhood), schizoid and lovely. Its whole story is similar to the 2nd story of “Chungking Express”.

Amelie had spent a very lonely and asocial life during her childhood, which makes her character different from other ordinary people. Mainly, she is very lovely and tries to make all other people happy. She has a good heart, in other words. At one point, she falls in love with a guy with whom she can never speak. But how does she express her love? She does so by trying to make him happy doing certain things that are related with him.

Then her crush gradually becomes aware that a girl is doing favors for him, but he doesn’t know who. He tries to find her but to no avail. Now, what happens to her love? Watch it. Maybe all of you have watched it, though.


12. Climates (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2006)

IKLIMLER, (aka CLIMATES, aka THE CLIMATE), Ebru Ceylan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2006, ©Zeitgeist Films

The interesting thing about this film, especially if you are a fan of Nuri Bilge Ceylan, is that Ceylan himself and his real-life wife are husband and wife in this visually great film. Both have given superb performances. It has a emotional depth as well that shows the deteriorating relationship between a married couple in a very unique style. There are many long still shots that Ceylan had never used in his previous films.

If you liked the shots from the beginning, then you’ll like the whole film. There are some unforgiving long shots in the beginning in the scenes where the husband is taking photos of the classical ruins and his wife is gazing at him very uninterestingly. Then there comes little dialogue which gives you a hint that they aren’t faithful to each other.

Ceylan used all weathers and has connected them to the character’s relationship in a perfect coherence. All weathers are depicted very beautifully and powerfully.

You can see that the husband begins to see another woman but even that isn’t successful. The deteriorating marriage and love relationship is the main subject in this film.


13. The Deep Blue Sea (Terence Davies, 2011)

The Deep Blue Sea

Terence Davies is one of the best living directors working today. His films are mainly family dramas which are very poignant and stylistic. This film revolves around a woman who becomes depressed and attempts suicide after her lover doesn’t care for her.

Most of the scenes and events happen in her room here where she is sleeping or sitting, feeling deeply depressed. She is married but falls in love with another man who gives a certain excitement and passion in her life that her husband failed to give. But she can’t get love from that man, since he is no longer excited by her. He even leaves her, which affects her very deeply.

The selection of music, the stunningly beautiful cinematography and the depth of emotions are some of the best things about this film. Don’t miss it.


14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This sci-fi romantic film is intensely romantic, especially its two protagonists. It is remembered mainly for the style and strange story that contains the act of erasing the memory of its characters.

Joel and Clementine (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, respectively) meet on the train; they feel like they have met before and start to talk with each other. Joel is very shy but Clementine is unrestrained. Clementine doesn’t hesitate to express her romantic and sexual feelings toward Joel. They immediately fall in love with each other and start to date.

The bitter truth is that they were a couple once, but they don’t remember it anymore. They had a fight which made Clementine decide to erase each and every memory about Joel. There are doctors who have a special technique to do it. Joel gets furious after discovering this fact. Then what does he do? Watch it.


15. Blue is the Warmest Colour (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)

Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)

This film made unprecedented history at the Cannes Film Festival by winning the Palme d’Or, not only by its director, but also by its two female leads, Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos. It is famous for its long and graphic lesbian sex scenes that are erotic as well as beautiful.

The best things about this film are the performances from its two female leads. Most of the romantic films generally intentionally ignore the sexual or physical love, while it plays the vital role in relationship. Kechiche has dared to depict that side of love in lesbian relationship.

A girl named Adele sees a blue-haired woman named Emma, and is immediately attracted to her. Although she has a boyfriend and she has had sex with him, she becomes skeptical about her sexuality. One of her gay friend takes her to a gay dance bar where she sees Emma. Then they start to date and agree on the relationship despite the fact that they have totally different personalities.

They have a lot of differences which led them to fight. Jealousy also plays the vital role in their fighting. There are a lot of intriguing twists that have made this film so interesting.


16. Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2005)

three times

This year, Hou’s “The Assassin” has topped the Sight and Sound annual list of best films. So, Hou must have gained more popularity than he has ever gained. But this Taiwanese auteur has given some classics like “Flowers of Shanghai”, “Goodbye South Goodbye”, “Three Times”, and more. Jim Jarmusch is a big fan of his films.

It has three different stories set in different times: 1966, 1911 and 2005. But all stories have same actor and actress. The first part, named “A Time for Love”, is best of the three parts.

The second part is like a silent film, which is so beautiful that it’ll remind you of “Flowers of Shanghai”, Hou’s best film so far. Don’t miss that film as well. The third part will remind you of Hou’s “Millennium Mambo”, which has the same actress. All three films have exquisite visual beauty, romantic scenes and storyline.


17. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004)


You can see this film on almost all romantic lists, and this list can’t be a exception either. How can this author ignore such a great film that creates romantic feelings during every moment watching it? Many say that “Before Sunrise” is best of Linklater’s “Before Trilogy” but “Sunset” is little greater in all norms: script, performance, power, etc. It is a sequel to “Sunrise”.

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy had spent a day and a night in Vienna nine years ago. From that event, Hawke writes a book which becomes bestseller and he goes to Europe to tour. When he is in Paris, he again meets with Delpy. This starts the never-ending romantic and interesting conversations between them. It has similar plot as “Sunrise” but with more power and emotions.


18. The Consequences of Love (Paolo Sorrentino, 2004)

The Consequences of Love (2004)

Paolo Sorrentino is one of the best directors working today. He has touched the subject of love in this film very deeply. This film shows the love of an extreme loner businessman who finds it too hard to express his love.

He is a married man, with a wife and children who despise him. Due to certain reasons, he is working for the mafia, delivering suitcases full of money to a Swiss bank. It has been eight years of him living in a hotel. He is overly non-talkative, and makes no contact with anybody.

But he falls in love with a café girl with whom he never dares to speak. That girl also starts to feel his love and becomes aware of it. She realizes that he is non-talkative, so she tries to talk with him but he just ignores her. She becomes too confused by this. Then there come some twists that make their journey of love very interesting.


19. Vanishing Waves (Kristina Buozyte, Bruno Samper, 2012)

Vanishing Waves

Leos Carax meets Stanley Kubrick in this sci-fi romantic film which has a very strange romantic story. This film isn’t very popular and appreciated, but it is one of the most beautiful films ever made.

This film doesn’t have a particular plot but mainly thoughts and emotions. Some scientists have a special technique to wire the inactive brain with the active and healthy brain to learn about certain things of the mind. After the patients (a man and a woman) are wired, they end up in the romantic and sexual fantasies that are depicted marvelously and beautifully.

In the dream, they begin a romantic relationship, which also affects the real life of the patients. The man doesn’t give complete information about his dream and then comes other interesting twists.


20. Lantana (Ray Lawrence, 2001)

Lantana (2001)

This film can be compared to Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Three Colors: Red” in the sense that there is infidelity everywhere here, even though all characters are searching for love. And watching its characters, style, presentation, cinematography, and spirit can be compared to the films of John Cassavetes.

Many characters and stories are interwoven in a style like that of “Amorres Perros” and “Magnolia”. All in all, this is a great film about the complex relationship of its characters. To grasp it completely, it needs at least two viewings since it has many characters along with their stories.

Its central event is a loss of a female therapist whose clients and other characters are all interconnected with each other; we know this fact clearly only after the first half of film. All are married; almost all have their secret partner. Their marriages are either doomed or at least deteriorating. All are unsatisfied about their marriages and spouses and try to find some new feeling with their partner but still can’t find success. But all are searching for love, a true, honest and dedicated relationship so they can live happily.