The 18 Best Romantic Movies on Netflix Right Now (May 2021)

Netflix and chill with some of the most romantic flicks around

You and Netflix already had your meet-cute ages ago, so why not kick back with a romantic movie or three? From rom-coms to period pieces, we have all the best romantic movies on Netflix right now organized into a handy list, so you can spend more time watching and less time searching.

01
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Bonnie and Clyde (1967): Craziest Criminal Romance

Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.8

Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance

Starring: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard

Director: Arthur Penn

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 111 minutes

During the Great Depression, gangsters Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) and Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) go on a cross-country road trip, committing crime after crime along the way. Based on the real-life criminal couple, Bonnie and Clyde blends history, comedy, and romance into one bloody mess.

Though relatively tame by today's standards, Bonnie and Clyde shocked audiences with its scenes of gratuitous violence in 1967, paving the way for other films to push the boundaries of what's acceptable to show on-screen. Today, what stands out most is the complex relationship between the titular characters.

02
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Falling Inn Love (2019): Best Netflix Original Rom-Com

Christina Milian and Adam Demos in Falling in Love

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 5.6

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Christina Milian, Adam Demos, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman

Director: Roger Kumble

Motion Picture Rating: TV-PG

Running Time: 98 minutes

When her business goes belly-up, Gabriela Diaz (Christina Milian) enters her name in a contest to win an abandoned inn in rural New Zealand out of desperation. To her utter surprise, she wins and has to relocate to the opposite side of the world. The inn turns out to be a fixer-upper, so Gabriela must seek the services of a hunky local repairman named Jake (Adam Demos).

Falling Inn Love features gorgeous footage of the New Zealand countryside that might convince you to move there yourself. It's nothing groundbreaking, but Falling Inn Love is better-written and better-acted than your average Hallmark rom-com.

03
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Kasanova (2019): Funniest Nollywood Romance

Toyin Abraham and Iretiola Doyle in Kasanova

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.6

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Wale Ojo, Iretiola Doyle, Alvin Abayomi

Director: Oluseyi Asurf

TV Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 115 minutes

Following the death of his wife, single dad Femi (Wale Ojo) has become a womanizer with little actual respect for women. However, he meets his match in his son's music teacher, Ms. Jessica (Iretiola Doyle), who has no tolerance for Femi's misogyny. Things get more complicated when Femi's son, Jason (Alvin Abayomi), falls for Jessica's daughter.

One of the most successful Nollywood films of 2019, Kasanova was a huge hit in Nigeria, and international audiences can now enjoy it in English on Netflix. The entire cast has perfect comedic timing, turning what could have been a potentially bland rom-com into a surprisingly witty love story.

04
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Malcolm & Marie (2021): Best Romantic Thriller About Life Imitating Art

John David Washington and Zendaya in Malcom and Marie

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.7

Genre: Drama, Romance

Starring: John David Washington, Zendaya

Director: Sam Levinson

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 106 minutes

As director Malcolm (John David Washington) awaits critics' response to his latest film, his girlfriend Marie (Zendaya) is already giving it a scathing review. Offended that his movie seems to take inspiration from her own life, Marie begins to question Malcolm's motivations.

Filmed entirely in a single house, Malcolm & Marie was the first major Hollywood film to be produced from start to finish during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a short theatrical run, Malcolm & Marie was the most streamed movie the weekend it debuted on Netflix.

05
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To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021)

Lana Condor and Noah Centineo in To All the Boys: Always and Forever

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama

Starring: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish

Director: Michael Fimognari

TV Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 109 minutes

In the third and final installment of the To All the Boys series, Lara Jean (Lana Condor) heads into senior year with no idea of what her life will look like after high school. Can her relationship with Peter (Noah Centineo) survive if they get accepted to different colleges? The decisions just keep getting harder as she gets older.

If you want to get caught up on Lara Jean's story before watching the last film in the trilogy, Netflix also has the first two movies, To All the Boys I've Loved Before and To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. If you enjoyed these films, you should also check out the book series they are based on.

06
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Straight Up (2019): Most Subversive LGBT Rom-Com

James Sweeney and Katie Findlay in Straight Up

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Genre: Comedy, Romance, LGBT 

Starring: James Sweeney, Omar Guazzelli, Brendan Scannell

Director: James Sweeney

Motion Picture Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 95 minutes

Todd (James Sweeney) knows he's attracted to men, but his OCD always gets in the way of physical intimacy. As an experiment, he begins dating an actress named Rory (Katie Findlay). Although she suspects Todd is gay, they both decide to see where the relationship takes them.

Certainly one of the more creative rom-coms of the past few years, Straight Up asks some uncomfortable questions about love and attraction. That said, director and lead actor James Sweeney doesn't take himself too seriously, so you'll likely laugh through any discomfort.

07
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Love, Guaranteed (2020): Most Unlikely Online Dating Success Story

Rachael Leigh Cook and Damon Wayans Jr. in Love, Guaranteed

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 5.5

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Rachael Leigh Cook, Damon Wayans Jr., Heather Graham

Director: Mark Steven Johnson

Motion Picture Rating: TV-PG

Running Time: 90 minutes

Frustrated by his bad luck with the ladies, Nick (Damon Wayans Jr.) hires struggling lawyer Susan (Rachael Leigh Cook) to sue an online dating website that promised him the perfect mate. Ironically, the lawsuit turns into a love affair, which throws off the entire case.

Love, Guaranteed is a delightfully light-hearted rom-com that you probably won't remember seeing a year from now. Nonetheless, if you're in the mood for a sweet story with minimal conflict, it'll hit the spot.

08
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Handsome Devil (2016): Best High School Gay Coming-Out Story

Fionn O’Shea and Nicholas Galitzine in Handsome Devil

Treasure Entertainment 

IMDb Rating: 7.1

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: Fionn O'Shea, Ardal O'Hanlon, Amy Huberman

Director: John Butler

Motion Picture Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 95 minutes

At an Irish boarding school where sports is like a religion, awkward teen Ned (Fionn O'Shea) is at firest intimidated when he finds himself rooming with the hunky star of the rugby team, Conner (Nicholas Galitzine). As the two start to grow closer, intimidation soon gives way to infatuation.

Handsome Devil is an enjoyable coming-of-age movie about overcoming homophobia and accepting people for who they are. Although it's rated TV-MA for language, the movie is otherwise pretty tame. As far as feel-good films about coming-out go, Handsome Devil is top of the line.

09
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The Space Between Us (2017): Best Sci-Fi interplanetary Romance

Asa Butterfield and Carla Gugino in The Space Between Us

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.4

Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

Starring: Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino

Director: Peter Chelsom

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 120 minutes

In the near future, humans have colonized Mars, and children are being born on other worlds. During his first trip to Earth, Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) meets a nice terrestrial girl named Tulsa (Britt Robertson), only to learn that he can't survive for long on his home planet.

Due to its weird premise, The Space Between Us may have been unfairly panned by critics when it was released in theaters, which led to a poor box-office performance. Now that it's on Netflix, you can take a chance on this interplanetary love story at your leisure.

10
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The Lovebirds (2020): Best Rom-Com Murder Mystery

Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani in The Lovebirds

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.1

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime

Starring: Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Paul Sparks

Director: Michael Showalter

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 86 minutes

Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) and Leilani's (Issa Rae) relationship is on ice, and so is the man they just hit with their car. Although the man survives, he is immediately killed by someone else right in front of the couple's eyes. Convinced that they'll be blamed if they go to the police, they decide to investigate the murder on their own first.

The Lovebirds is pretty standard fare for a made-for-Netflix movie, but the chemistry between the lead actors is enough to carry this untraditional romantic comedy through its short runtime. It's a lighthearted joyride that you may soon forget, but it's still a fun way to spend an hour-and-a-half.

11
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The Lost Husband (2020): Best Story About Love, Loss, and Finding Love Again

Leslie Bibb and Josh Duhamel in The Lost Husband

Netlix

IMDb Rating: 6.0

Genre: Drama, Romance

Starring: Leslie Bibb, Josh Duhamel, Herizen F. Guardiola 

Director: Vicky Wight

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 109 minutes

Libby (Leslie Bibb) loses everything when her husband passes away, forcing her to move to a farm with relatives. As she goes through the stages of grief, Libby learns how to milk goats and bonds with a handsome farmhand, James O'Conner (Josh Duhamel). However, living with family brings up conflicts that prevent her from going forward.

Director Vicky Wight's adaptation of Katherine Center's novel could have easily been a milk-toast romantic comedy that focuses primarily on the fish-out-of-water element of a city girl adapting to country life. However, thanks to clever writing and exceptional performances by Bibb and Duhamel, The Lost Husband is better than your average clone of The Notebook.

12
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Desperados (2020): Best Female-Empowerment Roadtrip Movie

The cast of Desperados

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 5.1

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Nasim Pedrad, Anna Camp, Lamorne Morris

Director: LP

Motion Picture Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 105 minutes

Ever written an email in the middle of the night that you regret sending? Have you ever driven to another country to prevent someone from reading said email? That's the setup to Desperados, a road-trip movie about a group of women who cross the border to intercept a drunken email message.

Desperados seems like a throwback to late-90s and early 2000s films like Clueless and Bridget Jones's Diary. It's not very original, and the humor is juvenile, but if you're in the mood for a mindless rom-com, Desperados delivers.

13
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Rebecca (2020): Best Remake of an Alfred Hitchcock Classic

Lily James and Armie Hammer in Rebecca 2020

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.0

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance

Starring: Lily James, Armie Hammer, Kristin Scott Thomas

Director: Ben Wheatley

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 121 minutes

Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer) never quite recovered from the loss of his first wife, Rebecca, but that doesn't stop him from marrying another woman after a weekend rendezvous. The new Mrs. de Winter (Lily James) quickly starts to regret their nuptials once she realizes that Rebecca still haunts her new home.

In the eyes of film critics, the remake couldn't possibly compete with Hitchcock's original. Still, this version may be more palatable for modern audiences. If you like Rebecca, be sure to check out the original movie, as well as the 1938 novel it's based on.

14
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All the Bright Places (2020): Best Teen Romance Movie

Elle Fanning and Justice Smith in All the Bright Places

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.5

Genre: Drama, Romance

Starring: Elle Fanning, Justice Smith, Alexandra Shipp

Director: Brett Haley

Motion Picture Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 107 minutes

While taking a jog, Theodore (Justice Smith) sees Violet (Elle Fanning) seemingly about to jump off a bridge. After talking her away from the ledge, Theodore learns that Violet's sister was killed in a car accident on the same bridge. As Violet begins to open up, the two form a deep bond, but Theodore is holding back his own secrets.

All the Bright Places adequately explores the complexities of teenage mental health. However, it may not be appropriate for someone who is currently experiencing mental health issues. Although the movie is about a teen romance, it's not intended for younger audiences.

15
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Loving (2016): Best Historical Romantic Drama About Civil Rights

Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in Loving 2016

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.0

Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance

Starring: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton

Director: Jeff Nichols

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 123 minutes

In 1958, interracial marriage was illegal in Virginia, so Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter took a road trip to Washington, D.C., to tie the knot. Upon returning home, the couple was arrested and forced to choose between serving jail time or leaving the state. Their case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ultimately struck down anti-miscegenation laws across the country.

While upsetting to watch at many points, Loving should be essential viewing for every American because it reminds us that the freedoms we take for granted were not secured without a fight. It has a happy ending, so the payoff is worth it if you can get through the sad moments.

16
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After (2019): Best Young Adult Love Triangle Story

Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin in After

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 5.3

Genre: Drama, Romance

Starring: Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Khadijha Red Thunder

Director: Jenny Gage

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 105 minutes

Based on a 2014 romance novel of the same name, After is about a young woman named Tessa (Josephine Langford) who goes to college and falls for the resident bad boy, Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin). This wouldn't be a problem if Tessa didn't already have a boyfriend back home. Then again, does she really have to choose between the two?

After was met with mixed reviews by critics, but fans of the book will no doubt be pleased with the adaptation. The strong cast and excellent cinematography should be enough to keep casual viewers watching.

17
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The Incredible Jessica James (2017): Most Original Rom-Com About Dating in the Digital Age

Jessica Williams in The Incredible Jessica James (2017)

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.5

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Jessica Williams, Chris O'Dowd, LaKeith Stanfield

Director: Jim Strouse

Motion Picture Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 85 minutes

Comedian and Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams stars as Jessica James, a recently single woman who isn't quite over her ex. After going on a blind date with Boone (Chris O'Dowd), who also misses his ex-wife, they decide to follow each other's exes' on social media. As Boone and Jessica continue meeting up to talk about their exes, they start to fall for one another.

The Incredible Jessica James premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017 and was met with positive feedback from audiences and critics. The story isn't groundbreaking, but the laughs are omnipresent, and the chemistry between the lead actors is palpable.

18
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Always Be My Maybe (2019): Best Love Story About Immigrants

Ali Wong and Randall Park in Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito

Director: Nahnatchka Khan

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 101 minutes

Marcus (Randall Park) and Sasha (Ali Wong) haven't seen each other since they dated as teenagers. Years later, Sasha is a celebrity chef, and Marcus is in a band that performs only in his neighborhood. When Sasha moves back to San Francisco to open a restaurant, old feelings unexpectedly resurface between childhood friends.

Always Be My Maybe is a touching romantic comedy about immigrant communities in San Francisco. For her performance, Ali Wong was nominated for Comedy Movie Star of 2019 at the People's Choice Awards. Randall Park won the 2019 Chicago Indie Award for Best Original Song for the song I Punched Keanu Reeves.

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