Libas Now’s Favourite Romantic Films of All Time
From straight up sob-fests to some of the best rom-coms, if these romantic epics don’t get you in the mood for love we don’t know what will
Watching a romantic film on Valentine’s Day isn’t a revolutionary idea but it’s a pretty great one still. From beautiful, devastating, passionate, hilarious to cheesy, the genre of romance has a little bit of something for everyone. We’ve channeled our inner romantic and rounded up 20 of the greatest movies about love. Grab your sweetheart, or your gals and fire up one of these swoon-worthy love stories. You’re welcome.
The Notebook (2004)
Damn you Nicholas Sparks for raising the bar for love to unattainable – extremely cheesy heights. A tragic story of poor country boy meets rich city girl “The Notebook” is a love story that transcends time, culture, money and sometimes even life. Starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, this one will leave you drowning in a pool of your own tears and did we mention it has Ryan Gosling?
This truly classic romantic film has burned its way into generations of hearts. This wartime adventure romance is about a man and woman who are in love but sacrifice it for a higher purpose. With a stellar cast and immortal dialogues: “Here’s to looking at you kid”, Casablanca is a tale of; Bogard-Bergman-Henreid – quite possibly the most powerful triangle in cinematic history.
This supernatural romantic fantasy took the stuff of living and dead exchange to a whole new level. Ghost is the perfect blend of horror, comedy, mystery and romance that tells the story of a short-lived romance. Featuring Demi Moore in her iconic pixie cut and the late Patrick Swayze from another romantic classic; Dirty Dancing – Ghost will forever hold a place in our hearts.
We’re not ashamed to admit that we’ve seen this epic, one too many times. The legendary romance, wrapped around a disaster movie re-created the ill-fated voyage of the white star lines, earning its place as a cultural phenomenon upon release. Spoiler alert: The ship sinks, unlike our love for this romantic flick, which will forever go on – sorry not sorry.
A Star is Born (2018)
It might be the third remake of the story but the love still feels brand new. A Star is born is an affective tale that takes you through the highs and lows of fame as well as Jack and Ally’s passionate relationship. Marking Bradley Coopers directorial debut, alongside Lady Gaga’s major dramatic turn, the tale is of great love and sorrow brought together by incredible performances.
Produced by the Pakistani chocolate-hero himself Waheed Murad – this classic black and white flick became the first Pakistani platinum jubilee. Armaan still stands out today for its gripping narrative of a man who falls in love with a pregnant woman; in familiar poor-girl-meets-rich-guy fashion, the film embodies a golden romance in the golden-era of cinema itself.
La La Land (2016)
It didn’t win six Oscars for nothing. This swoony, jazzy musical features Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, set beautifully across the town of Los Angeles. La La Land tells the love story of aspiring actress Mia and Jazz pianist Sebastian through incredible dance numbers. It’s up-beat, enchanting and visually stunning; what’s not to love?
Notting Hill (1999)
A romance movie list without Julia Roberts would be a sin especially if its written by Romance aficionado Richard Curtis. This feel-good flick about how a bookshop owner falls for a famous actress, set in the charming town of Notting Hill is the stuff of real life fairytales. We still mouth the words as Julia makes us cry all over again “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy asking him to love her”.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
The long age debate, can men and women be just friends? By the looks of this movie, probably not. Hitting us right in the heart and funny bone altogether, When Harry Met Sally is filled to the brim with endless quotable exchanges along with a lasting impact that so many films in the genre have failed to match.
It Happened One Night (1934)
Despite all odds, this movie ended up sweeping five academy awards, it also taught us how to hitchhike. The film is a timeless classic that takes you through the adventures of bratty heiress Ellie and her companion Peter – a roguish reporter. A commedielia arte of sorts, titled “it happened one night” – it could be referring to the time one film practically influenced every romantic-comedy that came after it.
Bet you didn’t expect this one to be on the list, but it had to be done. Up, tells the story of romance shared between Cal and Eillie, despite her abrupt exit from the film. A magical animated film that will tickle your imagination and allow you to see life for what it is, messy and sometimes out of control. This one’s special, it sweeps you up instantly, taking you on a heart-warming journey filled with laughter and a whole lotta tears.
Others have tried, but no movie couple is as iconic as Shabnam and Nadeem, Aina was and still is probably one of the most talked about love story in Pakistan. The film survived the most turbulent period in our nation’s history and left us with music that can still give modern soundtracks a run for their money.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Raising the bar for romantic gestures everywhere, Heath Ledger serenading Julia Stiles with “Just the way you look tonight” will have you drawing sighs. Featuring angsty adolescent poetry and the ugliest prom dress ever, this one makes for pop-punk perfection.
Kabhie Kabhie (1976)
Of old lovers and friends, Kabhie Kabhie is an old but unforgettable film. Starring the young Amitabh Bachan, as a poet with a rose in his hand. Defying doomsayers and stereotypes, the film is a tale of love spanning across generations featuring some of Bollywood’s most iconic songs.
Roman Holiday (1953)
The locations in this one are enough to make you want to book a trip to Italy, pronto. The ‘Queen of Charm’, Audrey Hepburn plays a princess in this endearing film – her Oscar stealing, starring role; alongside Gregory Peck, the American newspaperman who she falls in love with. Whether he scoops her or the story, we’ll leave for you to find out.
Moulin Rouge (2001)
Moulin Rouge is a story of doomed love between writer (Ewan McGregor) and dancer (Nicole Kidman). A highly stylized musical set in the city of love, Paris, with lyrics that will forever hold a place in our hearts. From Love is a splendid thing to love lifts us up where we belong, this movie is a glitzy reminder that all you need is love.
We couldn’t escape Sharukh Khan when compiling this list, which explains why he’s known as “the king of Romance”. This story of love between a Pakistani girl and Indian guy is a saga of love, separation and sacrifice – one of director Yash Chopra’s many classics.
Kuch Kuch Hota hai (1998)
Oh come on! We had to include it. Explaining to us the true meaning of love – friendship; this college romance, directed by self-proclaimed love-guru Karan Johar, despite all its flaws and fashion faux pas, is one we will forever include on our list.
Bin Roye (2015)
Starring Mahira khan in her first debut film role alongside Meray pass tum ho actor Humayun Saeed, this refreshing film directed by Momina Duraid and Shehzad Kashmiri, won the hearts of many across the nation. This one’s perfect who like their love stories on the more dramatic side.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
You know it’s true love when they run towards each other in a field full of flowers. In this Bollywood epic, Raj meets Simran in Europe, taking us on a journey equipped with Sharukh Khans hilarious – albeit slightly cringe-worthy charm as well as musical numbers we still dance on to this day.