The Best Romantic Movies On Netflix Instant Watch

Ah, Love...

Ah, romance. Ah, sweet, sweet joy and happiness, shared between two souls. Ah, Netflix?

What are the best romantic movies on Netflix Instant Watch? Does Netflix even offer any romantic options for the lovers, the dreamers? The short answer is, yes. Now here is an extended, painful version of that answer.

Love is a beautiful thing. There are the dinners, the long gazes, the goofy text messages, the restraining orders, and those good old movie nights. What you came here for is a list, a compilation of the best romantic movies currently available on Netflix Instant.

I will give you my list of the best romantic movies in a second, but first I want to talk to you... about love. About romance. About Schmidt. Movies can do wondrous things for how we see the world, our relationships, and the mashed potato stuck in our collective beard. We're all one. Life is an organism. Black is white and frost can bite. So, go out, find a lucky so-and-so down at the local malt shoppe or whimsical haberdashery, and invite them up to your abode for a nice night of Netflix.

The English Patient

Ralph Fiennes stars in the many-Oscar-award-winning story of unbridled love, betrayal, obsession, and WWII. Sounds heavy? Well, it is, junior. This is a beautifully-shot flick of epic proportions.

Fiennes is a Hungarian count turned wounded soldier, who after being wounded in a horrible incident, is stashed by the allied forces in a decrepit farmhouse to be looked after by a young nurse (Juliette Binoche). He recounts to her his life, as the memories slowly return to him, in all their sadness. It's a brilliant film, and included on many lists of cinema's best.


Elegy is certainly unlike any romance movie you've ever seen. It's a deep character study of a broken man, David Kepesh, an esteemed social critic and professor (Ben Kingsley) who happens also to be a hopeless, heartless womanizer. But when Consuella Castillo, a sultry student (Penelope Cruz) enters his life, it off-balances his carefully constructed life and his sense of manhood.

Based on the novel by Phillip Roth, the movie is a heartrending journey through the aspects of enlightenment and control that can excite and deaden relationships. Patricia Clarkson and the late Dennis Hopper costar in this taut, intelligent story of a man trying to get out of his own way for a belated shot at love.

Don Jon

Directed by and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Third Rock From The Sun, The Dark Knight Rises), Don Jon is a romantic comedy-drama about a guy in his twenties whose addiction to online porn keeps him from having meaningful relationships.

Normally a taboo subject, Gordon-Levitt breathes humanity and humor into the film. It's a coming-of-age tale that is well-made and delivers positive, albeit slightly heavy-handed, moral lessons. It's a fun film nonetheless and it co-stars the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, and Tony Danza.

Punch-Drunk Love

Like Elegy, Punch-Drunk Love pushes your boundaries of what a love story can mean. But that's where the similarities end. Written and directed in 2002 by the incredible Paul Thomas Anderson, Punch-Drunk Love is perhaps his most experimental film, starring Adam Sandler as Barry Egan, an inhibited business owner with little excitement in his life. But when an enigmatic beauty (Emily Watson) discovers Egan and his little universe, Egan's life changes forever.

Costarring Luis Guzman, Punch-Drunk may not have the scope (There Will Be Blood) or jubilation (Boogie Nights) of Anderson's other films, but it is certainly his best attempt at a romantic movie, and considering his credentials that is certainly enough. As well, any opportunity to see Sandler in a great role before the whole deluge of Jack and Jill schlock should be worth the admission price.

Silver Linings Playbook

One of 2012's more successful and critically-acclaimed movies, Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper as a guy whose life has fallen apart and seeks redemption and a path to health with the help from unlikely sources.

After catching his wife cheating and succumbing to a nervous breakdown that lands him in a mental hospital, Pat (Cooper) moves in with his parents to try and mend his life. While back in the old neighborhood he meets a familiar young woman with baggage of her own (Jennifer Lawrence), and together they learn to heal and separate the rocky past from the hope of the future. Directed by David O. Russell, this is a worthy date-night flick.

Room With A View

From director James Ivory, 1986's Room with a View was nominated for eight Oscars, winning three; Adapted Screenplay, Costumes, and Art Direction.

Almost Kubrickian in its attention to set details and keeping to the period, Room is a beautiful film starring Helena Bonham-Carter as Lucy Honeychurch, who travels with her chaperone to Florence to find love. Two men fight for her passions: Cecil (Daniel Day-Lewis) and George (Julian Sands).

Both a comedy and a romance period piece with expert attention to detail, it is a great film for those whose hearts bend towards the literary. Oh, and it has a 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So, it's pretty good.

Blue Crush

2002's Blue Crush has become a drama beloved by many adolescents and young adults in particular. It's a story about an up-and-coming surfer (Kate Bosworth), who must try and balance her burgeoning career with a new romance. She has a steadfast will and close friends that help her navigate the rough waters (sorry, had to throw in one pun).

One part sports movie and one part romantic, Blue Crush has enough plot and action to keep anyone interested. It never gets too hokey or over-complicated. Blue Crush co-stars Michelle Rodriguez (Lost), Sanoe Lake, Mika Boorem, and Matthew Davis.

Annie Hall

Considered by many to be Woody Allen's best movie out of the dozens he's made, Annie Hall has stood the test of time as an endearing and proficient romantic comedy. Like many of his other classics, Annie Hall has both set itself as the benchmark for films to come, and remains a refreshing change of pace thanks to Allen's brilliant writing.

And I'm not just bloviating here -- this movie won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress both at the 1978 Academy Awards and at the BAFTAs.

The film is about a neurotic writer Alvy (Allen) who meets and falls in love with an eccentric singer named Annie (Diane Keaton). They meet playing tennis, eventually develop a relationship, and then things start becoming difficult and fall apart.

The film is told from the past-perspective by Alvy, who reflects with more of a twinge of depression at how all of his relationships end up as failures. Despite fifteen years of psychotherapy, Alvy feels that he still hasn't cracked the code of how to have an enduring relationship. He loves women and has for as long as he can remember. Many themes are explored, including indecision, fidelity, personal growth, and much more.

Along the way we get Allen's trademark conversational riffs on everything from marriage to city life to life and death. This movie has some hilarious moments and classic scenes. Well worth a watch or re-watch.

Time For A Poll, If You Will...

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Comments 10 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, I haven't seen any of these, but I would love to see Alice, how come I missed that one? lol! interesting films, I know my son gets netflix, so I will have to have a word with him and see how its done, thanks!

mattdigiulio profile image

mattdigiulio 4 years ago Author

Yes, it is a classic. Happy you found something good.

mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 4 years ago from The Shire

I haven't seen them either Matt, but I'll have to give them a look now. Interesting reviews!

mattdigiulio profile image

mattdigiulio 4 years ago Author

Excellent, yes I tried to find some that were good yet not as well known. Glad you liked them.

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Interesting list....I have see all three of the movies....most recently I watched Elegy.....and I was amazed by Ben Kingsley's performance.....Alice is one of Woody Allen's better movies and easily the best one with Mia Farrow. Punch Drunk Love is a very strange was quirky but I did not like Sandler's character at all....which made watching the movie more difficult...thanks for the information....voted up and useful.

CrazedNovelist profile image

CrazedNovelist 4 years ago from Hampton, GA

Good article, buddy. Definitely useful to those on a Friday night. ;)

mattdigiulio profile image

mattdigiulio 4 years ago Author

@Cogerson -- Kingsley is other-worldly in his performances. Just an awesome presense in everything he's in. I too think Alice is Farrow's best film, although if there's any competition I did like her maybe as much in "Hannah and her Sisters"... Yeah, I'm totally disillusioned by Sandler these days.

@Crazed -- I appreciate it!

mom4autism profile image

mom4autism 4 years ago from Northeast U.S.

Love your insight into these movies. I have not seen them all but I am guessing I will like them as you hit on points that I tend to look for while watching. Love your ability for empathy as well. Voting up and following - I like your style!

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ChloeHibb 4 years ago

I haven't seen any of these films- not even Sleepless in Seattle! This list will keep me busy for a while as I work my way through the films. Thanks.

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Mills P 18 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

Since I'm not on Netflix, I'll have to take you at your word if these are there. Annie Hall wins on this list, hands down.

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