Writing this list was no easy task. There are far too many spectacular movies about love. Often treated as the lighter, less important genre, romantic movies are well-loved by many. After all, love is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It’s no accident so many movies have been made about love. Here’s a list of my favorite 10 movies about love. All of these scripts can be found at the TSL Screenplay Library. Just click on the movie titles to download!
WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989)
“I’ll have what she’s having!”
This is the quintessential rom-com! This 1989 rom-com written by Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner is about Harry and Sally, a couple who hate each other when they first meet, end up becoming friends years later, only to discover they actually love each other. The film features a hilarious scene where Meg Ryan demonstrates to Billy Crystal how easy it is for a woman to fake an orgasm by moaning and screaming in a crowded restaurant. The punchline of that scene is an elderly lady (played by Rob Reiner’s mother) telling the waiter after Meg’s big O: “I’ll have what she’s having.”
THE BIG SICK (2017)
Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations, and his true feelings. Written by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani and directed by Michael Showalter, the movie was based on the true love story of the writers and has moments of humor, romance, but also some real-life struggles.
BEFORE SUNRISE (1995)
“Isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?”
Written by Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan and directed by Richard Linklater, this indie darling is about a young man and woman who meet on a train in Europe and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together. The dialogue and the chemistry between these two leads are undeniably fun and electric. Set against the backdrop of Europe, this movie makes you feel like you’re also on this backpacking trip with Ethan Hawke’s character.
THELMA AND LOUISE (1991)
“In the future, when a woman’s crying like that, she isn’t having any fun!”
Written by Callie Khouri and directed by Ridley Scott, this screenplay won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1992. The movie is about two best friends who set out on an adventure, but it soon turns into a terrifying escape from being hunted by the police, as these two women escape for the crimes they committed. This one is not about romantic love. This story is all about the power of female friendship. Thelma and Louise are the original ride or die.
LOVE, SIMON (2018)
“So Blue, after the play, Friday at 10, you know where I’ll be. No pressure for you to show up but I hope you do. Because you deserve a great love story too. Love, Simon.”
Based on the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli, written by Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker and directed by Greg Berlanti this teen rom-com about a very typical white teenager who happens to gay is powerful, moving, and entertaining. Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.
LOVE AND BASKETBALL (2000)
“All’s fair in love and basketball.”
Written and Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, this love story featuring two African-American leads and set in the world of basketball is both charming and poignant. A much-needed story about black love. Monica and Quincy love and play basketball together through many life challenges from childhood to adulthood.
CRAZY RICH ASIANS (2018)
“She just thinks you’re some like, unrefined banana. Yellow on the outside, and white on the inside.”
Based on the novel by Kevin Kwan, written by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim, directed by Jon M. Chu, Crazy Rich Asians is about Rachel Chu, an American-born Chinese NYU professor, travels with her boyfriend Nick, to his hometown of Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. Before long, his secret is out: Nick’s family is wealthy, and he’s considered the most eligible bachelor in Asia. Every single woman is incredibly jealous of Rachel and wants to bring her down.
Set in a world of incredible wealth and strong family traditions, this movie is the perfect mix of a light comedy, beautiful settings and a fascinating love story dealing with being true to yourself while respecting and honoring where you come from.
THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017)
“He’s a wild creature. We can’t ask him to be anything else.”
At a top-secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.
Written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor and directed by Guilhermo del Toro, this Oscar-Winner for best picture is a fascinating tale of a woman with a disability who falls in love with an amphibious monster. Part fairy tale, part rom-com, part monster movie, The Shape of Water is a unique love story not to be missed.
GROUNDHOG DAY (1993)
“Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”
Written by Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin and directed by Harold Ramis, this movie is about a weatherman (Bill Murray), who finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again. One of the best things about this movie is watching the Bill Murray character become a better man after he falls in love with Andie McDowell’s character.
MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002)
“I had to go to Greek school, where I learned valuable lessons such as, ‘If Nick has one goat and Maria has nine, how soon will they marry?’”
Written by Nia Vardalos and directed by Joel Zwick this rom-com about a young Greek woman who falls in love with a non-Greek and struggles to get her family to accept him while she comes to terms with her heritage and cultural identity is a fun look into the greek community in the united states. The pressure to get married and have children Nia Vardalos’ character struggles with is real. Watching these two people from different ethnic backgrounds fall in love and navigate the cultural differences is endearing.
There you have it! What’s missing from this list? Is there a personal favorite I may have overlooked? Or perhaps one of you talented screenwriters out there is working on the next favorite screenplay about love? Hope this list inspires you to write your own love story. There’s certainly room for far more films about love in its many forms.
Julia Camara is an award-winning Brazilian screenwriter/filmmaker. Julia won a Telly Award for the sci-fi found footage feature Occupants. Julia’s feature directorial debut In Transit, won Best Experimental Film at four different festivals. Julia’s other writing credits include Area Q and Open Road.