12 Best Romantic Movies Based on Great Books
From page to screen, our favorite characters and towns come to life before our eyes, with all their quirks and charms. And when it comes to love stories, watching the author’s vision unfold on the silver screen is simply irresistible. Whether you prefer a hopeful tale of love and trust or a bittersweet romance, there’s nothing quite like reliving these timeless stories again and again. So grab the popcorn and cozy up with a book or the best romantic movies based on novels – love is in the air!
12. Pride and Prejudice (2005)
“Pride and Prejudice,” based on the classic novel by Jane Austen, has been adapted for film many times. Set in 19th-century England, it’s the story of the Bennett family, which includes five daughters with very different personalities. We like the 2005 version. The second eldest daughter, Elizabeth Bennett (played by Keira Knightley), is headstrong and independent, determined to marry for love, not convenience. When a wealthy and handsome Mr. Darcy (played by Matthew Macfadyen) comes to town, Elizabeth initially finds him arrogant and rude, but before long, they begin to understand each other better. Along the way, Elizabeth must navigate the complexities of her family’s social standing and society’s expectations of women, while also confronting her own prejudices and assumptions about people. A timeless tale of love, family, and the pursuit of happiness in a world where social class and gender roles dictate much of one’s fate.
11. A Walk to Remember (2002)
“A Walk to Remember,” based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, tells the story of two high school students, Landon Carter (played by Shane West) and Jamie Sullivan (played by Mandy Moore), who come from very different backgrounds. Landon is a popular but rebellious student, while Jamie is a devoutly religious and kind-hearted girl. When Landon is forced to participate in the school’s drama club as punishment for a prank, he begins to spend more time with Jamie, and the two catch feelings. Their new relationship is tested when Jamie reveals a tragic secret to Landon.
10. Me Before You (2016)
“Me Before You,” based on the novel by Jojo Moyes, tells the story of a young woman named Louisa Clark (played by Emilia Clarke) who takes on a job as a caretaker for a wealthy quadriplegic man named Will Traynor (played by Sam Claflin). At first, Will is bitter and unresponsive, but as Louisa persists in her efforts to engage with him, the two form a deep connection. When Will reveals a difficult decision to Louisa? The poignance of the film is hard to match and the thought-provoking themes stay with you long after the credits roll.
9. The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
“The Fault in Our Stars” is an unforgettable film based on the novel by John Green. Two teenagers, Hazel Grace Lancaster (played by Shailene Woodley) and Augustus Waters (played by Ansel Elgort), meet and fall in love at a cancer support group. Despite the challenges of their illnesses, Hazel and Augustus form a deep and meaningful connection as they navigate their way through life’s highs and lows together. The film’s emotional reflection on the fragility of life and the power of love to transcend even the greatest obstacles is exceptional.
8. Sense and Sensibility (1995)
1995’s “Sense and Sensibility,” based on the classic novel by Jane Austen, tells the story of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor (played by Emma Thompson) and Marianne (played by Kate Winslet), who are forced to navigate a world of social conventions and expectations after their father’s death leaves them in reduced circumstances. Elinor is practical and reserved, while Marianne is impulsive and passionate. As they struggle with the challenges of their new circumstances, the sisters deal with suitors, including the charming but unreliable John Willoughby (played by Greg Wise) and the honorable Colonel Brandon (played by Alan Rickman). Will the sisters must learn to balance their own desires with the expectations of society and find their own happiness?
7. The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)
Based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” tells the story of a man named Henry DeTamble (played by Eric Bana) who has a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel uncontrollably. Henry meets and falls in love with a young artist named Clare Abshire (played by Rachel McAdams), and the two embark on a passionate and tumultuous relationship that spans different eras and timelines. As Henry time travels back and forth through his own life, he struggles to maintain a sense of normalcy and keep his relationship with Clare intact. A beautiful story about the power of love to transcend time and space.
6. Love, Simon (2018)
“Love, Simon” is a charming romantic comedy-drama film based on the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli. Simon Spier (played by Nick Robinson) is a high school student keeping a big secret from his family and friends – he’s gay. Simon begins an anonymous online relationship with another student at his school who is also gay, using the pseudonym “Blue.” As their relationship develops, Simon becomes more comfortable with his identity. When a classmate discovers his secret and threatens to out him, Simon’s world is turned upside down. A heartwarming lesson in loving and believing in oneself.
5. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
“Crazy Rich Asians,” based on the novel by Kevin Kwan, is the story of Rachel Chu (played by Constance Wu), an economics professor who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick Young (played by Henry Golding) to attend his best friend’s wedding. However, Rachel soon learns that Nick comes from an incredibly wealthy and influential family and is considered one of the most eligible bachelors in Asia. As that wasn’t enough, she has opposition from Nick’s overbearing mother (played by Michelle Yeoh) and jealous socialites who seek to end her relationship with Nick. Funny, heartfelt, and visually stunning, the movie is a celebration of love and the power of relationships to transcend social and cultural barriers.
4. Twilight (2008)
“Twilight,” the romantic fantasy film based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer, is the tale of Bella Swan (played by Kristen Stewart), a teenage girl who moves to the small town of Forks, Washington, and falls in love with a mysterious classmate named Edward Cullen (played by Robert Pattinson). Bella soon learns that Edward and his family are vampires. Their new relationship is jeopardized by Edward’s supernatural abilities and the presence of other hostile vampires. As Bella becomes more deeply involved in Edward’s world, she must confront the risks and sacrifices that come with loving a vampire. Forbidden love with gorgeous vampires and werewolves? Yes, please.
3. The Notebook (2004)
Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, “The Notebook” tells the story of a young couple, Noah (played by Ryan Gosling) and Allie (played by Rachel McAdams), who fall deeply in love in the 1940s. Despite their differences in social status, they form a powerful bond that sustains them through separation, war, and illness. The story is framed by a present-day narrative of an elderly man named Duke (played by James Garner) reading to a woman (played by Gena Rowlands) in a nursing home from a notebook chronicling Noah and Allie’s love story. A beautiful tale of just how much of an impact love has on our lives.
2. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
A romantic comedy-drama film like no other, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ was directed by David O. Russell. The film centers around a man named Pat Solitano Jr. who is released from a mental institution and moves back in with his parents. Pat is determined to win back his ex-wife, despite her having a restraining order against him. Along the way, he meets a young woman named Tiffany who is also struggling with mental health issues and has her own problems. The two form an unlikely friendship and agree to help each other out. A dance competition, one of the best scenes you’ll see in a movie, is the highlight of this unorthodox love story.
1. PS, I Love You (2007)
‘PS, I Love You,’ by Irish author Cecelia Ahern, was a moving masterpiece directed by Richard LaGravenese. A young widow named Holly Kennedy is struggling to move on with her life after the death of her husband, Gerry. On her 30th birthday, Holly receives a series of letters from Gerry, each one encouraging her to do something new and exciting as she tries to rebuild her life without him. With each letter, Holly is challenged to step out of her comfort zone and experience new things, all while still feeling the presence of her late husband. Along the way, she reconnects with old friends and makes new ones, including a handsome Irishman named William. The movie explores her journey of grief and joy, carrying a piece of Gerry’s memory with her.