20 Romantic Movies on Netflix Canada for When You Need a Good Cry

From ravishing period dramas to coming-of-age comedies, these romantic movies on Netflix Canada should be viewed with a box of tissues nearby.

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Romantic movies on Netflix - The Age of Innocence
Photo: Facebook.com/CriterionCollection

The Age of Innocence (1993)

In 1870s New York City, aristocratic lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) is engaged to marry May (Winona Ryder), a benevolent but naïve socialite. His loyalty to the strict social codes of the time is tested, however, when he falls for Ellen (Michelle Pfeiffer), a soon-to-be-divorced countess—who also happens to be May’s cousin. At once intimate and visually sumptuous, Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Edith Wharton is a heartbreaking depiction of romantic longing.

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Romantic movies on Netflix - City Lights
Photo: Facebook.com/CriterionCollection

City Lights (1931)

Charlie Chaplin’s most famous outing as the kind-hearted Tramp is also one of the most beloved romantic movies ever made. City Lights follows the Tramp falling head-over-heels in love with a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill). Despite the girl mistaking him for a millionaire, he nevertheless vows to pay for a new blindness cure that will help her regain her sight. City Lights’ tear-jerking ending—influential film critic James Agee described it as the “greatest single piece of acting ever committed to celluloid”—is nothing short of magical.

(Related: 25 Comedies on Netflix Canada to Watch When You Need a Laugh)

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Photo: Netflix

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a joyously weird take on the age-old question: if you could erase the worst memory of your life, would you? After discovering that his ex-girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet), underwent a procedure to erase him from her memory, Joel (Jim Carrey) decides to do the same. As he relives their time together, however, he realizes that he still loves Clementine—though it may be too late to reverse the procedure. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Eternal Sunshine is a certified head trip—and one of cinema’s great modern love stories.

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Legends of the Fall
Photo: Netflix

Legends of the Fall (1994)

The idyllic existence of the Ludlow family is shattered when the clan’s three brothers—Alfred (Aidan Quinn), Tristan (Brad Pitt) and Samuel (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’s Henry Thomas)—enlist to fight in the First World War. Alfred and Tristan survive their harrowing tours of duty, but after returning home to the Rocky Mountains of Montana, both of them fall for Samuel’s fiancée, Susannah (Julia Ormond). Based on the 1979 novella by Jim Harrison, Legends of the Fall is a sweeping tale of love, war, family and the passage of time.

(Related: 20 Movies to Watch on Netflix Canada For a Wild Nostalgic Trip)

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Far From Heaven
Photo: Netflix

Far From Heaven (2002)

A tribute to the lush 1950s Hollywood melodramas of director Douglas Sirk, Far From Heaven explores race, class and sexuality in America’s idealized postwar era. The life of Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore), a housewife in Hartford, Connecticut, is upended when she discovers her ad exec husband, Frank (Dennis Quaid), is gay. Further complicating things is Cathy’s growing attraction to her Black landscaper, Raymond (Dennis Haysbert), which ostracizes her from the elite social circles she once called home.

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Irreplaceable You
Photo: Netflix

Irreplaceable You (2018)

The lives of childhood friends and soon-to-be-married couple Abbie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Sam (Game of Thrones’ Michiel Huisman) change overnight when Abbie finds out she has cancer. Realizing she doesn’t have much time left, Abbie begins to look for a new love for Sam. Sweet, touching and funny, Irreplaceable You is a guaranteed tearjerker.

(Related: What Watching Scary Movies Really Does to Your Body)

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Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic
Photo: Facebook.com/TitanicMovie

Titanic (1997)

What can be said about Titanic that hasn’t already been said? There were already several movies made about the RMS Titanic before James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster, but none had the inspired idea to set Romeo and Juliet on the ill-fated passenger liner. Beautifully constructed, perfectly cast, and with more than a few scenes that have become enshrined in pop culture forever, Titanic is still one of Hollywood’s greatest tearjerkers.

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Marriage Story
Photo: Facebook.com/marriagestory

Marriage Story (2019)

Boasting three career-defining performances and a brilliant script, writer-director Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is a searing portrayal of divorce and fleeting love. Charlie (Adam Driver), a successful theatre director, and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), a veteran actress, have been seeing a mediator to work through their marital issues. One day, Nicole serves him divorce papers, setting the table for a painful custody battle for their son, Henry. Marriage Story may not be the easiest watch, but it’s impossible to look away.

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Romantic movies on Netflix - How I Felt When I Saw That Girl
Photo: Netflix

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (2019)

Equal parts coming-of-age comedy and coming-out drama, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (“How I Felt When I Saw That Girl”) is Bollywood’s first mainstream LGBTQ+ romance. Badgered by her family about when she’s going to get married, Sweety (Bollywood superstar Sonam Kapoor) falls for a woman she meets at a wedding. When Sahil (Rajkummar Rao), a playwright and admirer of Sweety, learns that she’s a closeted lesbian, he helps her come out to her conservative family in the most Bollywood way possible: in the form of a musical!

(Related: 10 Best Dance Movies of All Time)

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Phantom Thread
Photo: Facebook.com/PhantomThread

Phantom Thread (2017)

Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis, in his final role) sits atop the world of high fashion in 1950s London, creating lavish dresses for princesses and socialites alike. He seeks total control in both his work and private lives—as a proud bachelor, Reynolds moves from one girlfriend to the next without a second’s thought. His days continue as normal… until a free-spirited new lover, Alma (Vicky Krieps), begins to toy with his carefully crafted routines. Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia), Phantom Thread is melancholic, darkly funny and, to quote Reynolds himself, a little bit naughty.

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Romantic movies on Netflix - God's Own Country
Photo: Facebook.com/gocfilm

God’s Own Country (2017)

Young farmer Johnny (Josh O’Connor) runs the family farm on behalf of his strict father, who has been debilitated by a recent stroke. He numbs his unhappiness with excessive drinking and casual sex, until a Romanian migrant worker (Alec Secăreanu), hired as a farmhand, transforms Johnny’s outlook. Superbly acted and sensuously photographed, God’s Own Country is a must-watch love story.

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Breathe
Photo: Netflix

Breathe (2017)

Diagnosed with polio and confined to a hospital bed, 28-year-old Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield) is given only months to live. But with the help of his wife, Diana (Claire Foy), her identical twin brothers (Tom Hollander) and scientist Teddy Hall (Hugh Bonneville), the adventurous Robin is able to live a full life together with his family. Based on a true story, Breathe is a life-affirming paean to the power of love.

(Related: The Best Loungewear to Cozy Up In at Home This Fall)

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Sense and Sensibility
Photo: Netflix

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Widely regarded as the benchmark Jane Austen adaptation, Sense and Sensibility won its lead, Emma Thompson, a much-deserved Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. After the death of Mr. Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson), Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters—Elinor (Thompson), Marianne (Kate Winslet) and the younger Margaret (Emilie Francois)—are left with no inheritance. The sisters eventually move into a small cottage—and soon cross paths with several potential suitors (Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant and Greg Wise).

(Related: Why You Shouldn’t Sleep with the TV On)

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Romantic movies on Netflix - La La Land
Photo: Netflix

La La Land (2016)

The Academy Award-winning La La Land charts the romance of aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and devoted jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) from first meeting to break-up in the City of Dreams, delivering a bevy of tunes along the way. An unapologetic homage to the classic movie musicals of the 1950s and ’60s, La La Land features sensuous throwbacks to Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, West Side Story and The Young Girls of Rochefort.

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Silver Linings Playbook
Photo: Netflix

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Released from a psychiatric institution after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, former teacher Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) moves back in with his parents. Soon, he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a manic young widow who offers to help him win back his ex-wife if he agrees to enter a dance competition with her. Its depiction of familial dysfunction may not be for everyone, but Silver Linings Playbook is nevertheless a funny, big-hearted affair.

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Someone Great
Photo: Netflix Canada

Someone Great (2019)

Music writer Jenny Young (Gina Rodriguez) scores her dream job at Rolling Stone and plans to move to San Francisco. Yes, everything’s coming up Jenny—until she’s unexpectedly dumped by her long-time boyfriend. To nurse her broken heart before she leaves New York City, Jenny rounds up best friends Blair (Brittany Snow) and Erin (DeWanda Wise) for one last girls’ night.

(Related: Why You Feel “Off’ After Scrolling Through Your Phone or Working on a Laptop)

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Blue Jay
Photo: Twitter.com/NetflixFilm

Blue Jay (2016)

Two decades after their break-up, former high school sweethearts Jim (Mark Duplass) and Amanda (Sarah Paulson) reconnect in their hometown grocery store and decide to spend the day strolling down memory lane. The initial sweetness of their reunion nonetheless give in to sadness, as Jim and Amanda bond over the unhappiness of their current lives and romantic paths not taken.

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Our Souls at Night
Photo: Facebook.com/premierefr

Our Souls at Night (2017)

In the fictional Colorado town of Holt, widow Addie (Jane Fonda) and widower Louis (Robert Redford) have been neighbours for decades but barely know each other. One day, Addie pays Louis a visit—the two quickly establish a connection, much to the reluctance of Addie’s adult son, Gene (Matthias Schoenaerts). Based on the bestselling novel by Kent Haruf, Our Souls at Night is an understated romance that lingers long after the final scene.

(Related: What Is Doomscrolling? What Psychologists Need You to Know)

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Romantic movies on Netflix - Save the Last Dance
Photo: Netflix

Save the Last Dance (2000)

After her mother is killed in a car accident, 17-year-old high school student Sara (Julia Stiles) moves in with her father in inner-city Chicago. At her new school, she meets Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas) and the two quickly bond over their love of dancing. As their relationship evolves, the pair encourage each other to follow their dreams: Sara wishes to overcome the guilt of her mother’s death and audition at Juilliard School, while Derek aims to attend Georgetown University to become a pediatrician.

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Romantic movies on Netflix - 6 Years
Photo: Netflix

6 Years (2015)

Aspiring schoolteacher Mel (Taissa Farmiga) has been with her boyfriend, Dan (Ben Rosenfield), for six years. This milestone, however, isn’t about to be celebrated by their loved ones: Dan’s parents believe he’s holding back his true potential by staying with Mel, while her friends worry that the lovers’ once-perfect relationship has stalled. As Mel and Dan struggle to repair their relationship after a series of arguments and betrayals, the question arises: is it beyond saving in its current state?

Next: 20 Breakup Movies That’ll Help You Get Over That Relationship

Reader's Digest Canada
Originally Published on Reader's Digest Canada

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