Romance and cinema have had a passionate love affair since the inception of the silver screen. The intoxicating magic of a well-executed romantic gesture can stir our hearts, evoke tears, and leave us reminiscing long after the end credits roll. Whether it’s a stolen moment under a balcony or a grand declaration of love against a cinematic backdrop, these gestures often become the highlight of the movie, etching their places in our collective memories.

In this article, we present a curated list of the 50 best romantic gestures in film, spanning decades, genres, and cultures. From iconic classics like Casablanca to heartwarming modern tales like Juno, these films showcase how love is celebrated, fought for, and remembered. These moments range from the dramatic to the subtle, proving that love’s language is as varied as it is profound.

Hold onto your hearts as we embark on this cinematic journey, revisiting the scenes that have defined romance in film. Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a film enthusiast, these gestures will surely resonate, reminding us of the timeless allure of a love story beautifully told.

50 Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting (1997)

1997 – Will (Matt Damon) leaves Sean (Robin Williams) a letter that says, “If the professor calls about that job, just tell him ‘sorry, I had to go see about a girl.'” in reference to him leaving to find Skylar (Minnie Driver).

Related: 10 Best Matt Damon Movies, Ranked by Viewers

49 Romeo + Juliet

Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet (1996)

1996 – Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) scales the walls of Capulet’s house in order to climb the trellis of Juliet’s (Claire Danes) balcony to confess his love.

Related: 10 Best Leonardo DiCaprio Movies, Ranked by Viewers

48 Imagine Me & You

Imagine Me & You (2005)

2005 – Rachel (Piper Perabo) stands on the rooftop of her car in the middle of London traffic in order to confess her love to Luce (Lena Headey).

47 Grease

John Travolta in Grease (1978)

1978 – Danny (John Travolta) dresses up preppy in order to impress Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) at the end-of-the-year carnival.

46 Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

2008 – Peter (Jason Segel) takes down the picture of Rachel (Mila Kunis) in order to protect her honor, even though he knows he’ll be beaten up.

45 Only You

Only You (1994)

1994 – Faith (Marisa Tomei) convinces the Italian airport security to stop a plane from taking off so that she can get on and confess her love to Peter (Robert Downey Jr.).

44 Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

1961 – After Holly (Audrey Hepburn) throws her cat out of the cab and breaks things off with Paul (George Peppard), he runs after the cat anyway because he knows how important it is to her.

43 While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping (1995)

1995 – Lucy (Sandra Bullock) calls off her wedding to Peter (Peter Gallagher), risking the family she’s grown to love, in order to declare her love for his brother, Jack (Bill Pullman).

42 Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise (1995)

1995 – Jesse (Ethan Hawke) convinces Celine (Julie Delpy) to get off the train with him and spend a romantic evening together.

41 Once

Once (2006)

2006 – Glen Hansard buys Markéta Irglová a piano before he leaves her and her husband in order to find his other true love.

40 Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Candles (1984)

1984 – Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling) gives Sam (Molly Ringwald) a birthday cake because everyone forgot her birthday.

39 Never Been Kissed

Never Been Kissed (1999)

1999 – Josie (Drew Barrymore) writes an article confessing her love for Sam (Michael Vartan) and says she’s going to wait for him on the pitcher’s mound for her first kiss.

38 Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast (1999)

1991 – The Beast gives his library to Belle simply because he wants to see her happy.

37 Harold and Maude

Harold and Maude (1971)

1971 – After Maude (Ruth Gordon) dies, Harold (Bud Cort) pushes his hearse off a cliff, symbolically fulfilling Maude’s dying wish that he finally enjoy life.

36 The African Queen

The African Queen (1951)

1951 – Charlie (Humphrey Bogart) asks the captain of the Louisa to marry him and Rose (Katharine Hepburn) before they are hung because he knows how important it is to her.

35 10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

1999 – Patrick (Heath Ledger) commandeers the school’s sound system and enlists the help of the marching band in order to serenade Kat (Julia Stiles) to “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You.”

34 When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

1989 – Harry (Billy Crystal) races to find Sally (Meg Ryan) on New Year’s to tell her he’s realized he loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her.

33 Wedding Crashers

Wedding Crashers (2005)

2005 – John (Owen Wilson) interrupts Jeremy’s (Vince Vaughn) wedding in order to apologize to Claire (Rachel McAdams) for lying to her, pronounce his love, and ask her not to marry her fiance.

32 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Sam carries Frodo in LOTR Return of the King (2003)

2003 – Sam (Sean Astin) carries Frodo (Elijah Wood) up Mount Doom after he can no longer carry himself.

31 Shakespeare in Love

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

1998 – Will (Joseph Fiennes) writes his next play, ‘Twelfth Night,’ in memory of Viola (Gweneth Paltrow).

30 Amélie

Amélie (2001)

2001 – Amélie (Audrey Tautou) sets up a wild goose chase for her beloved Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) all through Paris.

29 Across the Universe

Across the Universe (2007)

2007 – After the cops have already shut down the rooftop concert, Jude (Jim Sturgess) starts singing “All You Need is Love” in order to tell Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) that he has come back for her.

28 Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge (2001)

2001 – As Christian (Ewan McGregor) turns away, believing that Satine (Nicole Kidman) does not love him, she starts to sing their song in the middle of the performance to confess her true feelings.

27 Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing (1987)

1987 – Johnny (Patrick Swayze) returns to his previous place of employment in order to tell everyone about the woman who changed his life (Jennifer Grey) in the famous “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” scene.

26 Meet Joe Black

Meet Joe Black (1998)

1998 – Death (Brad Pitt) brings back the man whose life he took so that Susan (Claire Forlani) might be able to fall in love with him.

Related: Brad Pitt Movies List: Ranked Best to Worst

25 Juno

Juno (2007)

2007 – Juno (Ellen Page) finally realizes that she’s in love with Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera), so she fills his mailbox with his favorite candy: orange Tic-Tacs.

24 Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday (1953)

1953 – After their torrid love affair, Joe (Gregory Peck) gives up his big news story to protect Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) whom he’s fallen in love but could never be with.

23 P.S. I Love You

P.S. I Love You (2007)

2007 – Gerry (Gerard Butler) leaves his widowed wife Holly (Hilary Swank) with ten messages to remind her who she is without him and to remind her, “P.S. I Love You.”

22 A Walk to Remember

A Walk to Remember (2002)

2002 – As he slowly helps her cross off all the items on her list, Landon (Shane West) builds a telescope for Jamie (Mandy Moore) so that she can be closer to the stars.

21 Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

2008 – Jamal (Dev Patel) joins a game show in order to find the woman of his dreams, Latika (Freida Pinto).

20 The Graduate

Ben saves Elaine in The Graduate (1967)

1967 – Ben (Dustin Hoffman) interrupts Elaine’s (Katharine Ross) wedding and fends off the guests with a cross to save her from her bourgeois life.

19 Notting Hill

Notting Hill (1999)

1999 – Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) buys William (Hugh Grant) the original of a Chagall painting he had hanging in his flat and says to him, “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”

18 Ghost

Ghost (1990)

1990 – Sam’s (Patrick Swayze) ghost tries everything in his power to save his girlfriend Molly (Demi Moore).

17 Rushmore

Rushmore (1998)

1998 – Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is expelled after trying to build an aquarium for the woman he’s in love with – his school’s news first-grade teacher, Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams).

16 Titanic

Rose finds Jack in Titanic (1997)

1997 – Rose (Kate Winslet) jumps from the safety of her lifeboat in order to rejoin Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) on the sinking ship because, as she says, “You jump, I jump, remember?”

15 What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come (1998)

1998 – After dying, Chris (Robin Williams) travels through Heaven and Hell in order to rescue Annie (Annabella Sciorra), his wife who had committed suicide.

Related: The Best Movies on the Robin Williams Movies List

14 Love Actually

Love Actually (2003)

2003 – Jamie (Colin Firth) learns Portuguese in order to propose to Aurelia (Lúcia Moniz), who coincidentally also learned English for Jamie.

13 The Wedding Singer

The Wedding Singer (1998)

1998 – Robbie (Adam Sandler) boards a plane and enlists the help of Billy Idol in order to serenade Julia (Drew Barrymore) with his heartfelt song “Growing Old With You.”

Related: 14 Adam Sandler Movies on Netflix [Streaming Now]

12 The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride (1987)

1987 – Westley (Cary Elwes) storms the castle and outsmarts Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) in order to run away with his true love, Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn).

11 City of Angels

City of Angels (1998)

1998 – Seth (Nicolas Cage) gives up immortality and his status as an angel in order to be with Maggie (Meg Ryan).

10 Twilight


Twilight (2008)

2008 – Edward (Robert Pattinson) saves Bella (Kristen Stewart) from a runaway van, putting himself and his family in danger of being discovered for what they are.

9 The Notebook

The NoteBook (2004)

2004 – Noah (Ryan Gosling) builds Allie (Rachel McAdams) the house of her dreams years after they parted ways, hoping it would somehow bring her back to him.

Related: 10 Best Ryan Gosling Movies, Ranked by Viewers

8 Say Anything…

Say Anything (1989)

1989 – Lloyd (John Cusack) stands outside Diane’s (Ione Skye) window with a boombox over his head, blaring Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” in a declaration of his love for her.


WALL·E (2008)

2008 – Wall-E goes to the ends of the Earth and beyond (literally) to defend a cause he doesn’t understand simply because he is in love.

6 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Aragon and Arwen in Return of the King (2003)

2003 – Arwen (Liv Tyler) decides to stay in Middle-Earth, accept the Doom of Men, and die in order to marry her beloved Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen).

5 City Lights

City Lights (1931)

1931 – The Tramp (Charles Chaplin) does everything in his power to help the blind girl (Virginia Cherrill) that he has fallen in love, even though she doesn’t know his true identity.

4 Big Fish

Big Fish (2003)

2003 – Ed Bloom (Ewan McGregor) fills Sandra’s (Alison Lohman) sorority’s lawn with daffodils because he knows how much she loves them.

3 Love Actually

Love Actually (2003)

2003 – Mark (Andrew Lincoln) comes to Juliet’s (Keira Knightley) doorstep with cue cards professing his love for her – without hope or agenda.

2 Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

2005 – Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) pays for Lydia’s (Jena Malone) dowry so that the woman he loves, Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), and her family won’t be shamed by the scandal.

1 Casablanca

Casablanca (1942)

1942 – Rick (Humphry Bogart) risks his life to arrange an escape from Casablanca for Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband. After the fiasco, Rick has to leave the city he’s grown to love because he shot Major Strasser to protect the plane’s takeoff.

Jimmy P

Senior Editor, BuddyTV