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.
The Age of Adaline (2015)
This beguiling rumination on love and immortality is essential viewing for Blake Lively fans—and also boasts one of Harrison Ford’s most affecting late-career performances. After a freak accident gives her the power of agelessness, Adaline Bowman (Lively) spends the next 80 years swapping identities and never allowing herself to get close to potential partners. A charming philanthropist (Michiel Huisman), however, slowly convinces Adaline to rethink her ways—as do the memories of a lover from her past.
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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 (Henry Thomas)—enlist 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 the late Samuel’s beautiful fiancée, Susannah (Julia Ormond). Based on the 1979 novella by Jim Harrison, Legends of the Fall is a sweeping tale of love, family and the passage of time.
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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 liner. Beautifully constructed, perfectly cast and with half a dozen scenes that have become enshrined in pop culture, Titanic remains one of Hollywood’s greatest tearjerkers.
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First Knight (1995)
The swashbuckling First Knight features a love triangle involving three fundamentally good—and good-looking—people, all bound by differing views on duty and love. The worst part? You’ll be rooting for each of them. Richard Gere leads the way as the debonair Lancelot, who pursues Lady Guinevere (Julia Ormond) until she falls for him. Leave it to the late Sean Connery as the legendary King Arthur to bring the real drama—and remind viewers why he was Scotland’s greatest export.
The World to Come (2020)
Norwegian filmmaker Mona Fastvold’s sophomore feature is a heartbreaking romance about two grieving women, Abigail (the criminally underrated Katherine Waterston) and Tallie (Vanessa Kirby of Mission: Impossible fame), in 1800s New York. Trapped in loveless marriages with their farmer husbands, the pair soon find solace in one another. The World to Come is a treat for the eyes as well as the heart—Fastvold and cinematographer Andre Chemetoff utilize sumptuous grainy film and find inspiration in 19th century realist paintings.
All the Bright Places (2020)
Reeling from the death of her sister in a car accident, popular Indiana higher schooler Violet (Elle Fanning) swears she’ll never step inside of a vehicle again. But after being paired with Theo (Justice Smith) on a school project, Violet slowly but surely begins to work through her survivor’s guilt. Theo, meanwhile, has traumas of his own—and as Violet learns, his demons are not as clear-cut as hers. Based on the popular YA novel of the same name, All the Bright Places is both a paean to the power of love and a heartbreaking reminder of the things it can’t fix.
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Widely regarded as the benchmark Jane Austen adaptation, Sense and Sensibility won its lead, Emma Thompson, an 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 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).
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Blue Valentine (2010)
While many of the tearjerkers in our roundup of the best romantic movies on Netflix Canada focus on love at first sight, the critically acclaimed Blue Valentine starts off long after that love has gone. House painter Dean (Ryan Gosling) and nurse Cindy (Michelle Williams) were once inseparable; now, their daughter is the only reason they won’t get divorced. She’s exasperated by his lack of ambition. He’s disappointed by her apathetic view of “’til death do us part.” As Blue Valentine so astutely observes, the ending of a relationship is never quite as simple as its beginning.
The Vow (2012)
After a car crash puts her in a coma, Paige Collins (Rachel McAdams) awakens with no memories of her past—which makes it all the more shocking when she learns she’s married to Leo (Channing Tatum), had previously cut ties with her parents (Jessica Lange and Sam Neill) and dropped out of law school. It’s a terrifying and frustrating predicament, but thanks to Leo’s tenacity, Paige slowly but surely pieces together the mysteries of her life. (If The Vow seems too melodramatic for your tastes, know this: it’s based on a true story!)
The Spectacular Now (2013)
High school senior Sutter (Miles Teller) spends his days drinking himself to an early grave—that is, until he meets Aimee (Shailene Woodley), an intelligent but timid classmate. While seemingly having nothing in common, the two eventually bond over their shared hurts: Aimee feels compelled to stay in town after graduation to take care of her mother, while Sutter cannot get over his father’s (Kyle Chandler) abandonment. A triumph of coming-of-age filmmaking, The Spectacular Now will stay with viewers long after that doozy of a final scene.
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Lady Chatterley’s Lover (2022)
This Netflix adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s classic 1928 novel may not be as erotic as its scandalous source material, but it will nevertheless deliver the goods for viewers in the mood for steamy romance. The Crown’s Emma Corrin gives another masterclass in cracked repression, this time as Connie, a Bohemian woman whose marriage to the demanding Sir Clifford Chatterley has hit a breaking point. Enter Oliver (Jack O’Connell), the Chatterley estate’s gamekeeper and Connie’s new paramour. Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Magee wisely waters down Lawrence’s reflections on class, race and labour, instead focusing on the passionate affair between Connie and Oliver—and the newfound agency that Connie gains from it.
The Notebook (2004)
One of the most popular movies of the 2000s, The Notebook was for many the first foray into the predictable (yet utterly satisfying) romantic works of novelist Nicholas Sparks. In 1940, wealthy South Carolinian teenager Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) falls for poor lumber mill worker Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling, in an immensely charming early role), much to the chagrin of her parents. Allie and Noah are forced to break up, America joins the war, and the two would-be lovers reunite years later, resulting in one of cinema’s most indelible tearjerkers.
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The Starling (2021)
When deep loss divides a married couple, they are left to grieve and heal separately if they ever hope to come back together—with the help, of course, of the titular starling. Following its premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, this Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd romantic drama next landed on Netflix—which is a good thing, because it’s a serious tear-jerker and sobbing on your couch with a box of tissues in your lap is far less embarrassing than sobbing in a theatre.
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.
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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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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!
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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.
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Blue Jay (2016)
Two decades after their break-up, former high school sweethearts Jim (Mark Duplass) and Amanda (Sarah Paulson) reconnect in their hometown 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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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.
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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?
Now that you know the best romantic movies on Netflix Canada, find out the best movies on Netflix Canada according to Rotten Tomatoes.