Summary

  • Classic romance movie moments are iconic and undeniable, whether bringing joy or sadness to audiences.
  • Unrequited love and grand gestures in romance films leave lasting impacts and memorable scenes.
  • Iconic romantic scenes from Hollywood history showcase chemistry, grand gestures, and unforgettable moments.



Romance is one of the most popular movie genres for a reason, as their captivating stories and iconic romantic scenes have told some of the greatest love stories of all time. Cinema has enchanted audiences with myriad different kinds of romance, but sometimes all it takes is one unforgettable scene to make these films iconic. In some cases, these moments signal the crowd-pleasing moment when the relationship finally comes together. Other cases can show the tragedy of a romance falling apart.

Regardless of whether they induce tears of joy or sadness, these classic romance movie moments make the love between the characters undeniable. Not only have these scenes stood out in the romance genre for all these years, but they are some of the most memorable in Hollywood history, period. A well-executed romantic scene can leave a lasting memory, but some romantic movies execute their key moments better than others.


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10 Chasing Amy (1997)

Holden Professes His Love

Not every romantic movie has main characters who fall blindly in love with each other. Sometimes, love can be unrequited, as in Chasing Amy. In Chasing Amy, Holden and Alyssa are friends. However, things are complicated by the fact that he is madly in love with her. While Holden and Alyssa are in the car with the rain beating down,he throws caution to the wind and declares his love for her in one of the most beautiful and heartfelt monologues featured in romantic movies.


Since its release, Chasing Amy has developed a problematic reputation for its storyline of a gay woman being seduced into a heterosexual relationship. While there is still a lot to unpack regarding this aspect of the movie, with this monologue, writer-director Kevin Smith is at least able to make the audience understand what Holden is going through. It is a desperate, almost involuntary confession. Anyone who has ever been in love with someone who didn’t love them back can relate to what he’s saying.

At the time, Ben Affleck’s career was filled with supporting roles as bullies, but this performance helped make him more of a vulnerable leading man.

9 Sleepless In Seattle (1993)

Annie And Sam Meet At The Empire State Building

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan on top of the Empire States Building in Sleepless in Seattle


Sleepless In Seattle features several heartwarming romantic moments, but the Empire State Building scene is one of its best. In the scene, Annie is at the top of the Empire State Building staring out at New York when Jonah and Sam walk in. The moment they look into each other’s eyes, they just know they are meant for each other. This iconic romance scene is made even better by a musical score that perfectly captures the moment.

Sleepless in Seattle is viewed as the best Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie despite the fact that this moment at the end is the only time they actually share the screen together. That speaks to the power of their yearning and how great the chemistry is between them. The audience can breathe a collective sigh of relief as this romance that has always been building from a distance is finally given a chance.


What is unique about this moment compared to other big scenes in romance movies is that it is simply the beginning of the relationship and the promise that it has a future.

8 A Walk To Remember (2002)

Landon Helps Jamie With Her Wish List

In one of the best romantic gestures ever seen in a romantic movie, Landon helps Jamie with her wish list.

A Walk To Remember has one of the most tragic endings in a romance movie ever. Despite that, it also has one of the most romantic scenes that can stay with viewers long after the credits roll. In A Walk To Remember, Jamie, who is dying from leukemia, makes a wish list of things she would like to do before the fateful day comes.


In one of the best romantic gestures ever seen in a romantic movie, Landon helps Jamie with her wish list. He takes her to the state line so she can be in the middle of two towns, thus fulfilling her dream of being in two places at once, and gives her a butterfly tattoo. The moment sweeps the audience up in the romance the same way it does with the characters.

They all know what is coming and that this story is not going to have the happy ending that everyone hopes for. However, at this moment, Jamie and Landon are able to forget about her grim future and enjoy their time together. It is a beautifully bittersweet moment that confirms, as tragic as it is that this romance will be cut short, it is heartwarming that Landon is going to make Jamie’s life as perfect as he can.


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7 La La Land (2016)

Mia And Sebastian Dance In The Park

La La Land beautifully brought classic Hollywood back to the big screen and makes a huge case for why audiences need more sweeping romance movie musicals. Winner of six Oscars, La La Land is renowned for its phenomenal music and awe-inspiring dance numbers, but the scene in the park where Mia and Sebastian dance takes the cake for stand-out scenes. While walking in the park, Sebastian breaks into a song about how Mia is not his type.


That line is obviously not the most romantic and would turn many people off, but when the two break into a perfectly choreographed dance number, it becomes clear that they are fighting the inevitable. While La La Land had already established itself as a fun and vibrant musical up to this point, this is the first time Mia and Sebastian have a song together, and the chemistry between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling really gets a chance to shine.

The moment plays on the trope of two people who definitely have a connection but are trying to play it off like they are not interested in each other. The fun of this charming denial is only made more memorable by the fact that the number is shot overlooking Los Angeles against a beautiful sunset backdrop.

6 Say Anything (1989)

Lloyd’s Iconic Boombox Serenade

John Cusack holding a stereo over his head in Say Anything (1989)


The boombox serenade scene will go down in history as one of cinema’s most remarkable declarations of love.

When it comes to grand romantic gestures in movies, very few can beat Lloyd’s boombox serenade in Say Anything. In the classic romance movie, Lloyd and Diane embark on a summertime romance with many people thinking they are not right for each other. Diane eventually relents to the fact that she should move on from Lloyd and pursue her adult life. With this iconic moment, Lloyd tries to win Diane back by playing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” on a boombox outside her window.


Part of what makes the moment work so well is John Cuack’s performance in the moment. As he holds the boombox over his head and looks up to Diane’s window, he has a hopeful yet definite look on his face. It is as if he is putting it all into this final declaration and hopes that she will see how obvious it is that they are meant to be together.

5 Casablanca (1942)

Rick Tells Ilsa To Leave

Rick and Ilsa saying goodbye at the airport in Casablanca

Most romantic movies are about two people who are in love with each other ultimately ending up together, but that isn’t the case for llsa and Rick. When it’s time for them to get on a plane together, Rick tells Ilsa in the most heartfelt speech that she should leave with Victor instead, because if she doesn’t, she will regret it for the rest of her life.


Rick letting Ilsa go is one of the saddest moments in movie history, but it shows that he loves her enough to want to see her be happy with someone else. He knows she will live a better life than she would have had she stayed with him. The famous Casablanca quote, “We’ll always have Paris,” speaks to what makes this movie romance so iconic.

Rick and Ilsa had a passionate and complex relationship, but it was not meant to last. Their romance was a brief one that they can always look back on with fondness, but the unfair reality of their world means that they must move on from each other. Humphrey Bogart’s stoic performance as Rick plays perfectly against Ingrid Bergman’s heartbroken realization that he is right.

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4 Love Actually (2003)

Mark’s Cue Card Confession

Andrew Lincoln holding a sign that says, "To me, you are perfect" in Love Actually

To this day, Love Actually remains one of the most beloved romantic Christmas movies because of its incredible cast, humor, and heartwarming moments. One of the most famous moments comes with the storyline involving the characters of Mark and Juliet. Mark is in love with Juliet, but she has just married his best friend. Despite knowing this, Mark shows up at Juliet’s front door with cue cards declaring that she is perfect and that he is in love with her.


Unrequited love often stings, and it’s made worse when the woman in question is unattainable because she is monogamously married. Still, there is something incredibly touching about Mark’s confession of love. The moment is somewhat controversial as some feel Mark is betraying his friend. However, Mark’s confession is not about trying to win over Juliet but rather putting his love for her behind him.

He is pouring out his heart so that he can move on, but he is also taking the time to express to her how much she means to him. When he is done, the two are able to move on with this sweet moment between them serving as a new starting point for their friendship.

3 Notting Hill (1999)

Anna Asks William To Love Her

Anna standing in front William at her bookstore in Notting Hill

Over the years, Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant have been featured in some of the most romantic movies, but their love story in NottingHill is one of the genre’s most memorable. The movie is one of the great star-crossed lovers romance movies with Grant’s William a simple bookstore owner who strikes up an unexpected romance with a movie star, Anna (Roberts).


After a tumultuous relationship, William is done with Anna, but she follows him to the bookstore and tells him how she feels about him. When Anna confesses her love for him, William lets her down gently, to which she says, “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”

This is one of the most iconic lines in rom-com movie history because of Roberts’ sheer earnestness in its delivery and how perfectly Anna’s words speak to this particular romance. Her celebrity has been the thing that comes between these two and is too much for William to take in the end. However, in this vulnerable moment, she reminds him that she is a person just like him.

2 When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Harry And Sally’s Heartfelt New Year’s Eve Reunion

Sally at the new year's eve part in When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally is a movie that attempts to address the question of whether a man and a woman can be friends without romance getting involved. Harry and Sally are long-term friends who have been there for each other through their various failed relationships. Through their long debates about whether female and male relationships can remain platonic, the two end up falling in love with each other.


After pushing her away out of fear of commitment, Harry finally has the guts to tell Sally how he feels and follows her to a New Year’s Eve party to declare his feelings for her. With “It Had To Be You” by Frank Sinatra playing in the background, Harrylists all the reasons he loves Sally. It is one of the great final scenes in a rom-com with the movie concluding that, no, they could not just be friends, but what they have is perhaps even better.

Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan have great chemistry in the movie, being able to show the growth of this relationship over the years and through different stages. Their performances in this moment are particularly great with Crystal showing the excitement of finally realizing the truth of their relationship and Ryan playing the moment with anger and resistance which gradually becomes happiness.


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1 The Notebook (2004)

Noah Tells Allie It’s Not Over

The Notebook is another heartbreaking romance story about Noah and Allie. Exploring the romance of their youth, their happiness is torn apart by Noach going off to war, and when he unexpectedly returns, he finds that things are different. When Noah and Allie get caught in a storm and have to dock for safety, Allie confronts Noah about why he hadn’t written to her; it’s now too late for them as she’s engaged to be married. Noah reveals that he did write to her, and declares it will never be over between them, kissing her.


There are various elements to love about Noah and Allie’s relationship, but Noah fighting for him and Allie to stay together while a storm rages around them is undeniably the most romantic scene in the movie. The audience desperately wants to see these two back together and this moment comes after so much build-up, breaking away all of the tension and allowing them to return to that passion they had for each other. The moment is also important for their story as a whole with Noah continuing to fight for them long into their lives and against many hardships.



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