What to watch if you love romantic films and TV



BBC iPlayer

Rose Matafeo’s 2020s take on Notting Hill returned for a second series this week. It follows Kiwi cinema worker Jessie (Matafeo), who has a one-night stand with Tom (Nikesh Patel), only to discover he is a movie star. Funny and heartwarming, this modern fairy tale is ideal for anyone fed up with romcom clichés.



Geeky, sensible Gus (Paul Rust) falls head over heels for Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), a rebellious party girl. They have their ups and downs over three seasons, but their romantic spark is undeniable.

Starstruck (Photo: BBC/Avalon UK/Mark Johnson

High Fidelity


A gender-flipped reimagining of the 2000 film, itself an adaptation of Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel. Taking on the role of Rob, the owner of Championship Vinyl in New York – played by John Cusack in the film – Zoë Kravitz breaks the fourth wall to recount her many failed relationships via pop culture and playlists, before deciding to win back her one true love.

Normal People

BBC iPlayer

Tony and Maria, Jack and Rose, and now, Connell and Marianne. The 2020 adaption of Sally Rooney’s novel was a huge hit. Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones play the lovebirds, who we follow from school to university as they fall in and out of love.

Feel Good


Ghosts star Charlotte Ritchie plays George, a young teacher who unexpectedly falls for comedian Mae (Mae Martin). While George comes to terms with the unexpected fluidity of her sexuality, Mae battles her issues with addiction and navigates the male-dominated world of comedy. Look out for Friends’ Lisa Kudrow as Mae’s domineering mother.

Normal People (Photo: BBC/Element Pictures/Hulu)

Jane the Virgin


A light-hearted take on Mexican telenovelas, this joyful sitcom begins with Jane (Gina Rodriguez) finding out she is pregnant despite never having had sex. Things go from bad to worse for Jane when she discovers that the donor of the sperm she has been accidentally inseminated with is her boss – and the object of her secret desires.

First Dates


The dates might not always be successful on Channel 4’s reality dating series, but you always hope they will be. Hosted by Fred Sirieix, the First Dates restaurant has been serving couples for almost 10 years.

Love is Blind


Single people go on dates without seeing each other, before deciding to marry whoever they form a connection with. The concept of this reality show isn’t exactly romantic, but it seems to work – two couples from the original series are still happily married.

Love Is Blind (Photo: Netflix)


Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Curzon Home Cinema, Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play

Céline Sciamma’s 2020 French historical drama was a critical darling on release, being nominated for the Palme D’Or at Cannes. When painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), a young woman fresh from the local convent, they begin a passionate affair.

A Star is Born

Apple TV

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper (also the film’s director) are magnetic in this fourth version of the musical drama. Aspiring singer Ally meets rock star Jackson when he grabs a drink in the bar where she performs and before long the pair are touring the world together. When Ally’s rising star begins to outshine Jackson, he struggles to cope.

If Beale Street Could Talk

Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube

In Barry Jenkins’ take on James Baldwin’s 1974 novel, KiKi Layne and Stephan James play Clementine “Tish” Rivers and Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt, a couple torn apart when Fonny is accused of raping a woman. Pregnant and heartbroken, Tish is determined to prove her love is innocent. Not exactly the most uplifting film, but certainly a testament to the power of love in the toughest circumstances.

La La Land

StarzPlay, Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play

A dedication to the city of Los Angeles as well as a gorgeous love story, this musical follows the romance of aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), who dreams of opening his own jazz bar. It might not have the happiest ending (spoiler alert), but the journey there is certainly charming.

La La Land (Photo: Warner Brothers/Dale Robinette)

Call Me by Your Name

YouTube, Google Play, Prime Video, Apple TV

This gorgeous coming-of-age film follows teenager Elio (Timothée Chalamet) over one hot summer in northern Italy. There he meets and falls in love with his father’s student, 24-year-old Oliver (Armie Hammer).

The Notebook

Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Apple TV

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams play Noah and Allie, who we first meet as an elderly couple in a care home. The rest of the film is the story of their relationship, from their first meeting at a carnival in the 40s to their separation, during which Noah wrote Allie a love letter every day for a year.

Moulin Rouge

Disney+, Prime Video, Google Play, Apple TV

In Baz Luhrmann’s jukebox musical, bohemian writer Christian (Ewan McGregor) falls in love with Satine (Nicole Kidman) at a cabaret club in 19th-century Paris – a relationship they must hide from the jealous Duke (Richard Roxburgh) who believes he has a right to marry the courtesan.

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