Sometimes, we all just need a good emotional release. And what better way to let it all out than by immersing yourself in a heart-wrenching love story on Netflix? Whether you’re recovering from a tough time or simply craving some deep feels, these tear-jerking romance movies on Netflix are here to provide you with an emotional rollercoaster ride. There’s something for everyone’s taste, whether you’re into angsty teenage love or mature relationships. Surprisingly, even if you’re past your teenage years, these youthful romance flicks can still strike a chord and make you reminisce about young love. Plus, some of them sprinkle in a dash of humor, giving you a chance to chuckle while you let the heartache sink in.
A handful of movies on this list are exclusive to Netflix, like the poignant Marriage Story and the charming Happy Anniversary. Others are timeless favorites that have captured our hearts, such as the beloved Dear John and the unforgettable A Walk to Remember penned by the master of romance himself, Nicholas Sparks. So keep reading to explore the best melancholic love stories available on Netflix. You’re bound to find the perfect movie to accompany your indulgence in a tub of ice cream and a glass of wine. So gather your significant other, your closest pals, or even your furry sidekick, and let the movie night extravaganza commence!
1. A Walk to Remember
This romantic drama is a beloved classic from the late 90s. Starring Mandy Moore and Shane West, the film follows the story of Jamie and Landon, two high school students who cross paths during a school play. Initially, Landon is involved in the play as a form of punishment for underage drinking. However, he quickly finds himself falling for Jamie, the minister’s daughter, despite her warnings against getting involved with her.
Their love story unfolds beautifully, but soon Landon discovers that Jamie is battling a serious illness and her condition is not improving despite treatment. Determined to make the most of their time together, Landon pours all his love and affection into Jamie, leading to truly heart-wrenching moments. And let’s not forget the impactful soundtrack by Switchfoot, which adds another layer of emotion to the film. Be prepared to shed a few tears as you watch this heartfelt tale unfold.
2. Dear John
Nicholas Sparks has a knack for pulling at your heartstrings. In Dear John, Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum star as a young couple whose love is put to the test when Tatum’s character, John, is sent off to war. Despite the distance, Savannah keeps their connection alive by sending heartfelt letters to John. Together, they dream of a future life together. Unfortunately, the tragic events of 9/11 only add more complexity to their already challenging situation. John makes the difficult decision to re-enlist in the military, which sets off a chain of consequences that are difficult to swallow. Brace yourself for the brutal emotional fallout – this one is bound to make you shed a tear or two.
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a great example of a successful book-to-film adaptation. Based on Stephen Chbosky’s coming-of-age novel, it tells the story of Charlie, played by Logan Lerman, a socially awkward teenager who forms a friendship with the charismatic Sam, portrayed by Emma Watson. As Charlie navigates the complexities of high school, he finds himself developing feelings for Sam, but she already has a boyfriend. Despite this, their bond deepens as they open up about their insecurities and struggles. Charlie is grappling with childhood trauma, while Sam is facing the uncertainties of graduation. Ultimately, they both come to the realization that they share mutual feelings for each other.
4. Charlie St. Cloud
Zac Efron left High School Musical behind and made a name for himself in Charlie St. Cloud, where he takes on the role of Charlie. The story revolves around Charlie, a young man whose little brother Sam tragically dies in a car accident. Despite this, Sam’s spirit continues to visit Charlie, and together they maintain their nightly routine of playing baseball. But things get complicated when Charlie starts developing feelings for a sailor named Tess, played by Amanda Crew. These emotions start to tug at Charlie, making him question his priorities. In the end, he is faced with the tough choice of either staying with his brother or pursuing a relationship with the girl he has always dreamed of being with.
5. All the Bright Places
Elle Fanning and Justice Smith team up in this heartfelt young adult drama based on Jennifer Niven’s novel. The film tells the story of Violet, who battles survivor’s remorse, and Finch, who grapples with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Together, they navigate their own challenges and find solace in each other’s company. However, as the story unfolds, Finch’s inner demons become overpowering, leading to a heartbreaking event that will surely tug at your heartstrings.
6. Marriage Story
Noah Baumbach really dug deep into his own personal experiences for his latest film, Marriage Story. He takes us on a journey through a crumbling marriage, brilliantly portrayed by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. Baumbach’s own divorce from actress Jennifer Jason Leigh serves as inspiration, allowing him to incorporate raw and intimate details of everyday life to evoke intense emotions that arise when two people who were once deeply in love find themselves unable to find common ground. The film beautifully captures the intricacies of co-parenting and the complexities that arise when tearing down the life they once shared. Be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster – you might want to keep some tissues nearby.
7. 6 Years
Hannah Fidel’s romantic drama delves into the sensitive topic of domestic abuse, offering a unique perspective by focusing on its impact on young relationships. In 6 Years, we meet Melanie (played by Taissa Farmiga) and Daniel (portrayed by Ben Rosenfield), who have been together for six years and find themselves at a crucial crossroads. As they navigate this phase of their lives, they are confronted with tough choices. Daniel yearns to pursue a job opportunity stemming from his radio internship in Brooklyn, while Mel grapples with the fear of losing the life they have built together in Austin, Texas.
Amidst a series of regrettable decisions and heart-wrenching moments, the couple must confront the ultimate test of their relationship.
8. The Theory of Everything
Stephen Hawking’s life was filled with numerous obstacles, but he couldn’t have overcome them without the unwavering support of his wife, Jane. The movie “The Theory of Everything” delves into the exceptional bond between Stephen and Jane, portrayed by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, which evolved in various ways throughout their journey. When Stephen’s battle with motor neurone disease begins, Jane becomes his rock, assisting him every step of the way in his fight against the illness. As time goes on, however, Hawking develops feelings for his assistant, Elaine, leading to their eventual divorce. Meanwhile, Jane finds solace in her close friend Jonathan, but the deep connection between Stephen and Jane remains intact.
9. The Space Between Us
This movie is a unique blend of sci-fi and a heartwarming story about young love. Asa Butterfield takes on the role of Gardner, a boy who grows up on Mars under the care of his astronaut father for 16 years. Surprisingly, Gardner starts communicating with Tulsa (played by Britt Robertson), a teenager in the foster care system living in Colorado. When they finally meet face to face, there’s an instant spark between them. Tulsa becomes Gardner’s guiding light as he seeks to uncover his mother’s past. However, their time together is limited, and Gardner must eventually return to Mars. Love doesn’t always last, but the impact they have on each other is undeniable.
10. One Day
Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess have undeniable chemistry in One Day, a romantic drama that takes us on a journey with Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley for a whopping 18 years. The twist? We witness their lives unfold on the same day, July 15th, but each year that passes. We witness their ups and downs, their triumphs and tribulations, as they navigate their careers, make mistakes, and grapple with regrets. However, when tragedy strikes and Emma is taken away from Dexter, he finally understands the true depth of their connection and resolves to set things right.