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Which Of The UK’s Favourite Romantic Movies Should I Add To My Watch List?

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On the JJ Barnes Blog, I check out the UK’s favourite romantic movies to get inspiration for what I should watch next, because who doesn’t love a bit of schmultz on a Sunday evening?

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Watch List

Movies are a massive part of our family culture. Sunday afternoon is dedicated to films, we regularly let the kids stay up late on a school night if a particular movie came up in dinner conversation, and cinema trips are a joy we don’t get often enough.

The ten year old has recently discovered the wonders of grown up films, and has a particular penchent for the monster movie genre. However, we watched Titanic and she was absolutely captivated for the entire three hours, and has talked about it non stop ever since. Therefore, I want to start branching her out a little and find more films she can enjoy, and romance is definitely a genre that is just starting to pique her interest.

To help me decide what films we should prioritise,  CasinoBee.com sent over the results of their new study that looked at Google searches for 100 of the most talked-about romantic movies on lists like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes to work out the UK’s favourite romantic movies.

The UK’s Favourite Romantic Movies

Love, Actually (2003) – 159,000 searches

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the release of Love Actually, written by Richard Curtis, quite possibly of the most well known romantic film across the world right up ’til now, and it shocks no one that it takes the top spot on this list.

Love Actually has a mostly British ensemble cast, many of whom had previously collaborated with Curtis on film and television projects. The film explores various aspects of love through ten distinct stories involving a variety of people, many of whom are shown to be intertwined as the plot progresses.

We do love a bit of Love Actually, but I think we’ll save this for Christmastime to get the most out of it.

In the Heights (2021) – 150,000 searches

In The Heights is one of the numerous successful projects with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s name on it, but one I’ve actually never seen! This more recent release comes in second. The movie adaptation, despite the fact that it was originally a musical, perfectly captures the sincere celebration of culture and love, and it is brimming with upbeat and motivating energy from the very beginning to the very end.

My children all love a musical, Mama Mia! is a staple of musical cinema viewing, so this could definitely top this list!

Notting Hill (1999) – 134,000 searches

Many fans of romance would contend that it’s anything but a proper rom-com if it doesn’t have Hugh Grant in it. For many years to come, the romantic tale of a British bookshop owner and a well-known American actress falling in love will serve as the gold standard, and is one I watched time and time again with my mother.

I’m just a girl… standing in front of a boy…

Oh my heart. Yes this is definitely going on the list.

Belfast (2021) – 116,000 searches

Belfast is not primarily a romance novel because it is told from the perspective of a young boy’s childhood in Northern Ireland’s capital in 1969. However, Caitriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan’s chemistry as the boy’s parents is captivating, and this movie will captivate you with multiple types of love.

I’ve not seen this one, but I love Catriona Balfe (my youngest daughter’s middle name is Claire for a reason, hello Outlander fans!) and I’m living with a family of McKinneys, so Northern Ireland is a strong feature in my life. On the list!

Beauty And The Beast (2017) – 109,000 searches

Disney’s original from 1991 got its surprisingly realistic remake in 2017, and it is regarded as one of Disney’s best, just outperformed by The Lion Ruler. It was impossible for the remake to fail to deliver the magic we all anticipated because Emma Watson played the unconventional and outspoken Belle, Luke Evans played the brutish Gaston, and names like Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, and Ian McKellen gave life to the furniture in the castle.

Even though this isn’t a film I particularly loved, I was born in the 80’s and grew up with classic Disney, I think all the kids would connect to this. Maybe on the list… but I’d rather watch the original.

Dirty Dancing (1987): 88,000 searches

We’ll never forget Baby and Johnny’s iconic love story or the electrifying chemistry between Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. This film gave us one of the most recognizable soundtracks, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” right after the well-known line “No one puts Baby in the corner,” as if dancing and a love story weren’t enough.

Now we’re talking. We’ve already watched Dirty Dancing, resulting in the ten year old lifting a bemused cat in the air, and all the children taking turns running across the room for their daddy to lift them up high. But I’m still putting it on the list. It’s got everything and more. No reason not to watch it again.

The Holiday (2006) – 85,000 searches

Another Christmas classic rom-com on this list. Finding love when and where you least expect it is probably not depicted as beautifully and magically as it is in The Holiday, in which Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet take a winter vacation to get away from their chaotic lives as much as possible. If you don’t fall at least a tiny bit in love with Jack Black (okay, technically I am VERY in love with him), then I don’t understand you. A Christmas rom-com list maker!

Moulin Rouge! (2001) – 83,000 searches

Moulin Rouge! received numerous awards to confirm its status as a classic and much praise for its groundbreaking creativity. This movie is worth watching again and again because of the energy of the cast, especially Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor’s performances as Satine and Christian.

Given her love of Titanic, a tragic love story could be just the ticket. Plus, as I said, musicals are very popular in this house! On this list.

Last Christmas (2019) – 80,000 searches.

The charming Emilia Clarke plays Kate, an elf who works in a London holiday shop all year. Until Kate meets the charismatic Tom, played by Henry Goulding, she lacks the drive to pursue her passion despite constantly being surrounded by holiday cheer. Enlivened by Wham! ‘s discography, this film is the ideal amalgamation of holiday cheer and love’s magic.

Love a bit of Wham!, and this is another love story that had be balling. A Christmas list addition.

Casablanca (1942) – 67,000 searches

The spark between Rick and Ilsa is rekindled when a cafe owner decides to assist his former lover and her husband in Casablanca. This true to life magnum opus featuring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman has almost 100% on Bad Tomatoes and a score of 100 on Metacritic, and it will most likely keep its high positioning on records like this one for a long time.

While it’s a classic, I think this one should be saved for when she’s older.


I have found SO MANY films to add to my list. She’s busy investigating monsters and mayhem to add to the list, but I’m pretty sure a few romantic movies slipped in will work wonderfully.

Do you have any favourites that didn’t make the list?


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