It's up for debate whether or not James Cameron's legendary film Titanic is the most iconic romance movie of all time, but what is undeniable is that it's, at the very least, the most successful one. And it's not hard to understand why. The story between Jack Dawson and Rose Dewitt Bukater is an absolute classic love story with a bit of a twist, and their entire relationship saga is crammed into a days-long roller coaster ride that happens to be taking place one the most famous sunken ship in history.
Titanic is obviously a pretty unforgettable love story, but there are a lot of romance movies that didn't get nearly the attention and accolades that Titanic did but that can still serve up the kind of romance tale that viewers will never forget. So for anyone who considers themselves a fan of Titanic, here are 10 romance films that you'll almost certainly fall in love with too.
10 500 Days Of Summer
Jack Dawson is a bit of a manic pixie dream boy who turns Rose's world completely upside down, so if anyone is looking for a modern gender-swapped version of the same concept then 500 Days of Summer is the perfect romantic movie pick. Titanic is one of the greatest tragic romance movies ever made, but 500 Days of Summer is probably a great representation of what may have happened with Jack and Rose if they had the opportunity to actually explore their relationship beyond a few exciting days, and although it may not have ended with the happily ever after everyone dreams of, at least it wouldn't end quite so brutally.
9 The Big Sick
Although tragedies that are on the scale of something like the sinking of the Titanic are extremely rare, unfortunately for many of us tragedies are something that will strike everyone at one point or another. And Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon's collaborative screenwriting effort certainly knocked it out of the park when it came to creating a story about two people from very different cultures falling in love with one another.
The movie is a semi-autobiographical account of their actual relationship, and when the fictional Emily becomes seriously and mysteriously ill, Kumail realizes how important their relationship is and how serious he wants it to be.
8 The Holiday
Kate Winslet's greatest box office success may be her role in Titanic, but despite being the star of the most successful romance film of all time her appearances in romance films have been very few and far between. But if anyone who is a fan of Titanic is looking to get some lighter, happier Kate Winslet romance in their lives then The Holiday is just the ticket. Instead of a romantic tragedy, The Holiday is a romantic comedy, and the leading quartet of Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Cameron Diaz, and Jude Law is a powerhouse foursome that elevate this already fun film.
7 Blue Valentine
There are very few things in life that are more thrilling than the experience of falling in love, and that sensation is something that Titanic masterfully captured in film. However there are also few things in life that are more relatable than the realization that the infatuation is over, and whatever is left when that elated feeling has faded is not anything that can or should be salvaged. Blue Valentine brutally nails the natural ebbs and flows of any romantic relationship, and watching the two lead characters come together only to ultimately fall apart is a heart wrenching experience that will soften up even the hardest of hearts.
A visually stunning period piece? Check. Two star crossed lovers who have a tragically brief moment of shared love only to be ripped apart forever due to circumstances beyond their control? Check. Two massively talented and astoundingly attractive leads? Check.
Anyone who is a fan of Titanic and who hasn't seen Atonement before needs move this movie to the very top of their must see list, because it's hard to imagine a movie that shares more thematic, visual, and emotional ideas with Titanic than Atonement does. This lush, soulful story is way more than just a romance tale, but the love story is the real heart of Atonement.
5 Brokeback Mountain
Rose Dewitt Bukater was one of the very rare people in the world who wanted something other than what her life offered her and was actually bold enough to change things (with a lot of assistance from Jack, of course), but the heartbreaking reality of life is that very few people get that opportunity, and even fewer actually take it. And Brokeback Mountain is really the story of two men who spent their entire lives in love with one another without ever actually having the opportunity to seize that love and make anything more out of it than it was, which feels almost more tragic than the story of Jack and Rose.
4 Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Titanic and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are movies that both star Kate Winslet and have something to say about falling in love being some kind of fated event, but Eternal Sunshine's take on that is a bit more unique than Titanic's. And more unique than pretty much every other romance movie ever made. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a film about a couple who decides to have all memories of one another erased, only to realize that they made a mistake trying to escape the past, even if the relationship wasn't ending all that well. It seems like love can't be erased though, because once they meet again they seem to be on a journey of love again too.
Although most romance movies are ostensibly about a love story between two characters, an obvious running theme within many romance films is that these particular relationships lead one or both of the characters towards leading a more authentic life where they are truly themselves.
That is certainly true of Rose and her story in Titanic, and that is absolutely true of Carol and Therese in Carol. This story is set in the 1950's and tells the tale of two closeted women who fall in love, and although the risks of following their hearts are huge, the ambiguous ending at least implies that they're going to make a real go of things.
2 Love Actually
If anyone is ever looking for the perfect romantic Christmas movie, then look no further. You really can't get any better than Love, Actually. This English romance film is a blend of comedy and drama, and it's an anthology film that tells the story of dozens of different loving relationships that are growing and dying between a bunch of tangentially intertwined characters. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will make you wonder how someone managed to make a lobster a character in the annual Christmas Nativity play. Plus, the all star cast is nothing to sneeze at.
1 Romeo + Juliet
Although Kate Winslet's contributions to the romance film genre have been pretty few and far between since Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio's contributions have been even fewer. But luckily for any Titanic fan, Leo's prior work does include Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. Obviously Romeo + Juliet is the OG tale of star crossed lovers, and Leo along with Claire Danes bring their story to life spectacularly. And in typical Baz Luhrmann style, Romeo + Juliet is an edgier, updated version of the story that thankfully still holds up today, simply because it's modernized style was so stylized that even though it was made in the 1990's it doesn't feel dated.