The 15 Best Summer Romance Movies of All Time

It's time to get to work if you haven't seen these flicks at least twice.
The Notebook, Practical Magic, and La La Land
Photos: Amazon
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Brittany Barber
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Brittany Barber
The Knot Contributor
  • From top movie picks to celebrity scoops and travel advice, Brittany writes on a wide range of topics for The Knot.
  • While Brittany is a contributing writer for The Knot Worldwide, she also provides shopping content for publications like BuzzFeed, CTV and The National Post.
  • Brittany has a Bachelor of Arts in media and communications studies, along with minors in creative writing, theater studies and music performance....
Updated Jul 24, 2023
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If swooning over summer romance movies is a favorite pastime, get ready for a treasure trove of film recommendations. These dreamy (and sometimes steamy) movies will transport you to sun-soaked worlds brimming with adventure, picturesque settings, and, of course, summer love.

Whether you're planning a movie night with friends, a date night with your significant other, or simply enjoying some solo time at home, The Knot's curated collection of summer movies guarantees a good time. These flicks evoke a profound sense of nostalgia, summoning cherished memories of past summer flings, heart-fluttering crushes, and the spontaneous adventures that define this time of year. Have a gander at these 15 summer romance movies. (Each captures the longing, intensity, and endearing awkwardness that epitomize summer love.

The Knot's Top Summer Romance Movie List

Funniest: Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Most Nostalgic: The Notebook
Best Comfort Film: 10 Things I Hate About You
Most Underrated: Practical Magic
Best LGBTQ+: Call Me By Your Name

Read on for the 15 best summer romance movies of all time.

The Notebook

Based on the popular Nicolas Sparks novel of the same name, this heartwrenching summer romance tells the epic love story of Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams). Set in the 1940s, the film portrays the couple as they navigate the challenges of social class, war, and family expectations. You'll want a box of tissues handy for this one—there's no way you won't bawl your eyes out by the last scene of this flick.

Release Date: June 25, 2004

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

This hilarious summer romance film is as funny as it is cute, and can double for one heck of a date-night movie. It follows the story of Peter (Jason Segel), a devastated musician trying to move on after a horrible breakup. When he takes a trip to Hawaii, he coincidentally encounters his ex-girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), who is with her new rockstar boyfriend (Russel Brand)—all while becoming closer with cool-girl Rachel (played by Mila Kunis).

Release Date: April 18, 2008

Call Me By Your Name

Based on the 2007 novel by André Aciman, this beautifully crafted film will take you to the sun-drenched landscapes of coastal Italy. Set in the 1980s, this story follows the evolving relationship between Elio, a precocious 17-year-old, and Oliver, a charming graduate student, as they explore the complexities of sexual identity, first love, and one very juicy peach.

Release Date: December 8, 2017

La La Land

This award-winning musical film will whisk you away in its telling of a love story set in modern-day Los Angeles. The story follows aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and jazz musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) as they navigate their careers and dreams, while their undeniable chemistry fuels a romance that unfolds via song and dance numbers.

Release Date: December 25, 2016

The Way, Way Back

This heartfelt coming-of-age movie follows the socially awkward 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) as he navigates his way through the ups and downs of his less-than-ideal summer getaway with his family. The film explores that teenage feeling of being stuck, the desire to belong, and how embarrassing it can be to be a teen with a crush.

Release Date: July 5, 2013

Before Sunrise

Part one of a trilogy series and the perfect summer romance movie (if you ask us), Before Sunrise documents the love story between Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy). The story unfolds over the course of a single night in Vienna, when Jesse and Celine have a cinematic meet-cute on a train and decide to spend the evening exploring the city together. Through their heart-to-hearts and intimate moments, you'll be swooning and sighing during every minute of this film.

Release Date: January 27, 1995

The Last Song

Written by the same author who wrote The Notebook (thank you, Nicolas Sparks), this heartfelt drama explores themes of love, family, and second chances. It follows rebellious Ronnie (Miley Cyrus), who spends a transformative summer reconnecting with her estranged father and falling in love with a local boy (Liam Hemsworth). Against the backdrop of a quaint beach town, The Last Song weaves a tale of redemption, forgiveness, and the power of music that'll have you pining for the yesterdays of Hannah Montana.

Release Date: March 31, 2010

Wedding Season

This adorable rom-com is new to the mix of summer romance and wedding movies, but it doesn't disappoint. The story follows Asha (Pallavi Sharda) and Ravi (Suraj Sharma), who are driven to Bridgerton-like antics of pretending to date in order to ward off pressure from their parents. Of course, pretending leads to a little more than, well, pretending, but I'll let you discover how it ends for yourself.

Release Date: August 4, 2022

10 Things I Hate About You

A favorite when it comes to romance movies to watch at a girls' night (and bachelorette weekend), this film is a '90s retelling of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. It follows the ultra-witty Kat (Julia Stiles), who is unwillingly pursued by the terrifying but charming Patrick (Heath Ledger) in an attempt to win a bet. What starts as just a bet certainly does not end as that. As their relationship unfolds, you'll be laughing and tearing up before the movie ends.

Release Date: March 31, 1999

A Walk To Remember

This teenage love story will instantly give you all of the early-2000s feels. Set in a small coastal town, the film based on Nicholas Sparks' bestselling novel and tearjerker portrays the blossoming relationship between Landon (Shane West), a popular jock-type, and Jamie (Mandy Moore), a quiet, less popular girl with a tragic secret. (We're not crying, you are.)

Release Date: January 25, 2002

Say Anything

This quirky coming-of-age rom-com follows the unlikely teen romance between Lloyd, an aspiring kickboxer, and Diane, a valedictorian. Against societal expectations and personal challenges, their relationship unfolds to depict a nostalgic, '80s love story that is simply delightful to experience.

Release Date: April 14, 1989

Roman Holiday

Starring Audrey Hepburn, this timeless summer romance movie will take you on the sweetest journey through the streets of Rome. The film follows Princess Anne (Hepburn), as she escapes her royal duties and experiences a whirlwind of a day with a cute American journalist, Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck).

Release Date: September 2, 1953

Blue Valentine

If Ryan Gosling singing and playing the ukulele isn't enough reason to watch this movie over and over again, the rollercoaster of emotions featured in this poignant story provides a solid case. This romance movie explores the lives of Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams), depicting an unflinching portrayal of love's complexities, starting from their passionate courtship to the gradual disintegration of their marriage.

Release Date: January 7, 2011

Moonrise Kingdom

With its visually stunning cinematography, eccentric characters, and Wes Anderson's signature style, Moonrise Kingdom is a cinematic gem that tells the story of two young lovers who run away together on a small New England island. Set in the 1960s, this coming-of-age tale beautifully captures the innocence, adventure, and romance of young love.

Release Date: June 1, 2012

Practical Magic

Practical Magic may be about murder and witches, but it's also about summer love, grief, the powerful bond between sisters. The film tells a story about Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian Owens (Nicole Kidman), two sisters who come from a long line of witches. Raised by their eccentric aunts, they have to find a way to break free from an abusive ex-boyfriend — even though they already killed him, twice!

Release Date: October 16, 1998

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