The Most Stylish Romance Films of All Time
From McQueen to Hepburn, noir to French New Wave, cinema offers no shortage of stylish liaisons. With Valentine's Day around the corner, what could be more apropos that queuing up some time with our favorite muses? Keep scrolling to see which films have our vote for best vibes ever.
Steve McQueen is the unequivocal coolest. In the 1968 adventure story, McQueen stars as handsome playboy bank executive–turned–million-dollar thief Tomas Crown. Faye Dunaway stuns as the insurance investigator bent on solving the heist. Together, the pair’s chemistry is as electric as it is immaculately dapper.
David Lean’s 1965 film adaptation of the 1957 novel by Boris Pasternak follows the life of fictional Russian physician and poet and his forbidden love for a political activist’s wife during WWI. Starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie, the film is dripping in fur coats, iconic set pieces, and sweeping romantic scores.
This 2003 twisted romance follows two childhood friends through a game of dares that escalates throughout their lives. Symbolized by exchanging a music box, the dares scale into a maze of drama and unrelenting passion. Starring the flawless Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet, the film itself is boldly bizarre, exploring the reckless abandon of a feverish, complex affair.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s delightful romance stars Audrey Tautou as endearing, naive ingenue Amélie. The film’s motifs explore the nature of innocence and ultimately the value of taking a chance on love. Highly stylized and beautifully composed, everything from Tautou’s signature pout to the mise-en-scène is on point.
Givenchy provides a generous wardrobe for Audrey Hepburn throughout the run of this adorable 1966 romantic caper. Starring opposite Hepburn’s enviable parade of couture is the dreamily blue-eyed Peter O’Toole. Hepburn plays the daughter of a prestigious art collector with a side hustle passing off his own forgeries to museums. When Hepburn hires O’Toole to break into the museum and steal back one of her father’s fraudulent works of art before he can be found out, a spectacularly charming, impeccably clad romp ensues.
Turns out Bill Murray shooting a whiskey add in a tux in Tokyo is the ideal combination of funny chic. Sleekly nuanced and painfully forlorn, Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation is a love song to restlessness, youth, and indecision. Scarlett Johansson slays from the famed opening shot till her last.
Directed by François Truffaut, Jules and Jim is every bit the deserving classic. Set before the First World War, the story follows an introverted writer and his close friend as they fall for the same girl. Widely hailed as one of the best films ever made, it has appeared on multiple best-of lists to much acclaim.
Auteur filmmaker Baz Luhrmann gives Shakespeare’s most famous romance a modern update, relocating it to a modern suburb reminiscent of Venice Beach. The Montagues and Capulets duel it out in all the ’90s neon glory. Catherine Martin’s production design is a Technicolor dream of candles, bright hues, and splashy patterns. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the star-crossed lovers were the It babes of the day.
No list would be complete without quintessential New York party girl Holly Golightly. Directed by Blake Edwards, the 1961 film adaptation of Truman Capote’s somewhat darker short story stars the incomparable Audrey Hepburn as the most mysterious of society girls. Nobody ever looked so chic on the way to Sing-Sing. It practically put the little black dress on the map.
Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 tale of the chicest French couple on the run, Pierrot le Fou stars Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo. Karina’s style holds up, from her still relevant blunt with bangs to her edited feminine wardrobe. The stars are the poster children for unconventional cool.
Perhaps the best breakup antidote film of all time, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is as wildly imaginative as it is cathartically cool. Directed by Michel Gondry and written by Charlie Kaufman and Gondry, the tale of a couple undergoing a procedure to erase the memory of their tumultuous love affair is wrought with passion and dazzling performances from the likes of Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo, Elija Wood, and Kirsten Dunst.
In Lasse Hallström’s Chocolat, a freewheeling Juliette Binoche breezes into a conservative French town and causes quite the stir opening a sultry little chocolate shop with her daughter. The decadent treats are perfectly highlighted by Johnny Depp, who plays the world’s most charismatic gypsy. It’s on our must list for any girls’ night in.
Directed by Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino, the dramatic tale of a couple on the run to Hollywood with a stolen batch of drugs stars Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette. The original score by Hans Zimmer, whimsical and full of hope even in dire straights, is pure magic. Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine even have matching tattoos in the model’s handwriting of her favorite line in the film: “You’re so cool.”
What’s your favorite romance film of all time? Tell us in the comments below.