Whether you recently went through a rough breakup or have been hanging out in single’s town longer than you’d like, it can be super useful to watch movies that remind you of why love is worth striving for. Unfortunately, today’s landscape is pretty much a desert as far as awesome, passionate films are concerned. For truly good movies in this genre, you’re going to have to go back a decade, when romantic stories were churned out practically every month. Yes, for those sit-on-the-couch-and-cry-it-out moments, ’90s movie romances are practically unstoppable, and they’ll make you believe in love again even in your most pessimistic moments.
Reigning queens of the era like Julia Roberts, Julia Stiles ,and Drew Barrymore were always the lost heroines that, in the end, managed to endure mishaps and the pains of singledom before triumphantly snagging the person of their dreams. Even if you’re in the relationship that you know will last a lifetime, you can easily remember the magic and passion that brought you to your current state by vicariously experiencing it through beloved characters. So before swiping right for another date tomorrow night or planning a special night on the town, take a moment to watch these movies and remember that true love is not — and will never be — dead.
1. Kat & Patrick, '10 Things I Hate About You'
Where to begin with this '90s remake of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew ? Highlights that'll make your heart melt include when Kat (Julie Stiles) reads the movie's eponymous poem aloud to her class, when Patrick (Heath Ledger) sings "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" on the bleachers, the paintball fight scene. It's really one to watch at least once a year.
2. Dorothy & Jerry, 'Jerry Maguire'
Single mom Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger) admitting to Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) that he had her "at hello" is just pure '90s romance magic.
3. Anna & William, 'Notting Hill'
Notting Hill follows world-famous actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) falling in love with ordinary guy William Thacker (Hugh Grant). This movie, in addition to other aww-worthy moments, includes the famous scene where Anna says, "I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her." The cute — it hurts.
4. Laney & Zack, 'She's All That'
In the classic ugly duckling-turns-swan romantic comedy, Zack (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) is dared to take the nerdy Laney (Rachel Leigh Cook) to prom and make her queen, and—surprise!—he ends up falling for her. This movie, in addition to being a great romance, is also peak '90s nostalgia. I mean, those outfits alone.
5. Julia & Robbie, 'The Wedding Singer'
Can you picture Adam Sandler in a romantic comedy? In the '90s, anything was possible, and Drew Barrymore starred alongside him in The Wedding Singer as the star-crossed lover that realizes she's also engaged to the wrong person once she meets him.
6. Rose & Jack, 'Titanic'
You can breathe a sigh of relief—no one, and I mean no one is going to leave Titanic off the list of top romantic movies made in the 90's (or really, ever). For romance lovers, the hearts of Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet) will always, always go on.
7. Vivian & Edward, 'Pretty Woman'
This is probably the last time the "hooker with a heart of gold" plot line was done successfully, but of course Julia Roberts could pull it off. Richard Gere isn't too bad himself, either. And the two of them together? Pure onscreen magic.
8. Josie & Sam, 'Never Been Kissed'
How could we forget this adorable little movie in which heroine Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) pursues her teacher while working as an undercover journalist at a local high school, a time when she had been an unpopular nerd? Watch how she gets her groove back—and the guy—and prepare to believe in love again.
9. Annie & Sam, 'Sleepless In Seattle'
Will Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks), whose wife has passed, leaving him unable to sleep, be able to find love again? Yes, yes he will, thanks to Annie's (Meg Ryan) own persistence in finding someone she feels that magic with, too, even though she's already engaged and living across the country. This movie will remind you that it's always worth it to go to great lengths for love.