10 Best English Romantic Movies

Saturday, December 4 by Audrey Johnson

Despite what many think, a list of the 10 best English Romantic movies is not rife with overly emotional films. British romantic movies, in fact, tend to have more of a sentimental than a sappy feel, making them tolerable for viewers uninterested in emotional romance stories. Below is a list of the best English romantic movies.

  1. "Shakespeare in Love" - Set in Elizabethan London, Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow struggle to achieve their dreams and goals—dreams and goals incompatible with the love they share. Based on the Shakespearian tragedy "Romeo and Juliet", "Shakespeare in Love" is easily one of the greatest romantic movies of all times.
  2. "The Young Victoria" - Along with Romeo’s love of Juliet can be placed the love between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Recognized for their dedication throughout their lifetimes, this romantic movie focuses on the beginnings of the lover’s relationship. Stunning costumes and political intrigue nicely round-out this movie to make it a truly romantic film.
  3. "Pride & Prejudice" – Pick a production, any production, and "Pride and Prejudice" won’t disappoint. The Austen classic makes women swoon at the mere idea of finding their own Mr. Darcy. Some adaptations are more humorous than others, but none fail to display the true love that Elizabeth denies and for which Darcy fights. The speech where Elizabeth tells off Darcy alone is enough to break hearts.
  4. "The English Patient" – Don’t be dissuaded by the three hour time stamp, "The English Patient" is one of the most fascinating English romance movies. Set in an unlikely place and period—the desert prior to World War II—the movie barely seems like a romance. Love does not only exist in the main plot, but instead pours from every image on this film, demonstrating how the emotion can exist even in non-romantic situations.
  5. "Mansfield Park" - Another Austen classic, "Mansfield Park" provides more comedic relief than other of the author’s works. Although certainly of a romantic nature, complete with satisfactory ending, the romantic movie is not focused entirely on romance. Short, sweet and with an undeniably brilliant portrayal of British society, "Mansfield Park" is a romance film that is far from being overly emotional.
  6. "Notting Hill" - Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant make this romantic movie not only pretty to watch, but also fun. The comedic ability of both actors, not to mention the supporting characters, removes the overly-emotional romance that could easily have made cheesy. For those that want to laugh while watching two lovers commit to each other, Notting Hill is a romance movie not to be missed.
  7. "Love Actually" – A story showing how love develops, arises and arrives differently for every couple, "Love Actually" is a romantic film that is not necessarily …well, romantic. Cute, fun and tender, the English romantic movie focuses on realistic love, including unobtainable love, than the overly romantic type. Not only is it one of the best romance movies, but it is also a wonderful holiday film.
  8. "Sliding Doors" - The film is actually two movies in one, both romantic, but in very different ways. Watch the different pathways Gwyneth Paltrow’s life can take depending on whether or not she jumps onto the Tube before the doors close. The film is not the typical sappy romance, but instead shows the hurt and joy love can bring, making it one interesting movie to watch.
  9. "My Fair Lady" - The romantic element of "My Fair Lady" is secondary to Professor Higgins attempts to change Audrey Hepburn, which often makes viewers overlook the fact that Eliza’s main goal is to obtain affection. The end, though, makes this fact abundantly clear, and the movie’s happy ending leaves watchers satisfied. "My Fair Lady" is one of the best English romantic movies not only because of the plot, but because of its dedication to the period, particularly through the costumes.  
  10. "Roman Holiday" - Audrey Hepburn as a princess, Gregory Peck as a reporter. Together the two flirt around Rome. Comedic while still being romantic, "Roman Holiday" displays why the old English romantic movies are sometimes still the best. The ladies, too, will love the fact that you recognize the importance of a timeless, classic romance.
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