• Compelling romantic entanglements are crucial in romance movies, but captivating love interests are equally important.
  • Some love interests in iconic romances like "500 Days of Summer" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" have their flaws, making them more complex and memorable.
  • From Noah Calhoun in "The Notebook" to Prince Henry in "Red, White & Royal Blue," these love interests showcased unwavering devotion and the willingness to overcome obstacles for love.

First love, second chances, or enemies who become lovers -- romance movies always find a way to make audiences feel butterflies with diverse love stories. Compelling romantic entanglements are essential in this genre, but mesmerizing love interests are central to creating a romance movie that will be remembered for decades.

Over the years, films like Breakfast at Tiffany's and Titanic have become iconic romances. Angst, slow burn, and longing give way to both happy and unhappy endings in these, but not every love interest was created equal. Some were devastatingly charming, while others could be slightly more devious. Each romantic partner has brought something new and memorable to the silver screen.

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10 Tom

(500) Days of Summer

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer

At first glance, 500 Days of Summer is a typical indie flick with a cutesy romance thrown in, but a closer look reveals more. Summer and Tom met by chance and bonded over a shared music taste, but Tom Hansen projected his own feelings and expectations on Summer. Instead of listening to her when she said that she wanted something casual, Tom built his own narrative and made her into some kind of Manic Pixie Dreamgirl.

Tom was a sweet, sincere, and lovely guy on the surface, but his reluctance to accept Summer's individuality and choices dulled his shine. He yearned for true love but rarely considered that the object of his affection was a living, breathing person. This almost made Tom a villain in 500 Days of Summer.

9 Holly Golightly

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Cat from Breakfast at Tiffany's

The small-town Southern lass turned café society regular, Holly Golightly was a captivating young woman in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Coping with child marriage and a brother in the army, Holly found her solace in the glitter of Manhattan's social life. As free-spirited as Holly was, she was not the best at being in love.

She spent her time chasing men with money, so that she could marry them and lead a comfortable life. Other times, she was doing something illegal to make money herself. Holly lived in survival mode, so much so that when Paul confessed his love to her, she first ran off into the rain. While Ms. Golightly did turn back around to go to Varjak, their relationship must have been fraught with troubles.

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8 Fitzwilliam Darcy

Pride & Prejudice

Darcy looking at Lizzie in the proposal scene from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice

Easily considered one of the best romance movies based on books, Pride & Prejudice had more than one scintillating love story, but the one with Elizabeth and Darcy took center stage. However, as appealing as he was to viewers, Darcy had been very churlish to Elizabeth from the beginning.

Their love story was a long drawn-out one because he couldn't express his love the right way -- choosing to be cruel and closed-off instead. He had commented on Lizzie's appearance, broken off Bingley and Jane's courtship, and confused Elizabeth with his hot and cold behavior. It took a significant amount of amends from his end for her to accept her love for him.

7 Noah Calhoun

The Notebook

Noah and Allie dancing in the notebook

Few other movies capture a slow-burn romance like The Notebook and Noah Calhoun's devotion to Allie contributed to all the romantic thrills. His affection for Allie was unparalleled, but some viewers found his persistent ways a bit unsettling. When he fell for Allie at the carnival, Noah went to great lengths to procure a date, even after she said no.

Still, nobody can doubt that their love story was one for the ages. Noah never wavered from his intentions of being with Allie forever, even when she was engaged to Lon. His gestures were grand, but always effused with affection. Hearts melted all around the world when he built the worn-down house for his lady love.

6 Prince Henry

Red, White & Royal Blue

Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry and Taylor Zakhar Perez as Alex Claremont-Diaz holding eachother on a staircase in Red White and Royal Blue

A much more recent love interest, Red, White & Royal Blue's Prince Henry was tender and loving, but trapped in a system that was not of his making. Henry struggled with his sexuality, especially because the members of the British monarchy made it clear that he couldn't be himself. Still, Henry opened his heart to Alex and showed him the best parts of himself that he hid from the world.

It took a massive amount of strength and courage, but Henry faced his family, as well as the whole world to be with the love of his life. He could have lost everything, including the favor of his nation, but he was ready to give all of it up for Alex. It made for a beautiful story that has become instantly iconic.

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5 Belle

Beauty and The Beast

Belle and the Beast dancing in Beauty and the Beast.

Belle may be a Disney princess, but she never fit into what the traditional template used to be. An outcast in her own village, she devoured books and avoided men: the very opposite of what she was expected to do. When her father got caught up with the Beast, she offered herself in exchange for his safety.

Belle's selflessness was not restricted to just her family. In Beast's home, she brought warmth and light once the fear wore off. She was able to see past the ugly exterior of the man, and activate the goodness that was in Beast. Bell's open mind and generosity benefited everyone around her and earned her the love of her life.

4 Kat Stratford

10 Things I Hate About You

Patrick and Kat almost kiss in 10 things i hate about you

A high school romance that proved to be a fresh breath of air in the 90s, 10 Things I Hate About You centered on Kat Stratford, a fierce and rebellious young woman who dared to go against the grain in high school. Nobody could breach Kat's guard, except for bad boy Patrick Verona. The catch was that Patrick had been paid to date Kat to keep her out of her sister, Bianca's way.

Kat shared conflicted relationships with her sister and father but navigated them with grace. Extremely intelligent, Kat was not one to pander to the whims of teenage males, which made her a "shrew" in their eyes. She could be vulnerable too, but with the right person, making her a true catch.

3 Michael Moscovitz

The Princess Diaries

Mia and Michael kiss at the conclusion of The Princess Diaries

The Princess Diaries is mainly remembered for Mia Thermopolis' empowering coming-of-age story when she discovers she is the princess of a small, fictional nation, and its romance is vastly underrated. Michael Moscovitz, Lily's brother, had admired Mia since she was an awkward, gangly teen for her heart, unlike others who wanted to be with her for her popularity.

Michael saw Mia for who she really was and helped her in every way possible, be it car troubles or issues with Lily. His musical talents made him even more likable, and Michael stayed largely out of the limelight. His quietly mature self, mixed with a dash of quirkiness and a whole lot of love for Mia made him an ideal partner.

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2 Peter Kavinsky

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Peter and Lara Jean looking at each other in To All the Boys I've Loved Before.

Aptly dubbed the Internet's Boyfriend, Peter Kavinsky set new standards for teenage love in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Despite being a popular jock at school, he exceeded all expectations by being nothing like the stereotype. What began as a fake relationship with Lara Jean only brought out the best in Peter, and his respectful and healthy love for her became something worth aspiring towards.

Through passing crushes, distractions, and college stress, Peter stayed steadfastly by Lara Jean's side. He was loyal and committed, even at his young age, which was refreshing to see.

1 Jack Dawson


Jack and Rose embracing against sunset in Titanic

Few other romantic heroes can enter the stratosphere of Jack Dawson, the poor artist from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin who stole Rose Dewitt Bukater's heart aboard the Titanic. In a short time, Jack saved Rose's soul from creeping depression and apathy, showing her a whole world of colors and beauty that existed beyond her stuffy aristocratic circles.

Jack's affection for Rose was pure, even if he was framed for thievery and talked down to by her fiancé and mother. The real test of their love came when the Titanic started sinking, and Jack happily gave his life for Rose so that she could live a long and happy life beyond the tragedy.