Watching a movie is a great way to spend time with your significant other, but not all movies are created equally.
We go to the movies to be entertained, but that doesn’t mean that we watch films just for laughs. Good movies can inspire conversation and deepen the connection that we have with one another. The key is to find films that will be meaningful for both you and your partner.
But oftentimes, couples have different interests, which can make picking the perfect movie a challenge. My boyfriend loves sci-fi films such as Star Trek. I prefer films based on history, like The Pianist.
We respect each other’s taste in cinema, and we like to find movies that will be meaningful for both of us. A film like the 2004 version of The Phantom of the Opera directed by Joel Schumacher is an excellent choice for us. It has all the beauty and magic of a theatre production, the aesthetic appeal of historical films, elements of the supernatural, and it also compels us to think about the nature of love itself.
Even though you and your partner may prefer different film styles and themes, there are certain movies that are almost guaranteed to be meaningful for both of you.
I’ve compiled 15 of my favorite films to watch with a partner into a list so that you can spend more time enjoying good movies and less time scouring Netflix for the perfect film.
1. Couples Retreat
When Jason and Cynthia realize their marriage is in trouble, they decide to go on a couples’ retreat in paradise. The retreat is available for a special group rate, so they invite their six closest friends. The three couples traveling with them assume that they will be able to have a relaxing vacation, but the retreat center requires all participants to partake in all the activities. Couples Retreat (2009) follows four couples as they are placed in awkward and hilarious situations.
Although this film is a comedy, it encourages viewers to take stock of their own relationships. This movie reinforces that no relationship is perfect or easy. Happy couples put lots of effort into making sure that their relationship grows and flourishes. Watching this movie is an opportunity to get a few laughs, but it will also offer you space to discuss things that you can do to make your relationship stronger.
Check out Couples Retreat for your next movie night.
2. Date Night
A bored couple decides that they’d like to have a romantic date. When they are unable to get a table at a swanky New York restaurant, the husband decides to be spontaneous and takes another couple’s reservation. A case of mistaken identity leads the jaded couple on the wildest night of their life.
Date Night (2010) will keep you laughing and hold you in suspense as the pair work to outsmart their pursuers. When a relationship is boring, it often means that the couple hasn’t had to work to overcome challenges together. This movie might encourage you and your boyfriend to be more spontaneous.
Add some humor and adventure to your evening with Date Night.
Jude Law plays a limo driver who likes to womanize. He has a series of one-night stands, which only serve to harm the people he cares about the most. Alfie realizes that his actions affect the lives of others.
Alfie (2004) encourages people to think about the way that they treat one another. Playing the field may seem tempting, but it can damage lives. Couples will walk away from this one remembering the importance of being honest and staying committed and faithful to one another.
Watch Alfie on your next date.
4. That Thing You Do!
When the drummer from a local band breaks his arm before a talent show, Guy Patterson fills in. Guy increases the tempo of the band’s song, which spurs their journey to stardom. Being famous takes its toll on the bands’ relationships.
That Thing You Do! (1996) shows people struggling to find their footing and stay connected in the face of fame. Even though you and your boyfriend may not grapple with the pressures of fame, life will challenge you to grow together and follow your heart. This movie shows us the consequences of unfaithfulness and the rewards of loyalty in relationships.
That Thing You Do! will remind you to stay strong together no matter what life throws your way.
5. Begin Again
Greta and her boyfriend, Dave, move to New York to write songs together and pursue careers in music. When Dave lands a record deal, he becomes entangled in the lifestyle of a famous musician, leaving Greta to sort out her life. Greta encounters another person looking for a fresh start.
Watching Begin Again (2013) will give you and your boyfriend a chance to talk about how the past does not have to define you. You can learn from your experiences and look forward to a future with amazing possibilities.
Watch Begin Again to get swept up in the romance of helping each other grow.
6. Lost in Translation
When aging actor, Bob Harris, travels to Tokyo to endorse a brand of whiskey, he’s in the midst of a midlife crisis. He meets Charlotte, a newlywed who has been left at the hotel while her husband works as a celebrity photographer. Bob and Charlotte strike up a friendship at the bar and come to know one another over the course of their stay.
The protagonists in Lost in Translation (2013) find out what’s important to them when they’re placed in an unfamiliar environment. People can be drawn together through interesting circumstances. This film is thoughtful and endearing. Couples can think about what they value about one another as they follow this story.
Watch Lost in Translation to appreciate that your bond with your partner may not always be what others expect, but it works for you.
When the teenage Juno becomes pregnant, she decides that she wants to give her baby up for adoption. She finds prospective parents for her baby and gets to know them before the child’s birth. Juno (2007) follows a pair of teenagers and a married couple as they learn what real love is.
This movie asks its audience to think about what true love and dedication look like. Everyone has an idealized concept of how relationships should be, but they’re usually much more complicated. Juno is about people owning their truth—even if it’s scary. In your own relationship, it can offer you a chance to reaffirm your commitment, boundaries, and feelings.
Watch Juno on movie night to enjoy a quirky romance and remember that love can be complicated.
8. About Time
When Tim’s father reveals that he can travel in time, he vows to find a girlfriend. Time travel comes with its own set of complexities, but in spite of all this, Tim must learn to use his gift to make the most of his life with the woman he loves.
About Time (2013) is a feel-good film, which is sure to entertain you and your boyfriend. Together you can wonder about what, if anything, you’d change if you could travel back in time.
Take a walk down memory lane after you watch About Time with your partner.
9. 50 First Dates
50 First Dates (2004) follows the story of Henry Roth, a man who lives and works in Hawaii. He has a series of flings before falling in love with Lucy Whitmore. Lucy suffers from a form of short-term memory loss that makes her forget everything from the previous day, including Henry. Henry is so dedicated to her that he has to find ways to introduce himself to her every day.
This film has all the humor and campiness that you’d expect from an Adam Sandler movie, but it also has a powerful message for couples. Henry’s willingness to go to extreme lengths to help Lucy remember him is an expression of true love. You and your partner can reflect on what you would be willing to do to help one another in an extreme situation like this.
Think about how far you’d be willing to go to help your partner when you watch 50 First Dates.
10. The Holiday
Two women, one suffering from unrequited love, and the other facing a break up, switch homes over Christmas. Their holiday plans take them to opposite sides of the Atlantic, and give them the opportunity to find love.
Love in real life, just like in The Holiday (2006), often involves a series of improbable circumstances that bring people together. You’ll not only be charmed by this film, but you and your boyfriend can also talk about the way that you found one another.
Watch The Holiday and think about the happiness you’ve found with your partner in spite of previous heartaches.
11. One Day
Dexter and Emma have a one-night stand on the night of their college graduation. One Day (2011) revisits each of them on the anniversary of that event for several years. Their friendship is on-again off-again, but after many years they realize the roles that they play in each others’ lives.
Relationships can be complicated, and One Day does a great job of showing the ways that people can grow together and apart. During the course of your relationship, you will encounter circumstances that unify your partnership and those that threaten to dismantle your bond. This film is about the importance of staying present and maneuvering through all of life’s challenges to find what is truly important.
Think about what brought you together and how you’ve changed one another’s lives when you view One Day together.
12. The Tourist
Frank Tupelo takes a trip to Europe, where he meets the irresistible Elise. A case of mistaken identity leaves Frank with more than he bargained for in this fast-paced action and romance.
The Tourist (2010) is full of twists and turns that will keep you engaged from start to finish. The film demonstrates that not everything is as it appears. If you and your boyfriend want to step away from romantic comedies for something more serious and action-packed, this is the one for you.
Watch The Tourist when you want to watch a romance full of action and plot-twists.
13. 500 Days of Summer
Tom is a hopeless romantic who falls for Summer. Summer doesn’t believe in love or relationships, but the two date for over a year. When Summer abruptly calls off their relationship, Tom is forced to reflect on their time together and his understanding of love.
500 Days of Summer (2009) is a thought-provoking look at what love feels like. You and your boyfriend can enjoy this emotional and hopeful story. You’ll get the opportunity to think about your journey together as you experience Tom and Summer’s story.
Watch 500 Days of Summer together to think about what love means for both of you.
14. The Break-Up
Brooke and Gary decide that it’s time to split, but neither of them are willing to move out of the home that they share. Since they refuse to leave the condo, they grudgingly continue to live under the same roof. They are both bitter, which leads them to do a series of things to annoy one another.
The Break-Up (2006) offers us a look at the darker side of love. This drama puts its protagonists in comedic situations that help them understand their roles in each others’ lives. You’ll get a few laughs, but you and your boyfriend may also gain an appreciation for the way that you work together and accept imperfections.
The Break-Up is funny, but it will also make you think about how you communicate with each other.
15. Love & Other Drugs
Jamie is a womanizing pharmaceutical rep trying to climb the corporate ladder. He meets his match when he encounters Maggie, who refuses to be tied down by a boyfriend. Despite their attitudes about relationships, the pair end up getting together. Over the course of the film, we learn the reason for Maggie’s reluctance to be attached to anyone.
You and your partner will enjoy Love & Other Drugs (2010) because the film asks you to think about what matters in your life. Even if you aren’t a wealthy pair, you can still find happiness together.