The intrigue, drama, and tear-jerking moments will leave you hanging. With that said many romantic movies have the same plot beats as The Notebook. Here are the fourteen best movies like The Notebook to help you quench your thirst for romantic drama films.
The Notebook (2004): An Overview
Based on Nicholas Sparks’ novel of the same name, The Notebook has been one of the classics in the romantic genre. The bond between Ryan Gosling’s Noah and Rachel McAdam’s Allie is as star-crossed as a love story can get.
Caught between their love for each other and the complexities of social standing, Noah and Allie struggle to make their love work. In a world that keeps them apart, they see their fate apart. And yet, the movie starts with them living together like an old couple.
1. The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
English 2h 6m IMDb
Director: Josh Boone
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff
One of the modern classics, The Fault in Our Stars, is an angsty young adult novel by John Green. The movie deals with the love between Hazel and Gus and their affection for books. There’s only one caveat; Hazel struggles with her fight against thyroid cancer.
The story revolves around young love against the odds. As the events continue, it strikes a cathartic end where both are at peace with their choices. Even though the ending is deemed realistic, many viewers still seek its cathartic and symbolic meaning.
The dramatic tone of the movie is perfect for those who are fans of romantic dramas. In the end, the fate of Augustus and Hazel makes a pretty compelling story. Since the movie’s showing, it has been one of the young adult romance genre classics.
2. The Last Song (2010)
English 1h 47m IMDb
Director: Julie Anne Robinson
Stars: Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Greg Kinnear
Another Nicholas Spark novel, The Last Song, has many plot beats that you can find in any of Spark’s movies. The movie also deals with the summer love between two young teenagers. The coming-of-age drama has the same charm as The Notebook, albeit having much younger characters.
Ronnie and Will’s relationship has a rocky start. As a teenage rebel, Ronnie is set on barricading herself from everyone around her, including her father. As the two bonded together helping turtles, they formed a connection as the summer passed by.
Despite having melodramatic tones, The Last Song still has hope and determination in common with coming-of-age films. The film is a great way to reminisce about young love and all the drama and complexities that come with it.
3. A Walk to Remember (2010)
English 1h 41m IMDb
Director: Adam Shankman
Stars: Mandy Moore, Shane West, Peter Coyote
Another Nicholas Spark classic, A Walk to Remember, is a bittersweet film. While it incorporates many romance tropes, the movie still has the drama standard of Spark’s films. It’s a stark contrast between young love and the inevitability of mortality.
A Walk to Remember follows Landon Carter and how his connection to Jamie Sullivan changed his life. The movie details their mishaps and adventures together as Landon tries to be better as a person. As the movie progresses, some events lead to the two not growing up together.
On its initial release, the movie came out with mixed reviews. However, many people seemed to become fond of the film as time went by. You are in for an early 2000s nostalgia once you watch A Walk to Remember.
4. Titanic (1997)
English Swedish Italian French 3h 14m IMDb
Director: James Cameron
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane
A classic romantic film, Titanic is a hit like the R.M.S. tragedy it was based upon. The 1997 film also follows a star-crossed love story between a socialite and a poor artist. The movie is still trendy these days, serving as another part of pop culture.
Titanic revolves around Rose and Jack and their time spent in the R.M.S. Titanic. As most of us know, the ship’s maiden voyage is one of the most infamous maritime incidents. The movie details the bond between two young adults and the tragedy that will strike them.
If you haven’t watched the movie, you are missing out. The Titanic has been a symbol of modern cinema for twenty years. It also catapulted the career of the renowned actor, Leonardo DiCaprio.
5. P.S. I Love You (2007)
English 2h 6m IMDb
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Stars: Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Harry Connick Jr.
A bittersweet film, P.S. I Love You, is a movie about lost love and grief. Holly’s story follows her grief from her husband’s passing left her life a mess. Much to their surprise, a few months after, a stream of letters started to come by, with an ending sign of P.S. I Love You.
P.S. I Love You works with the loss of loved ones. Despite having dramatic and sad moments, the movie takes an upward turn as Holly finally allows herself to heal. Rather than focusing solely on the romantic aspect, the film also tackles self-discovery and healing.
Most of us need to learn a great lesson; don’t turn away from a new love. Just be ready to wipe out your tears, as this film is a certified tear-jerker.
6. Dear John (2010)
English 1h 48m IMDb
Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried, Richard Jenkins
Dear John is another movie based on Nicholas Spark’s novel of the same name. It revolves around the romance between John and Savannah. As John takes on service in the military, the relationship then succumbs to the pressure of being apart.
The movie got its name from the letters that John will send to Savannah. It’s a movie that deals with the yearning for love while being apart. As with any Spark novel, Dear John also has a deep melancholy tone.
The nature of war, love, and distance is heavily used in the film. If you love wartime romance, you should check out this movie. It’s an excellent examination of the complications of being apart from the ones you love.
7. Away From Her (2006)
English 1h 50m IMDb
Director: Sarah Polley
Stars: Julie Christie, Michael Murphy, Gordon Pinsent
Much like The Notebook, Away From Her also deals with love at old age. The story follows Grant as he tries to get the affection of his wife, Fiona, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Being a danger to herself, Fiona decided to check herself in at a nursing home.
The film has been critically acclaimed since its release in 2006. You can truly feel the passion and care put into detailing the story. The hard-hitting yet compelling plot helps in making it a pleasurable watch.
Many people struggle to keep their love as time goes by. This film does not hold back its punches with the melodrama and the bittersweet events. It will genuinely tug at your heartstrings; a must-watch if you love realistic drama films.
8. Ghost (1990)
English 2h 7m IMDb
Director: Jerry Zucker
Stars: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg
Although the movie has some thriller elements, Ghost is far from your average horror romance. The film is packed with heightened stakes and the complications of losing a loved one. Ghost is a perfect movie for a horror and romantic movie night with its twists and turns.
In its release, the movie is a theatrical and commercial success. It grosses at around $500 million with a budget of $20 million. It’s also the movie where the known pottery scene has come from. With its success, Ghost is a certified American movie classic.
If you are a fan of ghost hijinks and robust romantic chemistries, this movie is a must-add to your list. Ghost is a certified iconic 90s hit that will surely fire up your movie date nights.
9. Sweet November (2001)
English 1h 59m IMDb
Director: Pat O’Connor
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron, Jason Isaacs
A bittersweet story between Nelson and Sara as they fall in love but can’t be together in the end. It’s a great story with compelling characters. You will surely love this film if you have specific affinities to tear-jerker romance.
The story revolves around Nelson and Sara as they spend their November together. As a workaholic, Nelson finds himself with little to no romance in his life. It all changes when he meets the eccentric yet fun Sara.
The movie ultimately tells the story of letting go. Even though they love each other, certain things are present to keep them apart. It’s a great film with an ending that you can perceive as positive or negative.
10. La La Land (2016)
English Cantonese 2h 8m IMDb
Director: Damien Chazelle
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt
La La Land is a film that contains many sweet things. The music of the movie is phenomenal and well-received by many. However, it has a bittersweet ending. The movie is still seen as a great romantic drama.
The relationship between a struggling jazz pianist and an aspiring actress is a challenging task. As Mia and Sebastian struggled to find a sustainable career path, their relationship also began forming cracks. The arguments and their careers ultimately take a toll on their relationship.
Despite its lighthearted and carefree music, La La Land is hard-hitting with its plot. The story details the hardships between a career and love. You will feel the characters’ emotions, especially if you are a struggling young adult. Ultimately, the film teaches things do not work out the way we want them to.
11. The Vow (2012)
English 1h 44m IMDb
Director: Michael Sucsy
Stars: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Sam Neill
Similar to The Notebook, The Vow also has Rachel McAdams as the main character. The film details the struggle between Paige’s lost memories. Her husband, Leo, struggles to make his wife remember their extraordinary time together.
The movie is chock-full of twists and turns that will have you intrigued. As the viewers are put in the shoes of Paige, you will truly feel her confusion and distraught against the recent loss of her memories. The efforts and determination of Leo also help viewers connect with the characters.
The Vow is a moving yet grounded film. Despite having some conventional romance tropes, the movie still holds itself with a strong plot and charming characters. This movie is perfect for movie date nights or if you want to enjoy a compelling love story.
12. The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)
English German 1h 47m IMDb
Director: Robert Schwentke
Stars: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Ron Livingston
The Time Traveler’s Wife is a complicated yet compelling movie. The movie’s romantic drama and sci-fi plot make for an intriguing viewing experience. You will surely love the many twists and turns provided by having a time traveler as a husband.
The movie stars Eric Bana’s Henry and Rachel McAdam’s Clare. As Henry and Clare navigate the former’s powers, their relationship is full of twists and turns. Ultimately, it will end in a satisfying yet sweet ending.
The movie dramatically takes the lesson of spontaneity and the challenges life can hurl at you. Since its release, The Time Traveler’s Wife has been greatly received worldwide. It’s praised for its fantastic writing and compelling plot beats.
13. Pride and Prejudice (2005)
English 2h 9m IMDb
Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn
A striking enemies-to-lovers love story, Pride and Prejudice is a romantic classic. Since its publication in 1813, the novel of the same name by Jane Austen has been a worldwide hit. The movie is not an exception.
Pride and Prejudice revolves around the connection between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. A wealthy and single bachelor, Mr. Darcy falls in love with a woman beneath his social status. On the other hand, Elizabeth finds herself going softer with Mr. Darcy.
As the movie goes on, they develop a bond, much to their stress. The movie is an excellent adaptation of the classic novel. If you are a fan of romance relying on tension, you will surely enjoy this film.
14. Definitely, Maybe
English 1h 52m IMDb
Director: Adam Brooks
Stars: Ryan Reynolds Rachel WeiszAbigail Breslin
A comedic flair to the list, Definitely Maybe works as a tandem between father and daughter and their shenanigans. The pair get into many hijinks as Will’s daughter, Maya, tries to get into the details of her father’s love life.
The movie gets much praise for its cast and plot. Many critics also noted the cast’s charisma and charm, which serves as one of the film’s edges. The solid yet imaginative story is a hit with viewers and critics alike.
If you are a fan of complicated narratives and a great father-daughter tandem, add this movie to your must-watch list.
With these fourteen best movies like The Notebook, we ensure that you have enough romantic films to tug on your heartstrings. Be sure to have boxes of tissues lying around, as most of these movies are certified tear-jerkers. You will surely love the compelling plot and great characters as they struggle to make their way with love.