10 Romantic Movies That Turn 25 In 2022 – Screen Rant

The year 1997 was packed full of classic movie releases with romantic plot-lines that are still revered 25 years later.
1997 was an unprecedented year for film, particularly for movies in the romance genre. Most notably, the year's biggest hit, the romantic drama Titanic, won Best Picture at the Oscars and became the highest grossing film of all time, as well as the first to cross the $1 billion mark at the box office.
Perhaps it is quite unthinkable now that a romantic film would be a billion-dollar hit at the box office, especially considering that more modern record-breaking films are predominately superhero and action movies. A quarter of a century on, it is worth reflecting on the romance films that dominated pop culture at the time.
James Cameron's historical epic sealed the stardom of a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, as the two played star-crossed lovers that are separated by social class on the doomed RMS Titanic in 1912. As the couple's relationship blossoms, the ship collides with an iceberg, and the two attempt to escape the disaster together.
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Titanic, although its success is due in large part due to James Cameron's directorial talents regarding spectacle, is perhaps most widely known for its love story. Key lines from the film, including "I want you to draw me like one of your french girls" and "I'll never let you go, Jack" are some of the most frequently quoted lines in movie history.
Jack Nicholson stars in this romantic comedy as Melvin, a mean-spirited and unpleasant writer who is acquaintances with Carol (played by Helen Hunt), a waitress down on her luck as she struggles to provide for her chronically ill son. When Melvin is reluctantly granted responsibility of a dog, the pair grow closer and Melvin learns to put down his barriers developed through his obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Nicholson and Hunt won Best Actor and Actress at the 1998 Academy Awards for the film, even beating out Titanic for this beloved romantic comedy. The success of the two films, as the most commercially and critically successful films of the year, underlines the cultural significance of the romance genre around 1997.
Julia Roberts gives one of her best performances in this unconventional tale of friends to lovers in My Best Friends' Wedding. Roberts plays Julianne, a food critic that made a pact with her best friend Michael a decade previously that they would marry one another if both parties were single by 28. As the pair turn 28 and Michael is about to marry a young heiress, Julianne considers confessing her love for Michael and potentially ruining the wedding.
Without spoiling the film's ending, My Best Friend's Wedding's plot and ultimate conclusion unfolds in a rather unexpected way. With an intelligent script and a stellar performance from Roberts, this romantic comedy is unconventional, yet became an instant classic.
Based on the classic 1960s cartoon, George Of The Jungle stars Brendan Fraser in the titular role. George, a rather dim-witted yet kindly man was raised by apes in the jungle. He meets Ursula (Leslie Mann), a wealthy woman accompanying her fiancé on a hunt for a human-like ape that is actually George.
This goofy comedy is one of the best Brendan Fraser movies and helped seal his status as a major movie star. While primarily a comedic family film, the film brilliantly showcases Fraser's abilities as a leading man and in romantic scenes through his chemistry with Leslie Mann.
Disney's take on Greek mythology follows Hercules, the son of Zeus, known for his supernatural strength, who lived as a human after being exiled from other Gods as an infant. Later, he meets Megara, a woman enslaved by Hades, the God that caused his exile. Together, they try to defeat Hades and reinstate Hercules as a God of strength.
At the time of release, Hercules flopped (by Disney standards) but became a cult classic as time went on, as the movie was deemed a box-office failure in comparison to other Disney movies in the 1990s, such as Aladdin. Thanks to its dynamic soundtrack and voice acting, notably in the love story of Hercules and Megara, it is now hard to believe this immensely popular film did not have a successful start.
This retelling of a classic fairytale was created by Disney, is arguably the first live-action remake of Cinderella that the studio produced, prior to the 2015 remake. Starring musicians Brandy as the titular Cinderella and Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother, this musical featured original and classic songs featuring the cast.
While the film received a more mixed reception at the time of release, Cinderella is now regarded as a successful modern adaptation of popular folklore, making the film particularly ahead of its time. Cinderella is portrayed as a more independent character while still retaining the love story between her and Prince Charming. This, as well as its more diverse casting, would rarely be emulated in Hollywood until decades later.
This animated fairytale re-imagines the historical figure of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia – most notably her survival, as opposed to her real-life death during the Russian Revolution. The movie portrays the young Anastasia as the sole family survivor of the Revolution, who forms an alliance with a conman to reunite with her grandmother, before falling in love with him.
Anastasia is one most beloved non-Disney animated movies of the 20th century. Its widespread success is somewhat of a miracle, especially considering the fact that non-Disney animation studios like Dreamworks were either non-existent or in their infancy before the 2000s. With such creative animation and original music, its triumph was perhaps inevitable.
This Kevin Smith rom-com features frequent Smith collaborator Ben Affleck as Holden McNeil, a comic book artist that falls in love with Alyssa, a colleague that is revealed to be a lesbian. While the two get along well, the pair attempt to make sense of their complicated relationship.
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Contemporary reviews of Chasing Amy point out its dated ideas surrounding sexuality, particularly its portrayal of lesbians and non-consideration of bisexuality. The film remains significant, however, in providing a snapshot of ideas of sexuality and the style of humor in romantic comedies in the 1990s – even if the romance in the movie doesn't measure up to more modern tastes.
Released worldwide in 1997 (after a brief Christmas 1996 release in the US), Jerry Maguire stars Tom Cruise in an Oscar-nominated role as a sports agent that reconsiders his career and forms his own agency following an epiphany over his own morality. Along the way, he employs a single mother that believes in his mission, and the two form an unlikely connection.
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Produced by James L. Brooks, director of 1997's As Good As It Gets, this film serves as another example of popular romantic tropes in cinema at the turn of the millennium. As shown in both films, romantic storylines involving personal redemption, particularly involving single mothers and hard-headed male counterparts, strongly resonated with moviegoers in the 1990s.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won an Academy Award for the screenplay of this drama, along with Robin Williams for Best Supporting Actor. In the film, Will Hunting (Damon) a janitor at MIT recently released from prison, who easily solves a mathematic equation the university's faculty struggled with. Upon being discovered, a reluctant Will is persuaded by a mathematics professor to meet with a psychiatrist, Dr. Sean Maguire (Williams).
While the film largely focuses on the psychological aspects of the protagonist's childhood trauma and the burden of a brilliant mind, the emotional core of his character arc centers around his blossoming relationship with Skylar (played by Minnie Driver). The "see about a girl" line that is evoked throughout the movie became an instant classic and has been widely quoted by film fans, even 25 years on.
NEXT: 10 Best Romantic Comedies Of All Time
Bethany Gemmell is a writer from Edinburgh, Scotland. She has been an avid player of the Sims franchise since childhood and enjoys writing about a wide range of media, from Harry Styles to Star Wars.


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