Sometimes love already feels like a dream. Add in a little magic, storytelling, time travel, and ghosts, and you have some of the best fantasy romance movies to watch tonight. Find iconic classics as well as contemporary films. We’ve included a blend of sci-fi-fantasy movies too.
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Best Fantasy Romance Movies
If you are wondering what to watch tonight, four of our favorite fantasy romance movies include Palm Springs, The Little Mermaid, Edward Scissorhands, and Groundhog Day. Of course, our romance movie expert, Tori, has even more great suggestions.
1. The Princess Bride (1987)
With a star-studded cast, including Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Billy Crystal, and Mandy Patinkin, The Princess Bride is one of the best fantasy romance movies of all time. It is also one of our favorite wedding movies.
Buttercup, after being separated from her one true love Westley, is kidnapped. Westley, who has long been presumed dead, must find Buttercup and save her. Both will face the evils and magical creatures of the mythical kingdom of Florian to be reunited, all while Prince Humperdink pursues Buttercup as well.
2. The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)
Henry, played by Eric Bana, is a librarian with a rare genetic disorder that causes him to uncontrollably travel back and forth through time. During one of his episodes, he meets Clare, played by Rachel McAdams, and the two fall in love and marry.
Their love story is complicated, though, by Henry’s inability to remain in one place. Clare also deeply wishes for a child, but Henry’s genetics cause a series of miscarriages and disconnection between them.
Ultimately, it’s not hard to see why this is one of the more heartbreaking and classic films. And, if you devour time travel books like us, The Time Traveler’s Wife is a great read. We’ll read any novel featuring a librarian.
3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
In the early 1900s, Benjamin, played by Brad Pitt, is a child with a rare condition causing him to age in reverse. He is abandoned as a child and raised by Queenie, a nursing home caretaker. Benjamin blends in with the other aging residents until he joins a tugboat that is eventually volunteered for WWII.
He meets Daisy, played by Cate Blanchett, on numerous occasions, but only when they are of physically comparable ages do the two fall in love. Their love story is plagued by Benjamin’s condition, though, and there will be heartbreak for both of them.
Despite a somber ending, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is one of the best fantasy romance movies for its unique storyline and stellar performances.
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4. Age of Adaline (2015)
Age of Adaline explores aging, and is also considered some of Blake Lively’s best work, despite the film having mixed reviews from critics.
Lively stars as Adaline, a woman who was brought back to life after dying of hypothermia and stopped aging ever since. She lives on the run, fearing anyone finding out her secret.
A chance encounter with Ellis awakens a sense of romance and passion, but a weekend with her parents threatens to expose her. Out of fear, she makes a decision that will haunt her forever.
5. Midnight in Paris (2011)
While Woody Allen is very much problematic, we want to acknowledge that Midnight in Paris is renowned as one of the best romance fantasy movies of all time. It’s an especially great watch if you are craving some armchair travel to France.
Aspiring novelist Gil, portrayed by Owen Wilson, is vacationing in Paris with his materialistic fiance, Inez, played by Rachel McAdams. One night, while Inez opts to take a taxi back with friends, Gil decides to walk. He is instantly transported seemingly back in time with Parisian literary and jazz icons.
The more Gil embarks on these adventures, and the more time he spends with cultural figures of the past – as well as the beautiful Adriana – the more disillusioned with the present he becomes.
For our European movie travelers, you might also appreciate these romance movies across France.
6. Ghost (1990)
Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze delight as Molly and Sam, a banker and an artist who are deeply, madly in love. When Sam is murdered by his corrupt business partner, his ghost must stick around to protect Molly.
With the help of psychic Oda Mae Brown, played by Whoopi Goldberg, Sam uncovers the shady dealings of his former partner and attempts to set them right. He must reach Molly before any harm comes her way.
We consider Ghost one of the best fantasy romance movies because the love between Molly and Sam – as well as Molly’s unbearable loss – is palpable. Find even more paranormal happenings on our haunted house movie list.
7. Big Fish (2003)
If you’re looking for fantasy movies with romance, humor, and family dynamics, Big Fish is a quirky, cult classic masterpiece by Tim Burton. Plus, travel to the South via your armchair.
William has a strained relationship with his ill father, Edward, largely due to the outlandish stories his father would tell. William believes his father is incapable of telling the truth, even on his deathbed.
When Wiliam begins to look deeper into his father’s exaggerated tales, including his love story with his wife, Sandra, and Jenny, whom Will always believed had an affair with his father, he finally begins to understand his father.
While the main theme of the film is actually the reconciliation between father and son, we love how the romantic elements of the story drive the plot along. Plus, we cannot resist a Southern Gothic movie with great visuals.
8. Star Dust (2007)
Tristan, in exchange for the hand of his beloved, Victoria, vows to retrieve a fallen star from the mythical nearby kingdom of Stormhold. He finds the star but realizes it is actually a woman named Yvaine, portrayed by Claire Danes.
Yvaine herself is in danger, though, being pursued by the sons of the Stormhold’s king who need her powers, and an evil witch who wants to use her youth and beauty. It won’t come as a surprise that Tristan and Yvaine soon develop a connection.
Will Tristan remain in Stormhold with Yvaine, or stay loyal to Victoria? And what will become of Yvaine, who must remain in Stormhold?
As many of our Uncorked Readers are massive Neil Gaiman fans, we are pretty sure you’ll enjoy the movie too.
9. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Edward Scissorhands is a gothic-driven fantasy romance movie and another epic masterpiece by Tim Burton, featuring Johnny Depp, Vincent Price, Winona Ryder, and Dianne Wiest.
The film tells the story of Edward, an artificial humanoid with blades for hands, who was left behind when his scientist creator died. He is eventually taken home by Peg and falls for her teenage daughter, Kim.
Despite Edward’s harmless nature and kind acts, he is an outcast and a target of Kim’s boyfriend, Jim. As Kim grows distasteful of Jim’s behavior, she begins to develop reciprocal feelings for Edward.
Similarly to Frankenstein, the film highlights that appearance isn’t what makes one a monster. It’s one of the darker romances to watch on this movie list.
10. The Shape of Water (2017)
As the recipient of thirteen nominations and four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, it is clear that The Shape of Water is one of the best fantasy romance movies of late. The visuals and story are mesmerizing even amongst the haunting trauma and tragedy.
The film follows Elisa, a mute custodian at a top-secret government laboratory, and the humanoid, amphibian creature that was captured by the lab’s Colonel. After hearing the government’s horrific plans for the creature, Elisa decides to help it escape and, in doing so, develops romantic feelings for it.
Humanity and compassion don’t exist for everyone, though. And with the government closing in on Elisa and the creature, is freedom – or a happy ending – in the cards for them?
11. Groundhog Day (1993)
Phil, a cynical weatherman, covers the annual Groundhog Day event onsite in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The next morning, after experiencing deja vu, Phil eventually realizes he is stuck in a time loop, repeating February 2 over and over again.
He confides this to his producer, Rita, who directs him to a neurologist. With no answers, Phil begins to take advantage of his experiences, binge eating, engaging in one-night stands, and even committing a robbery. He eventually attempts to seduce Rita, though she rebuffs his attempts.
Becoming depressed, and realizing his feelings for Rita have progressed, Phil desperately searches for a way out of the time loop. But will he ever find one? And does Rita play a part in this surprisingly charming Bill Murray romantic comedy?
12. What Dreams May Come (1998)
Chris Nielsen, played by Robin Williams, dies in a car accident and finds himself in a beautiful version of the afterlife that is whatever he wants it to be. His children are there, but when his wife commits suicide, she is sent to hell. Despite warnings from his guide in the afterlife, Chris ventures to hell to save his wife.
This is not one of those romantic fantasy movies with joy and laughter. Rather, there’s a sense of resolve that comes from a difficult path, but one full of love and determination.
We read the book in high school, and as Robin Williams fans, we always appreciate the harder roles and topics he took on.
13. The Lake House (2006)
The Lake House is one of the most well-known fantasy romance movies, albeit a tad confusing. A relationship develops between an architect, Alex, and the doctor, Kate, who lived at his lake house two years earlier. They communicate through letters they pass via the house’s mailbox and begin to fall for one another.
The timeline is a bit hard to follow; who actually lived at the lake house first? And, how do their paths keep crossing? Still, despite the choppy storyline, you’ll find yourself rooting for Kate and Alex. Plus, part of the TUL team will watch absolutely anything starring Sandra Bullock.
14. About Time (2013)
Can you tell that we think Rachel McAdams makes some of the best fantasy romance movies? We are also huge fans of popular and iconic British romance films.
In About Time, McAdams stars alongside Domhnall Gleeson, whose character, Tim, learns the men in his family can travel through time. When he meets Mary (played by McAdams), he uses his gift to time travel until he gets everything with her exactly right. They eventually fall in love and marry.
As regular life progresses, however, Tim will be forced to deal with his own limitations; he cannot shield himself or those he loves from everything they will face.
15. 13 Going on 30 (2004)
Geeky middle schooler Jenna is frustrated by being an outcast and wishes to be “thirty, flirty, and thriving.” Miraculously, she wakes up to discover her wish has come true.
But thirty-year-old Jenna looks a lot different; it turns out that Jenna has lied and cheated her way to success. To make matters worse, she hunts down Matty – her former friend and next-door neighbor who always had a crush on her – only to discover she ditched him for popularity.
Can adult Jenna make up for all her wrongdoings? And, what happens when she starts to fall for Matty in the process?
We adore the positive message and happy ending. 13 Going on 30 is one of those junk food movies for anyone who grew up in the 90s. Jennifer Garner is also one of our favorite Hollywood sweethearts.
16. Tuck Everlasting (2002)
Based on the book by Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting follows fifteen-year-old Winnie and a boy she meets in the forest named Jesse Tuck.
Winnie, who comes from an upper-class, controlling family, does not want to be shipped off to boarding school, so she runs away to the forest where she finds Jesse drinking water from a spring. The magical spring, we learn, has kept the Tuck family immortal and never aging. They kidnap Winnie to keep their secret.
As most fantasy romance movies would have it, Jesse and Winnie naturally fall for one another. But immortality isn’t as grand as it seems. Winnie must decide if she wants to stay with the Tucks or return to her life.
We couldn’t stop watching Gilmore Girls with all of that free time in 2020. We’ll watch Alexis Bledel in just about anything. Catch even more of the best books to movies across decades.
17. Palm Springs (2020)
Palm Springs is one of our favorite films about weddings that will make you laugh. It’s also a great palate cleanser after a more intense movie or to get you out of a movie-watching slump. Thanks to indie author Jennifer Ann Shore for putting it on our radar.
The story follows Nyles and Sarah, who meet at Sarah’s sister’s wedding and leave together, only to end up stuck in a time loop. It turns out, however, that Nyles had already been in this loop for some time, and has inadvertently gotten Sarah stuck with him and an assailant who’s been after him.
After repeating the same day over and over again, Sarah and Nyles fall in love, and Sarah vows to find a way to break the loop. But, it will come at a great cost.
18. Ella Enchanted (2004)
Anne Hathaway delights as Ella, a princess who was given the “gift” of obedience by a fairy godmother. Ella’s stepmother and step-sisters use it against her; they embarrass her after becoming jealous that Ella was invited to the coronation ball by a handsome prince. Humiliated, Ella embarks on a hunt for her fairy godmother to undo the curse.
Ella is eventually joined by the prince, and the two begin to fall in love. But when Ella is ordered to murder him, a more sinister plot emerges. Ella must find a way to save the prince she loves, as well as herself.
If you’re looking for more family-friendly fantasy romance movies, we adore the new live-action version of The Little Mermaid. In fact, some of our team watched it twice!
Similar to the classic Disney fairy tale, Ariel, a mermaid, becomes infatuated with the human prince Eric. She gives up her voice to the evil sea witch, Ursula, in order to become human. Ursula gives Ariel an ultimatum: if she can’t get Eric to fall for her and obtain true love’s kiss, she belongs to the sea witch forever.
We all know how the story ends, but very much enjoyed Halle Bailey’s performance and musical renditions of childhood favorite songs. Of course, you might also enjoy the fully animated fantasy movie version too.
20. The Lord of the Rings (2001)
We couldn’t finish our list without the epic fantasy trilogy with an ensemble cast, including Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, and others.
Set in fictional Middle Earth, a hobbit and his fellowship embark on an epic quest to destroy a ring, and thus its evil maker.
The frame love story of Aragorn, one of the fellows, and Arwen, an elf who gives up her immortality for Aragorn, makes the film not just one of cinema’s greatest classics, but one of best fantasy romance movies of all time.
Where To Head Next
We’d love to know your favorite romance fantasy movies in the comments. For more fantasy and romance-themed movies, head here:
- Fantasy Movies Across Japan
- Romance Movies We Love Set In Italy
- Romance Plus Crime On The Big Screen
Tori (pronouns: she/her) is a mom to two boys, living in New York but adventuring everywhere, usually with a toddler on her back. She's an avid traveler, nature junkie, and writer, encouraging families to get outside and start exploring the world. When she's not hiking or traveling, you can find her lost in a book, watching Bravo reruns, or obsessively decluttering her home. Tori owns the family and adventure blog, Explore with Tori.