29 Ultimate Romantic Films Adapted From Books

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There has always been a debate over films that are based on books, mainly because people believe that they don’t do the books justice. Well, it’s true that books have much more detail and drama, but it’s another thing to read about romance and watch it on screen (we’re not talking about erotica, dirty minds!). Example: If we had to choose between a book and Ryan Gosling, most of the ladies I know would vote for the latter, hands down.

Check out our list of romantic films that are based on novels.

29. Dear John (2010)

South Carolina US Army Special operations soldier John is on summer leave from his German base, visiting his widowed father. Being gallant on the pier, he befriends college student Savannah, a college student, and her buddies, a terminal father and his angelic son. John falls in love with Savannah, who diagnoses his beloved, gentle but weird father as mildly autistic. He plans not to sign up again, but 9/11 changes that, and she won't wait idly while their friends desperately need help.

IMDb: 6.3

28. Love in the Time of Cholera (2007)

In Colombia just after the Great War, an old man falls from a ladder; dying, he professes great love for his wife. After the funeral, a man calls on the widow - she dismisses him angrily. Flash back more than 50 years to the day Florentino Ariza, a telegraph boy, falls in love with Fermina Daza, the daughter of a mule trader. Ariza is persistent, writing her constantly, serenading, speaking poetically of love. Her father tries to keep them apart, and then, one day, she sees this love as an illusion. She's soon married to Urbino, a cultured physician, and for years, Ariza carries a torch, finding solace in the arms of women, loving none. After Urbino's fall, are Ariza's hopes delusional?

IMDb: 6.4

27. Hunting and Gathering (2007)

When Camille (Audrey Tautou) falls ill, she is forced to live with Philibert and Franck (Guillaume Canet). A moving trio story.

IMDb: 6.8

26. Water for Elephants (2011)

After his parents' death, Jacob Jankowski is left penniless and homeless. Events lead him to joining the circus as their vet, working under their unstable boss August whose violent tendencies give everyone reason to be cautious around him, including his beautiful and quiet wife Marlena, whom August is very possessive of and who Jacob finds himself soon falling in love with.

IMDb: 7.0

25. Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)

This film, adapted from a work of fiction by author Tracy Chevalier, tells a story about the events surrounding the creation of the painting "Girl With a Pearl Earring" by 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. Little is known about the girl in the painting, it is speculated that she was a maid who lived in the house of the painter along with his family and other servants, though there is no historical evidence. 

IMDb: 7.0

24. What Dreams May Come (1998)

Chris Neilson dies to find himself in a heaven more amazing than he could have ever dreamed of. There is one thing missing: his wife. After he dies, his wife, Annie killed herself and went to hell. Chris decides to risk eternity in hades for the small chance that he will be able to bring her back to heaven.

IMDb: 7.0

23. One Day (2011)

Emma and Dexter meet on the night of their university graduation. We see them every year on the anniversary of that date - July 15th. Emma is smart but success doesn't come quickly for her, whereas for Dexter, success and women come very easily. Through the years they grow apart as their lives take different directions and they meet other people. But as they grow apart from those other people and their lives start taking opposite directions again, Emma and Dexter find that they belong with each other.

IMDb: 7.0

22. P.S. I Love You (2007)

Holly Kennedy is beautiful, smart and married to the love of her life - a passionate, funny, and impetuous Irishman named Gerry. So when Gerry's life is taken by an illness, it takes the life out of Holly. The only one who can help her is the person who is no longer there. Nobody knows Holly better than Gerry. So it's a good thing he planned ahead. Before he died, Gerry wrote Holly a series of letters that will guide her, not only through her grief, but in rediscovering herself.

IMDb: 7.1

21. The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

When Henry DeTamble meets Clare Abshire in a Chicago library they both understand that he is a time traveler, but she knows much more about him as he has not yet been to the times and places where they have already met. He falls in love with her, as she has already with him, but his continuing unavoidable absences while time traveling - and then returning with increasing knowledge of their future - makes things ever more difficult for Clare

IMDb: 7.1

20. Never Let Me Go (2010)

As children, Ruth, Kathy and Tommy spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. As they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them.

IMDb: 7.2

19. Candy (2003)

A poet falls in love with an art student who gravitates to his bohemian lifestyle -- and his love of heroin. Hooked as much on one another as they are on the drug, their relationship alternates between states of oblivion, self-destruction, and despair.

IMDb: 7.3

18. Chocolat (2010)

When a single mother and her six-year-old daughter move to rural France and open a chocolate shop - with Sunday hours - across the street from the local church, they are met with some skepticism. But as soon as they coax the townspeople into enjoying their delicious products, they are warmly welcomed. 

IMDb: 7.3

17. Jane Eyre (2011)

After a bleak childhood, Jane Eyre goes out into the world to become a governess. As she lives happily in her new position at Thornfield Hall, she meets the dark, cold, and abrupt master of the house, Mr. Rochester. Jane and her employer grow close in friendship and she soon finds herself falling in love with him. Happiness seems to have found Jane at last, but could Mr. Rochester's terrible secret be about to destroy it forever?

IMDb: 7.4

16. A Walk to Remember (2002)

The story of two North Carolina teens, Landon Carter and Jamie Sullivan, who are thrown together after Landon gets into trouble and is made to do community service.

IMDb: 7.4

15. The English Patient (1996)

Beginning in the 1930's, "The English Patient" tells the story of Count Almásy who is a Hungarian map maker employed by the Royal Geographical Society to chart the vast expanses of the Sahara Desert along with several other prominent explorers. As World War II unfolds, Almásy enters into a world of love, betrayal, and politics that is later revealed in a series of flashbacks while Almásy is on his death bed after being horribly burned in a plane crash.

IMDb: 7.4

14. The Painted Veil (2006)

A British medical doctor fights a cholera epidemic in a small Chinese village, while being trapped at home in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful wife.

IMDb: 7.5

13. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his drinking, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.

IMDb: 7.6

12. The Reader (2008)

In 1995, a German man reminisces about a relationship he had, as a teenager, in 1958 with an older woman. He also remembers what happened subsequent to that, including her standing trial for war crimes committed during World War 2, and the secret which denied her justice.

IMDb: 7.6

11. A Very Long Engagement (2004)

Tells the story of a young woman's relentless search for her fiancé, who has disappeared from the trenches of the Somme during World War One.

IMDb: 7.8

10. Atonement (2007)

Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a thirteen-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.

IMDb: 7.8

9. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

IMDb: 7.8

8. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

Struggling writer Paul Varjak moves into a New York apartment building and becomes intrigued by his pretty, quirky neighbor Holly Golightly. Holly's lifestyle confuses and fascinates Paul; in public she flits through parties with a sexy, sophisticated air, but when they're alone she changes into a sweetly vulnerable bundle of neuroses.

IMDb: 7.8

7. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

IMDb: 7.9

6. Doctor Zhivago (1965)

The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during the First World War and then the October Revolution.

IMDb: 8.0

5. The Notebook (2004)

A poor yet passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom, but they are soon separated because of their social differences.

IMDb: 8.0

4. The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Hazel and Augustus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they meet and fall in love at a cancer support group.

IMDb: 8.1

3. My Sassy Girl (2001)

Based on a series of true stories posted by Ho-sik Kim on the Internet describing his relationship with his girlfriend. These were later transformed into a best-selling book and the movie follows the book closely. It describes the meeting of Kyun-woo (Cha) and an unnamed girl. Kyun-woo is shamed into assisting the girl because the other passengers mistakenly think she is his girlfriend. Once he helps her, Kyun-woo develops a deep sense of responsibility for her which enables him to tolerate (somehow) the girl's abuses.

IMDb: 8.2

2. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Scarlett is a woman who can deal with a nation at war, Atlanta burning, the Union Army carrying off everything from her beloved Tara, the carpetbaggers who arrive after the war. Scarlett is beautiful. She has vitality. But Ashley, the man she has wanted for so long, is going to marry his placid cousin, Melanie. Mammy warns Scarlett to behave herself at the party at Twelve Oaks. There is a new man there that day, the day the Civil War begins. Rhett Butler. Scarlett does not know he is in the room when she pleads with Ashley to choose her instead of Melanie.

IMDb: 8.2

1. Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump is a simple man with a low I.Q. but good intentions. He is running through childhood with his best and only friend Jenny. His 'mama' teaches him the ways of life and leaves him to choose his destiny. Forrest joins the army for service in Vietnam, finding new friends called Dan and Bubba, he wins medals, creates a famous shrimp fishing fleet, inspires people to jog, starts a ping-pong craze, creates the smiley, writes bumper stickers and songs, donates to people and meets the president several times. However, this is all irrelevant to Forrest who can only think of his childhood sweetheart Jenny Curran, who has messed up her life. Although in the end all he wants to prove is that anyone can love anyone.

IMDb: 8.8

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