Everyone knows that the best part of a romance film is the final big gesture: the ultimate declaration of love. Even when the drama simmers and things seem like they’re about to fall apart, the couple perseveres because in love movies, love usually emerges victorious. Depending on the film, “I love you” scenes may appear at any point. In true rom-com fashion, the explanation usually comes at the end, after the characters get over a tiny argument that could easily have been resolved with a simple conversation. However, in darker films, which aren’t always wrapped in a pretty loop, the explanation comes after hardships or after some time.
A movie’s release date and the time period in which it was shot also plays a big role when placing these scenes. For example, a 90’s romantic comedy has a very different structure than something filmed in the late 2010’s. Movies from the ’80s and ’90s didn’t have to say as much about a relationship to qualify as one. Today’s novels seem to owe the viewer more of an explanation as to why the two need to get together. Here are the best “I Love You” scenes in movie history, ranked.
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7 Crazy rich Asians
Crazy rich Asians follows the love story of Rachel Chu, played by Constance Wu, and her boyfriend, Nick Young, played by Henry Golding. The two travel back to Singapore for Nick’s friends’ wedding, where Rachel learns her boyfriend comes from an immense fortune. Rachel must now adjust to a life she was unfamiliar with while also dealing with Nick’s mother, played by Michelle Yeoh, who disapproves of their relationship. Nick’s mother judges Rachel throughout the film and in the scene where the two are playing mahjong, Rachel allows his mother to win. Vulture comments that the action reflects real-life circumstances with Rachel turning down Nick’s proposal to keep him in touch with his family. However, as Rachel prepares to return to New York, Nick follows her onto the plane and confesses his love to her and proposes to her again.
6 silver linings Playbook
David O. Russells silver linings Playbook sparked a three-year streak of films starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. The film follows the book of the same name pretty closely, but rather than just focusing on Pat, played by Bradley Cooper, and his journey to improving his mental health, Russell uses the character of Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence, to his advantage. Pat and Tiffany both struggle to find their place in the world after some of their individual life events have crushed them. To get Pat to be her dance partner, Tiffany announces that she will deliver letters to his ex-wife, Nikki. Eventually, Pat realizes that it is Tiffany who is actually texting him back, but keeps her betrayal to herself and realizes that he does in fact have feelings for Tiffany. silver linings Playbook ends with Pat proclaiming his love for her after chasing her down the street. The two kiss in the middle of the street, creating one of the most beautiful cinematic shots of Philadelphia since Rocky.
5 Breakfast at Tiffany’s
No romance list is complete without the addition of Blake Edward’s 1961 classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The film is critically acclaimed and offers one of Audrey Hepburn’s most notable performances. Holly Golightly, played by Hepburn, is a young woman who lives in the city and works as an escort. She lives a humble life and avoids attachments at all costs. She even owns a cat, which she names “Cat” to create a boundary. Her hope is to find a wealthy older man to marry through her escort. She meets Paul, played by George Peppard, an aspiring writer, and the two form a friendship. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that Paul is falling in love with Holly, but she is reluctant to reciprocate, saying, “People don’t belong with people.” After Paul lost “Cat” in the rain, he helps Holly find him, and the two profess their undying love for one another.
4 10 things I hate about you
Of all the notable romantic comedies to come out of the ’90s, 10 things I hate about you tops almost everyone’s list, especially when it comes to Heath Ledger movies. The teen comedy is based on that of William Shakespeare Taming of the Shrew and follows the plot fairly closely to that of the play. While it’s clear that Ledger’s character Patrick and Julia Stiles’ character Kat will end up together, it’s still so satisfying to see Patrick proclaim his love for Kat via song in front of the entire girls’ soccer team. With the help of the high school band, Patrick Kat serenades Frankie Valli’s “I Love You Baby” and earns a place on the list of the greatest declarations of love in film history.
3 pride and prejudice
UVA Today claims there have been 17 film adaptations of Jane Austen’s classic novel pride and prejudice, from the late 1930s. Of all these adaptations and modern retellings, however, one of the most watched is the 2005 release, starring Keira Knightley as Elizabeth and Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy. The conflict between the two runs throughout the film, and Darcy’s over-the-top insistence only pushes Elizabeth further away. It is only when Mr. Darcy helps Elizabeth’s sister Lydia and secures their marriage that Elizabeth softens her resolve. But before the two have their happy ending, Darcy confesses his love to Elizabeth, only to be rejected by her at first.
2 dear simon
dear simon is the heartwarming coming-of-age story about a little boy named Simon, played by Nick Robinson. Not yet out with his friends and family, Simon is struggling to confirm the identity of a classmate he’s communicated with online. Simon’s online pen pal goes by the name “Blue” and he’s determined to discover his true identity. However, when Simon’s big secret is threatened, he must come to terms with his struggle and come out to his family. Simon tells everyone he’s fallen in love with online that he’ll be waiting at the fair’s ferris wheel for Blue to reveal himself. Simon waits in front of the school and finally Blue, who is actually Bram, shows up. The two share a moment before kissing at the top of the ferris wheel and making love dear simon one of the best modern romance movies for LGBT+.
1 The notebook
When it comes to romance movies The notebook is not considered on any list. Noah, played by Ryan Gosling, is a poor country boy who meets Allie, played by Rachel McAdams, while on vacation. Allie comes from a wealthy background and her parents disapprove of her relationship with Noah. After the two split up, Noah writes letters to Allie, which her mother withholds from her. After seeing a picture of Noah in the newspaper, Allie leaves her fiancé for a quick visit to Seabrook to check on Noah and find some closure. Instead, however, she finds that the two are still very much in love, and after a romantic boat trip ends with them getting caught in the rain, the two confess they still love each other after all these years.