There’s nothing like perfectly romantic kisses in movies to make you smile, cry, or post a Facebook rant about how you wish men were more like Ryan Gosling. We’re sure Eva Mendes is aware of how lucky she is.
Seriously though, it’s just not fair to compare a movie kiss to real life.
Movies utilize a controlled environment to create those epic, romantic kisses. Life, on the other hand, tends to be more spontaneous.
Music, mood lighting, and the build-up of anticipation are some of the tools that filmmakers use for those moments. Sure, you can try and set up a romantic moment for a kiss as best you can, but where’s the fun in that?
Even if they are fictional characters though, there’s no denying the power of romance on film. No matter how jaded we get about life, we all want love and romance. Films have the ability to amplify this.
International Kissing Day falls on July 6, making it the perfect day to watch a film that features your favorite romantic Hollywood kiss.
These are the 20 best movie kissing scenes with the most romantic kisses ever.
What’s your favorite?
1. The Notebook (2004)
Rain? Check. Reunited lovers? Check. Ryan Gosling? Check! “The Notebook” came out in 2004 and remains one of the most romantic movies of all time. So naturally, it’s got to have an epic, romantic kiss.
It’s a love story, so there’s already lots of kissing going on, but it’s the kiss when Noah and Allie are reunited that is the ultimate dose of romance. Allie and Noah finally talk about what happened seven years ago, and Noah, declaring that “it still isn’t over” takes Allie in his arms and the kissing begins.
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams even reenacted this famous kiss while winning ‘Best Kiss’ at the MTV Movie Awards in 2005. It won an award. Need we say more?
2. Titanic (1997)
You’re on a ship. It’s about to sink in the freezing Atlantic ocean, but you do get an incredibly romantic kiss with Jack Dawson. That is the situation for Rose DeWitt Bukater, the first-class passenger who falls for the poor but charming and gorgeous Jack Dawson.
They are in two completely different economic circles and Rose is engaged to another man, but this doesn’t stop the two star-crossed lovers from falling for one another. Their first kiss is the most romantic one though. Rose goes to Jack, who is standing at the front of the ship. Did I mention this was at sunset? “Titanic” director James Cameron knew he was serving up some serious romance here. The two stand on top of the railing looking out over the water, and eventually, the emotion overcomes them and they begin to kiss.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson set the standard for the ultimate 90’s movie heartthrob. Oh, if only the both of them fit on that door at the end…
3. Never Been Kissed (1999)
The idea of getting to re-do high school can either feel like a dream come true or a complete nightmare. Josie, who is a 25-year-old copywriter for the Chicago Sun-Times, gets that opportunity when she’s given an undercover reporting assignment to find out what high school kids today — or in this case 1999 — are really like.
She’s excited for the chance to become a real reporter until she remembers what her own high school experience was actually like. Even as an adult, she still has trouble fitting in with the cool kids until she gets a little help from her brother, who decides he’s going to pretend to be in high school as well.
The only person Josie genuinely connects with throughout the whole experience is one of her teachers, the handsome Mr. Coulson. At the prom, the truth about Josie is revealed, and Mr. Coulson is upset that she had lied to him. Josie publishes her article, and in it, she also expresses her feelings about Mr. Coulson and apologizes to him. She goes on to ask him to meet her on the pitcher’s mound before the start of the school’s championship baseball game to give Josie her first real kiss.
The tension mounts and we assume that he has stood her up, but that’s when you hear the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby” start to play as Mr. Coulson runs out to her on the field and they kiss. Sure beats the kiss cam!
4. Spiderman (2002)
What is it about the rain that makes an upside-down kiss so romantic? Well, add a mysterious superhero and you can be sure it’s going to be one of the most romantic kisses on film.
The 2002 “Spiderman” film stars Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spiderman and Kirsten Dunst as his childhood crush and love interest, Mary Jane Watson.
Mary Jane, like most superhero love interests, does not know that the now-famous Spiderman is actually her shy high school classmate and neighbor Peter Parker. A few years later, both of them are living in the busy streets of New York City. Spiderman saves Mary Jane from being attacked by a couple of creeps, and afterward, she says she wants to thank him. Because he’s Spiderman though, of course he has to appear hanging upside down. Mary Jane then proceeds to kiss him while he’s still hanging there upside down.
That’s a heck of a thank you! This kiss also gets bonus points for creativity.
5. The Princess Diaries (2001)
For the whole movie, we were practically waiting for this kiss to happen for Mia, the San Francisco teenager who discovers that she is the princess of Genovia. She had been going on about finally having a “foot-poppin” kiss like the ones that she would see in the old Hollywood movies.
Although she had her eye on the popular boyband member lookalike Josh, she discovered that he was just using her to become famous. Michael, her best friend’s brother, had always liked Mia, even before anyone knew she was royalty. At the ball, she takes Michael into a garden out back to tell him that he “saw her when she was invisible.” When she continues to talk more, Michael starts kissing her. Mia’s foot pops and conveniently turns on the garden lights and fountain to make it all the more swoon-worthy.
Mia and Michael may not still be together in the sequel, but she does end up with Chris Pine, so we’re pretty sure Mia’s doing just fine with those foot-poppin’ kisses.
6. Love Actually (2003)
You can be sure that a movie that has the word ‘love’ in the title is going to have that one amazing scene that becomes a part of pop culture. Prior to the kiss in this particular scene, Mark finally tells the love of his life, Juliet, how he feels. Unfortunately, she is already married. The way he tells her though is what romantic dreams are made of.
It’s the Christmas season, and Juliet and her husband are watching television when there’s a knock at the door. Juliet answers the door and Mark, who is holding a bunch of signs, proceeds to tell her everything via poster. It’s creative and romantic. Although they can’t end up together, Juliet does run after Mark and kisses him on the street.
The poster scene is so iconic it was even parodied on “Saturday Night Live” several times.
7. The Princess Bride (1987)
When you have a narrator describing in the moment how incredible this kiss is, it’s obviously going to be super romantic. This is the case for the final kiss in the 1987 film “The Princess Bride” between Westley and Buttercup.
The two lovers are finally together, and it’s the ultimate happy ending. After previously thinking her true love Westley was dead, Buttercup was chosen to be the bride of the evil Prince Humperdinck. After being captured by pirates, Buttercup is saved by none other than her beloved Westley. She is thrilled to know that he is alive but she is still betrothed to Humperdinck.
After fighting off their enemies — including a notorious game of wits — the two are finally free to be together at last.
8. Sixteen Candles (1984)
What could be more romantic than a kiss from the hottest guy in school for your sixteenth birthday?
In the film “Sixteen Candles,” 80’s teen star Molly Ringwald plays a frustrated teenager named Samantha dealing with unrequited love. Her object of affection is Jake Ryan, the hottest and most popular boy in school — and also a senior with a gorgeous girlfriend. Jake, who accidentally discovers Sam’s feelings, tries to reach out to her.
In addition to fending off the unwanted attention of a freshman nerd, Sam is also dealing with the fact that in the wake of her sister’s upcoming wedding, her family has forgotten her sixteenth birthday. Jake and Sam finally connect when he appears outside the church after her sister’s wedding. Every girl’s high school dream right? Well, her family may have forgotten but Jake has her over to celebrate her birthday. They are sitting across from one another with a candle-lit birthday cake between them. Jake tells her to make a wish and Sam replies that it already came true.
They lean in and finally, Samantha gets her birthday kiss with her dream guy. Now that’s a good birthday.
9. He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)
One of our leading ladies in this celebrity-filled romantic comedy is the character of Gigi, and boy can us single gals relate to her. She’s sweet and cute but just having the absolute worst luck when it comes to dating. She befriends Alex, whom she meets at a bar. Alex, learning of Gigi’s less-than-stellar dating record, proceeds to give her some advice from a guy’s perspective.
Eventually, though, Gigi begins to notice some behavior that leads her to think that Alex is actually into her. She makes a move and when Alex pushes her away, she tells him why she thought he liked her. The two argue and Gigi leaves his apartment. At the end of the movie though, Gigi answers her apartment door to discover Alex standing there. He’s come to tell her that she was right and he truly does have feelings for her.
They kiss and then he says the epic line “you are my exception” before kissing her again. There’s hope for us all!
10. West Side Story (1961)
“West Side Story” might be known for its finger-snapping, great music, and famous dance scenes, but at its heart, it is also a love story.
The two young lovers are Tony and Maria — or basically the 1950’s New York version of Romeo and Juliet. It’s when the two of them first meet though that they share their most romantic kiss. Imagine seeing someone across the room and it’s as if the entire world goes away and it’s just the two of you. That is what happens when Tony and Maria see each other at the dance at the gym where the rival gangs known as the Jets and the Sharks are also in attendance. They walk up to each other and begin to dance.
As they stop, they talk for a moment and then slowly lean in to kiss. Unfortunately, just moments after their kiss, Maria’s brother Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks, ends up pushing Tony away and forces Maria to leave the dance.
Thanks, big bro…
11. Gone With The Wind (1939)
“Gone With The Wind” is a civil war drama that was released in the late 1930s. It follows the love life of Scarlette O’Hara played by Vivien Leigh. After playing the plantation times version of playing hard to get she eventually ends up marrying Rhett Butler played by Clark Gable. The character is credited to many iconic lines like: “You should be kissed often, and by someone who knows how.”
And of course! After Scarlette is all for Rhett he must leave to join the Army, but at least he leaves her with the best gosh darn kiss I have ever seen.
I mean yeah, she slaps him after, but the rest of the movie Scarlette dreams and longs for his kiss. Sighs.
12. Pretty Woman (1990)
Ah, yes I to want a knight to ride in on a white steed and take me away from all the horrible things in the world.
Pretty Woman was the 1990 version of a modern retelling of a Cinderella story. Julia Roberts plays a young prostitute Vivian Ward who gives Richard Gere (Edward Lewis) the spontaneity and adventure he needed in his uptight business only life.
The kiss at the end of the film where Edward literally rides in on a white limousine, faces his fear of highs by climbing the fire escape to Vivian with a dozen roses, and professes how he can’t live without her is just straight out of a fairytale.
And the dialogue is so female-empowering because no, not only does the man rescue the woman, but the woman rescues the man right back. A team is what this ending kiss represents, working as a team together.
13. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
The fact that it’s New Year’s Eve and they don’t kiss at midnight is just so unique and fresh and new and romantic in its own way.
We all expect the kiss at midnight, but instead, Harry Burns played by Billy Crystal lists all the tiny details he loves about Sally Albright played by Meg Ryan.
That’s right, he literally starts the year off with a declaration of love. It’s adorable and is the perfect ending to the film. The movie spawned the hate-love relationship.
14. Romeo + Juliet (1996)
What would this list be if it didn’t have at least one Shakespeare play in it?
In this modern rendition of Romeo and Juliet, they use direct source material for dialogue. Yhe first kiss in this 1996 film is pretty romantic. Yeah, it’s to avoid the parents, but young love is full of mischief.
Breaking down the scene though: the music is intense, the perfectly timed elevator doors are timeless, the twirl into the elevator is an adorable meet-cute, and the intensity of the kiss itself is like they were trying to breathe each other’s air. UGH!
15. Ghost (1990)
Having the love of your life ripped away from you is devastating. And that’s exactly what happens to Demi Moore’s character Molly Jensen in The 1990 film “Ghost.”
Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) is murdered by his friend, leaving his loving and grieving girlfriend behind. In her grief, Sam intends to protect the love of his life from the man who murdered him.
The film gives us the iconic pottery scene where Molly has an intimate moment with Sam. The paranormal kiss shows that love can do impossible things. The ending of the movie is so heartbreaking and lovely. It’s the last kiss.
16. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
The reunited kiss scene in Brokeback Mountain is one of pure love and longing. And was the movie that really broke boundaries in Hollywood putting inclusion at the forefront of many people’s minds in the industry.
Loving someone you weren’t supposed to or allowed to back in the times where the LGBTQ+ movement wasn’t really a thing and many people had set ways of thinking was heart-achingly painful.
The film is often described as love in the face of violence. This is so true, Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) had to hide their love for each other but could only express their love in limited ways and always had to hide it.
17. Lady and The Tramp (1955)
This scene has set the standard for candlelight dinners since the 1950s. The Italian food, the music, eating under the stars, the funny waiters. How can it get any more romantic? Oh, yeah, the iconic spaghetti kiss many movies have tried to reenact and have failed.
The spaghetti smooch is all kinds of adorable and sweet and romantic. No one can do it quite as Lady (Barbara Luddy) and Tramp (Larry Roberts) do in this classic Disney movie. ‘Nuff said
18. Moonlight (2017)
Adjectives that describe this kiss between Kevin and Chiron, played by Jharrel Jerome and Ashton Sanders, respectively are nerve-wracking, uncertain, raw, emotional.
These are all the feelings that come along with a first kiss/sexual experience that no one really talks about enough. Therefore, this kiss has made the list due to its realistic portrayal.
It also has an award to back it. It won MTV’s Movie and TV Award for Best Kiss in 2017.
19. Twilight (2008)
No haters allowed. Okay, so the scene can be a bit cringy, yeah I get that. But when you sit there and truly think about it, you can understand just how romantic this kiss is.
Edward, played by Robert Pattinson, is risking everything just to give Bella (played by Kirstin Stewart) the sense of love and affection we all get to have; we all have a right to have. Edward has to be so in control of his own actions and feelings to not let their love for each other distract him making him hurt her.
He himself wants to experience the humane nature love has on all of us that he literally is taking a risk just to kiss her. Could you imagine having a love that is so powerful that it could literally take over someone’s instincts?
So powerful. So devoted. So in love. I just… Ugh!
20. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Okay, so the kiss is literally whatever, but leading up to the kiss between Colin Khoo (Chris Pang) and Araminta Lee (Sonoya Mizuno) you see the most intimate moment between the main characters Nick Young (Henry Golding) and Rachel Chu (Constance Wu).
The intensity is almost as if they were kissing each other and pouring all of their love out through their eyes, the windows to the soul. This scene is just so spiritual and loving it had to make it on the list. Also, it’s literally the best wedding scene I have seen come across the big screen in quite some time.
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer and Michigan native. When she’s not writing, Jill enjoys Zumba class, travel, and referencing classic Seinfeld episodes.