Breathless romance, charming princes and princesses, magic, beauty, star-crossed love, curses uttered and curses broken, but in the end, happily ever after…even “grown-up” ladies and lords love a good fairy tale, especially on Valentine’s Day. On this beautiful moonlit night, invite your favorite royal over for chocolate, wine, and some cuddling under the blankets. Grab a box of tissue (or two), then sit back and put on your tiaras…and possibly engagement rings!
Somewhere in Time (1980): I cheated on this one, because while there may not be true “royalty” here, this has to be the number one most romantic movie of all time. Watching the late Christopher Reeve and an ethereal Jane Seymour star as lovers crossed in time never fails in providing all of the feels. They don’t make too many films like this anymore.
Ladyhawke (1985): Cursed lovers “always together, always apart” – by day she is a hawk, by night he is a wolf – to end the evil placed on them, they will need the help of a street thief named Mouse, and a daring scheme to thwart the evil bishop who holds their fate in his grip.
Labyrinth (1986): A young girl enters a fantasy kingdom straight out of her imagination to rescue her brother from the seductively dangerous Goblin King.
The Princess Bride (1987) : The Dread Pirate Roberts, Beautiful Buttercup, Inigo Montoya… swashbuckling, daring adventure, Rodents of Unusual Size – this is probably one of the most iconic romances of all time. As you wish.
Ever After (1998): Drew Barrymore stars as intelligent and imaginative Danielle in this effervescent re-telling of Cinderella. Who can forget Leonardo Da Vinci as the “fairy godmother?” This will make you laugh and cry. Just breathe….
Shakespeare in Love (1998): Who can forget poor broody Shakespeare, down on his luck, until he meets Viola. Betrothed to another man, and forbidden to act “on the boards” Viola disguises herself as a boy. This is a dreamy, tearful romance of how Romeo and Juliet became Romeo and Juliet. Joseph Fiennes smolders as Shakespeare and Gwyneth Paltrow is luminous. Watch for the movie stealing royalty at the end.
Kate and Leopold (2001): Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman star in this romantic comedy about a 19th century lord who finds himself in modern-day New York. Setting out to prove that chivalry is not dead in 20th century New York is no mean feat, but we all know Hugh Jackman can pull it off.
Knight’s Tale (2001): The late Heath Ledger will rock you in an amazing performance as a lowly commoner trying to improve his status to win the hand of his lady fair. The modern soundtrack shouldn’t have worked but it does, as does the rest of this heartwarming movie. If you love Heath Ledger as a romantic lead, don’t miss his Casanova (2005).
Just Visiting (2001): A knight and his squire are cursed by a witch and find themselves transported from the 12th century to the 21st century. While hunting down a wizard who can reverse the curse, Thibault (Jean Reno) meets the reincarnation of his lost love Rosalind in the form Julia (Christina Applegate). Christian Clavier is scene stealing as the rather dense squire.
The Prince and Me (2004): A free-spirited pre-med student falls in love with a classmate, not knowing that he is in fact a Danish prince.
Stardust (2007): In a small country town bordered by a magical wall, a young man makes a promise to his fiancée to bring her a falling star. Little did Charlie suspect that the lovely star would be so beautiful? Swashbuckling air pirates, a few dead and still feuding brothers, and Michelle Pfeiffer as the witch who wants the star for nefarious purposes.
Enchanted (2007): An animated princess is cursed and sent into 21st century New York. What ensues is touching hilarity, a poke at all of the princess movies ever. There’s so much to love here – Patrick Dempsey as the New York prince, Amy Adams glowing as the animated princess come to life, the glorious flash mob in Central Park.
Mirror Mirror (2012): For something completely different, this fractured version of Snow White will have you in stitches. Lily Collins stars as a spunky Snow White and Armie Hammer as her goofball of a prince, but every scene is stolen by Julia Roberts as a lovelorn Evil Queen.
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012): This was the year of Snow White, in this film played by an intense Kristen Stewart. Her role is overshadowed by the too handsome Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman and a tremendous performance by Charlize Theron as the Evil (I mean really evil) Queen.
Into the Woods (2014): Stephen Sondheim and Disney brought this twist on fairy tales to the big screen in 2014 with a stellar cast, including Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt, and Meryl Streep, who tears it up as the Witch. As the Witch says, wishes are easy, not free. (Personally, I could stare at Chris Pine singing Agony for hours on end, but that’s just me).
Maleficent (2014): Rethink everything you know about Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent was a fairy in love, and a fairy betrayed. To extract revenge she casts a spell on the King’s daughter…who ends up living in a cottage in Maleficent’s forest. More than a traditional love story, this is the perfect mother/daughter movie.
Disney’s Live Action Cinderella (2015): Kenneth Branagh brings the animated Disney movie to beautiful life, with Lily James and Cate Blanchet as Ella and her stepmother. When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her scheming step-sisters. Never one to give up hope, Ella’s fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.