Romantic Gems: 15 Movies That Deliver Heartwarming Moments Without the Cringe Factor

Looking for the perfect movie to watch on date night but want to avoid anything too sappy or cheesy? Look no further! We've compiled a list of movies that are sure to set the mood without making you cringe. From classic romances to modern love stories, these films strike the perfect balance between sweet and enjoyable, making them the perfect addition to your next date night in.

So grab some popcorn, snuggle up, and enjoy these movies that are perfect for a romantic evening without the cheese.

1 – Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

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Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Directed by Nicholas Stoller and stars Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, and Mila Kunis, Forgetting Sarah Mashall follows the story of Peter Bretter (Segel), a musician who is devastated when his girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Bell), a famous TV actress, breaks up with him. In an attempt to get over her, he travels to Hawaii, but soon discovers that Sarah is also on vacation there with her new boyfriend, a British rockstar named Aldous Snow (Russell Brand).

Throughout the film, Peter tries to navigate his feelings for Sarah while also developing a new relationship with Rachel (Kunis), a hotel receptionist who helps him deal with his breakup. The movie is known for its quirky humor, memorable characters, and heartwarming moments. It explores themes of love, loss, and the struggle to move on after a difficult breakup.

2 – Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

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Image Credit: The Weinstein Company.

Silver Linings Playbook is a great romantic drama that stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Christ Tucker, Julia Stiles, Anupam Kher, and John Ortiz.

Patrizio “Pat” Solitano Jr. (Bradley) is a man with bipolar disorder who moves back in with his parents (De Niro and Weaver) after being released from a psychiatric hospital. While determined to win his estranged wife back, he meets an eccentric young widow Tiffany Maxwell (Lawrence). She offers to help him win his wife back if he enters a dance competition important to her.

3 – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

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Image Credit: Focus Features.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a romantic science fiction drama that tells the story of two estranged lovers erasing each other from their memories. Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) erases Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) from her mind with the New York City firm Lacuna.

After discovering what she's done, Joel arranges the same procedure. However, partway through, he decides he can't let her go and tries to hide her way in the corners of his mind. 

4 – It Could Happen to You (1994)

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Image Credit: TriStar Pictures.

It Could Happen to You is a 1994 romantic comedy-drama film directed by Andrew Bergman and starring Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda. The movie is loosely based on a true story and follows the story of New York City cop Charlie Lang (Nicolas Cage), who promises a waitress named Yvonne Biasi (Bridget Fonda) half of his lottery ticket winnings if he wins. When he actually wins, he keeps his promise, and they split the $4 million prize money.

The film explores the unlikely relationship that develops between Charlie and Yvonne as they navigate newfound fame and fortune. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles, including Charlie's skeptical wife, a greedy ex-con, and the scrutiny of the media.

5 – The Wrong Missy (2020)

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Image Credit: Netflix

The Wrong Missy is a 2020 comedy film directed by Tyler Spindel and starring David Spade and Lauren Lapkus. The movie follows the story of Tim Morris (David Spade), a man who meets a seemingly perfect woman named Melissa “Missy” (played by a different actress) on a blind date. However, he accidentally invites another woman named Melissa — “The Wrong Missy” (Lapkus) — on a work retreat to Hawaii, who turns out to be completely different from the Melissa he intended to invite.

6 – The Family Man (2000)

The Family Man, Nicholas Cage
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

The Family Man is a romantic fantasy comedy-drama that's a modern-day; It's a Wonderful Life. It stars Nicolas Cage and Téa Leoni, and Don Cheadle.

Jack and Kate (Cage and Leoni) were college sweethearts until Jack went to London for an internship. Kate was terrified that it would ruin the relationship, but he assured her. Nonetheless, thirteen years late, he's a millionaire bachelor. After a strange robbery encounter at a convenience store, Jack goes to bed but wakes up next to Kate, and they have two kids. Naturally, he freaks out, and hilarity ensues. 

7 – Warm Bodies (2013)

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Image Credit: Summit Entertainment, LLC./Lionsgate

Warm Bodies is a romantic comedy horror film directed by Jonathan Levine and based on the novel of the same name by Isaac Marion. The movie follows R, a zombie who falls in love with a human girl named Julie after saving her from a zombie attack. As R starts to regain his humanity and the two become closer, they begin to realize that their relationship could be the key to saving humanity.

However, they face obstacles in the form of a hostile human faction and a more dangerous type of zombies called “Bonies.” The movie explores themes of love, redemption, and the power of human connection, while also providing a unique take on the zombie genre.

8 – Palm Springs (2020)

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Photo Credit: Hulu.

Palm Springs is a romantic comedy film directed by Max Barbakow and written by Andy Siara. The movie follows Nyles and Sarah, two wedding guests who are stuck in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over again. As they continue to relive the day, they become closer and start to re-evaluate their lives and the choices they've made. The movie explores themes of love, forgiveness, and the meaning of life, while also providing a fresh and funny take on the time loop trope.

The film stars Andy Samberg as Nyles and Cristin Milioti as Sarah and was released on Hulu in 2020 to critical acclaim.

9 – About Time (2013)

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Image Credit: Universal Pictures

About Time is a romantic comedy-drama film directed by Richard Curtis. The movie tells the story of Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), a young man who discovers that he has the ability to time travel. Using his newfound power, he decides to use it to find love and make his life better. However, he soon learns that changing the past has unintended consequences and that true happiness may come from living in the present moment.

The film explores themes of love, family, and the importance of cherishing every moment of life. About Time also stars Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy.

10 – The One I Love (2014)

Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass in The One I Love (2014)
Photo Credit: Sundance Institute.

The One I Love is a romantic comedy-drama following Ethan and Sophie (Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss), a couple on the brink of separation who decide to take a weekend retreat to try and save their marriage. However, when they arrive at the vacation home, they discover a mysterious guesthouse that seems to have a magical power to bring out the best in their relationship.

As Ethan and Sophie explore this alternate version of themselves, they begin to question what is real and what is not. The movie is a unique and thought-provoking exploration of love, relationships, and the nature of identity.

11 – The Shape of Water (2017)

Doug Jones and Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water (2017)
Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

The Shape of Water is a fantasy drama film directed by Guillermo del Toro that tells the story of a mute cleaning lady named Elisa who works in a high-security government laboratory during the Cold War era. Elisa becomes enamored with a mysterious amphibious creature being held captive in the lab and forms a unique bond with him. As the two grow closer, Elisa hatches a plan to help the creature escape, but she must contend with a cruel government agent who wants to use the creature for his own purposes.

The film explores themes of love, acceptance, and the struggle for power, while also providing a unique take on the fairy tale genre. The movie was critically acclaimed and won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

12 – Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

Keira Knightley in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
Photo Credit: Focus Features.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a 2012 American romantic comedy-drama that follows the story of Dodge Petersen (Steve Carell), who decides to go on a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart in the days leading up to the imminent destruction of Earth by an asteroid. Along the way, he meets his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) in the days leading up to the imminent destruction of Earth by an asteroid. 

Together, they navigate their final days on Earth, and as they do, they learn about love, life, and what it means to truly live in the face of the end of the world. The film explores themes of mortality, human connection, and the search for meaning in life.

11 – The Big Sick (2017)

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Photo Credit: Lionsgate.

The Big Sick is a funny, but touching true story about how Kumail Nanjiani met his real-life wife, but in a romantic comedy way. As the two fall in love, they hit a major roadblock when Emily is put in a coma and Kumail has to figure out how to navigate his family, his career, and this new woman he loves.

11 – I Love You, Man (2009)

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Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Peter and Zooey have just gotten engaged, but when discussing who his best man would be, Peter realizes he really doesn't have any guy friends. This true bromance movie is more about Peter and his new friend Sydney falling into a great friendship and their love for each other, than the love Peter and Zooey have. It's a hilarious, fun watch for your next date night.

11 – Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010)

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Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has become a cult-classic over the years, and fans still praise the creativity behind the movie. Scott is kind of bad at dating because he's still hung up on his ex, even if he won't admit it. When we meet him, he's dating a high schooler, but that all changes when he meets Ramona Flowers. Desperate to date her, Scott will face the battles of his lifetime as he has to defeat Ramona's seven evil exes. 

Source: Reddit