When it came to the desires of the heart, 80s romance movies are second to none. The 1980s was a decade of love, romance, and iconic movies.
From the swashbuckling adventures of “Indiana Jones” to the adventures of “Rambo”, from “When Harry Met Sally” to “Dirty Dancing”, this decade of cinema is full of unforgettable moments.
The Best 80s Romance Movies
The 1980s had no shortage of romantic movies. Many of Hollywood’s most legendary actors and actresses starred in some of the most classic romantic movies of all time. So what were the best 80s romance movies?
Here are our picks for the best romantic movies from the 1980s:
1. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
When Harry Met Sally is a movie about love and relationships. It’s about people who don’t know how to deal with intimacy. It’s about two people in the middle of a conversation who decide to go out on a date, and then they have sex.
But the most important part of this film isn’t what happens at the end of the date, it’s what happens during. That’s where all the magic starts: When Harry Met Sally is a relationship movie that is not afraid to admit that love has its ups and downs and that it requires work to make it last.
The movie knows that love can be confusing, messy, difficult, and full of conflict. This “relationship” movie doesn’t have an easy resolution—it ends with one person giving up on their dream because they realize it will never happen while they still want it so much– but it does give hope for those willing to do whatever it takes.
So if you’re hoping for some romantic advice from Hollywood this Valentine’s Day (or if you’re just looking for something inspirational), watch When Harry Met Sally.
2. Dirty Dancing (1987)
How could you have a list of best 80s romance movies without “Dirty Dancing”? This classic love story stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey and is a tale as old as time of forbidden love.
Grey plays “Baby Houseman” a sweet daddy’s girl that has grown up with a privileged background. Swayze plays “Johnny Castle” a dance instructor with a vastly different background than Baby. Extenuating circumstances bring them together, and this classic 80s romance movie is one that many out there will find relatable.
And of course who could literally forget arguably the most iconic dance scene in all of cinema!
Almost 35 years later and that scene still gives us goosebumps!
3. An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
An Officer and a Gentleman is a 1982 American romantic drama film directed by Taylor Hackford. It stars Richard Gere, Debra Winger and Louis Jourdan. The film tells the story of an introverted U.S. Army officer who takes a job as a military tutor to prepare for his entrance exam to West Point, only to fall in love with his student. This brassy civilian woman has no interest in becoming an officer herself.
The 1982 film is loosely based on the novel Officer Blue (1979) by James Leo Herlihy, which was also adapted into the Broadway musical “Officer Blue” in 1980.
4. The Princess Bride (1987)
It’s impossible to talk about romantic movies from the 1980s without mentioning The Princess Bride.
The Princess Bride is a classic movie loved for its witty dialogue, impeccable acting, and unforgettable story. It stars Cary Elwes as Westley and follows his quest to find true love with Buttercup, played by Robin Wright and later by Mandy Patinkin at around seven years old.
This comedy-drama is full of memorable moments, including Inigo Montoya’s “Hello” sword fight with a six-fingered man (W.C. Fields), Wesley’s encounter with the giant fireflies in the ruins of Florin, and the infamous “My name is Inigo Montoya” speech.
5. Steel Magnolias (1989)
Steel Magnolias is a 1989 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Robert Harling. The film stars Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Shirley MacLaine.
The film tells the story of Shelby (Field), a single mother who makes her living as the proprietor of a beauty parlor in Truvy’s Barbershop in Jackson, Mississippi. She is struggling to maintain her business during the economic downturn of the early 1980s when she learns that her best friend and local gossip Truvy (Dukakis) has terminal cancer.
In order to provide Truvy with a new start after she dies, Shelby calls upon all of her female friends to help plan Truvy’s funeral. They must also deal with love affairs beginning or ending at this time in their lives and the angst involved with them.
6. Pretty Woman (1990)
Ok we know this one just missed the 1980s, but it’s worth an honorable mention since it was released in March of 1990 and featured two of Hollywood’s iconic stars in Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. It’s especially worth a mention because this was the movie that really put Julia Roberts on the map as a bona fide A-list actress.
Pretty Woman is a tale of two people who come together and change each other’s lives. It is the story of a prostitute named Vivian Ward, played by Julia Roberts, who gets hired as an executive assistant to Edward Lewis, played by Richard Gere.
The movie was released in 1990 and it was nominated for eleven Academy Awards that year. Pretty Woman is one of the most memorable films from this era and remains popular today because its themes–love, sex, marriage, work, and family–are timeless.
On Valentine’s Day or any day you want to see love in action, watch this iconic film starring two actors who were made for each other.
So those are our picks for the best 80s romance movies of all time. If you’re looking for a great throwback to watch with that special someone, you can’t go wrong with any of the classic movies we mentioned!