Romance is in every movie genre, from drama to comedy to action, and you’ll find plenty of it on free streaming services. Here are the best movies centered around love and relationships you can stream right now for free and without a subscription.
Update, 3/16/23: We’ve verified that all of our links are working and are still confident these are the best romantic movies currently streaming for free.
In Billy Wilder’s Oscar-winning romantic comedy, hapless bachelor C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is so focused on advancing his career by facilitating his bosses’ illicit affairs that he neglects his own love life. Baxter provides his apartment to upper-level employees at his company, so they can have a place to meet their mistresses.
Baxter himself pines over one of those mistresses, elevator operator Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), and they bond over their shared heartbreak and mistreatment, forging a sweet, honest connection. Wilder takes his characters seriously while placing them in a sparkling, clever comedy.
The Apartment is streaming for free with ads on Freevee, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, and Tubi, and for free via local libraries on Kanopy.
Although it takes place during a much more repressive era, this 1950s-set drama about a connection between two women is remarkably optimistic and sensitive. That’s not to say that wealthy suburbanite Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) and aspiring photographer Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) don’t encounter serious obstacles to their potential romance, but the story is about moving past those obstacles rather than being defeated by them.
Their courtship plays out in small, subtle gestures, which prove to be just as powerful as any grand romantic moment.
Carol is streaming for free with ads on The CW, Freevee, Redbox, Tubi, and Vudu, and for free via local libraries on Hoopla and Kanopy.
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Director John Stockwell takes a stylish approach to this cross-class romantic drama, about the relationship between a troubled rich girl (Kirsten Dunst) and a straight-arrow working-class boy (Jay Hernandez). Stockwell showcases lesser-known areas of Los Angeles, grounding the story in a sense of place. The characters subvert and overcome stereotypes, and their connection goes deeper than superficial differences. It’s an underrated teen drama that combines slick images with heartfelt emotion.
Crazy/Beautiful is streaming for free via local libraries on Hoopla.
Love transcends the rigid standards of a strict religious community in Sebastian Lelio’s intense, sensual drama. Rachel McAdams plays Esti, a sheltered housewife in an Orthodox Jewish community whose life is changed by the return of her free-spirited childhood friend Ronit (Rachel Weisz). The two women share a primal connection, and the worldly Ronit helps Esti see beyond the limits her husband has set for her. They’re able to embrace their love without letting go of their spirituality.
Disobedience is streaming for free via local libraries on Hoopla and Kanopy.
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I’m Your Man
It sounds like a silly concept: An uptight academic falls in love with the android companion she’s meant to be testing out. But director Maria Schrader makes I’m Your Man into an insightful and endearing romance, with Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens perfectly cast as the prototype of the ideal boyfriend.
Stevens and Maren Eggert have a warm rapport as the lonely researcher slowly opens herself to the possibility of real emotional connection with a machine. I’m Your Man gently raises philosophical questions without losing sight of the personal dynamic between the main characters.
I’m Your Man is streaming for free via local libraries on Hoopla and Kanopy.
It Happened One Night
Decades of romantic comedies followed the template set by this multiple Oscar winner, starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert as adversaries who fall in love over the course of a road trip. The stars have fantastic chemistry as a rebellious heiress and a scheming reporter, and their repartee is charged with sexual energy whether they’re bickering or flirting.
Released just before the enforcement of the moralistic Production Code, It Happened One Night is witty and bawdy, and just as romantic now as it was in 1934.
It Happened One Night is streaming for free with ads on Tubi.
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It’s not hard to predict the outcome of the pact made by longtime friends Ben (Jack Quaid) and Alice (Maya Erskine) at the beginning of rom-com Plus One. Faced with the prospect of attending the weddings of numerous friends and acquaintances, they agree to be each other’s dates to each event—on a purely platonic level, of course.
Quaid and Erskine have excellent chemistry, and Plus One is funny and poignant as it heads toward its obvious resolution. The filmmakers treat the characters’ ambitions and family relationships with as much care as their romance.
Plus One is streaming for free with ads on Tubi and for free via local libraries on Hoopla.
The dynamic between the main characters in Secretary is certainly unconventional, but at its core the movie is about two people who fulfill each other’s deep emotional needs. A demanding lawyer (James Spader) hires a meek woman (Maggie Gyllenhaal) as his secretary, and they discover a shared passion for kinky sexual scenarios within the context of their working relationship.
The movie presents a BDSM relationship as loving and supportive, allowing these misunderstood people to finally be their true, honest selves.
Secretary is streaming for free with ads on Freevee, Plex, and Tubi.
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There are two Gwyneth Paltrows for the price of one in alternate-universe dramedy Sliding Doors. Paltrow’s character, London publicist Helen Quilley, either does or does not catch her boyfriend cheating on her at the beginning of the movie, and the story follows both narrative threads.
Either way, she seems destined to end up with friendly businessman James (John Hannah). Both versions of Helen are sharp and energetic, and the movie showcases her inner strength and romantic spirit, no matter what kind of situation she finds herself in.
Sliding Doors is streaming for free with ads on Vudu and for free via local libraries on Hoopla.
13 Going on 30
It may seem a little strange to watch a 13-year-old in a 30-year-old’s body fall in love with an actual 30-year-old, but body-switching comedy 13 Going on 30 somehow makes it charming and sweet. Jennifer Garner plays the teenage girl who wakes up as her adult self after making a wish, and Mark Ruffalo plays the grown-up version of the best friend who was always in love with her.
Garner’s Jenna learns lessons about maturity and self-esteem while also learning that the dorky guy next door is the one she should have been paying attention to all along.
13 Going on 30 is streaming for free via local libraries on Hoopla.