10 Best Rated Romance Movies of 2023, Handpicked by Letterboxd

10 Best Rated Romance Movies of 2023, Handpicked by Letterboxd
Image credit: Next Entertainment World, Gaumont

Have you ever seen an Indonesian or Finnish romance movie? According to Letterboxd users, you should.

Letterboxd has become a favorite among movie buffs, and for good reason – it has become a treasure chest of hidden gems that are rarely talked about, but definitely worth checking out.

1. Past Lives

Rating: 4.2 out of 5

Na Young and Hae Sung were best friends as children, but they had to part when the girl's parents emigrated from South Korea to Canada. Na Young took the Western name Nora and Hae Sung could not find her.

Ten years later, Nora moved to New York and found Hae Sung on Facebook. The now-adult friends re-establish communication, and before proposing to his girlfriend, Hae Sung decides to visit the already married Nora to make sure he is making the right choice.

The movie is based on the Korean concept of in-yun, which refers to the special unbreakable bond that souls maintain throughout their reincarnations. In the tradition of classic romantic films, the two should end up together. But that is precisely why Past Lives has captivated millions of viewers – it does not follow the same path as its predecessors.

2. All of Us Strangers

Rating: 4.0 out of 5

One night in his abandoned London apartment building, screenwriter Adam accidentally meets a mysterious neighbor, Harry, who changes his normal life. Adam soon returns to his childhood home, where he finds his parents alive and looking exactly as they did the day they died 30 years ago.

This is the chemistry we've all been waiting for – Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott, who became romantic icons after Normal People and Fleabag, show what real feelings should look like on screen.

3. Rye Lane

Rating: 3.9 out of 5

Two people meet at the exhibition: Dom, a young man who has just cried in a toilet stall over a recent break-up, and Yas, a carefree and unemployed designer who is also going through a break-up. Strangers rush through the streets of London, excitedly telling the stories of their lives.

Rye Lane is a light-hearted film with witty dialogues typical of British humor and incredibly colorful urban landscapes. In addition, the movie gives you a glimpse into the dark corners of South London that are usually left out of the frame.

4. The Taste of Things

Rating: 3.9 out of 5

The story is set in France at the end of the 19th century. The gourmet and restaurant owner Dodin has been living with the cook Eugenie for 20 years, but she stubbornly refuses to marry him. Then, for the first time, Dodin decides to prepare a dish for the woman he loves.

The movie lasts more than two hours, half of which is spent in the kitchen – when the characters are not eating, they are cooking or talking about food. Benoit Magimel and Juliette Binoche (who dated in the 1990s) convincingly play a couple who know each other inside and out. This is a movie that will first make you drool and then break your heart.

5. Fallen Leaves

Rating: 3.8 out of 5

Based on the denunciation of a security guard, Ansa is fired from her job at the supermarket because she tried to carry an expired sandwich in her bag. The welder Holappa keeps his job a little longer, but soon he will lose his job too – he drinks too much. First they meet at a karaoke bar, then go to the movies. Their attempt to be together is not hindered by a lost phone number or an all-consuming melancholy.

The film won the Jury Prize at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, became Finland's Oscar contender in the Best Feature category, and became one of the most watched films in Finland.

6. Soulmate

Rating: 3.8 out of 5

Mi-so and Ha-eun became friends as children and were inseparable. Mi-so's mother preferred to take care of her own life, so the girl practically lived with Ha-eun's family. As they grow up, the best friends' paths diverge and the girls begin to lead completely different lives, but their destinies will remain inextricably linked for many years to come.

The movie chronicles the touching relationship of two friends, from childhood to such important events as weddings and the birth of a child. If you've been looking for a movie about growing up, stock up on tissues and turn on Soulmate.

7. The Blue Caftan

Rating: 3.8 out of 5

The Moroccan movie tells the story of Halim and Mina, a couple who run a traditional caftan shop in Morocco. The couple's marriage stayed afloat all these years only because of Halim’s secret, who married to hide it. But one day Mina falls ill, and this tragedy could put both Mina and Halim in danger.

Meanwhile, Halim looks for a new intern and finds Youssef. Tensions begin to rise between them, and the secret that the couple has been hiding all their lives is revealed.

8. Slow

Rating: 3.8 out of 5

Lithuanian love drama tells the story of dancer Elena meeting Dovydas, a sign language interpreter for her dance class of deaf and mute students, and their relationship – dynamic, spontaneous, turning from platonic to romantic.

However, as the relationship deepens, it becomes increasingly difficult to make sacrifices and find compromises. Their feelings quickly pass the platonic phase, but Dovydas's unexpected confession forces them to look for a decision that will save their relationship.

9. Falling in Love Like in Movies

Rating: 3.8 out of 5

This Indonesian romantic movie tells the story of Bagus, a screenwriter who finally has a chance to write his own script for the movie. It is at this moment that he meets Hana, whom he has been in love with since school.

However, Hana is in mourning for her recently deceased husband. Bagus decides to use his relationship with Hana for his screenplay, but faces a moral dilemma about whether to tell her or not.

10. The Nature of Love

Rating: 3.8 out of 5

The movie tells the story of Sophie, whose life is turned upside down the day she meets Sylvain. She gives up everything and gives in to her passion, thinking that it could be the last strong feelings in her life. But the lovers come from different worlds: the woman grew up in a wealthy family of intellectuals in Montreal, while Sylvain grew up among ordinary workers.

After giving in to her romantic impulses, Sophie is forced to reexamine her past and question her own values and desires.