The 10 best movies like ‘The Notebook’

Image via New Line Cinema

Nearly 20 years after it was released in 2004, The Notebook remains one of the most popular romantic dramas of all time, gaining a large cult following that’s lasted till the present day. 

Based on the 1996 novel of the same name, the film follows a wealthy girl named Allie who falls in love with a poor man named Noah, but their romance suffers at the hands of social and financial differences.

While The Notebook was met with a mixed critical reception, it became a smash hit among audiences, and is widely credited for catapulting lead stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams to mainstream fame. The film also won a whopping eight Teen Choice Awards, among other nominations and awards, and was a huge box office success.

If you’re a sappy romantic in search of some stomach-turning love stories, there are many romantic dramas out there that offer some of the thrills of The Notebook, while maintaining their own originality. Here are 10 films you’ll love if Allie and Noah’s relationship tugs at your heartstrings. 

The Lucky One

The Lucky One might not have warmed the hearts of many critics, but thanks to its emotional punch, it was a hit with audiences and became a box office success. The romantic drama stars Zac Efron as a US Marine named Logan Thibault, who searches for a woman he saw in a photograph, believing she was his good luck charm. Taylor Schilling plays Beth Green, the woman in the photograph, and the pair begin a romantic relationship. 


At the center of several romantic dramas is the iconic Titanic. The 1997 classic, which needs little to no introduction, stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as Rose and Jack, two people from different social standings who begin a romantic relationship upon the titular ship. Directed by James Cameron, Titanic is arguably the most popular romantic drama of all time, albeit with a heavy, gut-wrenching tragedy. Still, it offers enough to simultaneously flutter hearts, and make viewers soaked up with emotions.

The Fault in Our Stars

Based on the popular novel of the same name, The Fault in Our Stars became a mega-hit when it was released in 2014. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort star as Hazel Lancaster and Gus Waters, two teenagers who form a romantic bond after meeting at a cancer support group. Together, they head on a journey to Amsterdam to meet a reclusive author. The film was a box office success, grossing over $300 million dollars, and earned numerous awards, including seven Teen Choice Awards. Rounding out the cast are Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Nat Wolfe, and Willem Dafoe.

The Vow

Eight years after melting hearts as Allie in The Notebook, Rachel McAdams delivered another stunning performance alongside Channing Tatum in the romantic drama, The Vow. The film follows Paige Collins, a woman who suffers a car accident and ends up in a coma. She awakens with amnesia, and her husband Leo works to win her heart all over again. The emotionally packed drama became a commercial hit, and while not as timeless with fans as The Notebook, The Vow is still a wonderful watch for romance lovers everywhere.

Dear John

Dear John is a 2010 romantic drama that stars Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried in leading roles. When a soldier falls in love with a charming college student, they decide to exchange letters once he is deployed back to war. Another commercial success, Dear John remains a popular romance drama among lovers of the genre, but its generic plot didn’t rank too high with critics.

Me Before You

In a role that saw her starkly different from her Game of Thrones character, Emilia Clarke starred as the cheerful, colorful, and optimistic Louisa Clark, a caretaker for the tetraplegic Will, played by Sam Clafin. What results is an emotionally stirring ride that leaves many viewers in their feels, and the incredible performances of both leads earned significant praise.

The Longest Ride

Led by Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood, The Longest Ride is a 2015 Western romantic drama based on the novel of the same name. It follows Luke, a former bull rider who falls in love with Sophia, a privileged girl who dreams of moving to New York. In the classic tale of star-crossed lovers, The Longest Ride packs some emotional punch, and while it may not have hit all the marks, it’s still a delightful watch. 

About Time

Making yet another appearance on the list is Rachel McAdams, this time with the crossover romantic drama About Time. The film follows the life of Tim Lake, played by Domhnall Gleeson, a man who can travel through time. While he is unable to change history, he has the ability to alter his own past, and he uses the opportunity to win over Mary. Rounding up the cast are Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, and Margot Robbie.

The Best of Me

In this tearjerker of a romantic drama, it’s a funeral that brings Dawson and Amanda back together after 20 years apart. After a budding romance when they were teenagers, life separates the high school sweethearts, but sparks begin to fly when they are reunited. The Best of Me might not have been a critical hit, but the emotion-packed drama is a favorite among fans of the genre, and the performances of James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan, as well as Liana Liberato and Luke Bracey, attracted praise.

Remember Me

With brilliant performances from Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin, Remember Me is another emotional romantic drama that won many hearts in the 2010s. The film is set in New York City and details the romance between Tyler and Ally, two new lovers who develop a strong bond over trauma, but must withstand more adversity once secrets threaten to separate them. Remember Me also stars Chris Cooper, Lena Olin, and Pierce Brosnan in supporting roles, and is famous for its polarizing ending, which split many viewers.