11 of the best British romance films
10:39 am January 25, 2022
10:44 am January 25, 2022
As Valentine’s Day approaches, there’s nothing quite like snuggling up on the couch and watching a romance movie.
Here are the best British romance films to watch this Valentine’s Day, and be sure to vote for your favorite in the poll at the bottom of the article!
1. Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Jane Austen’s most famous novel has seen many adaptations, but Joe Wright’s 2005 film starring Keira Knightly, aka the queen of British period dramas, and Matthew Macfadyen is perhaps the finest to grace our screens. .
The film uses some of the finest examples of architecture in England, such as Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and beautiful wild landscapes captured in natural light to complement the budding romance between the headstrong Lizzie Bennet and the socially awkward Mr. Darcy.
2. About Time (2013)
This charming time travel romance directed by Richard Curtis stars Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy. The film follows Gleeson’s protagonist, Tim, as he discovers that the men in his family have the power to time travel to the moments they experienced. Deciding to use this gift to improve your love life, hilarity ensues and things get a little messy!
Many of the film’s scenes were shot in Cornwall, and it’s easy to see why these locations add a certain beauty that only this beloved county can offer.
3. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
From the expansive sequences of Hugh Grant’s protagonist Charles trying to get to weddings on time to the heartbreaking reading of WH Auden’s “Stop All the Clocks” at the singular funeral, Four Weddings and a Funeral is a delightfully hilarious romantic comedy. which can be watched over and over and still as brilliant as the first watch.
4. The Theory of Everything (2014)
Prepare your tissues for this beautiful film based on the life of Stephen Hawking told in the memoirs Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by his first wife, Jane Wilde. The performances of Felicity Jones and chameleon Eddie Redymane received widespread praise, with Hawking commenting that he felt like he was watching himself on screen at times.
Much of the film was shot on location in Cambridge, with some scenes filmed elsewhere, such as Hampton Court Palace becoming Buckingham Palace Gardens and Camber Sands in East Sussex.
5. Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
Based on Helen Fielding‘s novel of the same name and taking rather obvious cues from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones’s Diary is an often hilarious look at life and love in your thirties. Jones is a woman for everyone who goes from incident to incident and reassures each woman that everything doesn’t have to be in order. Sometimes magic can happen amid the imperfect chaos of life.
6. Ammonite (2020)
Ammonite tells the story of paleontologist and fossil hunter Mary Anning and a speculative relationship that may or may not have blossomed between her and geologist Charlotte Murchison.
While Mary Anning spent most of her life in Lyme Regis in Dorset, production of the film followed suit, and the Lyme Regis Museum team were also on hand throughout to advise and even show how to carefully break open rocks to reveal fossils to Kate. Winslet who played the fossil collector.
7. Notting Hill (1999)
The quintessential British romantic comedy, Notting Hill has so much going for it. A charming cast led by Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, late 90s fashion and some of the most romantic lines said on screen.
Unsurprisingly, much of Notting Hill is indeed shot in Notting Hill, but quite a few interiors, including that of the famous The Travel Bookshop, were actually shot at Shepperton Studios in Surrey.
8. Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)
Based on the dreamy pastoral novel of the same name by Thomas Hardy, this 2015 adaptation directed by Oscar-winning Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg is a feast for the eyes. Dorset itself has something of a starting role as the charming towns, sweeping landscapes and dense forest enrich the history and bring Hardy’s Wessex to life.
Some locations include the Jurrasic Coast, several properties in Sherbourne, Forde Abbey House and Gardens, the magnificent 17th century Mapperton House, which becomes Everdene Farm, one of the most important locations in the entire film, and the lush old growth forests of Hooke Park are utterly enchanting on screen.
9. Emma. (2020)
The most recent adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma is also perhaps the best version brought to the screen. There’s an impeccable cast of actors such as Anya Taylor-Joy and Johnny Flynn in the title roles and some impeccable comedic turns from The Crown’s Miranda Hart, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor.
In terms of looks, the film is imbued with a lovely pastel color palette and dynamic charm, making this Jane Austen adaptation one of a kind. Aesthetically, it’s almost Wes Anderson-esque, but more importantly, photographer-turned-director Autumn de Wilde films the story through the female gaze. There’s a softness and vulnerability to the characters that never comes across in other Austen adaptations that are almost exclusively male-directed.
10. Yesterday (2019)
A struggling Suffolk musician suffers a freak accident and becomes the only person in the world to remember The Beatles in Danny Boyle’s 2019 romantic comedy Playing like a riff on alternate realities and acknowledging what you’ve got, Yesterday is in her heart a love story, and it’s kinda sweet.
And something that makes this charming comedy that little bit more special is that many Suffolk locals had a unique chance to be extras on set. Check out their surreal experiences here.
11. Anna Karenina (2012)
Adapting a tome like the Russian epic Anna Karenina is no small feat, but director Joe Wright takes this iconic yet tragic love story to a whole new level by filming it on stage. Perhaps to serve as a metaphor for the artifices of high society and to symbolize that Anna is a woman without real autonomy; either way, this unique way of framing the story really stands out.
The famed Shepperton Studios in Surrey were used for most of the film’s production, with some external and internal shots taking place in Hampshire’s New Forest, Ham House in Surrey, Didcot Railway Center in Oxfordshire and the Russian countryside. .
Now it’s time to vote for the best British romance film!