10 Emotional Movies Like The Notebook to Watch Next


Movies are made to make us feel something. We want to walk into a movie and feel like we’ve been transported to someplace new. We want to see ourselves reflected in the characters. We want to root for them. Well, emotionally demanding movies are the films that stick out like sore thumbs. Crying during movies is just part of the experience. For the romance lovers out there, The Notebook is the holy grail for emotional love stories. Starring Ryan Gosling as Noah and Rachel McAdams as Allie, this movie is a staple for any hopeless romantic.


The film follows the love story between mill worker Noah and rich socialite Allie during one whirlwind summer. However, during this beautiful love story highlighting the idea of fate and choice, The Notebook ends with one of the most heartbreaking scenes in romance movie history: Noah and Allie’s last moments together. As heartbreaking as this film was, there is something special about movies that hold our emotions so well that it’s almost intoxicating. If you are on the search for emotional films to watch after The Notebook, look no further; here are 10 to consider next.


10 La La Land (2016)

La La Land

Release Date
November 29, 2016

Rating
PG-13

Casting Gosling as the main actor in a romance film is a recipe for success. Add music and dancing, and La La Land cannot be beaten. The 2016 romance musical follows up-and-coming musician Sebastian (Gosling) and his relationship with aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone). As the two navigate life in the city of stars, while struggling to make it big in the industry, they see their lives and aspirations falling apart right before their eyes.

What Makes It Great

La La Land is a modern masterpiece. This film takes a stunning soundtrack and mind-blowing cinematography and puts a gut-wrenching love story at the heart of it. Gosling and Stone have chemistry to last decades, and in the midst of watching these two fall in love, audiences are left to fall apart with the film’s bittersweet ending. La La Land is the kind of movie that sticks with you long after the box of tissues runs out. Stream on Netflix

9 About Time (2013)

About Time

About Time

Release Date
September 4, 2013

Rating
R

McAdams has a romance movie spark that we are not equipped to survive. In 2013, we were given the romance movie About Time. In the film, audiences follow Tim (played by Domhnall Gleeson), a young man still looking for his place in the world. When his father confides in him a family secret, his life is altered forever: Tim is told that he can travel through time. Well, in this isolated situation, Tim learns how to use this gift to get Mary (McAdams) to fall in love with him. However, although he uses this gift to right some wrongs, he soon has to learn the hard way that crafting a picture-perfect life can eventually alter the reality he was meant to have.

What Makes It Great

About Time goes beyond just a simple love story. It attacks the idea of fate and how your own choices and sacrifices should lead you right where you need to be. McAdams’ performance as Mary is full of heart and, alongside Gleeson, the pair creates an emotional movie to remember. Along with the romance, the familial love that comes into play is what pulls at the heartstrings. Rent on Apple TV

8 A Walk to Remember (2002)

Like The Notebook, A Walk to Remember is a film adaptation of another heart-wrenching novel by Nicholas Sparks. This film throws a high school misfit, Landon (Shane West), into the world of his ambitious schoolmate, Jamie (Mandy Moore). The two begin to spend more and more time together and, though initially opposites in nature, the relationship blooms like the flowers in the springtime. However, their relationship does not have sunshine and rainbows in their sights. The young lovers are forced to face what lies ahead of them as secrets threaten to tear them apart.

What Makes It Great

Love is not an easy thing. A Walk to Remember covers all the basics, from the innocence of young love to losing it. That said, the emotional roller coaster and the wholesome beauty of the entire plot are what sell this one. Moore and West are the romance couple of all romance couples in the early-2000s, and A Walk to Remember is a must-have on a list like this. Stream on Peacock

7 Love, Rosie (2014)

The 2014 romantic comedy Love, Rosie follows the lives of Rosie Dunne, played by Lily Collins, and Alex Stewart, played by Sam Claflin. Tension and friendship have a common presence in their relationship. With Alex gearing up to go to college, Rosie is left to navigate an unexpected pregnancy that derails her entire plan. However, she does not let it derail Alex’s. The two start new lives separate from each other. But, over the years, the invisible string that has always connected them never breaks. Their lives keep crossing paths as both look for the right time to finally give in to the love they have for each other.

What Makes It Great

Love, Rosie takes on the idea of love having multiple chances. Time and time again, Rosie and Alex were always connected, yet their lives never crossed in the right places. They just kept missing each other. Like The Notebook, this film is a second-chance romance that will break your heart and put it back together. Collins and Claflin are the childhood best friends-to-lovers that we all want to root for, and fate does not disappoint. Stream on Paramount+

Related: The 12 Most Underrated Romance TV Shows, Ranked

6 Me Before You (2016)

Me Before You

Me Before You

Release Date
June 1, 2016

Director
Thea Sharrock

Rating
PG-13

Emotional damage alert: this one is designed to leave your heart in shambles. Me Before You is a romance film that came out in 2016. Also starring Sam Claflin, this film follows Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke), a young, optimistic, and bright woman, as she takes on the job of being the caretaker of Willaim Traynor (Claflin). After a horrific accident, Will was left paralyzed from the neck down. As Louisa and Will spend more and more time together, the two find a beauty in the love they build that adds brightness to the lives they are living. However, a groundbreaking decision made by Will is bound to change everything.

What Makes It Great

Nothing will prepare you for how sad this film truly is. Me Before You shows a stunning side to Clarke’s acting abilities, who had, by this point, been known solely for her tough-as-nails Khaleesi character in Game of Thrones, and Claflin remains as dreamy as ever. The film is soft, the storytelling is perfectly paced, and it showcases a side of love that redefines what makes a happy ending. Rent on Prime Video

5 The Vow (2012)

the vow

the vow

Release Date
February 5, 2012

Rating
PG-13

In the case of 2012’s The Vow, happily ever after might take a few chances. The film follows married couple, Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum). When Paige becomes the victim of a car accident, she is left with a fractured memory that does not include memories of her husband. As Leo tries to rekindle their relationship, Paige is more confused as she tries to see what she loved in this stranger in th first place, as well as understand her complicated relationship with her parents. This magnificent film is also based on a true story.

What Makes It Great

Being so close, yet so far, was a feeling that tore us to shreds when we first watched The Vow. This film explores a sense of desperation that is guaranteed to make you cry. Tatum’s performance is heartbreaking, and his chemistry with McAdams is electric. The soulmate trope is something The Notebook does extremely well, and The Vow is also up there with it. Rent on YouTube

Related: The 15 Best Romance Movies of 2023, Ranked

4 Titanic (1997)

Titanic

Titanic

Release Date
November 18, 1997

Rating
PG-13

When considering motionally destructive movies that leave ruins in their wake, James Cameron’s Titanic will always be one of the first movies to come up. Jake Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) are a fairytale couple that set sail on the Titanic. From two completely different worlds, Rose and Jack find themselves in a romance that defies societal expectations. However, when the infamous ship crashes into an iceberg and begins to sink, Rose and Jack are forced to face the end of their epic love story.

What Makes It Great

Titanic has a reputation that is still being upheld to this day. Cameron’s disaster romance drama is full of layers and a tragic love that makes us wish that Jack would have fit on that floating door next to Rose. This film will make us cry every time, and some of us can still hear Rose’s frozen whistle in our heads to this day. Stream on Paramount+

3 Safe Haven (2013)

Safe Haven

Safe Haven

Release Date
February 7, 2013

Rating
PG-13

Safe Haven is a Nicholas Sparks book-to-film adaptation, just like The Notebook. The film follows Katie Feldman (Julianne Hough) after she moves to a small town to run away from her past and make a new name for herself. She gets a job as a waitress and slowly begins to find her place in this small and close community. Along the way, she meets widower Alex (Josh Duhamel) and his children, who also help her journey. However, her old demons come back to haunt her and threaten the new peace she established for herself.

What Makes It Great

In true Nicholas Sparks fashion, Safe Haven is another one of those romance films that has an unexpected twist that will change your entire perspective of the film. If you are looking for a solid romance movie that is heavily emotional like The Notebook, Safe Haven is a safe bet, bringing together a loving couple that must face adversity head-on. Stream on Prime Video

2 The Last Song (2010)

We are still strapped tight on the Nicholas Sparks train. Next up is The Last Song, which came out in 2010 and stars Miley Cyrus as Roni and Liam Hemsworth as Will. When Roni and her little brother spend a summer with their father, Roni finds herself in the orbit of local heartthrob Will. The two have an undeniable chemistry that leads to a summer romance that she never anticipated. However, when disaster strikes and her father grows ill, Roni discovers the uncomfortable truth that leaves her relationship up in flames.

What Makes It Great

Although Roni and Will’s love story is the bulk of this film’s plot, it is Roni’s relationship with her father that will tear you apart. Familial love sometimes hits harder than romantic love, and the connection between father and daughter is beautiful. Also, Cyrus and Hemsworth could not have faked this incredible chemistry if they tried. The Last Song will creep up on you when it comes to emotion, so don’t underestimate it. Stream on Disney+

1 Dear John (2010)

Dear John

Dear John

Release Date
February 4, 2010

Rating
PG-13

Last but not least, Dear John is yet another Nicholas Sparks film adaptation. In this movie, John (Channing Tatum) is a soldier who meets and falls in love with Savannah (Amanda Seyfried), a college student. The two stay in touch for the next seven years through letters during John’s deployment. However, when life gets in the way of their happy reunion, John and Savannah are forced to face the connection they still have and how it is destined to uproot their lives.

What Makes It Great

Dear John has the kind of love that all of us wish to find someday. There is a sense of longing that has us constantly praying for the two main characters to end up together. Like The Notebook, this film showcases every chance the main couple has to fall in love to get it right. Also, who doesn’t love seeing Channing Tatum in a romance film? Rent on YouTube



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