The best teen romance movies shouldn’t just appeal to a younger audience. They transcend age and are relevant to us all as reminders of that turbulent period of our lives. High School or college to the Brits, is a strange period in anyways life.
You are expected to have the answers to many life’s big questions at such a young age. Whether it’s selecting the courses that will define which degree you go on to do at university. Or choosing which apprenticeship to gain a lifelong skill in, the choices are never easy.
On a personal level, your teenage years define some of your lifelong friendships. But it is also when you part ways with other friends for no real particular reason. Teen romance movies often have a coming of age charm that make them appealing to everyone.
What are the best teen romance movies?
Check out my list of the 21 best teen romance movies on Netflix that are sure to bring back some nostalgia or even help you through the teenage years to come.
Edge of Seventeen
Hailee Steinfeld stars as a teen who is struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation in a fast-changing world that she doesn’t grasp yet. With condescending teachers, an absent mother, and a best friend dating her brother, it is no surprise her confidence is shaken.
Enter Hayden Szeto, a kind and carting teen who looks set to bring Steinfeld out of her shell and provide a pinch of that much-needed confidence.
A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song
This modern reimagining of the classic Cinderella story is a classic among teen romance movies. It’s a reasonably familiar setup with a horrible stepmother and cruel sibling that tries to thwart her dreams of becoming a professional singer.
Along comes her Prince Charming, the new boy in school mesmerized by her beautiful singing voice. Can he help her find the confidence and escape the clutches of her family to achieve her goals?
Arguably, one of the best teen romance movies of all time, American Pie, is a modern classic. It follows a group of friends who all agree to try and end highschool without being virgins. Hilarity ensues with a variety of humiliating and eventful situations occurring throughout. While it isn’t full of romance, the movie has some twists and turns, with some of the teens falling in love.
It’s a homage to all sexually unsure teens growing up too fast with no guidelines on how to act and feel.
Hairspray is a vibrant and quirky musical that reimagines the chaotic and crazy John Waters classic. It’s a slightly lighter take on the original, which makes for a more captivating viewing experience. The movie follows Tracy on her journey to try and become a dance sensation, despite being overweight.
There are several a-list supporting roles, including Christopher Walken and John Travolta. It’s one of the best teen romance movies if you love a sing-along while you watch.
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging
Based on the novel Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, written by Louise Rennison, the movie follows Georgia Nicholson. She’s hopelessly trying to get the attention of a boy named Robbie, hoping he becomes her boyfriend.
However, she has trouble with her parents to contend with and all the other chaotic elements of being a teenager. It’s a British made film so great for a UK audience.
The clock ticks down as a group of teens decide to try and lose their virginity before the end of high school. Like many of the best teen romance movies, the protagonists end up falling into the deep end and have love to contend with, alongside the battleground that is highschool.
The film is a rollercoaster of emotions and self-discovery as the characters battle with their sexual orientation along the way.
Lady Bird follows a teen eager to grow up and spread her wings away from home. She wants to attend a New York City college and leave behind her west coast life. Saoirse Ronan stars as the rebellious Lady Bird, who constantly battles with her Catholic school teachers.
It’s a movie about the search for identity and the relationships that rise and fall throughout highschool. Teen romance may not be what it quite seems as she tries to attract the attention of the boys from different social circles.
Many top teenage romantic movies focus on heterosexual relationships, so Love, Simons’ look into a boy meets boy story is excellent. Nick Robison plays a secretly gay suburban teen who ends up confessing his sexuality online.
Another student at his school admits to Robison that he is gay and has feelings for him. The film follows the search for the mysterious online student and resolves in a heartwarming, and freeing ending.
The Duff, a term used for the “ugly, fat friend,” follows Mae Whitman, who has been allocated this label in her friendship group. It’s a lower-key Cinderella story with the protagonist’s weirdness attracting the eye of Robbie Amell. He’s a track athlete who decides to help her become more presentable for men.
It’s a teen romance movie full of laughs, and the chemistry between the two leads is outstanding.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
To all the boys I’ve loved before is undoubtedly one of the top romantic teen movies if you’re looking for something relatable. Lana Condor plays a shy high schooler who writes letters of passion to boys around the school but never sends them.
Once her sister mails them to all the boys in question, she is forced to embrace her feelings and develop some much-needed confidence.
This Dublin based romantic teen movie follows Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, who plays a poor school student looking for some change. Sing Street is nothing short of inspiring and is also a great coming of age movie.
Trying to impress a girl at school, played by Lucy Boynton, he tells her he is in a band. There’s only one problem, and he’s not in a band. Hilarity ensues as he tries to form a music group full of interesting outsiders.
This fast-paced teen romance movie is full of deep drama and incredible dialogue. Micheal Cera and Ellen Page star as a high school couple who finds out she is pregnant with his child. Despite Page’s attempts to be with other people, the pair grow together and reunite as the due date approaches.
It’s one of the best teen romance movies for those looking for some trademark Cera awkwardness.
An optimistic teenager is trying to attract a girl who is seemingly out of his league. Not only is she beautiful, but she has the brain to back it up. Luckily for him, she just happens to like him too. John Cusack and Ione Skye star as the main character as they try to overcome her overbearing father, who John Malone does an excellent job of portraying.
Pretty in Pink
Up there with the best teen romance movies, Pretty in Pink is one of the classic Brat Pack romance films. Molly Ringwald stars as Andie, the high school outcast who enjoys spending much of her time at the record store.
Jon Cryer stars as the best friend who likes her but isn’t sure the feelings are reciprocated and whether Ringwal’s character would be happy to take their relationship beyond friendship.
The Breakfast Club
Breakfast club is probably my favorite teen romance movie. Although it could easily be categorized as a coming of age film, some romances bloom throughout. It follows an eclectic mix of teenagers who all have to serve Saturday detention in the high school library.
They learn a thing or two about one another and have some fun along the way. Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, and Molly Ringwald star. Richard Vernon’s portrayal of the strict teacher is outstanding.
Easy A follows Emma Stone’s journey from squeaky clean highschooler to a girl lying about her virginity. She pretends to sleep with other students to help improve their popularity in exchange for gifts. It creates tension between her friends and various events transpire that make it all the more dramatic.
It’s one of Stone’s early performances and faired exceptionally well at the box office, earning $75 million from an $8 million budget.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Charlie is a shy teen who is used to being the wallflower at social gatherings. However, this is all set to change when two confident and outgoing teens, Emma Watch and Ezra Miller, inject some love, art, and writing into his life.
It’s a fantastic story of friendship and romance, and how quickly things can change with college looming around the corner. Logan Lerman is fantastic as Charlie.
The Spectacular Now
Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley star as two teens who start as strangers but develop a strangely unique teen romance. Both have their own demons and are worried about how to progress into adulthood.
The main characters, Sutter Keely and Aimee Finicky have great chemistry. Also, the entire movie is a remnant of John Hughes’ teenage comedies. It’s a must-watch for anyone seeking something charming but a bit different.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Nick, played by Micheal Cera, is having trouble getting over his old girlfriend but is given a helping hand by Norah, who is played by Kat Dennings. The two of them meet at a club, hit it off instantly, and their chemistry is adorable.
The movie follows one night of wildness that includes drunk shenanigans, awkward encounters, and a band that lends a hand.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Based on a comic of the same name, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a quirky, action-packed teen romance that may be the most unique on our list. Micheal Cera must defeat the seven ex-boyfriends of his newfound love. The film is great fun and packed full of pop culture references and fight scenes usually seen in video games.
Cera brings his trademark awkwardness, and Edgar Wright’s (Shaun of the Dead) directing is on point.