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9 of the Best Big Romantic Movie Speeches

By Britton Perelman · February 9, 2022

Sometimes they happen in the rain, or on a plane. Or maybe when you’re leaving a party, sitting by a pool, or maybe graduating middle school.

Big romantic speeches are the trademark of romance dramas and romantic comedies, a staple of the genre if there ever was one. But while they might be a given trope, the subject matter of these swoon-worthy speeches can vary greatly.

From the practicalities of relationships to head-over-heels declarations, here’s a list of 9 of the best big romantic movie speeches.

Spoiler alert: most of these speeches take place at the end of their respective movies, so plot spoilers abound.

When Harry Met Sally…

The New Year’s Eve Speech

After running through New York City on New Year’s Eve, Harry makes it to the party just in time to find Sally. Their eyes meet and he says the perfect line: “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and the thing is, I love you.” As the partygoers around them count down to the new year and start singing Auld Lang Syne, Harry declares his love for her.

“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend a day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

Can you think of a better way to ring in the new year? Me either.   

The Notebook

 The “I Want You” Speech

Noah and Allie fell in love when they were teenagers, were kept apart by her parents, and found their way back to one another years later when Allie was engaged to another man. During a heated argument, Noah lays it all on the line for her. In a hopelessly romantic movie full of hopelessly romantic lines (“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird”) Noah’s emphatic, brutally honest depiction of love would make anyone a little weak in the knees.

“So it’s not gonna be easy, it’s gonna be really hard. And we’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I wanna do that because I want you. I want all of you. Forever. You and me. Every day.”

Silver Linings Playbook

 Pat’s Letter to Tiffany

After their dance competition, Pat walks away from Tiffany and goes to speak with his ex-wife. Hurt, and thinking that he’s still in love with her, Tiffany storms out of the hotel. When Pat finally catches up to her, he hands her a letter. As she reads it, Pat begins to speak the words aloud.

“The only way you could meet my crazy was by doing something crazy yourself. Thank you. I love you. I knew it the minute I met you. I’m sorry it took so long for me to catch up, I just got stuck.”

 The scene ends with Pat revealing that he wrote the letter a week before their competition and a perfect kiss under the street’s twinkly lights.

Casablanca

The “Hill of Beans” Speech

Casablanca is deceptively romantic. It’s a war movie without any combat, a love story without any sex scenes. And it ends with a whopper of a speech.

Rick has just revealed that he’s not getting on the plane with Ilsa, that he’s letting her leave with Victor Laszlo. And then… he tells her why…

Ilsa: “But what about us?”

Rick: “We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have— we’d lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.”

Ilsa: “When I said I would never leave you.”

Rick” “And you never will. But I’ve got a job to do too, and where I’m going you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Now, now. Here’s looking at you, kid.”

*Swoon*

 

Palm Springs

The “Run-On Sentence” Speech

We all know the infinite time loop drill — Sarah and Nyles, stuck in the same day over and over again. There’s some comedy, there’s some romance. Eventually, she wants out.

And after spending some of her infinite days studying quantum physics, Sarah thinks she’s found a way out of the loop. She’s about to leave when Nyles catches up to her. But Sarah interrupts his big speech and instead gives him a single sentence.

Nyles: “Even though I pretend not to be, I’ve realized that I am completely co-dependent, but I’m cool with it because I think that life should be shared now, and I need you to survive—”

Sarah: “Okay. That’s your one sentence.”

Nyles: “I need you to survive, COMMA, but it’s so much more than that, COLON: I know you better than anyone knows you, and remember that night that we saw the dinosaurs, you said it yourself, in order to really know a person you have to see their entire package, the good and the bad, and I’ve seen your package, and it is excellent, Sarah, AMPERSAND you’re my favorite person that I’ve ever met, and yes, I know that it’s crazy odds that the person I like the most in my entire life would be someone I met while I was stuck in a time loop, but you know what else is crazy odds? Getting stuck in a time loop. Dot dot dot—“

Sarah: “Ellipses.”

Nyles: “Ellipses, thank you. Ellipses. Look, I hope that blowing ourselves up works, but it’s really irrelevant to me, as long as I’m with you, and if it kills us, well then, I’d rather die with you than live in this world without you. Emphatic period.”

The Proposal

The Proposal Proposal

Sometimes romantic speeches are a little sappy, other times they start with an explanation of absolute hate. After spending an unexpected weekend together, Andrew realizes that the person he thought he despised is actually the one he wants to spend his life with. So he tells her just that in an honest, heartfelt, and slightly amusing speech in front of all their co-workers.

“Three days ago, I loathed you. I used to dream about you getting hit by a cab, or poisoned. Then we had our little adventure up in Alaska and things started to change. Things changed when we kissed. And when you told me about your tattoo. Even when you checked me out when we were naked. But I didn’t realize any of this until I was standing alone, in a barn, wifeless. Now, you can imagine my disappointment when it suddenly dawned on me that the woman I love is about to be kicked out of the country. So Margaret, marry me. Because I’d like to date you.”

 

Crazy Rich Asians

The “Plane Proposal” Speech

Whoever said that boarding a plane wasn’t romantic clearly hadn’t met Nick Young, who somehow manages to make it the perfect place for a proposal.

“I always imagined what me proposing to you would be like. You know what? I had it all planned out. Oh— right behind you, don’t mind me. I’d bring you to my favorite spot on the island. There’s a hidden trail that I used to go to as a child, and there’s a cove there that opens up to this beautiful lake— um, sorry dude. Give me a second. When the sun hits the horizon, I’d get down on one knee, and the rest of the world would fall away because it would just be you and— sorry, I can help you with that. Stay there. You too? Watch your fingers. Lift that up. Okay. Everybody okay? Because I just need 30 seconds with this woman. Okay, thank you. Coming through, sorry. I know this is a far throw from a hidden paradise, but wherever you are in the world, that’s where I belong.” 

Crazy, Stupid, Love

 The “Soulmate” Speech

After Robbie gives half of an incredibly cynical middle-school graduation speech about how true love is a lie, his dad stands up in the crowd and takes over. Cal then stands up and ruminates on the subject of soulmates.

“My son — not him, my actual son — believes in grand, romantic gestures. He believes in the existence of one’s soulmate. And it’s easy to just look at a 13-year-old and say, ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about. You are wrong.’ But I’m not so sure. I met my soulmate when I was 15 years old. We went out for ice cream. After, my dad started teasing me about my first date, the way dads do, and I told him, ‘Dad, it’s no big deal. I’m gonna be going out with a lot of different girls on a lot of different dates.’ And that is the first time that I ever lied to my father. I met my soulmate when I was 15 years old, and I have loved her every minute or every day since I first bought her that mint chocolate chip cone. I have loved her through the birth of my three perfect children. I have loved her even when I’ve hated her. Only married couples will understand that one. And I don’t know if it’s gonna work out. I don’t know what’s gonna happen. Sorry, Robbie, I can’t give you that. But I can promise you this: I will never stop trying. Because when you find the one, you never give up.”

Not exactly what my middle-school graduation was like, but I think I prefer the movie version, don’t you? 

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things

The Speech By The Pool

What is it about infinite time loops that make people prone to romantic speeches?

In this one, the two main characters spend their infinite days looking for tiny perfect things in their unchanging world. And after some complications and a big revelation, they end up at their neighborhood pool. Margaret explains to Mark that on the worst day of her life, all she wanted was for time to stop. And it did.

“And then the really weird thing is that you showed up and I didn’t know where you came from and why it was you. And now I think I know why. I think it’s because, when it’s time to go, I wouldn’t have to go alone. It’s time. It’s not gonna be perfect, you know? We’re never gonna find the fourth dimension or cure cancer or fix the world, but the point is that I was wrong. We’re the ones sleeping. Everyone else is awake and it’s just us dreaming. I know it’s gonna hurt really bad. But I think that I have to wake up now. I think that this is the moment. Right now. And I don’t want to miss it.”

And then she kisses him, which is exactly how all big romantic speeches should end, don’t you think?

Honorable Mentions

  • What Tim says to Mary when he’s trying to convince her to ditch the party and get dinner with him in About Time, which doesn’t make this list because it’s a conversation, not a speech.
  • Christian’s declaration of love to Satine in Moulin Rouge’s “Elephant Love Medley,” which doesn’t make this list because it’s a song, not a speech.
  • Jack saying “I wish I knew how to quit you,” in Brokeback Mountain, which doesn’t make this list because it’s really just a single line, not a full-fledged speech.
  • Juno’s dad’s speech about love in Juno, which doesn’t make this list because he’s teaching his daughter a life lesson, not declaring his love for someone.
  • The “things I hate about you” poem in 10 Things I Hate About You, which doesn’t make this list because it’s a poem, not a real speech.

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