There’s nothing quite like good romantic movies set in England, Scotland, or Wales. I love those places! Lush scenery, gorgeous accents, and often a poignant sense of whimsy all get rolled into one, giving me that delicious mixture of funny and sad that has me laughing and crying at the same time. (Pause to say, “Why did they ever cancel Downton Abbey??”) As an American I’m always amazed at how the Brits, especially, can act out high emotion and yet keep it so restrained…
The 15 movies listed here are either comedies, dramas, or dramedies ranging from the innocent period romance, to the contemporary tale of illicit affairs. They’re all streaming on Netflix (no, you don’t need to order the DVD by mail). Which movie do you love the most? Which do you despise? Leave a comment and let me know! Also, if you want more, I’ve published lists of 46 Movies Set in Italy and Streaming on Netflix or Hulu Plus; romantic movies on Netflix set in New York City; and movies streaming on Netflix and set in Paris.
And the 15 Romantic Movies set in England, Scotland, and Wales are (in alphabetical order)…
Have you seen it? I love this romantic drama set during World War Two, and starring Keira Knightly and James McAvoy. It’s about two lovers who get sadly betrayed by her sister. Based on the novel Atonement by Ian McEwan which is a very highly acclaimed, slow-paced, highly detailed piece of literature. I think this is McAvoy at his most delightful.
Bridget Jones’s Diary
A young woman (Renee Zellweger) with self-esteem issues attempts to find love in this funny movie also starring Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, based on the novel by Helen Fielding. There was some shock when it was first announced that she’d play a Brit, but she nailed it. If you enjoy watching it, there are sequels.
“One of the most beautiful pieces of literature that I have ever read.”– A PUBLISHED ROMANCE book review blog
Gwyneth Paltrow does a great job as the quick-witted star of this 1996 movie adaptation of the Jane Austen novel Emma. She’s beautiful in every scene, and the costumes and scenery are amazing.
I Give It A Year
Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne play British newlyweds whose marriage starts to fall apart not long after the wedding. Filmed in London. I haven’t seen it yet. Is it any good?
Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska star in this Gothic romantic drama based on the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Made in 2011, filmed in England. Fassbender is chillingly cold and passionate at the same time, a veritable volcano of pent-up desire and sadness.
Mrs. Brown (1997) tells the story of Queen Victoria, who’s grieving the loss of her husband when she begins to fall for a male servant, causing political problems. Filmed in England and Scotland. Judi Dench is in the starring role.
Not Another Happy Ending
Karen Gillan (from Doctor Who) stars in this 2013 British romantic comedy about an author who finds herself unable to write because her success has made her so darn happy. If only every writer had that problem! When her publisher (Stanley Weber) falls in love with her, things get tricky. Poor girl. Just kidding. It was nominated for the BAFTA Awards in Scotland.
This movie brings back cheery memories of Hugh Grant as a charming, fresh-faced, young lad living in London, who finds his life turned upside down when a famous movie actress (Julia Roberts) shows up needing a place to hide.
Very cute romantic drama, in a light way. Dexter (Jim Sturgess) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) are former college lovers who meet up once a year over decades. This 2011 movie is an adaptation of the novel One Day by David Nicholls. Filmed in Scotland, England, and Paris.
Pride and Prejudice
I think Keira Knightly does a fantastic job in this romantic comedy as Elizabeth, the star of this classic adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel. She definitely makes the character more angsty than what I pictured when I read the book, and that makes it even more intriguing for a modern audience.
Filmed in 1995, this romantic drama stars Robert Downey Jr. as a young doctor in King Charles’ Court, who is asked by the king to marry his mistress. It also stars Meg Ryan, Ian McKellen, Hugh Grant, and Sam Neill. Filmed in England and Wales. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m intrigued to see how those actors do in their roles.
A Room with a View
This 1986 movie made me want to move to Florence, Italy — and then I actually did move there for five years, in 1990. Yes, it’s that romantic. Based on the novel by E.M. Forster, the movie is about a young English woman (Helena Bonham-Carter) who’s engaged to be married, and falls for the “wrong” guy while on vacation with her much older chaperone. Set in England and Italy. Watch it to find out who she ends up with.
Shakespeare in Love
A woman (Gwyneth Paltrow, who won as Oscar for her performance in this movie, BTW) gets involved with The Bard himself, played by Joseph Fiennes. The dialogue is great and she’s very funny as a society lady playing the role of a boy.
Gwyneth Paltrow (again!) plays a British woman who’s caught in time between two parallel lives in this 1998 film. I enjoyed it pretty well when I saw it, way back when it came out.
The Very Thought of You
While in London, an American woman (played by Monica Potter) falls for three guys that she doesn’t realize are best friends. Never seen it. Any good? Leave a comment below.
Know of Other Romantic Movies Set in England?
Please me know if there are other great ones on Netflix that I should add to the list.