Romantic period drama fans, rejoice! This month, Amazon Prime made a deal with the BBC and added NUMEROUS romantic period dramas. And on top of that, there are some great contemporary romances added as well. We’ve decided to pinpoint 30 of the best!

  TOP 10 BEST ROMANTIC MOVIES & TV SHOWS COMING TO NETFLIX MAY 2018

 

 

(1999)

Amazon Synopsis: Aristocrats chronicles the long and often turbulent lives of the Lennox sisters, daughters of the Duke of Richmond. Set in the 18th Century against a backdrop of royalty and rigid conventions, of political intrigue and scandal, each of the sisters’ searches for love and happiness, in an age of great change.

Why You Should Watch: Fans of female-driven period dramas about sisters should enjoy this one. In the past, this used to be one of the more difficult period dramas to get a hold of, so watch while you can! Since this is based on a true story, you’ll want to prepare for some of the depressing story angles.

 Has been categorized as both TV-PG and TV-14

 Available as of May 1

 (2014)

Amazon Synopsis: The “black sheep” son of a wealthy family meets a young psychiatric patient who’s been raised in isolation her entire life. He takes the naive young woman home for his brother’s wedding to convince his family that he’s finally straightened out his life.

Why You Should Watch: If you’re in the mood for a sweet romance, and you easily melt from Scott Speedman’s cute smiles, you should like this contemporary love story.

 PG-13

Available as of May 1

 (1995)

Amazon Synopsis: Four ambitious American girls secure husbands and position in England in order to live happily ever after. But life bears little resemblance to the fairytales, and castles appear a lot less magical when you have to live in them. They soon find themselves trapped by the trappings of wealth, and discover that beneath fine manners and social graces lie some very shabby vices.

Why You Should Watch: While not my personal favorite (I still enjoyed it overall), it is still a fan favorite with a fantastic cast including Mira Sorvino, Carla Gugino, James Frain and Greg Wise.

 TV-14

Available as of May 1

 (2002)

Romance on Amazon Prime May 2018

Daniel (Hugh Dancy), and Gwendolen (Romola Garai) in Daniel Deronda
Photo: BBC

Amazon Synopsis: Gwendolen Harleth falls in love with the idealistic Daniel Deronda, but they couldn’t be more different. When Gwendolen is forced by circumstances into an oppressive marriage, Daniel becomes involved with a talented Jewish singer. Torn between the two women, Daniel embarks on a quest to discover his true identity. Fate, however, leads to a surprising twist.

Why You Should Watch: One of my favorite romantic period dramas based on one of my favorite novels of all time. While readers and viewers are split on who Daniel should end up with, I admit to being Team Gwendolen. That said, Romola Garai and Hugh Dancy sizzle onscreen together in this excellent miniseries. It’s not to be missed!

 TV-PG

Available as of May 1

Amazon Synopsis: The tale of David Copperfield from his birth and idyllic upbringing through hardship and adventure leading to his eventual discovery of his vocation as a novelist. On his journey, David encounters a gallery of Dickens’ most memorable characters, including Mr. Micawber, Uriah Heep, Steerforth and others.

Why You Should Watch: You won’t want to miss this fabulous adaptation of Dickens’ infamous novel! Besides being romantic, you’ll also catch Maggie Smith and a young Daniel Radcliffe. So, this is the perfect adaptation to watch if you love Harry Potter!

 TV-PG

Available as of May 1

 (2005)

Elizabethtown

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Amazon Synopsis: During an outrageous memorial for a Southern patriarch, an unexpected romance blooms between a young woman and man.

Why You Should Watch: I’ve watched this romance a few times and have quite a soft spot for it. I love that it’s a romance about two lonely people who find each other. Plus, Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom have surprisingly good chemistry.

 PG-13

Available as of May 1

Howard's End

Photo: BBC/ Starz

Amazon Synopsis: The Schlegel sisters are two independent and unconventional sisters seeking love and meaning as they navigate an ever-changing world.

Why You Should Watch: I haven’t seen this new adaptation yet but the reviews are good. So, here’s to hoping it’s a lovely adaptation. If not, at least we all have Hayley Atwell and Matthew Macfadyen to appreciate!

 TV-14

May 29

Amazon Synopsis: Sir Walter Scott’s swashbuckling tale of chivalry, romance and bravehearts in medieval England, when Saxons hated their Norman conquerors. The plot is full of heroes and knaves, knightly tournaments and bloody battles. Wilfred of Ivanhoe is estranged from his family and torn between his feelings for a beautiful Jewess and a Saxon heiress.

Why You Should Watch: If you’re in the mood for a Medieval romance and knights in shining armor, then Ivanhoe is a great choice!

 TV-PG

Available as of May 1

Jane Eyre (2006). Photo: BBC

Amazon Synopsis: After a wretched childhood as an orphan, Jane Eyre accepts the position of governess at Thornfield Hall. She soon falls in love with the brooding owner, Mr. Rochester. Jane gradually wins his heart but, before they can find happiness as man and wife, they must first overcome the dark secrets of his past.

Why You Should Watch: These are my two favorite adaptations of my all-time favorite novel. You can’t go wrong with either version. But if you love Gothic Romance, Byronic Heroes, and soul connections, you’ll love these two miniseries. Gripping from beginning to end.

 Both TV-PG

Available as of May 1

 (2000)

Amazon Synopsis: A disillusioned war veteran, Capt. Rannulph Junah (Matt Damon), reluctantly agrees to play a game of golf. He finds the game futile until his caddy, Bagger Vance (Will Smith), teaches him the secret of the authentic golf stroke which turns out also to be the secret to mastering any challenge and finding meaning in life.

Why You Should Watch: Besides the uplifting messages in the film, the romance between Damon and Charlize Theron is wonderful!

 PG-13

Available as of May 1

 (2015)

Amazon Synopsis: Life in Squares dramatizes the lives of the Bloomsbury Group, an influential set of artists and intellectuals. Told over 40 years, from the death of Queen Victoria to the Second World War, the story centres on the relationship between sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.

Why You Should Watch: A romantic period drama series for lovers of literature! I haven’t seen this one yet but it sounds promising.

 TV-14

Available as of May 1

 (2008)

Period Drama Wedding Dresses

Photo: BBC

Amazon Synopsis: This gripping series by Andrew Davies brings to life Dickens’s powerful story of struggle and hardship in 1820s London. When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many years abroad, his curiosity is piqued by the presence in his mother’s house of a young seamstress, Amy Dorrit. Where will Arthur’s quest to discover the truth leave him in the scheme of things? And where will it leave the Dorrits?

Why You Should Watch: This excellent British miniseries had me at Matthew Macfadyen (Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice 2005) and Claire Foy (The Crown). If you haven’t watched it, you should definitely check it out right away. With high production value, a fantastic cast with memorable performances, and an unforgettable story, I can’t recommend this one enough.

 TV-PG

Available as of May 1

Amazon Synopsis: John Ridd watches as his father is killed by the feared clan, the Doones, and swears to avenge his death. Years later, when he meets the beautiful Lorna the attraction is instant, but when Lorna later reveals herself to be a Doone, John is horrified. John realizes he cannot fight the love growing between them and he must rescue her from becoming the unwilling bride of her ruthless cousin.

Why You Should Watch: The perfect drama for fans of star-crossed romance!

 TV-PG

Available as of May 1

Amazon Synopsis: Spanning a critical historical time from 1929 to 1940, three young women search for love. The young women leave behind their careless and innocent youth as they pursue love and happiness through places far beyond their expectations.

Why You Should Watch: This miniseries includes a young Rosamund Pike. And while some characters were left out from the book, it’s still a good adaptation.

 TV-PG

 Available as of May 1

Amazon Synopsis: When Sir Thomas Bertram takes in the 9-year-old daughter of an impoverished relative, his wife has someone to bully. Never allowed to forget her good fortune, Fanny’s good nature and fortitude finally win her a valued place in the household and the man of her dreams. Anna Massey heads the cast of Jane Austen’s witty Regency romance.

Why You Should Watch: While not my personal favorite adaptation, Jane Austen fans should still give this one a watch! It’s accurate to the novel and worth checking out.

 TV-PG

Available as of May 1

 (1994)

Amazon Synopsis: Old Martin Chuzzlewit is nearing his death. Who will inherit his riches? With such a prize to play for, the Chuzzlewit family bring forth all of their cunning, greed and selfishness.

Why You Should Watch: If you love Dickens, then this miniseries is for you. There are, of course, love stories to enjoy.

 TV-PG

Available as of May 1

 (1994)

Middlemarch. Photo: BBC Worldwide

Amazon Synopsis: A masterpiece of 19th Century literature is transformed into a triumph of 20th Century television in this turbulent classic drama. A multi-layered story of provincial life on the brink of momentous change.

Why You Should Watch: This lesser-known BBC period drama came out soon before the now infamous 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and has similar production values. It was also adapted by the same screenwriter, the nearly always fabulous Andrew Davies. With a memorable romance and a swoony Romantic Hero (Rufus Sewell) mixed with the fantastic storytelling of George Eliot, you can’t go wrong with this one.

 TV-PG

Available as of May 1

Amazon Synopsis: On a dark and stormy winter’s night in a miserable, dank room, lit only by a few candles, Oliver is born into a life of poverty and misfortune. Growing up in a workhouse, watching the suffering and cruelty endured by the boys at the hands of his masters, Oliver decides he wants more and sets out for London. There he meets the Artful Dodger, Nancy, Fagin and gets the first warm welcome of his life.

Why You Should Watch: I found this one to be the most entertaining of all the adaptations and there’s some romance in it too.

 NR but would likely be TV-PG

Available as of May 1

 (1998)

Photo: BBC

Amazon Synopsis: This highly acclaimed adaptation of Charles Dickens’ last completed novel paints a powerful portrait of Victorian London. Set against the contrasting backgrounds of new money and squalid poverty, two epic love stories unfold amid bitter tensions over money, class and passion. This classic is adapted by Sandy Welch.

Why You Should Watch: Intensely romantic and adapted by the same screenwriter from the 2006 adaptation of Jane Eyre, you’ll definitely want to watch this lesser known period drama.

 TV-PG

Available as of May 1

Amazon Synopsis: A much-praised dramatization of the Jane Austen novel, adapted for television by Fay Weldon. Mrs. Bennet frantically tries to find husbands for her five daughters.

Why You Should Watch: Because every adaptation of Pride and Prejudice should be watched at least once!

 TV-PG

Available as of May 1

 (1997)

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Amazon Synopsis: Want someone to infiltrate a top-secret organization or steal a scientific formula that could change the world? For the right price, The Saint’s your man.

Why You Should Watch: Fans of romantic suspense and lovable rogues will love this movie!

 PG-13

Available as of May 1

Sense and Sensibility (2008). Photo: BBC Worldwide

Amazon Synopsis (1981): Jane Austen’s tale of two devoted sisters with totally differing attitudes to life and love. Filmed on location in the stately homes of picturesque Dorset and Somerset.

Amazon Synopsis Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve when she falls in love with the charming but unsuitable John Willoughby, ignoring her sister Elinor’s warnings. Elinor struggles to conceal her own romantic disappointment. Will the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love?

Why You Should Watch: Both adaptations of Jane Austen’s beloved novel are worth checking out, though (in my opinion, of course) the 2008 one is far superior. While the 1981 version is good, I felt the representation of the sisters and sense vs sensibility to be a little too on the nose. The 2008 one, on the other hand, includes a fabulous cast and is swoony period drama romance at its best.

 Both TV-PG

 Available as of May 1

 (2007)

Amazon Synopsis: Battling illness and unable to finish a novel that has taken him ten years to write, aging novelist Leonard Schiller is slipping into literary obscurity.

Why You Should Watch: A highly-acclaimed romantic drama for those of us who love literature and deep discussions.

 PG-13

Available as of May 1

 (1996)

Amazon Synopsis: Anne Bronte’s classic story is as unforgettable as those of her more famous sisters. In a remote village on the Yorkshire moors, a beautiful widow and her son move into the near-derelict Wildfell Hall. Befriended by a handsome farmer, she remains mysteriously silent about her past and why she is afraid – until she becomes the focus of malicious village gossip.

Why You Should Watch: It’s a fabulous romantic period drama starring Tara Fitzgerald and Toby Stephens! He has the Romantic Hero gaze down pat!

 TV-14

Available as of May 1

Tess of the D’Urbervilles (2008)

Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Photo: BBC Worldwide

Amazon Synopsis: When the beautiful and innocent Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D’Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting the manipulative Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent.

Why You Should Watch: A fascinating adaptation with an all-star cast including Gemma Arterton and Eddie Redmayne. However, this tragic love story is not for the faint of heart!

 TV-PG

Available as of May 1

 (1997)

Amazon Synopsis: A ribald and rowdy romp through the mansions and taverns of Georgian England. Henry Fielding’s fallen hero bed-hops his way out of a good home and almost into a hangman’s noose, via a series of misadventures and misunderstandings.

Why You Should Watch: You should watch this if you’re a fan of the novel – which it seems Jane Austen was (or at least she flirted with Tom Lefroy while discussing the book)!

 TV-14; While not rated TV-M, this is Tom Jones and includes sex scenes.

Available as of May 1

Amazon Synopsis: Christian Slater and Marisa Tomei star in this tender romance about lonely souls destined to find one another.

Why You Should Watch: If you love a romance with a shy male lead, then you’ll likely enjoy this sweet romance.

 PG-13

Available as of May 1

Amazon Synopsis (1987): Thackeray’s plucky adventuress Becky Sharp claws her way up through society in this lavish period production which boasts the Battle of Waterloo as one of its set pieces.

Amazon Synopsis (1998): Becky Sharp, the penniless, orphaned daughter of an artist and a dancer, and Amelia Sedley, the sheltered child of a rich city merchant are unlikely, but firm, friends. Becky is an irrepressible schemer who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, while her friend pursues the opposite course from the drawing rooms of Regency London to the fields of Waterloo.

Why You Should Watch: I haven’t seen either version but if you love the novel, I hear both are wonderful adaptations.

 Both TV-14

Available as of May 1

Amazon Synopsis: Anthony Trollope’s epic tale of Victorian power and corruption captures the turmoil as the old order is swept aside by the brash new forces of business and finance. It is packed with the trials and tribulations of young love, the enduring values of honorable men, the raw energy of one of the most powerful cities in the world, and the greed and corruption that lay below its glittering surface.

Why You Should Watch: While a fascinating story, I admit my favorite aspect of the miniseries was the romance between Paul (Cillian Murphy) and Hetta which is romantic period drama gold.

 TV-14

Available as of May 1

 (2017)

Amazon Synopsis: A poignant and funny romantic comedy about love, marriage and faith in life’s infinite possibilities.

Why You Should Watch: If you love international romantic comedies, you’ll want to check out this heartwarming Israeli film.

 PG

Available as of May 27

 Have a favorite romantic period drama on the list? 

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