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teen romance movies

The Best and Worst Romance Movies for Teens

by Debbie Steinberg

Love Is In The Air

and on our teenager’s screens!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so we searched for the best romance movies that you can enjoy in February as a family or with your teenagers! In our society right now it can feel nearly impossible to find ANYTHING worth watching, much less something that revolves around love.

The first 5 romance movies range from classic films to modern day puppy love or happily-ever-after stories that will warm your heart. 

The last 5 romance movies I listed are movies to skip over due to scenes and content that show young teens making terrible choices that mislead them. We want our youth to see positive examples of what young adult life looks like when values and morals drive their decisions.

1. Beauty and the Beast (1991 Animated version)

This Disney classic was reformatted and re-released to theaters in 2002.  It’s a reflection of when Hollywood was healthier and created excellent family entertainment with the best writers, musicians, and filmmakers. Belle is a beautiful and ambitious girl who must fall in love with a seemingly dangerous and moody beast who reigns over a castle to break a spell.

When love prevails, the evil curse is broken and Belle learns the truth about the beast.

2. The Princess Diaries

A delightful story of a young girl who learns she is a princess! Through her transformation, she learns how to be responsible, virtuous, and do the right thing when facing adversity. It has all the elements of a teen movie; slap-stick humor, romance, and an intriguing plot. You can watch the trailer on Youtube! Rated G.

3. I Still Believe

This movie topped the box office in 2020 despite being released during Covid shutdowns!

I Still Believe shares the true story of Christian musician Jeremy Camp’s relationship with his wife Melissa and their fight with cancer.  His faith is tested and shows faith tested is the only faith worth sharing. Rated PG.

4. A Walk to Remember

Based on the book by author Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember is about two teenagers who are in different places spiritually. Jamie, a pastor’s daughter with strong Christian beliefs, meets Landon when he is assigned to attend a theater class and after school tutoring. He is serving a disciplinary action given by the principal for his involvement with a hazing incident. 

Landon is quickly drawn to Jamie who exudes confidence and is able to stand up for herself.  

Romance and drama ensue when the two begin dating. It’s important to note that Jamie holds the romantic notion that she can help “save” Landon and is cautioned by her father. Great opportunity to talk to your teen about the importance of being equally-yoked in a relationship! When it comes to romance movies, this is one of the most loved! Rated PG.

5. A Cinderella Story

Starring Hillary Duff and Chad Michael Murray, A Cinderella Story is the contemporary version of the Disney classic, Cinderella! Kindness, love, compassion, and just doing the right thing are followed by numerous blessings.  Just one of the great romance movies for all ages! Rated PG.

1. The Fault In Our Stars

This is one of the romance movies we definitely don’t recommend. It deals with the extremely tough topic of youth cancer and two teens who fall in love while battling it. It is well-acted and shows a strong supportive family but has heavy language and implied teen sex. Our teens do not need to watch any movie that makes teen sex look romantic, expected as a natural progression of the relationship, acceptable, and normal. For more details on the content, you can always read up on the full review. Rated PG-13.

2. The Notebook

The Notebook is based on the best-selling Nicolas Sparks novel. While the story is simple there is a lot of sex, lying, adultery, and nude scenes. This is one of the most popular romance movies to date! It is set to stir hearts with a long-lost love story, but there is just too much mature material for your teenagers. Rated PG-13.

3. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

A romantic comedy in which the teen girl has a strong family unit and good fatherly guidance with dating, but does not show any good examples for teens to follow.  Underage drinking, excessive profanity, and emotions rule decision making. We live in a time when pop culture encourages teens to make decisions based on how they feel, which is a worldview behavior, so skip over any movies that show this! NR (Not-Rated).

4. 10 Things I Hate About You

You can immediately sense from the title of this movie how ugly this film feels. The teens in this movie have no moral grounding. Sex and underage drinking are normalized, and excessive language is used. There is one scene where the main character exposes herself to a coach to distract him. Two thumbs down. Not at all on our list of approved romance movies! Rated PG-13.

5. Step Up

This musical dance drama has all the elements of romance when a ballet dancer convinces a guy that is on “the other side of the tracks” to be her senior dance partner. The plot is predictable and there is not much substance in this movie. The message to “follow your heart” is promoted, revealing a romantic worldview. For this reason, we recommend you skip over this movie – all these subtle messages in movies undermine how to make good decisions in a dating relationship.  Rated PG-13.

So, yes, love is in the air this month! Have fun viewing some of the sweetest romance movies that celebrate it! We want our teens to learn what good moral values are and embrace them. We can pray for their future husband or wife and can guide and protect them from going astray by choosing positive entertainment, teaching them what healthy relationships are, and pointing out anything that misleads them.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

Psalm 119:9 ESV

Debbie Steinberg is a wife and mother of three girls. She is passionate about raising awareness of the toxic pop-culture she has been witnessing as her girls grow, noticing the increasing challenge of raising healthy and wholesome children in a world that continues to rapidly decline in values, morals, and spiritual growth. She is a fitness instructor, loves to read biographies and historical fiction, taking long walks, and studying God’s word.

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