I’m a sucker for films about time travel, and adding romance to the formula makes it even more appealing. There’s something about the mystery of time travel in general and the build-up of characters, whether they’ll have a happy ending or be stuck in a void.
Unlike feel-good romantic comedy movies, time travel romance movies will make you read movie reviews (even Reddit discussions) to answer dead-end paradoxes.
Without further ado, here are some time travel romance movies that I highly recommend.
The good news is that they’re all on Amazon Prime.
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Somewhere in Time (1980)
A Chicago playwright uses self-hypnosis to travel back in time and meet the actress whose vintage portrait hangs in a grand hotel. (IMDB)
I first watched Somewhere in Time when I was about 8 years old and I’ve been obsessed since. It’s the first film I watched about time travel (if I can remember it correctly).
I still have a lot of questions—particularly how and why Richard already had his name in the hotel records long before he wanted to travel through time. It’s like seeing the hotel records triggered the time travel that he didn’t know was possible. This is the chicken or the egg dilemma all over again!
Despite the logical flaws, Somewhere in Time is one of those hauntingly beautiful films you’ll never forget.
Two storms separated by 25 years. A woman murdered. A daughter missed. Only 72 hours to discover the truth. (IMDB)
Mirage, originally named Durante La Tormenta, is currently my favorite among all these time travel romance movies. Honestly.
I love the butterfly effect concept—how everything creates a ripple effect. It just makes you wonder about a completely different timeline (even question the what-ifs in your life), but it awakened the hopeless romantic in me.
Plus, the murder mystery thrown into the plot reminds me of Taylor Swift’s No Body, No Crime.
If Only (2004)
It takes a tragedy to teach the young businessman Ian to put love ahead of work and open up to his musician girlfriend Samantha. (IMDB)
Warning: If Only will literally make you ugly-cry. It’s one of my favorite romance tragedy films.
This is not the usual time travel concept but Ian was given one day to redo and fix what was meant to happen. The major takeaway is to never take the love of your life for granted.
The Lake House (2006)
A lonely doctor, who once occupied an unusual lakeside house, begins exchanging love letters with its former resident, a frustrated architect. They must try to unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary romance before it’s too late. (IMDB)
Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves? Yes, please. The Lake House is more of a paradox type of film but it also falls under time travel (I think).
It’s more like he’s stuck in the past and she’s in the present/future, and they try to meet somewhere along the lines… Call me old-fashioned but I specifically love the handwritten letters.
The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)
A Chicago librarian has a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel, creating complications in his marriage. (IMDB)
This is definitely included in every time travel romance films list you’ll see. It’s perhaps Rachel McAdams’s debut in the whole time travel thing (other films include Midnight in Paris, About Time, and Doctor Strange).
The Time Traveler’s Wife is a sad movie, although it can also be a metaphor for inconsistent men…not pointing fingers here, just a theory. If you haven’t read the book, please do.
When We First Met (2018)
Noah meets Avery at a Halloween party and falls in love but gets friend-zoned. 3 years later, she’s engaged to someone else. Noah returns in a time machine to fix things. (IMDB)
For a more modern, romantic-comedy type of thing, When We First Met is the one. This is particularly perfect for those who are into platonic-romance films. It’s a massive friend-zone story, but sometimes what we’re looking for is right in front of us all along…
Adam Devine also surprised me because I was used to him not being this serious.
Back to the Future (1985)
Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown. (IMDB)
I don’t know where to even begin with Back to the Future. It’s my favorite time travel film of all. I watched this shortly after watching Somewhere in Time so I basically grew up with this.
It’s just impossible not to binge-watch the trilogy every now and then because it’s the clearest time travel concept I’ve watched so far. I believe the third one may be the best bet if you’re looking for romance but the first one is my favorite. I highly suggest you watch all three!
Do you know any other time travel romance movies? I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments below!
Here are other films/TV roundups you might like: