There’s nothing better than a good love song from a movie to help you keep the feelings with you long after the movie is over. Movie love songs evoke a variety of emotions from sadness to happiness and everything in between. What follows is a rundown of the 25 best movie love songs of all time culled from decades of movies.
1. I Will Always Love You – The Bodyguard
Whitney Houston’s cover of Dolly Parton’s song for the movie The bodyguard is a poignant version that acts as a vehicle for her vocal skills and provides a musical summary of her relationship with her bodyguard in the film. The song continues to resonate with listeners long after the film’s original release in 1992.
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2. Breathtaking – Top Gun
This song catapulted the band Berlin from an alternative European synth pop band to a mainstream band. Terri Nunn’s sensual voice conveys the feeling of a woman falling in love with someone she shouldn’t and losing the battle.
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3. Unleashed Melody – Ghost
The haunting harmonies of the Righteous Brothers provide an emotionally moving backdrop that shines a light on Molly and Sam’s attempts to reconnect. You feel their pain and love for each other more strongly as the song carries you through the emotional stage.
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4. In Your Eyes – Say Anything
In your eyes had been out for a few years before finding its way into the movie say anything with John Cusack and Ione Skye. The song punctuates the film’s seminal scene when Cusack’s character stands in front of his car and plays the song on his boombox for his love to hear from a distance.
5. It Must Have Been Love – Pretty Woman
It’s one of those moments where the love song and the film’s plot line up. The track refers to the part of the film where the two characters step down from their romantic peak and temporarily go their own way.
6. Where We Belong – An Officer and a Gentleman
This powerful ballad features Joe Cocker’s raspy voice wrapping around Jennifer Warnes’ sweet soprano. Together, the two singers made you feel like they were the actors in the movie instead of Debra Winger and Richard Gere.
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7. My Heart Will Go On – Titanic
Celine Dion’s pipes are at their best in this song about love and pathos set against the sinking of the Titanic. The track covers Rose’s survival and the loss of Jack, and the decades she has to deal with while wondering what might have been had he survived.
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8. Against All Odds (Look at me now) – Against All Odds
Phil Collins’ songwriting talents shine through in this award-winning song that encapsulates the tension between the romantic couple played by Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward. The lead is as dark as the film’s plot, and it leaves them wondering why they should get back together.
9. Hopelessly devoted to you – Fat
Olivia Newton-John arrived in the United States from Australia in the film Fat and quickly became an American darling in her role as Sandy. His singing in this country-flavored song makes you feel like a teenager desperately in love with the bad boy in high school.
10. A Time For Us – Romeo and Juliet
Franco Zeffirelli’s retelling of the Shakespearean novel of love and tragedy brought it into the 20th century with the use of the theme song A moment for us. Andy Williams’ voice delivers a strong hope and vulnerability that the two star-crossed lovers will be able to find happiness with each other despite the odds.
11. (I had) The Time of My Life – Dirty Dancing
This love song breaks the mold with its upbeat tempo and brilliant vocals from the duo of Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. The film is full of plot twists and dramatic twists and turns, but it all works in the end, and the track celebrates the story’s high points as opposed to the heartbreaks.
12. Wings – Labor Day
The song begins with a solid marching beat that moves into Birdy’s soft voice that resolves into a solid hope that the relationship is worth igniting. The overall feeling matches the dark romantic twist that dries up the film’s plot, Labor Day.
13. Over time – Casablanca
The song Over time had been around for a while before Dooley Wilson sang it for Ingrid Bergman’s character in the movie, casablanca. It took the emotional scene played by Bergman as his character realizes his time is coming to an end with the character of Humphrey Bogart.
14. Title track – Beauty and the Beast
The Disney animated film’s theme song has been recorded multiple times since its original release, but it remains a perennial favorite due to its deft combination of sadness and hope that a love match between two incompatible individuals could last.
15. It Must Have Been You – When Harry Met Sally
Harry Connick Jr.’s rendition of the classic song is delivered with an explosive opener that blends into his Rat Pack-inspired singing style. The track had passed into the annals of classic 50s jazz crooner by the time it was revived by the film, When Harry Met Sallybut it’s very much in keeping with the crazy romantic relationship between the main characters.
16. Shallow – A Star Is Born
The film A star is born has been made three times since its original version was made in 1937. Each version updates the film for the current era in which it was made, and all stand out on their own, but the main story d he romance between an older male artist and a younger female artist remains constant. The song Shallow spotlights Lady Gaga’s vocal talents as she sings about the reasons the two teamed up.
17. Moon River – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Audrey Hepburn was a multi-talented actress, but she was not known for her singing skills. In the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’sshe sings the song River of the Moon with a sad, plaintive longing for the perfect romance while his neighbor listens.
18. Iris – City of Angels
The song Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls stands on its own, but when paired with the plot twist in the movie City of Angels, it takes on a whole new meaning. The pain of the transition between the two main characters is translated into a song that brings back the feeling of love and loss.
19. I just called to tell you that I love you – The woman in red
Stevie Wonder’s award-winning theme song features lyrics that highlight the hopefulness of the title character’s desire to have an affair with a gorgeous woman. His intended lover entertains his advances but ends up turning him away, and Wonder’s lyrics speak deftly of the missed connection.
20. Kiss Me – She’s All That
The film She is all that centers on a jock thinking he’s going to be cruel to the “ugly” girl at school and asks her out, only to realize that she really is all that. The mid-tempo beat of the song with the plaintive vocals gives the feeling of cautious hope that the girl will get her guy.
21. Love is Everywhere – Four Weddings and a Funeral
The film Four weddings and a funeral was a bit of the crazy British comedy that follows the eventual pairing of two of the main characters. Track Love is everywhere doesn’t follow the love song formula, but it does relate well to the overall theme of the film.
22. (Everything I Do) I Do For You – Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
The juxtaposition of a contemporary love song with a story set during the medieval period seems a bit odd at first glance. Somehow the two managed to work together, especially considering how long the song stayed at the top of the charts for a record-breaking 16 weeks.
23. Kiss of a Rose – Batman Forever
This particular Batman film was part of a series of campy takes on the beloved comic book character, which makes this powerful Seal ballad an eerie contrast. However, the track managed to fit into the film before taking on a life of its own and leaving the film behind.
24. I don’t want to miss anything – Armageddon
The film Armageddon features a father-daughter team with his love working alongside them. The fact that Steven Tyler’s daughter, Liv, plays the girl in the film makes Aerosmith’s selection for the power ballad’s theme song a fitting choice.
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25. Crazy About You – Vision Quest
The film vision quest became a footnote in Madonna’s career, but her ballad Crazy of you long outlived the film. The track is Madonna at her best as she pushes her emotions through her singing and makes you feel them as you listen.
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