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Best Grand Romantic Gestures in Movie History, Ranked



The Notebook

If you are a fan of great romantic comedies, then you are probably familiar with a common trope from the genre: The Grand Romantic Gesture. The grand romantic gesture usually takes place in the final act of the film and is an elaborate or over-the-top display of affection to win the heart of another. The reasons for the romantic gesture can vary in nature, whether as an apology or atonement, a way to get noticed or be taken seriously, or a spontaneous display of their feelings. Whatever the case, they all pretty much come down to one thing: an ultimate declaration of love.

From flowers (or also flours) to serenading, to heartfelt confessions of love in the pouring rain, grand romantic gestures have long been a staple in film. We have curated a list of the most memorable grand romantic gestures that are so sensational they are likely to have given viewers false expectations of love from that moment on. Here are the best romantic gestures in movie history, ranked.

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In Tim Burton’s Big Fish, Edward Bloom (played by Ewan MacGregor) wins the heart of his future wife Sandra (Alison Lohman) by buying all the daffodils in five states and planting them in her sorority yard. When presented with them, her fiancé Don takes notice and swiftly confronts Edward, which leads to a physical altercation. Promising Sandra he would not hurt Don, Edward takes a beating, which quickly prompts Sandra to call off the engagement with Don and marry Edward instead.

Related: Explained: Here’s Why Romantic Comedies Are So Popular

Imagine Me & You is an LGBTQ+ romantic comedy wherein Rachel (Piper Perabo) must resort to a romantic grand gesture to stop the woman she loves from leaving the country after breaking things off with her. Realizing she is in the same traffic jam as her love, Rachel stands atop a car in heavy London traffic and uses the lessons Luce taught her earlier in the film at a football game about how to yell loudly to get her attention. The women eventually come together, embrace, and live happily ever after.

Stranger Than Fiction captures the sweetest and punniest grand romantic gesture in movie history wherein Harold, a buttoned-up IRS agent, attempts to woo his auditee Ana (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a rebellious baker with an icy exterior. Having had an awkward moment earlier in the day when Harold rebuffed Ana’s attempts to befriend him, Harold tries to make amends by presenting Ana with an assortment of flours. When she offers to purchase them, emulating his actions earlier, she asks what they are, to which he responds, “Flours, I brought you flours.” The realization on Ana’s face when she realizes the romantic undertones will make your heart melt.

In Pretty Woman, Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) dramatically professes his love to Vivian by delivering the fairy-tale she had always imagined. He arrives in a grand white limo with a dozen roses in hand, before climbing to the top of the fire escape of her L.A. apartment. It is one of the best romantic grand gestures in movie history because he fought through his well-established fear of heights to prove his feelings for Vivian.