There’s nothing better than a good love song from a movie to help you carry the feelings with you long after the movie ends. Movie love songs evoke a variety of emotions that range from sadness to happiness and everything in between. The following is a look at the 25 best movie love songs of all time from decades of movies.
1. I Will Always Love You – The Bodyguard
Whitney Houston’s cover of the Dolly Parton 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 movie. The song continues to resonate with listeners long after the movie’s original release in 1992.
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2. Take My Breath Away – Top Gun
This song catapulted the group Berlin from an alternative European pop-synth band to a mainstream act. The sultry vocals of Terri Nunn convey the feeling of a woman who’s falling in love with someone she shouldn’t and is losing the battle.
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3. Unchained Melody – Ghost
The haunting harmonies of the Righteous Brothers provide a longing, soulful backdrop that highlights the attempts of Molly and Sam to reconnect with each other. You feel their pain and love for each other more strongly as the song carries you through the emotional scene.
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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 seminal scene of the film when Cusack’s character stands in front of his car and plays the song on his boombox for his love interest to hear from a distance.
5. It Must Have Been Love – Pretty Woman
This is one of those times when the love song and movie plot align with each other. The track refers to the part of the film where both characters come down from their romantic high and temporarily go their own ways.
6. Up Where We Belong – An Officer and a Gentleman
This power ballad features Joe Cocker’s raspy vocals that wrap around Jennifer Warnes’ smooth soprano. Together, both singers made you feel as if 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
Céline Dion‘s pipes are in their full glory in this song about love and pathos set against the background of the sinking of the Titanic. The track covers Rose’s survival and the loss of Jack, and the decades that she has to face while wondering what could have been if he had survived.
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8. Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) – Against All Odds
Phil Collins’ songwriting talents shine through in this award-winning song that summarizes the tension between the romantic couple played by Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward. The track is as dark as the plot of the movie, and it demands them to ask each other why they should get back together.
9. Hopelessly Devoted to You – Grease
Olivia Newton-John rode into the US from Australia in the movie Grease and quickly became an American sweetheart in her role as Sandy. Her singing in this country-flavored song makes you feel like you’re a teenager hopelessly in love with the bad boy during high school.
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10. A Time for Us – Romeo And Juliet
Franco Zeffirelli’s telling of the Shakespearean novel of love and tragedy brought it into the 20th century with the use of the theme song A Time 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.
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11. (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life – Dirty Dancing
This love song breaks the mold with its upbeat tempo and bright vocals from the duo of Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. The movie is full of dramatic plots, turns, and twists, but everything works out in the end, and the track celebrates the highlights of the story as opposed to the heartbreaks.
12. Wings – Labor Day
The song starts out with a solid marching beat that moves into Birdy’s soft vocals that resolve into a solid hope that the relationship is worth going up in flames over. The overall feeling matches the dark romantic twist that dries the plot of the movie, Labor Day.
13. As Time Goes By – Casablanca
The song As Time Goes By 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 her character realizes her time is coming to a close with Humphrey Bogart’s character.
14. Title Track – Beauty and the Beast
The theme song to the animated film by Disney 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 might last.
15. It Had to be You – When Harry Met Sally
Harry Connick Jr.‘s rendition of the classic song is delivered with a bombastic opening that eases into his Rat Pack-inspired singing style. The track had passed into the annals of classic 50s crooning jazz by the time it was revived by the movie, When Harry Met Sally, but it’s well within keeping of the crazy romantic relationship between the principal characters.
16. Shallow – A Star is Born
The movie A Star Is Born has been made three times since its original version was made in 1937. Each version updates the movie for the current era it was made in, and all stand out on their own, but the core story of a romance between an older male performer and a younger female artist remains constant. The song Shallow highlights Lady Gaga’s vocal talents as she sings about the reasons why both of them partnered up.
17. Moon River – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Audrey Hepburn was a multitalented actress, but she wasn’t well-known for her singing ability. In the movie Breakfast At Tiffany’s, she sings the song Moon River with a sad, plaintive longing for the perfect romance as her neighbor listens in.
18. Iris – City of Angels
The song Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls stands well enough on its own, but when paired with the plot twist in the movie City Of Angels, it takes on a whole new meaning. The ache of the transition between the two main characters is translated into a song that drives home the feeling of love and loss.
19. I Just Called to Say I Love You – The Woman in Red
Stevie Wonder’s award-winning theme song features lyrics that highlight the hope of the main character’s desire to have an affair with a gorgeous woman. His intended paramour entertains his advances but ultimately turns him away, and Wonder’s lyrics deftly talk about the missed connection.
20. Kiss Me – She’s All That
The movie She’s All That centers around a jock thinking he’s going to be cruel to the “ugly” girl in the school and asks her out, only to realize she’s really all that. The song’s mid-tempo pacing with the plaintive vocals delivers the feeling of cautious hope that the girl will get her guy.
21. Love is All Around – Four Weddings and a Funeral
The movie Four Weddings And A Funeral was a bit of British madcap comedy that follows the eventual pairing of two of the principal characters. The track Love Is All Around doesn’t follow the love song formula, but it does relate nicely to the overall theme of the movie.
22. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
The juxtaposition of a contemporary love song with a story that’s set during the medieval period seems a little strange on the surface. Somehow, the two managed to work together, especially in light of how long the song sat at the top of the charts for a record-breaking 16 weeks.
23. Kiss From a Rose – Batman Forever
This particular Batman movie was one of a series of campy takes on the beloved comic book character, which makes this power ballad from Seal a strange contrast. However, the track managed to fit in with the film before taking on a life of its own and leaving the movie behind.
24. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Armageddon
The movie Armageddon features a father-daughter team with her love interest working alongside them. The fact that Steven Tyler’s daughter, Liv, plays the daughter in the movie makes the selection of Aerosmith for the power ballad theme song an appropriate choice.
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25. Crazy for You – Vision Quest
The movie Vision Quest has become a footnote in Madonna’s career, but her ballad Crazy For You has long outlasted 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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