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15 Irresistible Chinese Romance Movies to Watch Next in 2024

Romance is a timeless genre that people keep coming back to because it’s sweet, compelling and emotional—and many Chinese movies hit that spot perfectly.

The Chinese romance movies below will sweep you off your feet. They touch on different kinds of love, from breezy teenage love to more complicated love that stretches out over the years.

Here are 15 of the best Chinese romance movies, with several that you can stream right away:

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1. Love O2O (2016)

Chinese Title: 微微一笑很倾城
Where to Watch: Netflix

Gaming is a huge industry in China, and Love O2O depicts it realistically, with plenty of romance thrown in.

Xiao Nai is a gaming expert who’s popular at his university. While he’s gaming online, he notices a skilled female player and pursues her in real life. It turns out that her name is Wei Wei and she’s a computer science major at his school.

Their relationship then develops both online and offline, from pursuing gaming tournaments together to dealing with skeptics.

There’s a drama version too, but personally I like the movie better.   

2. Love You Forever (2019)

Chinese Title: 我在時間盡頭等你
Where to Watch: Disney Plus

Lin Ge, a talented musician, is best friends with Qiu Qian. She’s an aspiring dancer—and he happens to be deeply in love with her.

A tragedy happens that cuts short their friendship, though. To prevent it from happening, Lin Ge travels back through time so he can help Qiu Qian have a better life, even if it means sacrificing some years of his life.

It’s a tearjerker of a movie that shows what people would be willing to do for love, and I still can’t forget about the ending. Its Chinese title literally means: “I will wait for you at the end of time.”

3. Better Days (2019)

Chinese Title: 少年的你
Where to Watch: Amazon PrimeNetflix

This Oscar-nominated movie tackles a difficult (but very relevant topic): school bullying.

Chen Nian, a top student, becomes a victim of severe bullying. Since she’s preparing for the gaokao exams, which will determine her college prospects, she’s under a lot of pressure and becomes even more isolated.  

Luckily, she finds someone who can defend her from the bullies: Xiao Bei, another student who’s street-smart and gruff. He then teaches to stand up for herself, while she encourages him to break free from his troubled past.

It got me thinking a lot because it’s a very intense watch, and some of the content can be quite graphic. 

4. Us and Them (2018)

Chinese Title:  後來的我們
Where to Watch: Netflix

“Us and Them” is a poignant love story that’s one of my favorite Chinese movies.

Jianqing and Xiaoxiao are twenty-somethings who meet by chance while they’re going home for the New Year. They’re both from the same small town, with dreams of making it big in Beijing.

Both of them eventually settle down in Beijing together, but it soon takes its toll on them. As a game designer, Jianqing has to deal with a cutthroat industry, while Xiaoxiao struggles to find her direction in life.   

The movie explores their story over ten years—throughout the course of their relationship, but also the aftermath.

5. Coming Home (2014)

Chinese Title: 归来
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

“Coming Home” is set during the Cultural Revolution in the 1970s, and it’s a moving (but not melodramatic) story about a married couple who try to love each other despite being separated. It features Gong Li too!

Lu Yanshi is a rebellious intellectual who gets sent to a labor camp as a prisoner. Meanwhile, his wife, Feng Wanyu, has to raise his daughter on her own.

When Lu is finally freed from the labor camp, he’s excited to return home, but then he discovers that Feng has developed amnesia and doesn’t remember him at all—and he has to painstakingly rebuild their relationship.

6. The Road Home (1999)

Chinese Title: 我的父亲母亲
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

“The Road Home” is a must-watch if you’re exploring Chinese cinema. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the greatest Chinese movies of all time.

Zhao Di, a young woman in a rural village, falls in love with someone unexpected: Luo Changyu, who’s a schoolteacher temporarily assigned there. But their relationship is opposed by Zhao Di’s traditional father, who wants her to marry a wealthy, older man.

Still, they’re determined to continue their relationship, even if in secret, and even when Changyu has to transfer to another village.  

Zhang Ziyi’s acting as Zhao Di is phenomenal here!

7. The Mermaid (2016)

Chinese Title: 美人鱼
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime | Disney Plus

“The Mermaid” is directed by the famous Stephen Chow, and it’s done in his signature style, with a wacky plot you haven’t seen anywhere before. In fact, it’s one of the top grossing films ever in China.

A wealthy businessman, Liu Xuan, wants to develop a coastal area, but what he doesn’t know is a community of mermaids lives there. To stop his business plans, the merpeople send Shan, a beautiful mermaid, to seduce and assassinate him.

Shan goes undercover as an employee at his company, but her efforts to kill him keep falling flat as Xuan gets more affectionate towards her.

8. Under the Hawthorn Tree (2010)

Chinese Title: 山楂树之恋
Where to Watch: YouTube

This movie also takes place during the Cultural Revolution.

Jingqiu, a smart and determined young woman, is sent to a rural village for re-education. There, she encounters Lao San, a local boy who works as a laborer.

Despite their different backgrounds and society’s norms back then, they decide to be together.

Their relationship is tested, though, when Jingqiu has to go back to the city for her studies.

The story depicts a kind of pure love that’s hard to see in modern movies. It’s directed by Zhang Yimou, who came up with other iconic movies like “The Road Home” and “Raise the Red Lantern.”

9. Secret (2007)

Chinese Title: 不能说的秘密
Where to Watch: Amazon

Megastar singer Jay Chou might be the lead actor, director and writer of this classic Taiwanese romance film, but it’s also popular because it’s really good.

Ye Xianglun is a piano student who transfers to a new school with a prestigious music program. When he hears a beautiful solo being played on an old piano, he’s immediately intrigued and stumbles on Lu Xiaoyu, a mysterious girl who’s very talented with the piano.

They connect deeply over their shared passion for music, but then Xianglun discovers a major secret that affects both of them—and it’s hard for him to believe at first.

10. Our Times (2015)

Chinese Title: 我的少女時代
Where to Watch: Disney Plus

If you’re looking for a lighthearted teen romance, then add “Our Times” to your watchlist.

Lin Truly is stuck in a mundane job and reminiscing about her high school days. The movie then rewinds to the 1990s, when Truly is still a high school student.

She’s clumsy, a bit of a nerd and often bullied. But she finds an unexpected ally in Hsu Taiyu, the school’s bad boy. While they don’t get along at first, they team up to help each other with their crushes, only to catch feelings for each other.

While I’ve seen similar storylines before (as a fan of romantic movies!), I still like it a lot because it’s very sweet and heartfelt.

11. Your Name Engraved Herein (2020)

Chinese Title: 刻在你心底的名字
Where to Watch: Netflix

“Your Name Engraved Herein” is a gay romantic movie that’s set in the 1980s, back when martial law was just lifted in Taiwan.

Jia-han and Birdy are two high school students in an all-boys Catholic school who develop feelings for each other.

Jia-han notices it first because he’s more open about his sexuality, while Birdy is more reserved and conflicted. Because of the conservative attitude during that time, they end up keeping their relationship a secret.

As a love story, it depicts how love can be both beautiful and painful, all while the two boys are searching for acceptance too.

12. Man in Love (2021)

Chinese Title: 当男人恋爱时
Where to Watch: Netflix

This is a well-done remake of the 2014 Korean original.

Hao Ting doesn’t know how to pay off her father’s heavy debts. When A Cheng, a debt collector, chases after her, he comes up with an unusual proposal: if she dates him, he’ll erase his father’s debt.

Hao Ting hates the idea of it at first, but then she notices that there’s a softer side to him. She compels A Cheng to change his life, but it’s not as easy to throw off his dark past.  

I felt a whirlwind of emotions while watching this because it does a great job of blending laugh-out-loud moments with raw, poetic scenes.

13. My Missing Valentine (2020)

Chinese Title: 消失的情人节
Where to Watch: Disney Plus

If you’re a fan of the French romantic comedy “Amelie,” then don’t miss out on this quirky Taiwanese movie.

Xiao Chi has a strange problem: she constantly lives her life a step ahead of others. For example, she answers questions before they’re even asked and misses the bus constantly.

Still, she’s excited to spend Valentine’s Day with a cute guy. When Valentine’s Day comes, though, she’s about to head to town but then suddenly finds herself in bed again—and it’s already the day after Valentine’s.

She has no idea what happened, and the movie unravels it in an intriguing way.

14. If You Are the One (2008)

Chinese Title: 非诚勿扰
Where to Watch: YouTube

“If You Are the One” is a funny take on what it’s like to search for love online as a 40-year-old. It has Ge You as the lead actor, and he does an impressive job here.

Qin Fen, a middle-aged entrepreneur, gets wealthy after selling a successful invention, but he hasn’t found love yet.

He turns to online dating and experiences misadventures with women who have different motives, from being after his money to only wanting a fairytale-like romance.

Liang Xiaoxiao isn’t like the others, though. She’s independent, witty and charming—but it’s an unconventional setup because she’s much younger than him.

15. The Breaking Ice (2023)

Chinese Title: 燃冬
Where to Watch: Amazon

“The Breaking Ice” is a unique Chinese-Singaporean film where you’ll hear both Mandarin and Korean.

Nana and Xiao live in Yanji, a Chinese border town next to North Korea. Nana seems like a cheerful bus tour guide, but she feels tired inside. Xiao, a local restaurant worker, has a similar restlessness and longing to escape.

They then get entangled in a love triangle with Haofang, who’s an awkward newcomer from Shanghai. All three of them have a deep sense of loneliness, but they search for warmth and hope in each other.

I was blown away by the gorgeous winter landscapes in this arthouse-style film.

 

These Chinese romance movies will have you feeling the sparks and chemistry between the characters. If you’re a romantic like me, you’ll be rooting for them even after you’ve finished watching.

Are you a Chinese learner as well? Then these movies can help you study the language even better. You can use Anki to save new vocabulary into flashcards or even prep with shorter movie clips on FluentU.

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