Why I love time travel romances

I love great stories that are skillfully told.

Whether I’m watching movies, reading a great book or even watching a well-made TV show, it’s the stories that grab and keep my attention.

But if pressed to define my absolute favorite genre of story, it would have to be the incredibly niche category of time-travel romance.

Since the tender age of ten, I’ve been enamored by the romantic notion of a love that transcends time and space. That’s when I first witnessed Christopher Reeve pining – and waiting for – Jane Seymour across centuries. I forever lost my heart to the concept of a love worth traveling through time for.

Here are my favorites from the elusive time-travel romance genre. If you know of others, I’d love to hear about them.

  • Somewhere in Time (1980) was one of the first movies to completely sweep little me off my feet. It was the 80s so there was no such thing as cheesy because literally everything was cheesy. When I watch this film now, of course, I find it cringe in the extreme. Still, I’ll never forget how it felt to watch it through a sweet, naive little ten-year-old’s eyes. It will always be the gold standard of time-travel romances for me. Clearly, I’m not the only one besotted with Somewhere in Time; it has an international fan club that periodically gets together on Mackinac Island to watch, cosplay and celebrate the film.
  • About Time (2013) is a fantastic film with a fabulous cast that I would love even if this wasn’t my very favorite genre. At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens – and has happened – in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think. It took me until just now to realize that Rachel McAdams stars in two of my movies on this list. Perhaps she’s as besotted with time-travel romance stories as I am?!
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife began as a wonderful novel (2003) and then was made into both a movie (2009) and, more recently, a limited TV series from HBO Max (2022). Since I fell in love with the book first, the others pale by comparison, but they are definitely still worth watching. The story focuses on the relationship between Clare and Henry, a guy with a serious problem: he travels uncontrollably through time when he least expects it. Not ideal for relationship consistency.
  • Xanadu (also from 1980 – clearly a very important and formative year for me) fits into the periphery of this genre. While not primarily a time-travel romance, it does contain elements of both and captures the wonderful wistfulness of a love that transcends time and supernatural elements. Some of my favorite scenes are of Kira and her old love, Danny (played by the amazing Gene Kelly) reminiscing about their time together. I always find it a little sad that she ditches such a classy guy for that no-good hippie Sonny. The heart wants what it wants. ONJ forever!

Have you watched these and fallen in love with time-travel romance, too? Or do you have other favorite movies that play in this arena? I’d love to hear your suggestions for other romantic time-travel stories and films I should check out.

Hi there 👋
Thanks for reading!

Sign up to receive more awesome content in your inbox every Friday.

We don’t spam! Unsubscribe at any time - no hard feelings.

About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial