The Romantic movement of the 19th century was a style of art that stirred the emotions, like sadness, joy and nostalgia. Later, some people used that style to depict things they favored in an idealized manner, even if such things were already seen as positive.
This trope can be applied to people, places, historical events, ideologies or anything else. Although only occasionally accurate to the facts, they can still make for great stories. If taken too far, though, they can make their subjects into Mary Sues or Mary Suetopias.
Note that this isn't about just trying to make something look good, or make it look exciting. It's about stirring the emotions, not just pumping the adrenaline.
May lead to The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything if part of the romanticizing requires the people to not do the evil parts of the job.
- Space Battleship Yamato does this for Imperial Japan, with the interesting workaround that it takes place in The Future where the protagonists must fight against hostile aliens, because no decent person could ever do a rose-tinted narative about the actual WWII-era Japan. Co-creator Leiji Matsumoto is admittedly heavily influenced by the 19th century Romantic writers & artists.
- Braveheart, portraying William Wallace and the Scots as strong earthly noble types, and the English as monsters who all have perms.
- The Godfather has often been accused of romanticizing the Mafia (not the violent parts, but other parts of the movies).
- 300: the Spartans are beatified as ultimate badasses and the Persians are vilified as subhuman monsters, because the story is told by a Spartan as morale booster to his army. Word of God is that a lot of that is in-universe propaganda, due to the Unreliable Narrator. In other words, the rose tinting is happening in-universe.
- Gone with the Wind: romanticizes the antebellum United States South. Due to many people in the South not being that far removed from the War or Reconstruction).
- Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and, to an even greater extent, Adventures of Huck Finn, are the work of an author trying to reconcile his nostalgia for the old South with his knowledge that slavery is bad.
- Deconstructed in the infamous Ren and Stimpy episode Son of Stimpy, as a means of indirectly criticizing Hollywood productions that creator John Kricfalusi feels rely more on this trope (and others), and less on the actors' acting and the interactions of the characters. He intentionally wrote the episode the way he did in order to prove the point that it wasn't that difficult to stir the viewers' emotions by using certain theatrical and music tricks in a storynote that (he feels) has no real substance.note The article in question has all of the "stinky" details.note
- In Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, "Mouse from Another House"note was also meant to deconstruct this trope, but John (who had previously worked on this show) and others who were involved felt that it had been lost on the viewers, since the director misinterpreted the story as a straight pathos tale instead of a satire of one, and played it as such..