These 15 sad, romantic movies have it all: forbidden love, saucy love scenes, cheesy lines, conflict, and drama. Pop one in to turn on the waterworks!
We all need a good cry sometimes. In fact, it is a luxury that many need: an afternoon of snuggling up under your favorite blanket, with nothing but your sweats on, chowing down some popcorn, a box of chocolates, or even cookie dough ice cream. Of course, your feel-good-crying moment is not complete without your go-to heartbreaking film.
15 sad romantic movies: Cue the waterworks… now
Whether you got fired from your job, had a fight with your man, have gone through a break-up, or are simply in the mood for a good cry, here is a shortlist of fail-proof, cry-your-heart-out romantic movies.
#1 Brief Encounter. If you’re the type who believes in love at first sight, then you have to watch Brief Encounter. This movie is about two people, Laura and Doctor Harvey, who met one random day at a train station and fall desperately in love. It would all have been perfect except for one thing: they’re both married. And so, knowing they can’t be together, they have to return to their respective boring marriages, which is the most tragic part of it all.
#2 An Affair to Remember. If there’s one classic you should put in your list of tearjerker movies, this should be it. Playboy Nickie and chanteuse Terry fall in love while on a cruise. The thing is… they are both attached to other people. They agree to meet again after six months, on top of the Empire State Building, after they have ended their respective relationships. However, the heart-wrenching part starts when Terry doesn’t turn up, only for Nickie to discover that she is, in fact, wheelchair-bound.
#3 Moulin Rouge. Set in Bohemian-themed, 1900s France, Moulin Rouge is a comedy-musical-love story and all sorts of spectacular. Naïve writer Christian goes to Paris to fulfill his Bohemian dreams, only to be mistaken as the Duke by famous courtesan Satine. Christian is then hurled into writing a play, which Satine stars in. This play, however, is financed by the real Duke of Monroth, who was promised Satine on the night after the play’s premiere. It exudes all the excitement of a budding, secret love, until many secrets are revealed, jealousy ensues, and beautiful Satine dies of tuberculosis.
#4 Steel Magnolias. It starts with the most perfect couple having the most perfect wedding. You think, “What could go wrong?” Such a wonderful couple deserves their happily ever after, right? Wrong! Apparently, Shelby has type one diabetes, which means she falls seriously ill if she ever gets pregnant. Tragically, she does *of course, that’s the point of the movie, right?* After she gives birth to a healthy baby boy, Shelby suffers kidney failure, goes into a coma, and dies.
#5 Blue Valentine. What’s more tragic than a blue valentine? In this fittingly-titled movie, follow Dean and Cindy’s marriage from the all-peaches-and-cream meeting to the gut-wrenchingly devastating meltdown as their marriage is violently plagued by Dean’s alcoholism.
#6 P.S. I Love You. While many sad romantic movies have someone dying in the end, P.S. I Love You has the protagonist die in the beginning—clear-cut foreshadowing that the worst is yet to come. And come it does, as his wife reads all the letters he wrote her before he died, guiding her into a life without him. For a sad movie from start to finish, this one is golden. [Read: 14 movies that are perfect for a good cry session]
#7 The Fault In Our Stars. What’s more tragic than a terminally ill, yet fresh-faced, witty, and endearing teenager? Two terminally ill, yet fresh-faced, witty, and endearing teenagers… falling in love.
#8 A Walk To Remember. Prepare a box of Kleenex for this one. Though it’s a classic plot of popular guy meets and falls for an unpopular, geeky girl, who transforms beautifully like an ugly duckling into a swan, you’ve just got to wait for the twist. And boy, is the twist heartbreaking. The popular Landon falls for the goody-two-shoes Jamie, whom he later finds out is dying of leukemia. The walk to remember: that wedding scene that will make all your life problems seem petty.
#9 The Notebook. Author Nicolas Sparks really had it going in the tearjerker department when he wrote The Notebook. The movie adaptation has tugged at everyone’s heartstrings, from Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams’ rain-soaked kiss that made us believe in true love, to the final hours of James Garner and the Alzheimer’s-stricken Gena Rowlands’ portrayal of undying love. [Read: True love lessons The Notebook can teach a cynical heart]
#10 Titanic. A box-office hit, a tragic romance classic, and a surefire tearjerker, Titanic gives us plenty of things to cry *and be frustrated—like, hey, they can fit on that floating board together* over. It’s the story of free-spirited Jack *played by Leonardo DiCaprio* and newly-engaged-to-someone-else Rose *played by Kate Winslet*, and how their love can transcend social norms and economic status. The tragic part is, just when you think they’re about to sail off into the sunset, an iceberg ruins it all for everybody. And the rest, as they say, is history.
#11 Brokeback Mountain. Who says a man-woman romance is the only romance worth watching? If you’re up for some bromance that’ll bring out the waterworks, regardless of sexual preference, this is the movie to watch. Brokeback Mountain brings romantic love between two dudes into the spotlight, and never has any film portrayed this love with such a tragic ending.
#12 Atonement. This is a story that is both infuriating and sad. Aristocrat Cecilia and commoner Robbie fall desperately in love, despite their different economic classes. However, they are denied their happiness as Cecilia’s jealous little sister Briony accuses Robbie of raping their cousin Lola. Of course, being of lower class, Robbie has no way of defending himself and therefore has to go to prison. What is tragic about this movie is that it shows us that sometimes, true love is forever hampered by selfish and jealous individuals.
#13 Romeo + Juliet. An adaptation of a Shakespeare classic, this Baz Luhrman take dazzles us with the vitality and pettiness of youth, as well as the rollercoaster of forbidden love between Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. The masquerade ball is a great introduction for the two doomed lovers, foreshadowing a tragic ending, when they both end up dead, victims of their own plots and poison.
#14 City of Angels. Seth, an angel, falls from the sky, giving up his powers to experience life as a human. Part of this experience, of course, is falling in love. The apple of this angel’s eye? Maggie, a surgeon, whom Seth watches save a man’s life. What follows is their curious love affair, which lasts only a day as Maggie dies, leaving the fallen angel feeling one of the most human emotions: heartbreak.
#15 Gone With The Wind. What is sadder than wanting something you can’t have? This is the idea behind the gut-wrenching, tear-jerking classic Gone With The Wind. This is one movie you just have to watch at least once in your life. It revolves around Scarlett, who resists the advances of Rhett over many years, all because she is in love with a married man, Ashley. It’s a doomed love triangle, and you just have to watch it until the very end.
There’s nothing like a good cry, especially when you feel like you are against the world, or you’re about to lose the love of your life. Going through difficult times, it can feel so darn good to just let it all out, sob, and bawl your eyes out.
The movies above are highly recommended watches not just for movie buffs, but for those who are needing a good cry. They are also a great way to bond with your girlfriends, wallow about your troubled love lives, and just comfort each other over a good, sad, romantic movie.
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Tiffany Grace Reyes
Tiffany is a wordsmith who has played with words ever since her letter-to-the-editor was published nationally at the age of 9. Since then her writing has gone f...