These Romantic Movies Are Guaranteed To Make You Sob

Romeo and Juliet. Tristan and Isolde. Jack and Rose. Why is it that the most iconic love stories in our collective cultural imagination are also the most tragic? Perhaps because these pairings are all subject to something extraordinary: a connection more powerful than convention, and a love that knows no bounds.
But this love should come with a warning label. In addition to bouts of extreme passion and daydreaming, it may also cause despair, destruction, and lots of tears — both for the characters and for the spectators.
Advertisement
So, here’s to the lovers entangled in forbidden partnerships. To the underdogs, the rebels, and the mismatched duos. The affairs that might not last in the real world, but run their course over the stretch of one beautiful movie.
After all, romantic comedies are good and fun. But if you want a real romantic movie experience, watch a film guaranteed to make you sob from the highs and lows of human experience, all piled up in rapid succession.
Read These Stories Next:
1 of 10
The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

The Tearjerker: "You gave me a forever within the numbered days and I can't tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity."

Teen movies are known for playing adolescent emotions like angsty harps, but The Fault in Our Stars raised the bar for ravaging its audiences. In the film, two teenagers diagnosed with cancer meet during a support group meeting and start a relationship. They make the most of the time they have together.
2 of 10
West Side Story (1961)

The tearjerker: "For here you are / And what was just a world is a star"

In this iconic musical, the story of Romeo and Juliet is transposed to 1960s Manhattan, and set to music. Revision: in this iconic musical, the story of Romeo and Juliet is improved.

This time around, the instant and forbidden love is between Tony (Richard Beymer), an American, and Maria (Natalie Wood), a Puerto Rican immigrant. Maria's brother is the leader of the Sharks, a Puerto Rican gang that's sworn enemies with Tony's gang, the Jets. Over the next few days, the lovers' rebellion will unleash a tragic chain of events.
3 of 10
The English Patient (1996)

The Tearjerker: "Swoon, I'll catch you."

Is it just me, or do all the most epic love stories also happen to be period pieces with amazing costumes? That description certainly applies to The English Patient, the story of an epic romance between a Hungarian count (Ralph Fiennes) and a married Englishwoman (Kristin Scott Thomas). When we first meet Lazslo, though, he's burnt beyond recognition in a hospital bed in Italy at the end of WWII. Slowly, he tells the story of his extraordinary life to his nurse, Hana (Juliette Binoche), who has a love affair of her own.
4 of 10
Chungking Express (1994)

The tearjerker: "Actually, really knowing someone doesn't mean anything. People change. A person may like pineapple today and something else tomorrow."

In this heavily stylized film, two cops in Hong Kong fall in love. Kaneshiro falls for the mysterious, trenchcoat-clad Brigitte Lin, and his coworker, Leung, is drawn to the day-dreaming kebab-stall girl, Faye Wong. But in this movie of "could have beens," the possibility of romance is more exciting than any substantial relationship actually materializing between the pairs.
Advertisement
5 of 10
Titanic (1997)

The Tearjerker: "It doesn't make any sense. That's why I trust it."

When Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), a drifter with boyish charm, and Rose (Kate Winslet), a 17-year-old socialite, climb aboard the doomed ocean liner, there are two things they don’t know. First, that the ship will sink after hitting an iceberg in the Arctic. Second, that before the ship sinks, they’ll experience an awe-inspiring, life-changing love — the kind, perhaps, worth boarding the Titanic for.
6 of 10
Brokeback Mountain (2005)

The Tearjerker: "I wish I knew how to quit you."

As Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) discover, a lot can happen during long nights on the range. Under the big Wyoming skies in 1963, Jack and Ennis fall deeply in love. Over the next 20 years, the men fight to preserve what was once kindled on Brokeback Mountain, but struggle against the oppressive constraints of their marriages and societal pressure.
7 of 10
Up (2009)

The Tearjerker: The five-minute-long opening montage that tells the story of Carl and Ellie's marriage without words.

Carl’s a grumpy 78-year-old balloon salesman man, closed off to the world since the death of his beloved wife. She passed away before they could take their trip to Paradise Falls, the place where adventure awaits. Rigging his old house up with balloons, Carl’s planning his big exit: a trip to Paradise Falls. But when Carl takes off and finds an over eager Boy Scout has snuck aboard, his grand plans are dashed.
8 of 10
Amour (2012)

The Tearjerker: "Please never take me back to the hospital. Promise…Promise me."

Most romance movies are about the start of a relationship. Amour, a French drama about a married couple in their 80s, is about the uncomfortable implication in the vow, "'Til death do us part." Georges and Anne, retired music teachers, have spent their lives together. After Anne suffers from an attack, her impaired state brings the couple near the bleakest impasse of them all: the inevitability of an ending.
9 of 10
Like Crazy

The Tearjerker: "What have you been doing?" "Waiting for you."

Visas, immigration, and other impediments to true love are such a drag. When the British Anna (Felicity Jones) and the American Jacob (Anton Yelchin) fall madly in love at the end of their senior year in Los Angeles, Anna violates the terms of her student visa for a few more days with Jacob. Consequently, Anna is barred from reentering the United States. The thrilling, blissful fury of first love struggles with transatlantic pressures in this downright heartbreaking, authentic film.
10 of 10
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

The Tearjerker: "I wanna remember us just as we are now."

In one of American cinema's more interesting forays into fabulism, Brad Pitt plays Benjamin Button, a man destined to grow "young" instead of old. Born an old man, Benjamin ages in reverse. Benjamin and his his childhood friend, Daisy Fuller (Cate Blanchett), are madly in love. But given their reverse aging trajectories, there's only a limited time frame in which they can be together.
Advertisement