Romantic dramas are a fan favorite across the globe, and some of the most iconic films in movie history have a timeless romance at their center. No matter what corner of the world you find yourself in, a good romance will always tighten your heart.
Yet, as Shakespeare established centuries ago, some of the best romances tend to be tragic, or at least contain tragic elements. What could be more heartbreaking than a pair of beautiful people, desperately in love, torn apart by a cruel twist of fate? Here are some of the saddest and most heartbreaking moments in romantic cinema.
ten roman holidays
An iconic love story from the 1950s, roman holidays with Gregory Peck and then debutante Audrey Hepburn. The film remains one of the most beloved romantic comedies of all time with an elegant and sophisticated couple at its heart.
However, unlike what one might expect from a wellness movie like this, roman holidays ends with heartache. In the final scene, Joe Bradley (Peck) takes a long, nerve-racking walk down the palace hallway after he finally realizes his brief stay with Princess Ann (Hepburn) is over. In a way, the fact that the film remains realistic in the end and doesn’t unite the lovers makes the ending even more memorable.
9 A case to remember
A classic romance with the debonair Cary Grant and the lovely Deborah Kerr–A case to remember captured hearts and made handkerchiefs stand out with its intense story of love and heartbreak.
The couple meet on a cruise ship and fall in love, but both are already engaged to other people. They promise to meet again six months later on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Tragedy strikes when Terry (Kerr) is hit by a car as she rushes to meet Nickie (Grant) on the appointed day. However, the moment viewers hold their breath comes in the last scene when Nickie finally comes to see Terry, presumably to tell him how she broke his heart, but instead finds out that she had been crippled by the accident.
8 Blown away by the wind
Margaret Mitchell’s masterpiece “Gone with the Wind” was adapted for the big screen in 1939, and the film starred Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in the lead roles, both at the height of their careers at the ‘era.
Fans of the classic know the film follows fiery Scarlett O’Hara (Leigh) as she grapples with her quest for love and the incredible tragedies of the Civil War. When Scarlett finally returns home to Tara, she is ecstatic at the idea of âârunning into her mother’s loving and comforting arms. But then, in a powerfully moving moment, she makes a heartbreaking discovery: Her mother had died of typhoid while she was gone, and her father had almost lost his head in grief.
7 Insomnia in Seattle
One of the most beloved romances of the 1990s, young Tom Hanks plays a grieving widower who moves to Seattle with his 8-year-old son after his wife’s tragic death.
The film ends on a happy note as Sam (Hanks) and Annie (Ryan) find themselves atop the Empire State Building, a tribute to A case to remember, which is mentioned several times in the film. However, there are a few moments in the film that stick with audiences long after the end credits. For example, when Sam Baldwin talks to his late wife alone at night, while his grandson is sleeping – the dialogue, âI miss you so much, it hurtsâ is one for the ages.
6 Ps i love you
To be fair, the whole movie hinges on one depressing premise – the untimely death of a young man who leaves behind a grieving widow. Gerard Butler is incredibly charming and Hilary Swank makes audiences cry like the woman who dug herself and slipped in, never to get out.
Holly (Swank) then begins to receive letters from the late Gerry in which the latter tried to help her move on, knowing full well that she would ruin what was left of her life otherwise. When Holly’s mom finally tells her that Gerry made her promise to mail the letters from him after he left, that’s when it gets really hard to hold back the tears.
A film that broke hearts, rocked the box office and won almost every award it was nominated for, the love story of Jack and Rose is defining for the time and catapulted the main stars to instant fame.
An entire generation mourned with Rose as she let her lover go into the dark, freezing waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. The broken door that Rose floated on became a running gag over the years with a lot of teasing that she had been strong enough to have carried Jack as well. However, director James Cameron wanted to give lovers a tragic end, and he did.
4 One day
Emma and Dexter continue to cross paths in this Harry met Sally rehash with a tragic ending. Although they clearly love each other, they never reunite until they finally do, but then fate plays a cruel game.
Those who brace themselves for the sight of a hero or heroine happily riding a bicycle can hardly be blamed, for Emma’s shocking accident and death in One day was mortifying. She is hit by a truck just after leaving a voicemail for Dexter and promising to see him soon. For a movie that largely feels light, the way the couple is torn apart feels harsh.
The romance of Nicholas Sparks makes the aqueduct work even on the umpteenth watch. Noah and Allie’s love story goes through its ups and downs and even seems doomed for a while until the couple finally reunite.
Their romance continues into their old age and in a painful moment the audience realizes that the former Allie has lost her memory and can’t even remember the one true love in her life, Noah. The latter, however, is determined that miracles will happen. He stays with her in the same establishment and reads her own story to her every day. The moment Noah and Allie are found dead, lying next to each other, appearing peaceful together, makes even the strongest cry.
Joe wright Atonement is a moving story of remorse, cursed love and death. A whimsical and cocky 13-year-old teenager ruins the lives of her older sister, her lover, and herself in moments of jealousy.
For a while, the viewer is tricked into thinking that everything will be fine after all, but then the director drops a bombshell. The lovers, whom Briony’s lie had torn apart, never had the happy ending they had been waiting for. The war has taken place – Robbie died on the very last night before his garrison was evacuated and Cecelia died a few months later in a bombing incident. The scene where Robbie lies dead, staring into the void, in front of him the photograph of the small cottage in which he had planned to live with Cecelia, is sure to leave an intense heartache.
1 The fault of our stars
Gus and Hazel’s doomed young love is a heartbreaking one that could make even the most callous viewer hysterical. Hazel is a cancer patient who meets fellow cancer patient Gus in a support group and finds herself instantly drawn to his cheerful, cheerful temperament.
But the public knows it could hardly end well, and of course, Gus relapses and eventually succumbs to his illness. Towards the end of the film, Gus, Hazel, and their mutual friend Isaac meet at church to read the letters they wrote to each other in eulogy. The pure, pure love that Hazel and Gus feel for each other endures even though their lives are not.
NEXT: 10 Cult Rom Coms Where The Couple Don’t End Up Together
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