6 Romance Films For the Broken-Hearted
Article By Abbey Archer
It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that every single one of us will experience having our hearts broken. (And whoever says otherwise … your time is coming. Mark my words.) It’s not a very fun thing to experience, and for those currently in this predicament, reading this article, it’s probably pretentious for me to write for you. But I’ve been there. More than once. It sucks.
And I know the last thing you’d want to do is watch some films that have romance in them. However, I think you’ll find that these picks will be a good way to distract yourself from the pain and sadness.
Or help you wallow further in it. Whichever. You do you, friend.
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
When a narrator tells you upfront, at the very beginning, “This is not a love story,” you know it’s about to get real. Starring the charming duo that is Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, (500) Days of Summer follows the relationship of our leads over, you guessed it, 500 days. The film does so in a nonlinear format, showing the audience a great juxtaposition between the highs and lows of the relationship; there are some scenes that are so stylishly done, yet they feel incredibly real at the same time. The laughs and tears come in this one, and though it has a happy ending, you’ll feel like you went through the ringer with these two by the end of it.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Charlie Kaufman is a polarizing writer, to say the least, but when it comes to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, everyone can agree that it’s quite the cinematic gem. It has a simple enough premise: if you had the chance to erase a bad relationship from your memory, would you do it? The answer may surprise you as we watch Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet cycle through their lives, and the result is something that could be titled as Inception For the Memories. I won’t give anything away, as the plot spirals into some surprising subplots, so give this a whirl. You may find yourself changing your answer to the above question by the time the story is done.
In the Mood for Love (2000)
This Chinese film is, like most Asian-produced films, a beauty to behold. Posing some truly existential questions, In the Mood for Love is the story of two people in absentee marriages, and their journey from platonic coworkers to … maybe something more. It delves into the topic of fidelity in a realistic way and the possibility of having friendships outside of marriage that could stay within the appropriate lines. Color becomes a character of its own, and the leads are magnificently subdued in their portrayals of lonely people just trying to find a connection in the big wide world. This is one love story not to be forgotten or missed.
La La Land (2016)
Winner of the Best Picture Oscar for a mere two minutes, it may seem silly to include a modern musical on this list. Well, think again. La La Land is about an actress and an aspiring jazz club owner, trying to break even in the industries of their choice — and falling in love along the way. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling‘s chemistry is palpable, and watching their relationship will put a smile on your face. There’s not much to the story, and it could be labeled as just another self-congratulatory ode to Hollywood’s greatness, but by and large, this film tells its story through wonderful songs, old-timey visuals, and heartfelt emotion that will rip the rug out from under you. Romance has never looked more fun.
The Way We Were (1973)
This classic romantic film has steadily been forgotten in the last several years but deserves a watch. The Way We Were stars Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, two opposites that attract with real passion and fury, and we watch as their relationship blossom from college to marriage. It offers a realistic story of two people from very different backgrounds coming together on the same path and, SPOILER ALERT, going their separate ways. If it were a happy story, it would be The Way We ARE, but alas, it’s not to be. Still, though, it’s an underrated film that should be introduced to the younger crowd, and the theme song from it will haunt you for days after.
When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
Ending this list is a film that offers the perfect balance of heartbreak and hope. Directed by ’80s legend Rob Reiner, and written by the gone-far-too-soon Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally… takes twelve years to tell the story of Harry and Sally: hating each other at first, but then becoming friends as time passes. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are so magnetic in their performances, you’ll forget you’re watching them act and not just react. Questions of friendship and sex add hilarious and quick-witted dialogue to the narrative, and there are some truly gut-wrenching moments that will make you think, “I know where you’re coming from.” It ends with one of the best love confessions ever put to film, bringing even the saddest people out of misery and feeling hopeful for a brighter future.