Top 10 Saddest Romantic Movies

Script written by Michael Wynands. Time to put on your PJs and get out the tissues and the pint of Ben and Jerry’s. In this video, MsMojo counts down our picks for the Top 10 Saddest Romantic Movies. For this list, we’re taking a look at cinematic love stories that are notorious for making everybody in the audience bawl their eyes out. Since we’ll be delving into the tragic nature of these movies, a spoiler alert is in order. Special thanks to christian core for submitting this idea on our interactive suggestion tool at

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Script written by Michael Wynands.

Top 10 Saddest Romantic Movies

Time to put on your PJs and get out the tissues and the pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for Top 10 Saddest Romantic Movies.

For this list, we’re taking a look at cinematic love stories that are notorious for making everybody in the audience bawl their eyes out. Since we’ll be delving into the tragic nature of these movies, a spoiler alert is in order.

#10: “A Walk to Remember” (2002)

This is the first, but certainly not the last film on this list based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. This guy has been creating tearjerkers that make us ugly cry in movie theatres for years. In this coming of age romance, bad boy Landon falls for Jamie, the puritanical reverend's daughter, but he finds out that she has a terminal illness. The relationship between these two was every teenage girl’s dream, especially as Landon helps Jamie cross off every item on her bucket list. If only every high school boyfriend was as kindhearted and adorable as this guy, and every romance was as real as this one.

#9: “The Way We Were” (1973)

Anyone under the age of 30 probably only knows this movie because of the “Sex and the City” episode that references it. But trust us– it’s considered to be a classic for a reason. In this story where total opposites attract, Katie, a radical communist, and Hubbell, a preppy WASP, meet in college and reunite years later. Anyone who’s been in a relationship that is just doomed to fail can relate to this one. Hubbell ends up cheating on Katie while she’s pregnant with his baby– not cool, Hubbell–and in the end, the two go their separate ways. Pretty much every girl aspires to be as cool as Katie was when she runs into Hubbell after they’ve broken up.

#8: “Blue Valentine” (2010)

A word of advice: do NOT watch this movie with your significant other. The trailer might look cute, but this may be one of the most deeply depressing movies ever made, and it’ll make you question whether any relationship can actually work. The story flashes back from past to present, showing both the romantic beginnings of Dean and Cindy’s relationship and the thoroughly heartbreaking state of their marriage five years later. How much could have possibly gone wrong in only five years you ask? You’ll have to watch it to find out.

#7: “Ghost” (1990)

Featuring what is hands down the sexiest pottery scene in film, “Ghost” is undeniably a classic. In this romantic fantasy, Patrick Swayze plays a banker who is very much in love with artist Molly, played by Demi Moore. After Swayze’s character is murdered, he finds himself trapped as a ghost and realizes that his murder was part of a larger plot– and that Molly is in danger. When it comes to romance between a ghost and non-ghost character, the title of “saddestmoment” is probably the final scene of the film. That dance was definitely a heartbreaker, but watching Sam walk into the light gets us every time.

#6: “The Bridges of Madison County” (1995)

In what is possibly everyone’s mom’s favorite movie, an Iowa housewife’s life is turned upside-down by a brief, but passionate, affair. Francesca’s family is away for the week when National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid happens upon her home to ask for directions. They end up spending four blissful days together, but in the end, she makes the responsible choice to stay with her husband. As her children are going through her possessions after her death, they realize that the relationship stayed with her until her dying days. Watching Francesca almost change her mind and get into the car with Robert is especially excruciating to witness.

#5: “Romeo + Juliet” (1996)

The classic tale of star-crossed lovers is adapted for a modern audience by Baz Luhrmann in this film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. Shakespeare’s original dialogue remains, but the setting changes to the fantastical modern city of Verona Beach. Even if you didn’t really get it when you read the play in high school, this movie is undeniably romantic. To make the tragic ending even more tragic, in this version of the well-known story, rather than waking to find an already dead Romeo, Juliet opens her eyes just in time to see him take his own life. There are plenty of film adaptations of “Romeo + Juliet” out there, but no one does doomed love affairs quite like Baz.

#4: “Casablanca” (1942)

Here’s lookin’ at you, kids. This Academy Award-winning film is widely considered one of the greatest movies ever made and one of Hollywood’s best love stories. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman star in this time-honored wartime drama, playing Rick and Ilsa, former lovers reunited in Morocco. Even though Ilsa has since gotten married, the two plan to run off together. Casablanca was released in the midst of World War II when audiences were looking for something uplifting to see at the theater, but unfortunately, there’s no happy ending here as the lovers go their separate ways in the well-known final scene.

#3: “Brokeback Mountain” (2005)

We just can’t quit these two. This poignant movie tells the story of two men who meet when both are hired to herd sheep in Wyoming during the early 1960s. Things get complicated when they develop a romantic relationship, which–considering the time period– is completely taboo. There are a lot of sad moments here, as we see both Jack and Ennis marry women, have children, and try to continue on with their lives. They meet every few years, but know that it would be impossible for them to ever truly be together. We wish they could’ve gotten the happily ever after they deserved, but no such luck. We’ll just sit here rewatching that final scene, quietly sobbing.

#2: “The Notebook” (2004)

Nicholas Sparks strikes again in what is probably the most well-known of the films based on his books. Although “Dear John” is another tragic, memorable adaptation, “The Notebook” has got it all - a timeless plot, a passionate romance, and the Ryan Gosling factor. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that this is a pretty adorable love story. As much as we relish in watching the scenes featuring young Noah and Allie, the part that moves us most is when they’re in the retirement home, and Allie suddenly remembers that the story Noah has been telling is actually about them. If you don’t cry when old Noah cries, then you’re most likely some sort of heartless monster.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“P.S. I Love You” (2007)

“Love Story” (1970)

“Atonement” (2007)

“An Affair to Remember” (1957)

“Gone with the Wind” (1939)

“Once” (2006)

#1: “Titanic” (1997)

As if it could have been any other movie! “Titanic” is the spectacular, epic romance that all other love stories will be measured up against for years to come. It’s got everything a great tragic romance movie needs: lovers from different social classes, period costumes, life threatening situations, suicide attempts, steamy car scenes, and a whole lot more. We really would have loved to see Rose and Jack’s relationship progress post-sinking, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. We’re pretty sure that two people could have fit on that floating door, but regardless, when Rose finally sees Jack again in her dreams we can’t help but shed a tear. We’ll never let go either, Jack.

Do you agree with our list? Are there any sad love stories we missed? For more moving top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.

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