People say love in films is overrated. Little do they know is that there are movies out there that portray more than just the happy endings or driving into the sunlight to the tune of a love song. The movies you are about to read about give viewers the most gritty, most natural, and most realistic opposite side of love: heartbreak.
As humans, we are often drawn into the happy and mainstream version of relationship which is why many choose to view films that talk about two people falling love, losing it, and finding each other again. But as the film industry continuously explores the intimate relationship between people, audiences are often fooled into believing that they are waiting for a happy ending.
Sad movies nowadays aren’t afraid to portray love in its realest form, even if it means separating the main characters from each other in the end. It is only fitting and more honest in a way, as it shows that although two people have found each other, it doesn’t mean they’re meant to end up in the same story. Take a look at the most heartbreaking and realistic portrayals of love in films below.
1. Blue Is the Warmest Color
Starring: Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos
The award-winning film based on the novel of the same name explores the life of Adele, a young teenager who struggles with her sexual identity. She encounters Emma, a spirited and free art student. They immediately click and start a relationship, while encountering all the most realistic things that happen in a relationship.
While the theme of the movie does revolve around the lesbian sexuality, it also tackles the pain of losing the person you thought could have been the one and how acknowledging the heartache over a failed relationship can sometimes work in your favor.
2. Brokeback Mountain
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway
Brokeback Mountain was a heartbreaking film because it portrayed an era wherein western culture shunned the rights of all sorts of love. The story line is so unique yet so raw at the same time, as it literally and figuratively shows how rough it is to love when you are forced to conform to the norms. The film is brilliantly acted and certainly left audiences in tears in the end.
3. Les Amours Imaginaires (Heartbeats)
Starring: Xavier Dolan, Niels Schneider, Monia Chokri
This French-Canadian movie directed and starred by Xavier Dolan doesn’t just explore love and intimacy, it shows how far one would go just to be with someone he desires. There are three main characters in this film, a woman, a gay man, and a handsome stranger who goes into their life and tears their friendship apart.
Starring: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer
Okay, maybe this isn’t your quintessential love story as it does center around a young boy and an old widow embarking on an adventure. But those who have seen this movie and witnessed the first tear-jerking ten minutes know that this has to be hands down the most heartbreaking film Pixar has ever made.
Come to think of it, it probably is a better love story than those mainstream romantic comedies nowadays. We see the discovery of love, marriage, and ultimately loss. Up takes the words “’til death do us apart” and slams it in the audience’s faces, resulting in nothing but tears over the grim reality of life and love.
Starring: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
Anomalisa takes pride of being one of those good movies about humans but has a rather ironic twist—none of the live actors are actually humans. This stop motion film was an Academy Awards hit and it centers around a customer service expert, who leaves a seemingly dull life and tries to constantly find meaning in his relationships with other people, including his own family.
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst
There is no other film that can be more heartbreaking than Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The movie, aside from its impressive ensemble cast, puts together the aspects of heartbreak and the complexity of love as it is narrated in reverse. That’s right, the movie starts with the main characters reeling from a breakup and in a bid to stop the pain, they consult a company that erases the memories they have with each other. The movie is equally a visual fest and an emotional thrill ride, with good acting and a unique story line that circles around each character perfectly.