Sometimes, movies just end the wrong way. More specifically, the lead sometimes rides off into the sunset with the wrong person. The ending might seem happy, but you just know that the final couple wouldn't really last past the credits roll.
This list honors the other guys from movies who should have won the girl in the end but were fated to be left behind. These poor saps get ditched, often at inopportune times, like engagements, in the middle of grand romantic gestures, and even at the altar. Kudos to them, though, because they usually accept their second-place status with grace and poise, which makes us all the more angry as viewers that they don't end up with the lead.
Erica has to choose between an older misogynist playboy, Harry (Jack Nicholson), and the younger, kind doctor Julian (Keanu Reeves). A seemingly obvious choice, no?
First issue: When Erica meets Harry, he's on a romantic weekend getaway with her daughter. They try to say this isn't weird because they haven't slept together, but it's still weird.
Second issue: Somehow, the only logical outcome is that the very busy and career-oriented Erica has to stay at her beach house with Harry and babysit him while he recovers from the heart attack he had during foreplay with her daughter. Harry is already putting Erica into a caretaker role. They might bond over late-night pancakes, but guess who's the one cooking them?
Julian, on the other hand, is so attractive that Erica can't believe he's possibly into her. He repeatedly demonstrates his strong interest over candle-lit dinners and visits, even when Erica is super rude and stands him up for their date. He dotes on her, adores her, admires her work, and makes her feel special.
Biggest issue of all: While Erica is in Paris with Julian for her birthday, generally living her best life, Harry shows up and Erica decides over one damn dinner to kick Julian to the curb and get together with Harry - who has ignored her for the past six months. Not cool.
Actors: Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves, Diane Keaton
Directed by: Nancy Meyers
Setting aside the fact that Edward has an insatiable thirst for Bella's blood and might lose control and end her at any moment, Jacob is still the better choice.
On the one hand, you have Edward, who is a centenarian in a very pale teenaged body. He is absolutely obsessed with Bella, stalks her, and literally sneaks into her bedroom to watch her sleep. A relationship with him means cutting herself off from her family and friends and any sense of normalcy. Oh, and there's the whole he-might-eat-you thing.
Then, there's sweet young Jacob. Bella first dismisses him because he's two years younger than her. Really, Bella? Also, have you seen those abs? Beyond that, Jacob listens to Bella and supports her emotional needs. When she is mourning the temporary loss of Edward, Jacob understands that she needs fun and adventure, rather than treating her like a fragile doll. He can be protective when needed, but also lets Bella be her own person. Plus, they're already family friends!
We're just going to ignore the part where he falls in love with her daughter.
Actors: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
Lon is a fun, wealthy veteran who is impossibly polite, gets along with Allie's family, has the perfect amount of southern drawl, and knows how to tear up the dance floor. You don't just throw that away for a rowboat and some ducks.
Sure, Allie and Noah have chemistry, but do they have more? Most of the time we see them spend together they're immature 16-year-olds who think arguing equals passion. Noah even points out how much their personalities conflict. They might have the steamy bedroom scenes, but that doesn't mean they're good for the long term.
When Allie goes to see Noah at the house, pretending she isn't obviously about to cheat on her fiance, Noah is very sad. In the years apart from Allie, he's built a sad house and grown a sad beard and has a sad relationship with a woman who looks like the knock-off version of Allie (sorry, Martha). Should Allie really be with someone whose happiness is so entirely dependent upon her? Get a life, Noah, it's embarrassing!
To make things even worse, Lon is way too understanding after his fiancee just runs away to be with her ex for a solid week. Justice for Lon.
Actors: Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, James Marsden
Directed by: Nick Cassavetes
No disrespect to Peeta, but Gale gets a raw deal. His best friend and love of his life is sent to publicly fight to the bitter end against a bunch of ruthless young adults. To make matters worse, he has to watch on TV as she falls in love with someone else.
Once Katniss leaves, Gale never really gets a fair chance. And while he gets a little uncomfortably radical toward the end, he and Katniss share the same revolutionary fight and drive. Their potential as a Capital-fighting power couple is never fully realized. Peeta is fine, but he would be content living a quiet life in obscurity while Katniss is the girl on fire. Gale would stoke the fire, whereas Peeta kind of just dims it.
Also, if you are ever given a choice in which one of the options is a Hemsworth brother, and you don't choose the Hemsworth, you picked wrong.
Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Directed by: Gary Ross