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The Saddest Romance Movie Deaths That Make You Think Love Too Is Dead

List RulesVote up the movies that make you think love is just a cruel joke.

Movies can affect us on a profound emotional level. Some romantic movies inspire that loving feeling and can warm even the most jaded heart. By the same token, some movie deaths can scar us for life. Famous movie deaths of characters like Dumbledore, Bambi’s mother, and, well, every Disney parent, actually, can leave a lasting emotional impact. Plus, there’s all the crying.  

When you combine romance with gut-wrenching tragedy, you get an emotional rollercoaster that can leave you wanting to throw a wine bottle at your screen. Keep your tissues at the ready, because these are some of the saddest romantic movies that end in death.

  • My Girl, on paper, may not seem like a romance, but when you think about it, it’s a first love story. A young girl named Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky) with no mother and serious daddy issues falls for an unavailable man. Granted, it’s just a crush on her teacher, Mr. Bixler (Griffin Dunne). Meanwhile, she ignores her best friend Thomas J. Sennett (Macaulay Culkin), who is madly in love with her.

    If everyone in this movie were older, this would sound like a romantic comedy. Yes, Vada is only 11, but this movie captures the pain of first love and first heartache - and a ton of loss.

    Thomas J. gets an extremely sad death. The kid goes to get her mood ring and is swarmed by bees. Try to watch this scene and not cry. While it ends on a bit of a high note, with Vada learning to be happy, it’s not a movie that sells you on love. Here’s a girl who lives in a mortuary, has lost her mother, and now loses her best friend. Plus, the two barely get to learn about their feelings for each other. It's just a sad loss for love. 

    • Released: 1991
    • Directed by: Howard Zieff
    Is love a cruel joke?

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  • 2

    A Walk to Remember

    Cherubic Mandy Moore plays Jamie Sullivan, the local preacher’s daughter, who falls for bad boy Landon Carter (Shane West). Various high school hijinks bring the two together, leading to friendship and a budding relationship. Landon is inspired to turn over a new leaf as Jamie gets the standard plain-turned-pretty makeover. But then Landon learns she has leukemia. 

    Jamie’s passing is so gut-wrenching because the movie makes us fall in love with this gentle, sweet outcast. She gives major Snow White energy, being sweet and kind and bullied for no reason. She finally gets the guy after he’s tried to keep her a secret and taken her for granted, but as he finally sees how amazing she is, the other shoe drops.

    The couple even get married and have a sweet, albeit short, pre-death marriage. And, in the end, it's pretty clear that Landon will always love Jamie - even well into his adult life. 

    • Released: 2002
    • Directed by: Adam Shankman
    Is love a cruel joke?

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  • Titanic is one of the biggest cinematic love stories, and features one of the saddest deaths in film history. Set against the backdrop of the most infamous shipwreck in history, two young people fall in love. Rose (Kate Winslet) is engaged but miserable. She considers taking her life but is saved by Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), a scamp who conned his way onto the ship, and the two form an unlikely but passionate relationship. 

    What makes Jack's demise so sad is that it feels like it could have been avoided. Brad Pitt even took a second of his 2020 Golden Globe acceptance speech to say, “I would have shared the raft” with his Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood co-star. It seems unnecessary for Jack to perish, especially when Rose has the social clout to survive without him. It’s just one of those cruel moments of movie fate.

    • Released: 1997
    • Directed by: James Cameron
    Is love a cruel joke?

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  • Australian director Baz Luhrmann creates a sweeping love story that blends elements of La Boheme and modern pop music. Satine (Nicole Kidman) is a jaded courtesan and the object of many a Parisian man’s affection. Christian (Ewan McGregor) is an aspiring artist with big dreams and a heart full of love. The two begin an unlikely romance, but must keep it a secret to save the titular Moulin Rogue.  

    What makes this so sad is that the film really sells the love story between the two. Christian convinces Satine that love is real using some of the best riffs of love songs. “Come What May” is such a powerful love anthem. Sadly, after learning how to truly love, and a lifetime of being treated like a disposable object, Satine perishes of consumption.

    It’s sad to think about how hard Satine’s life must have been. She finally gets a win and then loses her life. Also, why is it that men never die of consumption in these love stories?

    • Released: 2001
    • Directed by: Baz Luhrmann
    Is love a cruel joke?

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