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In this month of hopeless romantics, we give you a list of films proving that love isn’t always sweet and happy. There are movies that deviate from the path of cheesy romcoms and they are willing to reveal to you that romance requires pain. So if you are the type of movie buff who veers away from clichés of happy endings, the following movies are right for you.

Blue Valentine (2010)

First on our list is a film starring Michelle Williams (playing Cindy) and Ryan Gosling (Dean).  Underneath a happy marriage is a relationship about to crack. She ceased to love a dreamless husband while he lost passion for a nagging wife. As they struggle to mend their broken marriage, they end up ruining each other even more.  It is a story on how pre-marital decisions and plans change as time goes by. Dreams die. Priorities differ. People mature.

Petty fights between couples are nothing compared to the stage where husbands and wives just feel empty for each other. There is no love. There is no care. There is even no anger inside. Indifference is one emotion that could bring you the most hurtful heartache. Blue Valentine warns those who believe so much in happy ever afters. And after watching this film, you might know the reason why fairy tales do not narrate the married lives of princes and princesses.


Her (2013)

A divorced man (played by Joaquin Phoenix) bought a computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johanson) in the hope of battling his lonely life. As he and the machine fall for each other, he is perplexed on whether what they feel is as valid as love between humans. Their struggle resembles the familiar concept of forbidden love.

This critically-acclaimed movie brought forbidden love, a familiar conflict among romance films, and presented it using a different narrative. Instead of issues on social class or of filial disputes, Her portrayed forbidden love between a man and a machine. This accompanied by the debate whether artificial intelligence can love makes this movie apt for cry baby viewers. And while this movie speaks from a different world than ours, its lessons are still relevant.


Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Gay relationships in films almost always end up breaking. Yet, this Ang Lee’s masterpiece is one that does not only represent the painful reality between LGBT couples but also other forbidden relationships. Set in laidback America, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal portrayed two closeted gays who found love in a herding escapade. Due to social judgments, the two ended up taking separate ways and living separate lives. They have waited for a long time to be together but at the end, fate still disagreed.

Nothing could be more hurtful than finding your life partner and being forbidden to stay with him because of norms. With the simple reason of gender orientation, the characters in the story are denied of a basic right – to love and live. Brokeback Mountain is a timeless movie that can stir emotions of moviegoers of all gender. It is a sad reminder that the world does not play fair all the time.


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is about two lovers who both decided to erase each other from their memories and eventually crossed paths, fell in love, and hurt each other over again.  Clementine (played by Kate Winslet) and her partner Joel (Jim Carrey) resemble couples who have inflicted so much pain to each other that they need forgetting. Their story reminds us that those who we love most are actually the ones who can disappoint us the gravest.

This film introduces the viewers to several realizations on the difficulty of maintaining relationships. Romance does not only entail happy dates and cheesy cuddling. It also includes exhausting fighting, continuous disagreements, and momentary disappointments. And sometimes the good part of loving is not enough to compensate the pain we have to endure.


500 Days of Summer (2009)

500 Days of Summer records the journey of a greeting-card writer (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his 500 days with a special friend (played by Zooey Deschanel). It was a she says–he says tale narrating how labels of relationship varies depending on the perspective of the person. What one person gives for love is not necessarily what he receives. Sometimes, no pain in the world could equal to unrequited love.

Choosing to be with someone is a gamble and if you lose, the wager is costly. In exchange of a short time satisfaction is the loss of your emotional stability, pride, and self-preservation. Like in any competition, love is a game for those courageous enough to lose everything.