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14 First-Rate Romance Movies Where Main Characters Don’t End Up Living Happily Together

They say there is no happy ending in real life. The finish of a tale is just an opening for another story. It is a fact of life that more relationships come short than last a couple’s entire lifetime. That’s not being pessimistic. Romance movies tend to prefer being a little more optimistic, and as such, most of them finally have the couples ending up living happily together until death do them apart. Those moviemakers want to encourage belief in true love and please the hunger of romantic yet lonely souls.

Nonetheless, there are always exceptions. Several movies decide to show the more common ways a relationship can end too soon, whether the separation can be heartbreaking, mutually agreed upon, or just came about out of apathy. In many ways, they tend to be much more realistic. They paint pictures of relationships that don’t always work out. They also demonstrate that failed romance isn’t the end of the world.

We have rounded some movie titles among the most high-profile romance films (or films that feature “romance” as a sub-genre) that close with the lead couple apart. Please prepare some tissues because you might need them while watching the climax.

#1. Celeste And Jesse Forever

Source: imdb

A divorcing couple tries to maintain their friendship while they both pursue other people.
Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Writers: Rashida Jones, Will McCormack
Stars: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood

#2. Annie Hall

Source: imdb

Alvy Singer, a divorced Jewish comedian, reflects on his relationship with ex-lover Annie Hall, an aspiring nightclub singer, which ended abruptly just like his previous marriages.
Director: Woody Allen
Writers: Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman
Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts

#3. The Break-Up

Source: imdb

In a bid to keep their luxurious condo from their significant other, a couple’s break-up proceeds to get uglier and nastier by the moment.
Director: Peyton Reed
Writers: Jeremy Garelick (screenplay), Jay Lavender (screenplay), Vince Vaughn (story)
Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau

#4. Once

Source: amazon

A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story.
Director: John Carney
Writer: John Carney
Stars: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Hugh Walsh

#5. Blue Valentine

Source: imdb

The relationship of a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Writers: Derek Cianfrance, Joey Curtis, Cami Delavigne
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, John Doman

#6. Lost In Translation

Source: imdb

A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.
Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi

#7. The Way We Were

Source: amazon

During pre-WWII McCarthyism, a diametrically opposed couple come together only to find out that genuine friendship and physical attraction are not enough to overcome fundamental societal beliefs.
Director: Sydney Pollack
Writers: Arthur Laurents, Francis Ford Coppola, Paddy Chayefsky
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman

#8. (500) Days Of Summer

Source: imdb

After being dumped by the girl he believes to be his soulmate, hopeless romantic Tom Hansen reflects on their relationship to try and figure out where things went wrong and how he can win her back.
Director: Marc Webb
Writers: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend

#9. La La Land

Source: imdb

While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.
Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Damien Chazelle
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt

#10. Roman Holiday

Source: Roman Holiday

A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.
Director: William Wyler
Writers: Dalton Trumbo, Ian McLellan Hunter, John Dighton
Stars: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert

#11. Gone With The Wind

Source: imdb

The manipulative daughter of a Georgia plantation owner conducts a turbulent romance with a roguish profiteer during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood
Writers: Margaret Mitchell (story of the Old South “Gone with the Wind”), Sidney Howard, Oliver H.P. Garrett
Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell

#12. Edward Scissorhands

Source: Disney Plus

An artificial man, who was incompletely constructed and has scissors for hands, leads a solitary life. Then one day, a suburban lady meets him and introduces him to her world.
Director: Tim Burton
Writers: Tim Burton, Caroline Thompson
Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest

#13. Cast Away

Source: imdb

A FedEx executive undergoes a physical and emotional transformation after a crash landing on a deserted island.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: William Broyles Jr.
Stars: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul Sanchez

#14. Casablanca

Source: Warner-Bros

A cynical expatriate American cafe owner struggles to decide whether or not to help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape the Nazis in French Morocco.
Director: Michael Curtiz
Writers: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid

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