Best Movies About First Love That Will Break Your Heart

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Best Movies About First Love That Will Break Your Heart

Movies and music are the two tangible forces in pop culture that have the ability to perfectly encapsulate the rollercoaster experience of one’s first love. Tumultuous, sweet, and sometimes amicable, first love is the inspiration for dozens of scripts in Hollywood. Usually set during the formative teenage years of youth, these films often feature a doomed love and a guy wrenching outcome. From fate trodden sickness to fantasy factors, here are the best movies about first love guaranteed to break your heart.



10 Every Day

Orion Pictures

Every Day is far from your typical teen romance, and forces two youths to face the reality that their love will never withstand any test of time. The film is based on the novel by David Levithan, in which a being named “A” wakes up every morning in a new body. “A” is set in their routine and doesn’t seek more from their life, until they meet a girl named Rhiannon. The film follows the book very closely, with the exception of allowing for more than one perspective to be told throughout. Every Day takes the theme of fated, yet doomed, lovers and pins them against absolutely unbeatable odds.

9 The Spectacular Now

Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley in The Spectacular Now

Despite the ending’s somewhat hopeful notion, The Spectacular Now is a film about a first love with the wrong person. The film is beautiful cinematically, and one of A24’s best coming-of-age stories of the 2010s. However, the relationship between Aimee (played by Shailene Woodley) and Sutter (played by Miles Teller) is far from a happy one. Miles is brilliant and has a charm that wins over almost all of his classmates, Aimee included. Yet, Miles’ slow growing alcohol addiction impacts him and the relationships closest to him.

Related: 10 Teen Movies From the 2000s That Will Be Remembered Forever

8 Blue Is the Warmest Color

Blue is the Warmest Color
Wild Bunch

Blue Is the Warmest Color is one of the most highly regarded lesbian films of all time. The French film features one of Lea Seydoux’s best performances, but also perfectly encapsulates the relationship between two women over a ten-year period. The two form a bond both emotionally and physically that changes the course of their lives for what seems like forever. After nearly 179 minutes, the film ends with a heart-wrenching yet amicable goodbye, when the two realize they are not in love with each other like they once were.

7 The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
20th Century Fox

​​​​​​​The Fault in Our Stars is based on a best-selling novel by John Green, in which two teenagers with terminal cases of cancer fall in love with the little time they have. Ultimately a gut punch from start to finish, the film enlists a great deal of optimism from the male lead Augustus (played by Ansel Elgort). Augustus’ outlook on both life and his illness brings a beacon of hope to his girlfriend Hazel’s (played by Shailene Woodley) life. The film is without a doubt one of the saddest teen romances to date, but the endings message about life’s inevitable grief leaves much food for thought.

6 Atonement

Kiera Knightley as Cecilia and James McAvoy as Robbie
StudioCanal & Universal Pictures

The English drama, Atonement, is one of the saddest romance movies of all time. Robbie (played by James McAvoy) and Cecilia (played by Keira Knightley) are a young couple who are torn apart because of a fabrication brought on by Cecilia’s youngest sister Briony (played by Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai, and Vanessa Redgrave in different time periods). After getting thrown into prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Robbie goes onto experience war. Atonement tells a story of what could have been, craftly articulated by Briony out of guilt for the true story.

5 A Walk to Remember

A Walk to Remember
Warner Bros. Pictures

A Walk to Remember is only of the many Nicholas Sparks movie adaptations to come out of the 2000s. Landon (played by Shane West) is a “bad boy” who is destined for prison, at least on the path that he’s heading down. That is, until he meets Jamie (played by Mandy Moore). The two form an unbreakable bond and share a budding romance that is destined for disaster once Landon finds out that Jamie has been battling cancer. The film is an absolute gut punch because it is revealed that the cancer is untreatable and Landon must grapple with the fact that he will lose Jamie forever.

Related: The 10 Most Profound Movie Love Stories of All Time

4 Call Me By Your Name

Call-Me-By-Your-Name-2017 (2)
Sony Pictures Classics

Upon meeting during a summer in Italy, grad student Oliver (played by Armie Hammer) and 17-year-old, Elio (played by Timothee Chalamet) begin a fleeting romance. What first starts as a friendship, the two become romantically interested but have reservations on where the relationship should go. However, once the relationship turns physical, the two begin to realize the true love that they have together. After returning to the States, Oliver calls Elio to tell him that he is engaged to a woman that he has been seeing, which deeply hurts Elio. Call Me By Your Name is one of the great LGBTQ+ love stories of the 2010s, and is sure to break your heart.

3 One Day

OneDay (1)
Random House Films

If there was every a film to perfectly encapsulate the phrase “right person, wrong time,” it’s One Day. Emma (played by Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (played by Jim Sturgess) are arguably each other’s first unrealized loves. Dexter, a notorious playboy, fails for years to see the love that is right in front of him, and it isn’t until he almost loses Emma to another man does he get it right. However, their time together is limited. Not too long after getting together, Emma gets killed in a car accident, leaving Dexter to spiral out of control. One Day is a heartbreaking film about two people who have a deep love and friendship, whose time is cut too short.

2 My Girl

Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky in My Girl
Columbia Pictures

My Girls devastating ending is enough to bring a tear to almost anyone’s eye. Two outcasts share a friendship unlike any other and despite their young age, would inevitably be one another’s first loves. However, Thomas’ (played by Macaulay Culkin) premature death sparks grief for young Vada (played by Anna Chlumsky), and she must learn to deal with all of the loss she has encountered.

1 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a film loosely adapted from an F. Scott Fittzgerald novel. According to Slash Film, director David Fincher had to wait half a decade to make the film in order to pull off the special effects. Today, filmmakers have the ability to de-age characters with CGI and special effects. However, the process that both Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett had to go through was done with all practical make-up (via Variety). Pitt, leading the film as Benjamin, and Blanchett, at his side as Daisy, create an unmistakable masterpiece and one of the saddest films about someone’s first love — or only love in this case. The story, interlaced with nuances about life and its quirks, shares a melancholy connection with all of the great loves that were destined to fall apart.

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