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February 10, 2015

@kellyleefiction - Romance and sad love stories #sadlovestories #tissueworthy

The other day, my husband and I were driving down the road listening to the radio, and I heard a music lyric...."I hope you fall in love, and it hurts so bad." 

At first blush, you'd think, Gee, that's not very nice.  But in context, the song was about doing and experiencing literally everything, and wishing someone a full-to-bursting life. '

I paused to think for a moment, and some of the rawest, most profound emotional moments of my life weren't just the moments I was happiest, like my wedding, or the birth of my children.  They were also moments where I thought my chest would literally cave in from the gaping wound inflicted from a traumatic heartbreak. Sometimes, even the purest, most passionate love stories don't end happily. The guy doesn't always get the girl. Or the girl gets the guy, and guess what? Life happens. Tragedy strikes.
In the world of romance, everyone loves a happy ending. But are they always satisfying? Some of my favorite romances don't have "guy gets girl, lives happily ever after" endings. 

Like Untamed Heart, where our strong, quiet hero with the baboon heart (spoiler alert) DIES at the end!

Image result for titanic movie images
And GAWD, the tears that flowed at the end of that love story!!

And Ghost, which really doesn't even need a caption, right?

and perhaps the most tragic of all - Romeo and Juliet!!

Even without a tragic fate, sometimes two people who love each other simply aren't meant to be due to circumstance, family politics, or (gasp) they just aren't good for each other. Does that diminish the love story itself?  Think about some of the legendary or epic stories that don't end with wedding bells for two people who share a bone-deep, heart-wrenching, can't-live-without-you-but-I-do-anyway type of love ... like, Casablanca, Legends of the Fall, and The Thornbirds.

Some would argue that a sad ending punctuates a story more poignantly than a happy one. I can tell you that I certainly think about them far longer.

What about you? What are your favorite sad love stories?



Liese said...

Ok, I have to admit, I looked up "sad movies" because my mind went blank when I tried to think of other examples. Scrolling through one list, I was aware of how many of them involve a case where love doesn't conquer all, usually because one of the characters is blocked in some way (like dying on the Titanic, or growing younger when others grow older, or a robot).

Interesting article. It made me think.


Kelly L Lee said...

I'm a sucker for a tragic romance. There's nothing quite like a broken heart to evoke emotion... but that's the thing: I never really stop hoping for redemption. :)

Sylvia said...

Sorry, but I'm a happy kind of girl who loves a happy ending. But I did enjoy Gone With The Wind and that one did not have a HEA. Loved Ghost, Casablanca and Titanic. There are several movies out right now that look really sad...but I just don't want to watch them. Maybe someday, but they're not at the top of my to be watched movies. If the story is a good one, I'm there for the not so happy ending, but my favorite is still the HEA. Give me a good romantic comedy any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

To add to your list: The Way We Were, A Star is Born, Sweet November. Yeah, I'm a sucker for sad romances. I started to add The Notebook, but in a way, it's almost a happy ending. I mean it is true love until the very last moment.

Pamela Stone

Kelly L Lee said...

I love the HEA too, Sylvia. On a regular day, 9 times out of 10 I'll choose happy. But sometimes, my heart just needs to be wrenched.

Kelly L Lee said...

CANNOT BELIEVE I forgot The Way We Were, and Sweet November. When Charlize sent away Keanu and said, "You're my immortality Nelson" I nearly lost my ever-loving mind.

Kathy Ivan said...

I have to say I'm much more in the happily ever after camp. Whether it's books or movies, I want the resolution of all the hard work put into the relationship to have been worth the struggle.

That's not to say I won't watch any sad heart-tugging movies, I do. They just usually aren't my first choice. I think the last sad one I saw in the theater was A Winter's Tale.

P.S. I'm a cryer, so any kind of sad ending will have be balling my eyes out. Which is why I will never go see a sad movie in the theater. I blubber like a baby.

Kelly L Lee said...

Kathy, I'm in the bawl-my-eyes-out camp too. If I know that going in, you can bet I'll have a box of Kleenex at the ready.

Linda Steinberg said...

I agree about The Notebook, Pam. I think it is a happy ending because they end up together forever. I must admit, I love a great love story but it doesn't have to be a HEA romance. Some love stories are sad, and some are happy, and some are hopeful. A good one will touch your heart regardless.

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