I know I’m not alone when I say that Valentine’s Day generally makes me want to puke, and it has nothing to do with the ridiculous influx in my sugar consumption. No, it’s because it is the one day that makes singles feel even more alone. Come on. We’re already alone, and if we do actually get something it’ll probably be an e-card from our mothers. So, instead of crying yourself to sleep on this horrible of horrid days, I have compiled a list of romantic movies that end in tragedy (because everyone else deserves to be alone, too)
Romeo & Juliet (circa 1996)
I am not going to explain this movie. Why? Because if you are a college student and haven’t yet read this classic love story then you are most likely a child genius, having skipped high school completely, and now work as a neurosurgeon or something. If you happen to be your run of the mill college student and have yet to read this then shame on you (or, rather, shame on your high school English teacher).
This movie, starring Leonardo diCaprio and Claire Danes, is a modern day twist on the 16th century classic. Complete with guns, gang wars and pimped-out rides, the only thing that contains true originality is the Shakespearean language that is used. The disparity between new and old makes for a truly amazing spectacle from the incredible mind of director Baz Luhrmann… and it ends in tragedy!
Elephants and windmills and epilepsy, oh my! This film also comes from the spastic mind of Mr. Lurhmann. No good analogy exists for the truly amazing visuals this movie offers. It is a musical, but don’t go running for the hills just yet. The music is adapted from original songs by many artists you may know. Madonna, David Bowie, and Nirvana are just a handful. See, cool, huh.
The story follows a cabaret dancer, played by Nicole Kidman, and an English poet named Christian, played by Ewan McGregor. The two fall in love, though Kidman’s character, Satine, is meant to end up with a man of much higher social stature than that of the lowly writer, Christian. They must keep their love secret from the Duke who is both courting Satine, and financing her next show. There’s love, greed, Ewan McGregor singing, diamonds, feathers, and betrayal all wrapped up in one little film that will undoubtedly end in tragedy. We call this perfection.
I remember renting this movie on VHS back when I was just a wee child. I think it either came as a set of two or three tapes, due to the three-hour run time. Well, aside from being the highest grossing film of all time (ok, second highest grossing film… damn you, Avatar) this movie is one of the greatest romantic tragedies of all time.
So, we have the Titanic, the largest ship built in the early 1900’s, and we have Leonardo diCaprio playing the poor, young artist Jack Dawson. Somehow Jack finagles a ticket for Titanic’s first trans-Atlantic voyage. He meets Rose, played by Kate Winslet, an engaged, upper-class young woman who is traveling with her mother and fiancé. The two develop an attraction for one another, but must hide their love as their social class divides them. Let’s skip to the end… the boat sinks. Surprise! Rose lives, Jack dies, and her huge diamond sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Tragic.
Oh. The most tragic of tragic love stories. Poor Edward Scissorhands. Could you imagine functioning in the world without opposable thumbs? Yeah, well try scissor-thumbs, and scissor-forefingers, etc.
This film, directed by the dark and wacky Tim Burton, begins in a mansion on a hill (cue thunder, lightning, rain) where a crazed scientist is toiling away on his most recent invention. Here we are introduced to both Edward, played by Johnny Depp, and his scissor hands. Well, the scientist dies, tragic, and Edward is left all alone in the mansion on the hill. It isn’t until the local Avon lady from the neighboring community ventures up to the mansion hoping to make a sale. When she sees Edward and his tragic, lonely state, she decides to bring him home and introduce him to her family. He ends up falling in love with the woman’s daughter, played by a young Wynona Ryder, who seems to understand his weird ways. Eventually, Edward accidentally hurts a little boy (duh, he has scissors for hands), flees back to the mansion, (insert climax of the film here) and ends up alone once again. Tragic.
Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back
You may be confused as to why this movie has made my list. Well, apart from the fact that I’m a huge nerd and would try to make Star Wars applicable in any article I write, this movie definitely has both love and tragedy.
Let me enlighten you. Han Solo, played by the scrumptiously delicious Harrison Ford, and Princess Leia are complete polar opposites. Leia, a princess, sits as a member of the Imperial Senate, and has awesome ear buns. Han works as a smuggler, is indebted to the evil Jabba the Hutt, but does look good in a deep-v shirt. Yet, throughout the course of the film, the two start to fall in love (despite the fact that Luke Skywalker has the hots for her, too). So, let’s recap. Han and Leia, who appear to hate each other, secretly love each other, Luke also loves Leia, but she doesn’t feel the same way (plus, their brother and sister, secretly). Ok. Han ends up being captured by Jabba the Hutt, and Jabba decides to test out his new carbonite freezing capabilities on Han. Before Han is lowered into the freezing chamber, Leia professes her love to him and he replies with an “I know.” Conclusion? Han’s and Leia’s love is frozen in time via carbonite, Luke doesn’t get the girl/his sister and he finds out the most evil being in the universe is his daddy. Tragedy? Me thinks