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Films

The 5 best 'doomed romance' films to watch on Netflix

The mention of Valentine’s Day often makes us rifle through Netflix to find classic rom-coms that have reigned supreme for decades, namely Titanic, The Notebook, My Fair Lady and more — the kind of films that make you feel all gooey.

More often than not, we find ourselves engrossed in “feel-good” rom-coms, using the films as a way of escape from the harsh reality. From fawning over the leads kissing amidst a heavy downpour or feeling frustrated at angsty heartbreaks, rom-coms supply us with memorable scenes and dialogues that remain immortalised within our minds. 

However, heartbreaks, too, are pretty enticing. While people want to feel the butterflies and feelings that arrive in tandem with romance, the sense of losing the one you love is equally encapsulating. If you are someone who loves to cry and would spend the day of love with a box of tissues and a tub of ice cream, we have just the selection for you! 

Here are the five best’ doomed romance’ films to watch on Netflix now:  

The 5 best ‘doomed romance’ films to watch on Netflix

5. All the Bright Places (Brett Haley, 2020)

Based on Jennifer Niven’s book of the same name, this coming-of-age film deals with teenage angst, mental health, suicide, survivor’s guilt and abuse. It delicately traces the journey of the two leads as they gradually heal from past trauma and learn to fall in love with themselves and each other. 

Starring Elle Fanning and Justice Smith, this bittersweet journey ends on a tragic note. As the characters walk on eggshells around each other, it is cathartic to see them find solace in each other despite the imminent doom.  

Available: All regions 

4. Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

Set in picturesque northern Italy, the film sees a 17-year-old boy fall irrevocably in love with a 24-year-old exchange student who resides at the former’s house. Gradually, their frenzied romance and inspirational story come to an end when the latter has to leave Italy after a brief reprieve during the summer. 

Intimate and beautiful, the film is based on Andre Aciman’s eponymous novel. A tale of poetic melancholy and heartbreak, the curiosity, fervour and madness of young love is portrayed in the rawest and most symbolic sense with beautiful background musical scores.  

Available: All regions 

3. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)

A heartbreaking and melancholy story of romance, the film revolves around a middle-aged American actor who goes to Tokyo while dealing with the anxieties of his waning career and marital problems. He meets a lonely woman who is disillusioned and listless and forms a beautiful bond of poetic conversations and shared sadness. 

While the two characters are in very different positions in their respective lives, their crises and shared loneliness work in tandem and somehow help them find solace in whispered and intimate proclamations. Starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, the film is perhaps Coppola’s best. 

Available: Netflix US, Canada, India 

2. Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach, 2019)

A poignant account of rocky marriages and subsequent tumultuous divorces that shatters families and lead to heartbreaks, A Marriage Story focuses on the predicament of an estranged couple who try to navigate parenthood while dealing with aching hearts and the pernicious divorce proceedings. 

Starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, Baumbach’s masterpiece provide an intimate and intricate look into human relationships while basking in emotional pain, anguish and isolation caused by the contentious divorce matters. The film manages to preserve the most delicate moments of tragedy and separation within the set structure of anxiety, conflict and heartache.  

Available: All regions 

1. Titanic (James Cameron, 1997)

A three-hour-long epic saga of one of the most tragic incidents in the world woven within the web of a heart-shattering romance that addresses various issues, including the arrogance of man, contemporary socio-economic conflicts and more, Cameron’s Academy Award-winning odyssey of doomed romance makes the fateful union of the leads even more tear-jerking. 

Aided by the powerful and melancholy voice of Celine Dion, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio play out a timeless saga of epic romance and heartbreak where tragedy strikes and the hapless lovers are torn apart by death and devastation. Twenty-five years since its release, it still manages to make the viewers reach for a box of tissues even today.  

Available: Netflix UK, Canada, US