Nothing solidifies a great cinematic love story like buckets of tears from the audience. In honor of Me Before You (which arrives in theaters June 3), here’s our ranking of the romances that still have us sobbing.
1. The Way We Were (1973)
Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand nearly melt the celluloid in Sydney Pollack’s wrenching, opposites-attract period romance. If you’ve seen it, just hearing the words “Your girl is lovely, Hubbell” is enough to put a lump in your throat and have you reaching for the Kleenex.
2. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Daring yet utterly universal, Ang Lee’s devastating forbidden romance about two cowboys (Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal) who fall in love, and then do everything to deny it, is perfectly observed and just plain perfect. If you don’t get choked up during the shirt scene, you’re made of stone.
3. The Notebook (2004)
This movie turned author Nicholas Sparks into a waterworks hit factory — and for good reason. By the side of his dementia-stricken wife (Gena Rowlands), James Garner reminisces about how their stars first crossed. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are flashback dreaminess. Go ahead, try to resist.
4. An Affair to Remember (1957)
Crossed wires have rarely given off sparks as electric as those between Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, who, despite being engaged to other people, fall in love on a transatlantic cruise and plan to meet six months later atop the Empire State Building. Needless to say, fate gets in the way of their rendezvous.
5. Ghost (1990)
An unexpectedly touching romance from the beyond. After being killed, an ethereal Patrick Swayze reaches out to his grieving girlfriend (Demi Moore) with the help of a mystic (Whoopi Goldberg) and the Righteous Brothers. It has its laughs, but they’re beside the point in this beautiful meditation on loss.
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