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Hey, love is in the air, right? Spring is coming, and it is Valentines this week, so I figured it would be a good time to make a list about movie love stories. But this is me we are talking about, so I figured we would do something a little less generic than the other love story lists you will be seeing this week. I figured, why not take a deep look at some of the love stories that don’t exactly focus on the good aspects of love, and often don’t have shiny, happy, idealistic endings? You know, like real love? I thought, rather than make a list filled with look-a-like Meg Ryan movies from the 90′s, why don’t I create a list about movie love stories that are just a bit closer to what we all know of love. Suffice it to say, there will be no horses ridden off into the sunset on this list. There will be no long reunion kisses on rainy, Parisian streets. No, these are the love stories that end in tears, loss, and in some extreme cases, death. You know, love stories for the rest of us. Be forewarned, this list is full of spoilers and serious bouts of weeping like a child.

Closer

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This is nothing. By the end of the list, this will look like a kid’s movie.

The sad reality about love is everyone wants to fuck everyone else. We can try to control it, we can let it drive us insane, or we can just accept that it is a shitty part of love, but an undeniable one. Everyone thinks the grass is always greener, but once they get there the irony hits them. The grass was only greener because it was fertilized over there. Fertilized with shit, and now they are standing in it, looking back at their good life, wondering why they left such a nice patch of grass in the first place.

That is what Closer is about. Two couples who cheat on each other with each other. Maybe you want to wait around for the happy ending where everyone admits they were wrong and everything goes back to normal, but in this case, the cheating just opens their eyes to some even more pressing issues. No happy ending here, literal or figurative. Just an honest interpretation of how shitty we all are.

The Fly

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The weirdest part is knowing these two were banging in real life.

Laugh all you want, but at the heart of it all, this is a love story. I will focus on the Cronenberg remake because it is gut wrenching and brutal, so it has more of an impact. What you seem to forget here is that this film is a love story between scientist Seth Brundle and journalist Veronica Quaife. It should also be noted that Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis were actually lovers during the making of this film, which adds to the authenticity of it all. Also adds to the “ew’ factor, too.

Some say this film is a metaphor for one person changing so much in a relationship that they become unrecognizable to the other person. Others say the remake was timed so that it would be an allegory for AIDS. I say it is a movie about a guy who turns into a fly, and the woman who stands by him (inexplicably) when he does. You want love summed up for you? It is that scene when Geena Davis blows off her boyfriend’s face because he (in fly form) kind of asks her to. Yup. That’s love for you. Doing what we don’t want because it is better for the other person.

Blah.

Blue Valentine

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He just ate her out. Please note, it is all downhill from here.

Man, let me tell you, when love is good, it is the greatest drug known to man. Will keep you up at night, will make it so you can’t eat, and will cause all your thoughts to be askew and wild in your brain. Funny thing is, when love turns bad, it does all the same things, just in the worst possible ways.

That is what Blue Valentine tells us. It shows us love, and the ride we go on when we love someone. It shows us the crazy, fast ride through the “new love” stage. When all you want to do is have sex, talk, then have more sex, and just be happy together. To the bitter and often soul shattering “end of love” stage, when your heart is bleeding out of your chest and every fiber in your body aches for something you lost but know you will never be able to duplicate.

Blue Valentine captures that perfectly, and will make you sick as a result of just how honest and heart breaking it all is.

Amour

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This movie ate a little bit of my soul. Amazing, but not a film you really bounce back from.

Pray for all you live for that you will never know the love the is shown in the 2012 Michael Haneke movie Amour. Technically, all Michael Haneke movies show sides of love that most pray they will never have to deal with, but Amour focuses on that. While a majority of the story could best be described as beautiful and haunting, it could also be described as one of the most heart breaking studies of love (and loss) you will ever see. This movie WILL rip your heart our of your chest.

Amour focuses on one elderly couple after the wife has a stroke that leaves her half paralyzed. Her husband is given the responsibility of taking care of her in her deteriorating state. We see flashbacks to the best and worst of times. But what we see is a true love at its purest. We see one man giving up all to take care of the one he loves. We see the toll it takes.

Then we see the ending, and we want to die.

(SPOILER ALERT) He ends up suffocating her with a pillow to put her out of her misery. Please excuse me while I go cry FOR FUCKING EVER.

Revolutionary Road

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This is the part where the Titanic finally reached land, and life began to suck IMMEDIATELY. 

Hey, what do you think would have happened if Jack and Rose survived the Titanic? They probably would have moved to middle America and settled into a hopeless life of tedium, accentuated by infidelity, abortion, and death. Seriously, watch Titanic and realize Leo sinking was the best thing that could have happened to him.

I would warn you about a SPOILER ALERT here, but unless you hate yourself, you wont see this movie. Not because it isn’t good, because it is staggeringly good. No, you wont see this movie because it will EAT YOUR SOUL.

Anyway, what is the worst part of this movie? The palpable loss of love, or the fact that Kate Winslet LITERALLY dies from giving herself an abortion. Oh, maybe it is Leo’s complete disregard for the fact that she died, because he was anti-abortion. Could be that, too. From the slow death of their dreams, to the literal death of wife and child, Revolution Road is THE anti-love love story.

Up

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Even this pic gets me all misty eyed because I know how much they loved each other even though THEY ARE FICTITIOUS CHARACTERS!

I don’t care that he eventually gets to fulfill her wish. I don’t care that the film is whimsical and beautiful. I don’t care about any of those things, because she dies. As soon as me meet them as see their pure, life affirming love, the movie flashes forward and we see her pretty much having a stroke as they are climbing up a hill to go on a picnic.

They never get their vacation.

They never get away.

On top of that, she dies, leaving him (completely) alone and obviously, utterly miserable for years.

Yeah, cool, it has a cute ending and a sort of redemption. Awesome. But what about the forty f*cking years he toiled alone, knowing he failed her as a man? No one is making a movie about that time period, are they?

That’s what I thought.