There's an efficient way to feel all the feels without actually having to put yourself out there in this cold, cold world: Watching sad, romantic movies on Netflix! The butterflies in your stomach from being around your crush, the nervous excitement around a first kiss, the stress of not knowing how to define your relationship, the heartbreak of losing your first love—you can now experience all of those emotions, from the safety of your couch! Pop some popcorn, stream one of these movies, and be prepared to choke back sobs!
This list is practically tailor-made for you, a person who enjoys crying in their free time. Ahead, 19 films that are now streaming on Netflix, perfect for placing you deeply and permanently in your feelings. Enjoy!
Marriage Story (2019)
Some movies make you believe in true love, and others make you want to stay in all weekend with a glass of red wine and just reflect on the inherent, beautiful tragedy of the human experience. Netflix's Marriage Story, which focuses on a couple struggling to navigate a brutal, bicoastal divorce, is the second kind.
An Education (2009)
This coming-of-age drama is a masterclass in the hazards of giving up your dreams for love. The movie follows a teenage girl, Jenny, who dreams of attending Oxford, but puts her future on the line when she falls for a much older man who promises her the world, only to disappoint her in the most profound way possible.
Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin star in this movie about a couple who embark on a sailing journey only to be caught in a devastating hurricane. After the storm, they struggle to survive. The only thing sadder than the tragic twist ending is the fact that the movie is based on a true story.
West Side Story (1961)
In this classic musical, star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria fall for each other in spite of their ties to rival gangs. As anyone familiar with the play's source material—Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet—can guess, Tony and Maria's love story doesn't have a happy ending.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Anyone who has ever gone through a truly gut-wrenching, heart-shattering breakup has fantasized about being able to erase the entire pain-inducing relationship from their own internal hard drive. Eternal Sunshine explores what it would be like to be able to do just that.
A boy raised in Miami tries to figure out his place in the world in the face of an abusive relationship with mother, bullying at school, and confusing romantic feelings for another boy in his class. From start to finish, Moonlight is beautifully scripted, shot, and executed, plus literally everyone in this movie acts like their life depended on it—hence the reason it won three Oscars in 2016.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
High school is a confusing and sometimes painful time, especially when it comes to navigating complicated things like your first love. The Perks of Being a Wallflower captures the earnestness (and angstiness) of young, unrequited love.
Mr. Sunshine (2018)
Okay, so this isn't technically a movie, but if you like smiling through your tears (or even just straight-up sobbing), Mr. Sunshine needs to be added to your list immediately. Starring prominent actors such as Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, and Yoo Yeon-seok, the 24-episode Korean drama follows the journey of a Joseon expat who is forced to reconcile with his painful past when he returns home during the late 1870s as a captain of the U.S. Marine Corps. He falls in love with a young woman from a traditional family who represents everything he hates about Joseon, and together, they fight for the future of their homeland.
6 Years (2015)
This indie drama follows the rapid breakdown of a young couple's six-year relationship. Melanie and Daniel are twenty-somethings in Texas who have been in love for years when their relationship takes a turn and devolves into violence and infidelity, forcing them to reevaluate their future together.
Irreplaceable You (2018)
Soulmates Abbi and Sam have been together since they were kids, and they're planning a bright future together, starting with a visit to the doctor to see if a baby is in the cards for them. But it's not a baby that shows up in Abbi's ultrasound; it's actually stomach cancer, and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere anytime soon. Obsessed with setting her husband up with a proper life after she's gone, Abbi comes up with a plan to hook Sam up with someone new, but her fixation on the future threatens to destroy her present.
Thought Bollywood films were all music and dancing? Think again. The 2001 romantic drama Guzaarish is a devastating detour from the feel-good vibes and high energy that Bollywood movies are often known for, centering on the painful journey of a famous magician named Ethan Mascarenhas who finds himself bedridden after a sabotaged magic trick renders him quadriplegic. Against the wishes of his family, his fans, and his love interest/personal nurse Sofia, Ethan decides to file a court petition to legal undergo euthanasia.
Hrithrik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai reunited to play the leads in Guzaarish just two years after starring together in Jodhaa Akbar, but unlike the 2008 romantic epic, this film will leave you bawling in the fetal position.
The Theory of Everything (2014)
Based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, The Theory of Everything depicts the extraordinary love between famed physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane. Their meet-cute took place at a party at the University of Cambridge, where Stephen studied physics and Jane majored in literature. As the years passed, the pair grew closer and closer, the love between them beating the odds even as a neurological disease ravaged Stephen's body.
Reeling from the pain of his recent divorce, an anti-social writer named Theodore purchases an artificially intelligent virtual assistant who he calls Samantha. Theodore bonds with Samantha over time, their relationship developing into what he believes to be true love.
Her might not be "sad" in the same way as many of the other films on this list, but there's something about the idea of falling in love with a computer program instead of a real life human being that is terribly, terribly bleak. Maybe it's time to get back on Tinder—the dating pool can't be that bad...can it?
A seemingly mismatched man and woman nursing their respective traumas become a couple after a right swipe on a dating app leads to real love connection. But as the pair's relationship develop, secrets, infidelity, and a lack of boundaries underscore the idea that sometimes, love just isn't enough.
One Day (2011)
Please don't be deceived by the film's quirky, happy-go-lucky trailer—One Day is an emotional rollercoaster of a movie. Emma (starring Anne Hathaway with a questionable British accent) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) are friends whose relationship spans the course of 20 years, seeing them through failed careers, divorces, and children. Without spoiling too much of the film, its last act will literally have you staring blankly into space for hours afterwards the closing credits.
All the Bright Places (2020)
Based on the YA novel of the same name, All the Bright Places chronicles the romance between high school students Violet and Finch, who fall for each other while working on a school project. Violet's friends warn her against dating Finch, who has a reputation for being an "uncontrollable freak," but she doesn't believe the rumors until she witnesses Finch lose control herself. Although Violet attempts to continue the relationship and support Finch, the relationship ends with a tragedy.
Remember Me (2010)
If you want to watch the story of a romance that starts with bad intentions, remains strained and problematic, and then ends in a tragic twist, then, Remember Me is the movie you've been looking for. The movie follows star-crossed lovers Tyler and Ally, two twenty-somethings from troubled homes who fall for each other even though the odds seem eternally stacked against them.
Blue Jay (2016)
High school sweethearts Jim and Amanda have been out of touch for 20 years when they run into each other by chance in their hometown. The pair reconnect and reminisce and things flow so easily, it's hard to see why they ever broke up to begin with. As the day unfolds, however, the devastating reason they broke up—and will never work—is revealed.
Nights in Rodanthe (2008)
If there's anything that Nicholas Sparks is really good at, it's making people fall in love. Making readers cry until they fall ill is a close second, and that talent is perfectly demonstrated in Nights in Rodanthe. Richard Gere and Diane Lane star in the 2008 romantic drama as an older couple who gets a second chance at love, but be careful not to get too invested in their love story...it is Nicholas Sparks we're talking about here.