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Moviegoers have seen beautiful relationships onscreen.
While not all of those relationships were built to last, they made a lasting mark on audiences.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at 15 of the most memorable film romances from the past 15 years. (Warning: Some spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen all of these movies.)
Tom and Summer, '(500) Days of Summer'
This 2009 rom-com stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel as Tom and Summer, who have a very fun yet complicated relationship. When their love goes south, Tom scrambles to find answers but rediscovers his true passions in life along the way.
Jamie and Dylan, 'Friends With Benefits'
Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake play two single people who start a casual hook-up deal and end up developing romantic feelings for each other in 2011’s Friends With Benefits. This lighthearted onscreen romance played around with the idea that maybe two people can’t be “just friends” when there are limited boundaries.
Suzy and Sam, 'Moonrise Kingdom'
In Wes Anderson’s 2012 film Moonrise Kingdom, audiences see the sweet progression of the innocent first love between Suzy and Sam, two pen pals who run away from anyone and everyone who shuns their romance. Retreating to an isolated beach, they learn more about each other and themselves while learning to navigate the impending weight of growing up. Their puppy love was one of Anderson’s more tender depictions of relationships.
Oliver and Elio, 'Call Me by Your Name'
Based on André Aciman’s novel, 2017’s Call Me by Your Name is a story about first love and discovering the boundaries of a relationship with an expiration date. Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer play a couple who develops their love during the summer of 1983 in northern Italy. Many moviegoers found it hard to resist the elegant charm of the film’s vintage Italian aesthetic and the sweet yet frantic relationship between Oliver and Elio.
Sebastian and Mia, 'La La Land'
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in the 2016 musical romance La La Land as Sebastian and Mia, two aspiring artists who find their way to each other in the midst of their individual journeys to the top. While their romance is filled with vibrant wonder and music, the reason they ultimately chose to part ways was what brought them together in the first place — their love for art.
Kumail and Emily, 'The Big Sick'
Based on the relationship of real-life spouses Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, 2017’s The Big Sick is the story of how they fell in love. The screenplay was a collaborative effort between the two, but only Nanjiani starred in the film. Zoe Kazan, who plays Emily onscreen, watched videos of interactions between Nanjiani and Gordon before shooting so that she could get a better grasp on their characters. The film was released in the United States on the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary.
Rachel and Nick, 'Crazy Rich Asians'
In 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians, Rachel (Constance Wu) and Nick (Henry Golding) face exterior obstacles when they travel to Singapore for a friend’s wedding. When Rachel has to face Nick’s rich family, she begins to feel unwelcome in his fantastical world. But their love perseveres through familial expectation, cultural pressures and social class. In Golding’s acting debut, he and Wu depict a picture of unconditional love.
Jackson and Ally, 'A Star Is Born'
A Star Is Born has had four iterations thus far, and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper took to the screen in the most recent version (in 2018) as Jackson and Ally. The two musicians fall in love after they meet in a drag bar, and Jackson pursues Ally. As their love progresses, Ally becomes a more accomplished artist, while Jackson falls deeper into a concealed addiction. As tragically as it ends, their onscreen romance has made an impact on modern-day cinema and the Motion Picture Academy, earning eight Oscar nominations. Gaga and Cooper also became friends in real life during filming. Cooper performed the film’s hit song “Shallow” — which won an Oscar — with Gaga on some occasions after the movie wrapped, including at the Oscars.
Tim and Mary, 'About Time'
Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson co-star in this 2013 fantasy/romantic comedy about a man who comes from a long line of time travelers and uses his special power to win over the woman he desires. After multiple time-travel mishaps, Tim (Gleeson) eventually gains Mary’s (McAdams) favor, and the two fall in love. As they begin their lives together on the coast of England, Tim repeatedly uses his gift to correct wrongs between them, and fix family mishaps along the way. But it isn’t long before he realizes time travel cannot stop every normal, unfortunate event of life.
Pat and Tiffany, 'Silver Linings Playbook'
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence play friends who help each other while going through a simultaneous rough patch in their lives in this 2012 film. When Pat (Cooper) is released from a mental institution, his only focus is reconciling with his wife. Tiffany (Lawrence) is a young widow with depression and relationship problems. After months of ups and downs in their friendship — and rehearsing to compete in a dance competition — they realize that they are in love. Lawrence and Cooper have also starred in American Hustle, Serena and Joy together. They were both nominated for Oscars for their performances, with Lawrence taking home the gold statuette.
Lara Jean and Peter, 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before'
Based on the best-selling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series, the 2018 Netflix film centers on shy high school student Lara Jean Covey (played by Lana Candor) who has always written love letters to the boys she’s loved and expressed everything she feels that she wouldn’t say in real life, especially because the letters are for her eyes only. However when her secret letters are mailed to the five boys she dedicated each one to, Lara Jean is forced to confront each of her crushes. But things grow complicated when one of the letter recipients, popular student Peter (played by Noah Centineo), proposes they pretend to date in order to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. It all may supposed to be pretend but viewers watch along that the act becomes more difficult to continue as real feelings grow between the two.
Peter and Gwen, 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 may have been filled with superhero action, but at the core was the love story between Peter Parker (played by Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (played by Emma Stone). Throughout the 2014 film, Peter attempts to protect Gwen while he investigates the death of his parents, but danger lurks with the arrival of Electro (Jamie Foxx) and his childhood friend Harry Osborn becoming the Green Goblin. Tragedy later strikes which leads to heartbreak for Peter leaving viewers to mourn with him.
Peter and MJ, the 'Spider-Man' Franchise
In the last decade, moviegoers have watched not only Andrew Garfield portray Spider-Man but Tom Holland. Throughout Holland’s Spider-Man films, he may have to face off against a myriad of villains but outside of the suit he’s simply high school student Peter Parker. Though him and Michelle Jones-Watson, aka MJ (Zendaya) start as classmates — Peter once had eyes for someone else in the first film, Spider-Man: Homecoming — their relationship grows throughout the films, with him later starting to call her MJ. Even after he tries to get her to stay away from him after she figures out he’s Spider-Man, she chooses to stand by his side, resulting in another iconic Spider-Man romantic storyline.
Bella and Edward, the 'Twilight' Franchise
In the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 and Part 2, audiences got to watch Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) marry vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), go on a honeymoon, have a baby, turn into a vampire then eventually have to face off against the Volturi in the final installment in the film franchise released in 2012 . Throughout the franchise’s films, the Twilight fandom watched Bella and Edward’s love story progress — though their story also included a love triangle with werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) — and the final films chronicled a new chapter for the couple and a happily ever after for a family of vampires.
Malcolm and Marie, 'Malcolm & Marie'
Every couple faces their fair share of ups and downs but in Sam Levinson’s 2021 film, a filmmaker (John David Washington) and his girlfriend (Zendaya) have a tumultuous night after returning home from his film premiere that ultimately tests their relationship and brings to light revelations about themselves and their relationship. Whether fighting or having moments where sparks fly, the chemistry between the couple is palpable, leaving viewers to question what the fate of their relationship will be.
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