One-sided love is more common than many would like to believe or confess – it might be the most common form of love. Every person – man or woman – has gone through this feeling: you are deeply attracted to someone, but the other person is not interested in you. The important thing to remember here is that one-sided love or attraction is not at all bad. And the people who go through it should not feel guilty about it. But they should be careful that their desire doesn’t disrupt the life of their interest in any way. If anything, they should try to channel their love to pursue something constructive and to make themselves better. The films on today’s list are about the most common form of love: the unrequited kind and the different forms it can take for different people.
20. Les Misérables (2012)
With a stellar ensemble that includes Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, and Eddie Redmayne, ‘Les Misérables’ is a period musical directed by Tom Hooper. Based on the 1862 novel of the same name by Victor Hugo, the story is set in 19th-century France and juggles unrequited love, sacrifice, and absolution. If you are looking for an enthralling period drama that is emotional and authentic, you can stream this film on Prime Video here.
19. The Great Gatsby (2013)
Directed by Baz Luhrmann, ‘The Great Gatsby’ is a historical romance based on the 1925 novel of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The movie has a stellar cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, and Elizabeth Debicki. Set during the Jazz Age, it tells the story of the wealthy Jay Gatsby as revealed by his friend Nick Carraway to the latter’s therapist. Gatsby is known for his legendary parties, and during one such party, he reveals to Carraway his feelings for Daisy, Gatsby’s true love. However, despite numerous efforts, he is unable to win her heart despite all the riches that he struggled to gain for the same sole purpose. This is what the film explores extensively. You can stream it on Prime Video here.
18. Love, Actually (2003)
Directed by Richard Curtis, ‘Love Actually’ is a Christmas rom-com movie that meticulously incorporates nine different plots. Each of them explores a love story of a different kind, including that of one-sided love. There is one in particular that involves a guy named Mark who falls for his newly-wed best friend’s wife, Juliet. Considered a classic, ‘Love Actually’ has a star-studded cast that includes Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, and Alan Rickman. You can stream the movie right here on Netflix.
17. Flipped (2010)
‘Flipped’ is a teenage rom-com directed by Rob Reiner and stars Madeline Carroll, Callan McAuliffe, Morgan Lily, and Ryan Ketzner. It is based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Wendelin Van Draanen. It tells the story of two second-graders, namely Bryce Loski and Julianna “Juli” Baker. While Juli has feelings for Bryce, he doesn’t reciprocate them. As time goes by, situations change, but Juli’s feelings remain the same until, at one point, she starts to wonder if she is wrong to consider Bryce as the love of her life. However, simultaneously, Bryce starts to change. But is it too late? To find out, you can watch ‘Flipped’ here on Prime Video.
16. He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Connelly, and Justin Long, among others, ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ is a rom-com directed by Ken Wapis and is based on the 2004 self-help book of the same name by Liz Tuccillo and Greg Behrendt. Similar to ‘Love Actually,’ this movie tells the story of nine people and explores the different angles of love through them, including unrequited love and misunderstood interests. You can stream it on Prime Video here.
15. Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)
‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ is a period drama directed by Thomas Vinterberg based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Hardy. It stars Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, and Tom Sturridge. The story is set in Victorian England and revolves around independent woman Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors, namely Gabriel Oak, who is a farmer; Frank Troy, who is a Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous bachelor neighbor. Dealing with love, including the unrequited one, passion, hardship, and perseverance, the movie showcases humanity in its organic yet most complex states. You can stream the film on HBO Max here.
14. The Holiday (2006)
Directed by Nancy Meyers, ‘The Holiday’ stars Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, and Rufus Sewell, among others. It shows how two women, each with her own emotional struggle, swap their houses, thanks to a house exchange website, and meet new guys whom they fall for. As simple as it sounds, there are a lot of complex emotions involved, including the titular one, and these are what make the movie a classic Christmas rom-com that is very modern and is believed to have played a significant role in reviving the interest of the viewers for romantic comedies. You can stream it here on Hulu.
13. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
Directed by Stephen Chbosky, the movie is based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Chbosky himself. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller, it tells the story of 15-year-old introverted kid Charlie, who befriends Sam and her stepbrother Patrick. What follows is Charlie trying to maneuver his life through teenage angst and his feelings for Sam that he doesn’t want to reveal as it risks compromising their friendship and a painful past. Want to find out how all that is for young Charlie? You can stream the film here on Prime Video.
12. Like Crazy (2011)
Sometimes, conversations are unnecessary. Sometimes, all you need is the company of the person you like, and that’s it. In ‘Like Crazy,’ Anna is a British exchange student who is deported from America, and her love, Jacob, spends most of his time away from her. But when they do meet a wordless slow dance is enough to rekindle the memories of all the sunsets they spent by the beach, the fun go-karting rides, the long walks, and their affection for each other. So, pro tip: before having the wordless date, do care to have some awesome regular dates to reminisce about. You can watch the movie here on Apple TV.
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11. Her (2013)
Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ is a groundbreaking romance film for more reasons than one. Its concept of intimacy with a sentient OS is futuristic and yet doesn’t seem so far-fetched given that technology is developing by leaps and bounds. A particularly poignant scene shows our protagonist on a beach trip with “Her,” where she plays him melodies, and he explains what sharing one’s life and growing old with someone means. This shows that sometimes the key to a glorious date is interesting conversations with the right person. You can check out the movie here on Apple TV+.
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10. My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
A woman desperate to break off her best friend’s engagement rushes to his wedding in hopes of spoiling it. What follows is a comedy of errors spurning up one of the most lovable romantic comedies of all time. Julianne’s jealousy, Kimmy’s sweet innocence, and Michael’s sense of responsibility collide together in this fairytale. P.J. Hogan’s film explores the innocent nuances of love and the effect jealousy has on one’s relationships with people. Friendship and a sense of guilt overcome ill intentions, and the film captures that. Some heartfelt numbers, beautiful people, and wonderful sets wrap up a dreamlike film. You can stream the film here on Netflix.
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9. Groundhog Day (1993)
‘Groundhog Day’ revolves around Phil Conners (Bill Murray), an arrogant weather reporter who relives the same day over and over to win the affection of his love interest. Bill Murray delivers a fine performance as the protagonist and turns Phil Conners into a role model for any viewer. What makes this film unique is its smooth and light storytelling. There are no action sequences, thrill, or mystery, but only a man who lives the same day repeatedly, trying to make amends daily as he has all the time in the world. ‘Groundhog Day,’ throughout the years, has become a basis of comparison for all time-loop movies, which are praised for the concept that the movie introduced years ago. For anyone willing to watch a film on how to win over your love, who may not love you back, this is it. You can stream ‘Groundhog Day’ on Netflix here.
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8. Malena (2000)
This Italian drama is about a 12-year-old boy getting infatuated with the beauty of a sensual woman named Malena. Set against the backdrop of war, he helplessly sees the world around Malena crumbling apart due to the small-mindedness of the people in the town. Critics trashed the film when it was released, but it has garnered a cult following since then, and rightly so. It may not be the most subtle film, but it certainly is a beautiful and sad take on one-sided love. You can stream the film here on Prime Video.
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7. 500 Days of Summer (2009)
Hardcore rom-com fans would swear that this Marc Webb heart warmer is the best film in this genre, at least in recent times. It is not about the mushy love where the lead pair meet, break off, and fall in love again. It is about finding true love and the courage to move forward in its quest. It is about being mature enough to cope with the stress of a break-up and the strength to move on. ‘500 Days of Summer’ chronicles a few months in the life of Tom, who falls in love with Summer Finn. Employing a non-linear narrative, Marc Webb tells us about the obsession and the inability to come to terms with reality. The film ends on a note of hope when Tom meets Autumn, suggesting perhaps summer wasn’t his season after all. Endearing performances by the talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zoey Deschanel make it a wonderful watch, and it remains one of the most beautiful movies of life. You may watch it here on HBO Max.
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6. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
After the success of ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ the Farrelly brothers made a film that blends fun, love, and confusion. The film got critical and commercial acclaim, winning several awards and nominations. ‘There’s Something About Mary’ begins with a failed prom date between Ted (Ben Stiller) and Mary (Cameron Diaz). But it ends with how Ted has to navigate the web of lies woven by Tucker (Lee Evans) and Pat (Matt Dillon), whom Ted had hired earlier to pursue Mary but fell in love with her instead. The film compels you to laugh and keeps you eager to know what happens next, thus making itself worth a watch. You may watch it on Prime Video here.
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5. The Age of Innocence (1993)
Rather known for his takes on society, crime, and thrill, Martin Scorsese reinvented himself with this 1993 romantic drama. Newland Archer is a man smitten with the elegant Countess Ellen Olenska while engaged to her cousin May Welland. The story explores the complexity of human emotions as Newland watches the battle between trust, promise, and desire. Scorsese narrates the sacrifices one has to make for the sake of commitment and honor throughout Newland’s life. The love story is brutal as it bashes Newland’s emotions constantly, but the ending is surprisingly serene, and the empty streets of Paris seem to fit in poetically with the storyline. The legend Daniel Day-Lewis, the reliable Michelle Pfeiffer, and the stunning Winona Ryder prove to be one enchanting trio. You can watch ‘The Age of Innocence’ here on Prime Video.
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4. Two Lovers (2008)
Leonard Kraditor is emotionally distraught after his split from his fiancé when they discover that they can never have healthy children. He attempts suicide several times until his life turns around. Two women come into his life, Sandra and Michelle, and Leonard begins to rediscover the purpose of life as he begins to develop emotions for both of them. James Gray’s unique take on infidelity, promises, and realization is hugely underrated. ‘Two Lovers’ is one beautiful reminder of the old-age romantic movies where the heart had the final word. Enchantingly made, this movie is a lovable watch for all cinema lovers. Joaquin Phoenix is excellent as ever, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw giving excellent on-screen performances. You can check out the film here on Hulu.
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3. Chungking Express (1994)
The magic of Wong Kar-wai‘s cinema lies in his ability to observe life happening around the streets or in the city and turn it into a visual feast. ‘Chungking Express’ is his most challenging and ambitious work and is the quintessential Wong Kar-wai film in every aspect. ‘Chungking Express’ uses a multiple storyline structure that tells the parallel stories of two cops who are both desperate and longing for love and companionship in their mechanical city life. The exploration of loneliness in city lives has been one of the major themes running in Kar-wai’s films. In ‘Chungking Express,’ he paints the inner worlds of solitary souls with his trademark style that blends colors with exquisite visuals of the city. The lives do not interconnect throughout the film, but there are brief appearances of the characters from the second story during the first, and Kar-wai uses them to dramatize the elements of randomness and strange connections that human lives share. Feel free to check out the movie here on HBO Max.
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2. Amelie (2001)
One of the great French films by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, ‘Amelie’ represents everything innovative about cinema. While dealing with the central motif of loneliness, the film humanely ventures into the troubled life of contemporary Parisians. Fundamentally, it tells the story of a young waitress, an introvert, who ventures into positively changing the lives of people around her while battling to reconcile with her own solitude. Much unlike other movies about one-sided love, it gives a quirky and pleasant feel to the audience through the employment of bright humor and distinct portrayals of humanity. You may watch the film here on Prime Video.
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1. City Lights (1931)
Charlie Chaplin‘s masterpiece is among the greatest films of all time, with a closing shot that still moves audiences to tears all those years gone by. Refusing to make a talkie even after the sound had come to film, he stuck with silent because he believed his comedy worked best that way. As the little tramp who helps a blind girl get back her sight because he loves her, he is superb, but that ending when she discovers who he is is heartbreaking, joyous, and breathtaking. It is one of the rare comedies that make you cry with laughter as well as sadness. You can watch the movie here on HBO Max.
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