6 Uplifting Movies About First Love That May Break Your Heart

There aren’t many things more magical than a person’s first experience falling in love. Whether it comes in the form of a childhood crush or in the often confusing realm of high school adolescents, first romances have a way of affecting our larger outlook on love and relationships in general. Experiencing emotions we’ve likely never felt before, we’re also presented with unique challenges when it comes to these initial romances, whether it’s learning how to communicate with our significant others or navigating an awkward first date.

Capturing these relatable moments in an effective and emotional way, certain movies have managed to illustrate younger individuals’ initial experiences in a meaningful romantic relationship. From swooning coming-of-age dramas to cathartic teen comedies, these movies will leave you with a newfound appreciation for a person’s first brush with Cupid’s heart-tipped arrows.

Moonrise Kingdom

Focus Features

As his fans can readily admit, Wes Anderson movies have a very distinct style to them, be it visually, tonally, or creatively regarding his main characters and foremost narrative stories. Case in point with Moonrise Kingdom, the director’s 2012 comedy drama centered around a pre-teen couple (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) who flee into the woods together in 1960s New England. Perhaps the closest Anderson has ever come to tackling a full-blown romantic epic, Moonrise Kingdom perfectly utilizes Anderson’s unique comedic style and visual presentation, making it an ideal starting place for anyone unfamiliar with Anderson’s body of work.

Call Me By Your Name

Sony Pictures

Coming to terms with one’s sexual awakening is never easy, especially when it comes to non-heterosexual feelings in 1980s Italy. Using that simple premise as its jumping off point, director Luca Guadagnino provides a stunning look at a young man (Timothée Chalamet) realizing his true sexual orientation, as well as his endearing first romance with an older colleague of his father’s (Armie Hammer). Subtle, reflective, and ultimately hopeful about the prospect of finding true love with the support of friends and family at your back, Call Me By Your Name will leave viewers weeping even as they quietly look back at the romantic relationships they’ve had in the past. 

My Girl

Columbia Pictures

If you leave My Girl with a dry eye, you urgently need to contact a medical professional. One of the saddest movies you’ll find anywhere, My Girl details the coming-of-age story of 11-year-old Vada (Anna Chlumsky) and her first experiences with love, death, and the harsh realities of the adult world. Forming a deep emotional attachment to her classmate (Macaulay Culkin), Vada searches for a deeper understanding of the world in lieu of her ongoing obsession with death. While certainly a depressing movie, My Girl also illustrates the fact that there’s more to life than mere heartbreak and tragedy, allowing us a more nuanced grasp of our relationships and how they affect our outlooks on life.

Blue Is the Warmest Colour

Wild Bunch

A film very much along the same lines as Call Me By Your Name, Blue Is the Warmest Color focuses on the personal experiences of a high school student (Adèle Exarchopoulos) learning to accept her homosexual feelings for another woman (Léa Seydoux). Like Call Me By Your Name, the finished product harps on the profound emotional growth a person experiences once they’ve accepted the truth about their sexuality. Unlike Call Me By Your Name, however, Blue Is the Warmest Colour also includes the darker aspects of one’s coming out, complete with harsh reactions from family and friends. Yet at the end of the day, Blue Is the Warmest Colour proves that such obstacles are ultimately worth the rewards, giving us all the freedom to pursue the romantic attachments we want rather than the ones we’re expected to have.

The Fault in Our Stars

20th Century Fox

Like most of the movies on this list, The Fault in Our Stars is bound to leave viewers violently sobbing, mercilessly tugging at our heartstrings through its dramatic story and sobering plot points. Yet by and large, this 2014 adaptation of John Green’s best-selling YA novel is nothing short of brilliant, never wasting a moment to create a lasting impression on audience members fortunate enough to experience it. Propelled by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort’s agreeable romantic chemistry, The Fault in Our Stars emphasizes the unpredictability of everyday existence, encouraging us to live every day with the people that matter most in our lives–because after all, we never know which day will be our last.


20th Century Fox

A romantic epic that owes plenty to Romeo and Juliet, Titanic hammers home the idea that love doesn’t fall into set categories, transcending social classes and petty notions of wealth, power, or prestige. Following two young lovers from opposing backgrounds (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) who bond over the course of the Titanic’s first and final voyage, Titanic also does a wonderful job underscoring how a meaningful romance can change an entire person’s life. Even as she approaches the end, the elderly Rose is able to look back at her brief connection with Jack as the defining moment of her existence, equipping her with the necessary courage to begin her life anew.

Richard Chachowski is an entertainment and travel writer who has written for such publications as Fangoria, Wealth of Geeks, Looper, Screen Rant, Sportskeeda, and MDLinx, among many others. He received his BA from The College of New Jersey and has been a professional writer since 2020.