Shakespeare started it. Romeo and Juliet gave birth to the term "star-crossed lovers" and storytellers have been imitating that theme ever since. Be they youngsters from warring families, romantics separated by the iron bars of a prison cell, or passionate lovers who cheat to be together, the couples from these movies simply weren't meant to be. Their worlds won't allow it.
[These films were selected from the North American Netflix menu. Apologies if any aren't available in your area.]
Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013)
Writer/director David Lowry's masterful western romance sees Affleck's Bob and Mara's Ruth cornered in a shootout with police. Bob takes the blame, and the prison sentence, and Ruth promises to wait for him. While Bob plans his escape, Ruth attracts the attention of a local cop and must decide to wait for her love, or let him go and move on.
In the Bedroom (2001)
In small-town Maine, Frank (Stahl) is home for the Summer after finishing college. he plans on grad school to study architecture, which delights his doting parents (Wilkinson, Spacek). But Frank meets Natalie (Tomei), a local single mom with plenty of extra baggage, including an abusive ex who ends things in a violent nightmare.
Breathe In (2013)
In the New York City suburbs, foreign exchange student Sophie (Jones) arrives for a semester and lives with the Reynolds family—Keith (Pearce), Megan (Ryan), and their daughter Lauren (Davis). Impressed by her talent for the piano, among other things, Keith is smitten with Sophie and a dangerous affair develops that threatens to tear the family apart. Interesting side note: The dialogue in this film is completely improvised, as is the style of director Drake Doremus.
Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
The Coen brothers' screwball farce is a mix of characters boasting ulterior motives. All except Miles Massey (Clooney), a champion divorce attorney who has certain rules when it comes to love. But he throws them away to seduce the "fascinating" Marylin Rexroth (Jones), and the feeling is certainly mutual. Or so he thinks.
Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
Julio (Bernal) and Tenoch (Luna) are best friends whose girlfriends take off on a trip to Italy for the Summer. Alone and excited to be bachelors together, the two young men are ecstatic to meet Luisa (Verdú), a beautiful older woman who agrees to accompany them on a road trip to a secluded beach. As the boys jockey for Luisa's affections, secrets are spilled and sex is had, lots of it. But Luisa has her own secret and the boys aren't a part of it.