Love stories in cinema come in many forms and celebrated in as many ways. However, little attention is given to the love stories that exist but never quite blossomed into a romance.
These are times when, for whatever reason, two people did not act on or speak of their feelings, to tragic effect. This absence of a confession to the object of one’s affection might be due to social pressures, outside impediments or simply, lack of self-confidence.
Either way, viewers are left wondering what if long after the film has ended. Here are six unspoken love stories.
List: 6 Unspoken Love Stories in Film
1# Frank and Rita in Educating Rita
Educating Rita is a gem of a film about Rita, a young woman seeking to better herself by studying literature through the Open University. She begins attending tutorials with the cynical and alcoholic Literature Professor Frank. Throughout Rita’s journey and discovery of self the two develop a strong bond. However, while there are certainly romantic undertones to their relationship, neither are quite able to admit it, possibly even to themselves. The ending, however, is left ambiguous. So who knows?
Content Note: The film is rated PG for a few instances of profanity.
Where to Watch: DVD
2# Alice and Uncas in The Last of the Mohicans
The almost romance of Alice and Uncas in The Last of the Mohicans creeps up on you. Many viewers completely miss it on the first viewing and then are initially, utterly baffled by the events that take place on the promontory. It takes a careful second watch to catch and appreciate all the subtle moments that led to Uncas and Alice’s seemingly rash decisions up on that rocky outcropping. It’s a terrible pity they never got the opportunity to communicate how they felt with more than quiet glances.
Content Note: This film is rated R for some bloody battle sequences.
Where to Watch: You can stream on HBO Go or HBO on Amazon Channels. You can also rent/and or buy on Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, Youtube, and DVD.
3# Jyn and Cassian in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One took a decidedly different tack than other Star Wars films, opting for a much darker take on the universe. It was also made notable for its apparent lack of romance. Many people have rushed to correct this as there are clearly strong feelings shared by Jyn Erso and Cassian Endor. However, much like in real life, other responsibilities and duty get in the way. There is no time for romance when you are fighting a seemingly losing battle against an evil empire.
Content Note: Rated PG-13 for violence and action sequences
Where to Watch: You can stream on Netflix. You can also rent/and or buy on Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, Youtube, and DVD.
4# Miss Kenton and Mr. Stevens in The Remains of the Day
This one is terribly sad but in a quiet, understated way. Miss Kenton and Mr. Stevens develop a close fondness for one another while working together for Lord Darlington. Mr. Stevens has been raised to give his all to the job as a butler and has no life of his own. Because of this, he has routinely repressed any human emotions that he has. He cannot allow himself to acknowledge his love for Miss Kenton even to himself until it is much too late. While Miss Kenton does attempt to communicate how she feels, she never quite manages it in the face of his blind commitment to his work.
Content Note: Rated PG for themes
Where to Watch: The Remains of the Day is available to stream on Tribeca Shortlist on Amazon Channels. You can also rent/and or buy on Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, Youtube, and DVD.
RELATED POST – Classic Review: The Remains of the Day – A Quiet Masterpiece
5# Henriette Deluzy-Desportes and the Duc de Praslin in All This and Heaven Too
This love story is made all the more tragic by the fact that it partially is based on truth. While it is clear that Henriette and the Duc have developed strong feelings for each other, he has an unhinged and dangerous wife who would never dream of divorce.
Content Note: This film is rated Approved and has no explicit content
Where to Watch: You can rent/and or buy on Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, Youtube, and DVD.
6# Dr. Henry Higgins and Eliza Dolittle in Pygmalion
Dr. Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle spend quite a lot of time together as he sculpts her into the perfect society lady. While Eliza is fairly aware of her own feelings, Henry remains blissfully oblivious to the affection he has for her until she leaves him. And yet, he still can’t bring himself to say the words. Another ambiguous ending so perhaps he will eventually.
Content Note: Not Rated and has no explicit content.
Where to Watch: Youtube, Amazon Video, and DVD.
6# Amber Lange and Thayer Mangeress in Teenage Dirtbag
Amber and Thayer’s story is how I would imagine Bender and Claire’s having realistically turned out after the events of The Breakfast Club. The social pressures that exist in society would be far too much for a popular teenage girl to fight. The film leaves you with a lingering sadness and longing for things to have turned out better.
Content Note: The film is not rated but would most likely be PG-13 for some profanity and dark themes.
Where to Watch: The movie is available to stream on Amazon Prime. You can also rent/and or buy on iTunes and DVD.
What are some of your favorite almost romances in film? Let me know in the comments!
Featured Image Credit: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story/Photo: Disney