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Top 10 Movies to Put Your Faith in Love (and Cry in the Process)

titanicpicforic.jpgWe all need to cry sometimes. And even if life’s going pretty well for you–you have your health, a wonderful significant other, friends and family who love you, a good job, a few bucks in the bank — once in a while, you still just want to be alone and crawl into a little ball on your couch with a blanket, a box of tissues and movie that makes you think about the power of love…and cry.
It’s during those times I turn to one of the movies below. I know that many of you will disagree with some of my choices. You’ll say things like, “What?! She picked that over Casablanca?!” But guess what? This is my list….and maybe I’ve never even seen Casablanca. Anyway, here are my picks for the 10 best movies to put your faith back in love–love of family, love of friends, and love of…love. Post your own thoughts in the comments section below.
10. Selena: When Mexican-American singer Selena, “Queen of Tejano Music” burst onto the music scene in the early 90s, I was too busy banging my head to Nirvana and Pearl Jam to notice. But when she was murdered in 1995 by her fan club manager, I was awakened to the shock, anger, and heartbreak among her many fans. In the heavily Hispanic areas of my hometown, Brooklyn, N.Y., I noticed memorial T-shirts worn by many. In “Selena,” Jennifer Lopez wonderfully portrays the music star (in a performance she hasn’t matched to date) as a carefree, caring, amazingly talented young woman, whose life and career was cut way too short. Watching her fans and family grieve her loss was absolutely heartbreaking. I’ve seen more than one boyfriend cry during scenes from this movie.
9. Titanic: OK, we all know how this movie ends. But it doesn’t prevent me from falling apart during the scene where Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo DiCaprio encourages his love Rose (Kate Winslet) to survive the icy waters after the massive Titanic sinks. “You must promise me that you’ll survive. That you won’t give up, no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless. Promise me now, Rose, and never let go of that promise….never let go.” And then…he dies.


8. The Other Sister: Part inspirational tale, part love story, Juliette Lewis’ portrayal of Carla, a mentally disabled young woman’s who struggles to succeed and live a normal life, is heartwarming and uplifting. Her relationship with fellow college student Daniel (Giovanni Ribisi) who is also mentally disabled, is so wonderfully innocent and sweet that it will no doubt move you to tears.
7. Braveheart: This Mel Gibson hit movie offers the best of both cinematic worlds–it’s action-packed and has a beautiful love story woven in. The funeral scene in the beginning of the film, where the young William Wallace is handed a flower from the adorable Murron is enough to make any macho man shed a tear. Or seven.
6. The Notebook: Who hasn’t gone into convulsive sobs while watching this movie? Anyone? Anyone? I didn’t think so. Watching this masterpiece about an elderly man trying to help his dementia-stricken wife remember the story of their love, strengthened my belief in soulmates and miracles. If this movie doesn’t move you, I’m sure nothing else will.
5. Beaches: They say “opposites attract” in romantic love, but throughout my own life I’ve certainly found that this rings more true in my friendships than anything else. And watching the friendship between CC (Bette Midler) and Hillary (Barbara Hershey) blossom, and fade, and then grow stronger, gives me renewed faith in the power of friendships and encourages me to be a better friend.
4. Ghost: The movie that made pottery-making sexy again will always have a place in my heart. I can’t help but think of this movie–and the intense love between the two main characters, played by Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, whenever I’m at a wedding and the classic Righteous Brother’s song, “Unchained Melody” is played.
3. Steel Magnolias: I hate it when people die in movies, especially when the character–in this case Julia Roberts as Shelby Eatenton Latcherie– is so charming and lovable. And, watching all of the other friends in this movie–a stellar line-up played by Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Olympia Dukakis, and Daryl Hannah–cope with Shelby’s upcoming marriage, and eventually death, makes me at times crack up laughing, and break down crying.
2. You’ve Got Mail: When this movie came out 15 years ago (Wow! Has it been that long!?) single, tech-savvy people everywhere started believing in love again. Today, with online dating on the rise, the thought that one’s soulmate could be found while answering an online dating ad, or by striking up a conversation with someone on a discussion board or in a chat room, always has the hope of a “You’ve Got Mail” ending behind it. Going to also include “Sleepless in Seattle” here too, for it’s beautiful ending.
1. Stepmom: In this ultimate tear-jerker, Susan Sarandon plays Jackie Harrison, a woman with terminal cancer, who must learn to get along with her ex-husband’s fiancé, Isabel (Julia Roberts) because she will eventually become stepmom to Jackie’s two children. Not only do we get to experience Jackie’s intense love for her kids–and the horrific pain of knowing she only has a short time left with them–but also her struggle to trust (and maybe even love) a woman who is so different from herself.
So what do you all think? What are your favorites?

  • Christy

    Yes, my friend, you have compiled a very good list here. I am however ashamed to admit, that I have not personally seen Selena, Sleepless in Seattle, or Stepmom. But since they have ranked up there with some of my all time favorite ‘tear-jerkers’, then they must be good. I may just stop by the store this afternoon and pick up a box of tissues and rent these movies and watch them this weekend!
    Thanks for your Top 10 list! Have a great weekend!

  • Gail

    I’ve not seen all the movies on the list, but plan to see the ones I’ve missed.
    How about “An Affair to Remember” with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr and “Back Street” with John Gavin and Susan ______________ – I can’t remember her last name?

  • Margie Belcher

    August Rush is a very moving tale of a young man in an orphanage who is determined to meet his parents someday. He feels them out there and through music finds a way to reach them. The end is heart wrenching, and unforgettable.
    I hope you get to see this one!

  • Gail

    This are definitely grete movies. I have not seen Beaches or The Other Sister, but I plan to. If you have not seen “The Secret Life of Bees”, by all means see it. It is definitely a tear-jerker.

  • John Wayne Schlatter

    A few additional suggestions…
    HEARTS AMD SOUL…Four people are killed in a traffic accident the same time a baby is born and they cannot get on the bus to eternity until they accomplish and/or learn what they were put on earth to do..and they have to do it through the child who grows up to be Robert Downey Jr….Funny, Wise and VERY inspirational..
    WHAT DREAMS MAY COME…Robin williams plays a loving husband who dies and goes to his idea of heaven which is a world made of his wife’s paintings and finds out that in a fit of depression, she committed sucide and has been sent to hell and he goes to get her..
    Filled with insights into human nature and uplifting performances and dialog…
    PORTRAIT OF JENNIE…(1946) A mystical love story that want to watch without knowing what to expect..but it will inspire your soul and put a song in your heart…

  • Carol

    A good list. Should also include “Imitation of Life” with Lana Turner, Sandra Dee and John Gavin – the last scene will rip your heart out; also “Madame X” with Lana Turner and John Forsyth.

  • Julie

    You should watch My Life, a movie starring Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman. Michael Keaton plays a man diagnoses with cancer who starts making video tapes for his unborn son.



  • Carrie Langdoc

    Besides those mentioned in article and other posts (most of which I have seen and also love), I also love Somewhere In Time w/ Jane Seymour and Chris Reeves.
    Phenomenon with John Travolta and Kyra Sedgwick. Mr. Holland’s Opus with Richard Dreyfuss. Serendipity with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. Another Cusack goodie, Say Anything. Contact with Jodie Foster and Matthew McConnneghy. Practical Magic w/ Sandra Bullock and Aidan Quinn. Hope Floats w/ Bullock and Harry Connick Jr.
    IQ with Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins. City of Angels w/ Meg and Nick Cage.
    Knights of the South Bronx w/ Ted Danson as an inner city school teacher whose students learn lessons in self esteem by learning to master chess; it is a Spiritual Cinema Circle movie…all their stuff is great! It is directed by the man who did What Dreams May Come and Somewhere In Time– Stephen Simon.

  • Goden1

    A little known movie called “Japanese Story” is one of my favorites. Set in Australia, it’s about an Australian woman and a Japanese man that visits Australia on business.Starts out slow, but Toni Colette gives an inspiring performance.

  • Connie

    In case any of you haven’t seen this movie, it holds it’s own next to any tear-jerker, and says on the dvd case it’s the perfect tearjerker!
    It will rip your heart out, and is about a single Mom who has a 10 yr old girl, no dad in the picture. The mom finds out she is dying and needs to make arrangements for someone to care for her daughter when she’s gone. But they are really all alone and go through many trials trying to work something out. It also deals with the girls many mixed emotions of loosing her mom, including the temporary anger toward her for leaving her alone on this earth. Many, many emotional twist, mixed with some healthy laughter throughout, and includes some romance.
    The stars are Nancy Travis and Scott Bairstow, and Jamie Renee Smith.
    The title of the movie is “My Last Love”. It was filmed in 1998 and
    is hard to find at local stores. But I ordered it from the internet after seeing it on The Lifetime Movie Channel. Watch it. You’ll love it and want to share it with others.

  • flowernthesnow

    And lets not forget “Fried Green Tomatoes”

  • Your Name

    I have just had the pleasure of watching “My Last Love” on Lifetime. Excellent movie! A must to see ! I also watched “Blonde” (Marilyn Monroes lifestory. What a sad, sad movie of a girl/woman used and abused by the system (Lifetime Movie). If this is anywhere to close of her life she was a very sad, misunderstood human being treated like a piece of meat. Very emotional! Must see! Also another older movie with Cliff Robinson “Flowers for Algernon”! Must see! Also “Ryans Daughter” with Robert Mitchem and I’m sorry we must list “Gone With The Wind”; “All That Jazz”; “The Big Chill”;and “Doctor Zhavago”. These are all excellent movies and need to be watched over and over.

  • Holly Smith

    My go-to movies for a good cry or a “love fix” are:
    While You Were Sleeping
    Under the Tuscan Sun
    Much Ado About Nothing
    and my new fave, P.S. I Love You with YUMMY Gerard Butler
    My Big Fat Greek Wedding should make the list as well
    Dirty Dancing – who can resist the young Patrick Swayze
    Steel Magnolias
    What Dreams May Come

  • Peggy

    The greats–The African Queen, The Horse Whisperer, Driving Miss Daisy, The Last Unicorn, anything with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, The Quiet Man, Scent of a Woman.

  • Els

    You’ve Got Mail is about connecting online, Sleepless in Seattle links two people via talk radio and a journalistic connection. They’re both great movies, but your description is a tad off.

  • Dawn

    Message in a Bottle….fabulous
    Maid In Manhattan….Jennifer Lopez is wonderful in this movie.

  • mamamikks

    the film “Love Story” starring Ali McGraw and Ryan O’Neal has always been my fave tearjerker of all times. I’ve watched it at least 15 times, yet it still moves me to tears.
    another favorite is Sandra Bullock’s “While You Were Sleeping.” I think I was in love with Bill Pullman for about 2 weeks after watching it.
    and who can forget Ethan Hawk and Julie Delpy in “Before Sunset?”

  • Angel55421

    My all time favorite is French Kiss! It is a great self affirmation movie.

  • Lloyd

    Casablanca or just about any Bogy and Bacall movie along with Robin Hood Erroll Flynn

  • chrissy

    Serendipity. And you will laugh while u fall in love with the characters.

  • Darla

    This is my first time visiting this website. I am surprised to see some PG13 movies being recommended. I am especially surprised to see some rated R movies being recommended. I think many of us have lowered our standards. I was disappointed in some of the recommendations.

  • Chemistry

    Ladyhawke, comes to mind as an enjoyable love story….that deep Love that faces challenges and yet survives the odds…its a great movie!

  • Linda

    I agree with Darla. I am very surprised that movies with violence and crude language were recommended as “good movies” to watch. We have definitely lowered our standards of right and wrong, and our children are accepting it also.

  • Your Name

    I can’t remember the name exactly, I think it is “Just Breathe,” with Brendan Frasier, Ann Magnuson and others. It is a wonderful sleeper hit of a movie. Incidentally, if this isn’t the correct or whole title and someone knows it, please reply. Thanks.

  • http://Surprised Nylda

    I was surprised that 8 out of the 10 movies I had seen which mean that I agree with you 100%.


    ‘Your Name’ was referring to Still Breathing

  • Penny

    Faith Movies….. Love Comes Softly, Love enduring Promise, Loves long Journey, and the rest of Love COmes softly Movies….Gives Faith, shows Faith, And makes Faith Stonger….

  • stacey

    These are all great movies and it is impossible to make a list of 10 without leaving out some very good ones….
    Love Story
    Message in a Bottle (same author as the Notebook)
    When a Man Loves a Woman
    City of Angels
    When Harry Met Sally (these last 3 plus Sleepless in Seattle have
    Meg Ryan :)
    The Lake House



  • Your Name

    “THE NOTEBOOK” is the best!!!

  • JoDee

    These are all great movies. But, I have a couple more suggestions.
    “Dying Young”–Julia Roberts
    “A Walk to Remember”–Mandy Moore
    “A Walk in the Clouds”–Keannu Reeves
    Thanks for the list.

  • Davis97

    Heres my top pick
    “PS I love you”. This movie is amazing. You will laugh and cry!

  • Jus

    I’m surprised that no one mentioned Always, with Richard Dreyfuss and Holly Hunter. It is a love story that carries on across the threshold of death, and is both heartwarming and heartwrenching. It manages to toss in some good laughs, however, and is certainly worth checking out!

  • Your Name

    I’m surprised that no one mentioned Always, with Richard Dreyfuss and Holly Hunter. It is a love story that carries on across the threshold of death, and is both heartwarming and heartwrenching. It manages to toss in some good laughs, however, and is certainly worth checking out!

  • Your Name

    “Pay It Forward”. The way the love story develops between the Mom and the teacher (Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey) and how they are there for each other at the end, the whole movie the kid (Haley Joel Osment) is trying to “Pay It Forward” to his mother by finding her someone. It’s a true testament about how one person can influence so many, in a great way.
    Talk about a tear-jerker. Keep the tissues close at hand. I still tear up thinking about this one.

  • Tiph

    Love Actually…the best feel good movie about love and life!

  • Diane

    Has everyone forgotten some of the older clasics? What about Love Story? He was so devoted to her.

  • Laura

    I LOVE Pay it Forward and the new hit movie

  • andy

    ***Story of Us****
    Return To Me
    Enchanted April
    You’ve Got Mail

  • Bookay

    I love the scene in Fried Green Tomatoes when Idgie is in Ruth’s bedroom (where Ruth is suffering from cancer)and she asks Idgie to tell the ducks and the pond story. You know Ruth is dying and you feel such sadness for Idgie as she loses her best friend.

  • Mary Beth

    Noting Hill is one of my favorites.. The capstone scenes for me in this movie are: The very last scene, of course. Also, the scene where Anna says “Come sit beside me” in the garden. When William says to Anna “Stay forever” and the press conference scene where Anna says “Yes, I believe I would re…consider…” and then the cameras all focus in on William and Anna – and everyone figures out all at once – including the two of them – that they are going to get married! I also thought it was such a mix of things: Julia Roberts was really just playing herself if you think about it. The movie is really smart underneath, I think, but also simple. The feeling it gives me is extraordinary and the chemistry and acting outstanding between Julia and Hugh. Love it obviously.
    Others: Titanic, Sense & Sensibility, Love Story, Father of the Bride, Father of the Bride II, Top Gun, yes Top Gun!!! Used to, when I got feeling overwhelmed and tired and down (and lonely) I’d put it in and crawl into my bed with a heat blanket and laugh and cry and ogle hot men in jets and uniforms and marvel at a character like Charlie in the middle of it!
    Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea are classic first rate films. All the love is there, including something for most everyone. My favorite love scenes in this, other than Anne and Gilbert, are the one where Anne brings her mean principal home to Green Gables on their break… They are walking and almost home: Marilla and Anne see each other for the first time – Anne drops her suitcase and runs to Marilla… I cry my eyes out every time. THAT is love. Also, when Matthew dies, and when they put Anne on the train for the first time.
    Also like the Patriot, Braveheart and Jerry McGuire!

  • Mary Beth

    Notting Hill, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, The Patriot, Braveheart, Steel Magnolias, Love Story, Sense & Sensibility, Jerry McGuire and Top Gun… YES, Top Gun!

  • Patti S.

    I just watched Fireproof last night and loved it! I adore Kirk Cameron and he does a super job in this movie as well. Every couple having a strained relationship (whether it is married, parent-child, etc.) should watch this movie. Many, many kudos!

  • Your Name

    I think you have “you’ve got mail” and ” Sleepless in Seattle” mixed up, In “You’ve got mail” they meet online in a singles 40 and over room, in “Sleepless in Seattle” Tom Hanks is a widow who hasn’t dated in over 2 years and his son calls a radio station, to see if he can fix up his dad so he won’t be lonely anymore.Both equally excellent movies.”Sleepless makes you cry because in one of the scenes he imagines his wife as ACTUALLY being in the room, it just breaks your heart,to know the love of his life is gone forever, but life does go on,and sometimes you’re lucky enough to meet that second “someone special”.

  • Your Name

    I think the best ones are… Imitations of Life, Love Story,The Story of Us, and Titanic. Jerry Maquire, Steel Magnolias,and Braveheart also. New movies… Gran Torina and Seven Pounds.

  • Debbie

    Pay It Forward and Terms of Endearment are two of my favorites. And what about Old Yeller? I have not seen some of the movies listed here, but probably will now. Thanks for the list!

  • Nancy Walker

    My top 10 Movies to put your faith in love are:
    While You Were Sleeping, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, An Affair to Remember (the Cary Grant/Irene Dunne version only!!), Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn/Humphrey Bogart version), Return to Me, The Wedding Date, Moonstruck, Shall We Dance & Bell, Book & Candle.

  • Dena

    Sorry! I did confuse Sleepless in Seatle and You’ve Got Mail! I made the fix. And John Wayne…I should have definitly included “What Dreams May Come.” Excellent film. Always makes me cry.

  • Tara

    My favs are beaches, the notebook, a walk to remember, & titanic!

  • Your Name

    I would say “The Color Purple”, “The Joy Luck Club”, “Steel Magnolias”, “A River Runs Through It”, “Big Eden” and last but definately not least, “Fried Green Tomatoes”. So many others but those are the most well known.

  • Your Name

    Almost forgot “Pay it Forward”. Haley Joel Osmond was stellar in that movie as he was in “The Sixth Sense.” “Long Time Companion” and “Torch Song Trilogy” were also great funny tear jerkers with gay characters.

  • Bev

    An affair to remember with Cary Grant ( the second one)
    Sound of Music
    Any movie with Doris Day and Cary Grant
    Movies from Jane Austin books or other old english novel
    Mrs. Mike with Dick Powell
    Glen Miller story

  • Alix

    A good list, and I really agree with Carrie’s pics. I think Pay It Forward should be shown in schools. Great message for all ages- the sooner the better. I have found that I can’t go wrong with Mel Gibson.

  • Sharon

    Try ‘Beyond borders’, ‘Serendipity’ & ‘Legends of the Fall’.. Great love stories!

  • Your Name

    Stepmom is my favorite. Also, I would like to say to Darla and Linda that altough some of these movies do have some sexual or violent content it they all teach a lesson “LOVE CONQUERS ALL”. Sex and violence are shamefully prominent in our world today and anything that reminds us that love ALWAYS wins in the end is worth watching.

  • kim jackson

    Yes, I certainly agree with “beaches” and “steel Magnolias as 10 ten tear jerkers> “Steel Magnolias” made me misty eyed when Shelby dies after deciding to have a baby, even with diabetes. (now I’ve heard most diabetic women can have babies safely as long as they watch blood sugar, but it was a sweet film with some southern charm. “beaches” I saw with a friend, aand I thought CC taking in Hilary’s baby when she dies was touching. Not many movies make me emotional, but these two did.

  • Your Name

    I have two moments, rather than whole movies, to suggest, both oddly enough starring Robin Williams: Jumanji and Hook. Both are among the best, most moving, most meaningful moments on film. In Hook, it’s when the mother walks into their bedroom near the end, expecting them to still be gone but actually they’ve returned. It never fails to make me cry. No parent can be unmoved – one of the most beautiful little pieces of acting I’ve ever seen. I’m getting teary just writing about it! And in Jumanji – well, in case you’ve never seen it, it’s a must-see with kids (maybe not very little ones). I won’t spoil it – just remember I told you so at the ending when all his sadness is resolved.

  • janie brierley

    eight below- marley&me- duke

  • Your Name

    Another great movie was a golden oldie–“Random Harvest” with Greer Garson and Ronald Colman. Very timely today,too. BTW, An Affair to Remember starred Cary Grant and DEBORAH KERR–Irene Dunne was in the original version “Love Story”. Her co-star was Charles Boyer. Another great one was Notorious with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman–the ending to that movie was one of the all-time best!

  • Tom

    Some of my favorite movies for the story,acting and especially the dialogue:
    Sense and Sensibility (em.thompson, kate winslet
    Cyrano De Bergerac (Josse Ferrar)
    The Elephant Man-John Hurt
    Random Harvest- Ronald Coleman, Greer Garson
    The Enchanted Cottage-Robert Young, Dorothy MaGuire
    To Each His Own0-Olivia deHavilland

  • Lesley

    Shakespeare in Love – this movie portrayed the way romantic love SHOULD be, in my opinion.

  • Lesley

    Also, in “As Good as it Gets”, when Jack Nicholson tells Helen Hunt, near the end of the movie, that she is the most terrific woman on the face of this earth. That is a beautiful little speech, and it always makes me cry! :)

  • stargazzzer

    I love all the movies mentioned but I really think that “A Walk To Remember” should be there too. If you want a movie to make you feel so good but clean out your tear ducts at the same time It is worth a look.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment keirigirl

    Definately “A Walk To Remember”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    One very inspirational movie to me as a child was “Friendly Persuasion”. It has it just about all… a family struggling with their religious beliefs during the American Civil War, the parents very much in love but the husband a bit lax in following their church’s restrictions, and two teenagers add to the mix. There is almost as much humor as there is dramatic background so there is never a boring moment. Gary Cooper is wonderful as the patriarch and if you think Anthony Perkins could only play a Psycho think again since he is very charming as one of the children. Just had to mention this one since it is probably too old for most to remember but believe me, you will love it!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lazar

    Please add this movies also “LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL” “PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS” “SEVEN POUNDS” i am planining to watch all movies which you have mentioned

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