Mandatory Staff Picks: 15 Films That Perfectly Capture the Agony of Young Love
Ah, young love. It’s awkward. It’s excruciating. And once in a while, it’s exhilarating. While we wouldn’t go back to adolescence for anything (not even those obsessive crushes and intense butterflies), we sure do enjoy reliving the magic (and misery) of teen relationships through movies. These 15 films perfectly capture how it feels to be innocent, in love, and agonizing over how to make a relationship work when the rest of your life is in total flux. Embrace your sensitive side and settle in for a sentimental film fest.
Cover Photo: Twentieth Century Fox
Mandatory Staff Picks: The Best Movies About Unrequited Love
High school graduate (and underachiever) Lloyd (John Cusack) pursues valedictorian Diane (Ione Skye), but she's torn between her attraction to Lloyd and her loyalty to her father. Cue iconic boombox moment.
'10 Things I Hate About You'
Who doesn't love a love-hate relationship that goes from sour to sweet in the span of 99 minutes? See also: a young Heath Ledger as a high school charmer.
Shallow Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is too busy making eyes at the wrong guys to notice the way her ex-stepbrother (Paul Rudd) is falling for her.
Awkward middle school student and novice YouTuber Kayla (Elsie Fisher) is looking for love in all the wrong places...but it finds her in the form of a friendly nerd at the end of this painfully accurate film about adolescence in the digital age.
'The Fault In Our Stars'
Fellow cancer patients Hazel Grace (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort) learn to love despite the ticking clock of mortality.
'To All the Boys I've Loved Before'
When Lara Jean's secret love letters get mailed, the boys they were addressed to come seeking answers. Lara Jean schemes with Peter (Noah Centineo) to enter into a fake relationship to save face...but they can only fake it so long.
'The Spectacular Now'
Opposites attract when party boy Sutter (Miles Teller) meets good girl Aimee (Shailene Woodley) in this touching, realistic film about the kind of love that makes each party a better person.
'The Incredibly True Story of Two Girls in Love'
Randy Dean (Laurel Holloman), a gas station attendant and subpar student, falls for well-to-do, intelligent Evie (Nicole Parker). While the two teens can overcome their differences in the name of love, their families are not as accepting.
Photo: Fine Line Features
Vada (Anna Chlumsky) and Thomas J. (Macaulay Culkin) are the best of friends. They even share a first kiss together. Though Vada thinks she's in love with her English teacher, Mr. Bixler (Griffin Dunne), a tragedy convinces her that Thomas J. was her true love (if only platonically) all along.
Can goody two shoes Sandy (Olivia Newton John) and crude rebel Danny (John Travolta) make their summer fling last beyond high school graduation?
'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist'
Nick (Michael Cera) and Norah (Kat Dennings) are each obsessed with their respective exes but soon realize the love they've been looking for is right in front of them.
'If I Stay'
Cellist Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz) believes she must choose between her professional future at Julliard and her high school sweetheart Adam (Jamie Blackley)...until an accident threatens to change the trajectory of her life forever.
High school senior Simon (Nick Robinson) has successfully stayed in the closet, but finds himself falling for an anonymous online contact dubbed Blue. When leaked emails threaten to out Simon, he begins sharing his orientation with others, which eventually leads to meeting Blue IRL.
'A Walk to Remember'
Landon Carter (Shane West) falls for Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore) while working on a school play, but she has a devastating secret that might prevent their relationship from becoming all it could.
In the wake of a breakup, Lola (Miley Cyrus) and her friend Kyle (Douglas Booth) realize they have feelings for one another, but a misunderstanding threatens to tear them apart.