My Top 5 Cancer and Romance Films

Cancer and romance. Death and love. It may at first, seem like an odd mix but who can ever resist a mellow and poignant love story? Remember the old adage, “It is better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.” It’s true, isn’t it, it feels better to feel alive and loved, even for a short while than to feel lost and alone for a lifetime.

A Walk to Remember

A Walk to Remember

The release of the movie “The Fault in our Stars” is a few months off and fans wait with bated breath for Hazel and Augustus’ love story. It is a romantic film about two people who find each other and fall in love, all set in the backdrop of a terminal illness. (Oh cancer, you are such a buzz kill.) The preview which was released last January 29 looks promising and, as evidence of the fan base that appears to be growing, it has had more than three million views in less than 24 hours. While waiting for the film, I offer you 5 of the most romantic movies I’ve seen which are set along the same lines. Each film has love – tons of it, and loss. But a word to the wise, you may need tissues.

No. 5 Moulin Rouge! (2001) – This may not appeal to a lot of people, most especially those who have a deeply rooted dislike for musicals. I love this movie however, for the romantic quotes it gives. The movie is set in the 1900s, in the romantic city of Paris, long before it was seen as romantic. It is about the love of a poor, starving writer(Ewan McGregor) for a celebrated ‘lady of the night’,(Nicole Kidman) in a local brothel theatre. Here, the lines, “Come what may, I will love you until my dying day.” and, “The greatest thing, you will ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return.”

No.4 Griffin and Phoenix(2006) - This I feel, would be the older version of ‘The Fault in our Stars.” It stars Amanda Peet and Dermot Mulroney – two cancer ridden individuals who, against all odds, develop an unlikely romance. The only difference is that, the girl doesn’t know that the guy is sick, creating a temporary- but-easily- overcome setback. I love the no nonsense of this movie in terms of creating characters we can identify with. They are just normal people, going about their lives when they are forced to do a double take because of the big C.

No.3 Love Story (1970) – This may be a debatable place in my countdown. I only placed it here because, well – its 1970 – and its beyond my time. I saw this once on a channel that features oldies and fell in love with it. This may be the only movie I have in the list where the two main characters (Ali Mac Graw and Ryan O’Neal) have had considerable time together - making the goodbyes even harder. This movie earned so many fans that it is even part of the American Film Institute’s Most Romantic Film list. The line, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” – is still being quoted today.

No. 2 Sweet November (2001) – This movie may leave your heart aching. It is a bittersweet movie on the importance to occasionally stop and smell the flowers. It is a story about a man of the world – Nelson (Keanu Reeves) and his romance with Sara (Charlize Theron), a woman with terminal cancer. They uncharacteristically meet, fall in love and live together, but in the end, the illness gets in the way. It is a great movie, one that teaches so much in so little time. And lastly, for the top of my list, we go back to being young again.

No. 1 A Walk To Remember – This again, will be highly debatable. This movie may not have the traditional marking of the greats – no great noble lines or highly dramatic scenes - but it may be because of its simplicity that it leaves its mark far more than other movie has. It is a simple film, one that deals about the miracle of love and its ability to transform even the hardest of hearts. Its memorable quote rests in the last frame where Shane West’s Character, Landon, talks about his love for Jamie (Mandy Moore) and how their love is like the ‘enduring wind’; unseen but felt. I can go on and on, but remember this is a list about love and loss –to cancer. Here’s to waiting a few more months before “The Fault in our Stars”! Check-out trailer below also.

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