Valentine’s Day has been and gone, and I can’t help but think of how much film and movies affect our relationship expectations. This got me thinking about the most iconic movie couples produced by Hollywood and how their love affairs have shaped how we perceive love.
Here’s a look at 12 of the greatest love stories to ever shine on the big screen listed in no particular order.
1. Danny and Sandy (Grease)
A summer fling can last more than one season, as proven by Danny and Sandy. After reuniting in the real world after a romantic romp at the beach, Danny and Sandy are confronted by the pressures of high school to conform to social norms. However, with their willingness to meet half-way, these two love birds are able to fly off into the sunset (literally) for a happily ever after.
2. Gomez and Morticia (The Addams Family)
Sometimes it takes finding the person who understands you the most to find a great love. That’s definitely the case with Gomez and Morticia from the Addams Family, who have very specific tastes. But what really makes their relationship special is their undying passion for one another.
3. Jack and Rose (Titanic)
There’s nothing cold about this love affair. After a brief meeting, these two love birds hit it off. Next thing you know, there’s a sexy portrait session and a steamy car window. As an engaged socialite, Rose is willing to give up all her wealth and social standing for Jack. They could have had their happy ending too if it weren’t for that darn iceberg.
4. Han and Leia (Star Wars)
Han and Leia have always had a love-hate relationship. Though they appear to be repulsed by each others’ personalities, they clearly have a physical attraction right off the bat. After facing the dark side in multiple scenarios, they eventually earn each others’ respect and eventually affection.
5. Vivian and Edward (Pretty Woman)
Proof that you can mix business with pleasure, Vivian and Edward make an unlikely yet iconic couple. What starts out as an arrangement to help Edward cope with his recent break-up quickly turns into a relationship of love and trust.
6. Scarlett and Rhett (Gone With the Wind)
What happens when a spoiled debutante meets her match? The two are swept up into a whirlwind of dysfunctional passion. These two flawed characters found solace in each other in the midst of a fast-changing world.
7. Ilsa and Rick (Casablanca)
This heartbreaking relationship was surrounded by hurdle after hurdle. Ilsa and Rick, who are both clearly in love, are kept apart by complicated circumstances. Ultimately, Rick performs the ultimate declaration of love by letting her go.
8. Satine and Christian (Moulin Rouge)
Satine, a dancer and courtesan who has only known the life of the Moulin Rouge, longs to free herself from the world of underground entertainment. However, after mistakenly falling for Christian, who she believes is the Duke who could whisk her problems away, complications arise. They carry on with a secretive and dangerous relationship complete with their very own love song.
9. Sally and Jack (The Nightmare Before Christmas)
Sally had always pined for Jack though he was preoccupied with finding his next venture. She was there for him even when he didn’t realize it. However, he soon realizes that she is his biggest champion and that they are meant to be.
10. Noah and Allie (The Notebook)
‘Til death do us part, indeed! The movie depicts an old Noah reading a story to a dementia-stricken Allie who recounts their love story to her by reading her a journal. Through sickness and health, Noah was in love with Allie from the day they met right up until their demise.
11. Buttercup and Westley (The Princess Bride)
This fairy tale romance proves that love never dies. After Westley mysteriously disappears and is presumably dead, Buttercup still holds him in her heart. Even after reluctantly accepting the proposal of Prince Humperdink, she is still clearly in love with Westley. Risking his very life, Westley does everything in his power to rescue Buttercup from her sad fate.
12. Edward and Bella (Twilight)
Though I personally feel that their on-screen chemistry was rather dry, Edward and Bella deserve a spot on the most iconic movie couples list. Edward’s fascination with Bella sends even grown women back to the days of youthful infatuation.
Honorary mention goes out to Baby and Johnny, (Dirty Dancing), for that iconic lift and to Carl and Ellie, (Up), for just being so cute. Now to find a partner that lives up to all these expectations.