On March 15, 2019, "Five Feet Apart" — the story of a 17-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis (played by Haley Lu Richardson) who falls for a fellow young hospital patient with CF (played by Cole Sprouse) — hit theaters. In honor of this new teen drama, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at the most dramatic movies about teenagers that came before. Keep reading for all the tearjerkers…
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"A Walk to Remember"
In the 2002 movie "A Walk to Remember," Mandy Moore's character, minister's daughter Jamie Sullivan, has leukemia. As Shane West's character, Landon Carter, falls for her, he does everything he can to help her live life to the fullest, even as her body refuses to respond to treatment.
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"The Fault in Our Stars"
There are few things more heart-wrenching then a teenage love story that involves terminal illness. In the 2014 movie "The Fault in Our Stars," Shailene Woodley's character, Hazel Lancaster, meets and falls for Ansel Elgort's character, Augustus Waters, in a cancer patient support group. The two travel together to Amsterdam but upon their return, Augustus, whose cancer was supposed to be in remission, gets much sicker and ends up passing away before Hazel.
"The Last Song"
Real-life married couple Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth met while filming the 2010 movie "The Last Song." In the drama, Miley's character, Veronica "Ronnie" Miller, is a rebellious teen who's sent to spend the summer with her estranged father in Georgia. There, she meets Liam's Will Blakelee, who's handsome and popular. After bonding over protecting turtle eggs, Ronnie starts to fall for Will as she deals with her intense family drama.
What could be more dramatic than teen pregnancy? In the 2007 movie "Juno," Ellen Page plays Juno MacGuff, a pregnant teenager who's unexpectedly expecting with friend Paulie Bleeker, played by Michael Cera. During their pregnancy, Juno and Paulie deal with their emotions for one another — Paulie is in love with Juno, but she is more indifferent. To make matters more dramatic, they're also grappling with their decision to put their unborn child up for adoption.
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart brought audiences to tears in the 2008 movie "Twilight." In the film, Robert plays Edward Cullen, a vampire who falls for the new girl at high school, outcast Bella Swan. They don't have normal teen drama — they have to deal with other vampires trying to hunt Edward's new love for sport. Just another day in Forks, Washington.
Exes Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon co-starred in the 1999 movie "Cruel Intentions" the same year they got married in real life. In the drama, Ryan played wealthy, conniving Sebastian, who attempts to manipulate Reese's Annette, the virgin daughter of his school's new headmaster. Sebastian bets his stepsister, Kathryn (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), that he will be able to take her virginity. If he doesn't? She'll get his Jaguar. Normal teen stuff.
The 2003 movie "Thirteen" was shockingly dramatic. In the film, Nikki Reed's Evie and Evan Rachel Wood's Tracy are junior high friends when Tracy decides she wants to shed her innocent reputation. Evie introduces Tracy to a world of shoplifting, sex and drugs, leaving audiences wondering how this could happen to a 13 year old. Most shocking and dramatic of all? The film was based on Nikki's personal experiences as a young adult.
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower"
The 2012 coming-of-age movie "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" starred Emma Watson and Ezra Miller as step-siblings Sam and Patrick and Logan Lerman as Charlie, the troubled freshman they bring into their friend group. The movie, set in 1992, featured a slew of heavy topics from clinical depression and a best friend who committed suicide to closeted male athletes and the struggles of studying for the SAT.
"The Edge of Seventeen"
In "The Edge of Seventeen," Hailee Steinfeld plays Nadine, a high school student who plans to commit suicide. Desperately alone, she somehow befriends Hayden Szeto's Erwin, who has a crush on her and, she later discovers, is also very lonely, just like she is. For much of the film, Nadine looks at Erwin as a friend only, crushing hard on Nick (played by Alexander Calvert), but in the end, she realizes she returns her friend's feelings and has every reason to live.
"The Virgin Suicides"
"The Virgin Suicides" is a deeply dramatic film about a family whose youngest daughter (of five) commits suicide and in response, the parents become justifiably overprotective and strict with their four other daughters, who are played by Leslie Hayman, Kirsten Dunst, A.J. Cook and Chelse Swain. The family becomes isolated and eventually, the sisters — Lux, Bonnie, Mary and Therese — all kill themselves in different ways as part of a suicide pact.
"Romeo + Juliet"
In 1996, filmmaker Baz Luhrmann reimagined William Shakespeare's classic "Romeo + Juliet" with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in the titular roles. If you're somehow unfamiliar with the story, it's tragic. Romeo and Juliet are from rival families, but it doesn't keep them from falling in love. However, the drama of their elders does keep them from being together — in this life, that is.
In the 2017 film "Everything, Everything," Amandla Stenberg plays Maddy, a girl who suffers from an autoimmune disorder that prevents her from interacting with people and leaving her home. This doesn't keep Nick Robinson's character, Olly, from falling for her through a relationship that starts with texting and slowly moves into secret visits. Maddy and Olly end up running off to Hawaii together where she shockingly finds out she does not have the disorder she was led to believe she suffered from; it was just her mother trying to protect her and keep her safe. While it's tragic news to process, it does mean Maddy can be with Olly — so the film has a happy ending.
"The Spectacular Now"
Another recipe for success in the teen-drama genre is popular guy meets unpopular girl — which is the premise behind 2013's "The Spectacular Now." In the movie, Shailene Woodley's character, Aimee, tutors popular (and troubled) Sutter (played by Miles Teller) in geometry and the two start a relationship. Unfortunately, Sutter's love of drinking leads to trouble and, ultimately, the demise of their relationship, as he believes he's not good enough to be with her. Sutter ends up having to explore his own emotions and past before he can commit to being with Aimee once again.
In 2014's "Endless Love," Gabriella Wilde plays beautiful and privileged Jade, who falls for Alex Pettyfer's David, who lacks her privilege and — no surprise — comes from a troubled background. Naturally, Jade's father doesn't approve of the relationship, but this can't stop her intense feelings… until her father gets a restraining order to keep David away. But as time goes on, she can't resist her first love and realizes it's a love worth fighting for.
"If I Stay"
What's more dramatic than having to make a life-altering decision? Chloe Grace Moretz's Mia is forced to decide between the two of loves of her life in 2014's "If I Stay" — the cello and her boyfriend, Adam, played by Jamie Blackley. The decision is easy compared to what happens next: Mia is involved in a tragic car crash that kills both her parents. A series of flashbacks leave the audience conflicted as to whether Mia should pursue her dreams at Juilliard or stay with Adam.
In 2015's "Paper Towns," Cara Delevingne played Margo, a girl who reunites with childhood pal Q, played by Nat Wolff, for an all-night revenge road-trip adventure. Alongside Q, Margo plays pranks and tricks on her ex-boyfriend and the friend he cheated with. Q, meanwhile, is falling for Margo throughout their debauchery. Later, Margo ends up running away, leading Q on another adventure to find her. Once he tracks her down, he admits his feelings for her but they are not reciprocated. However, they do end up sharing a kiss as Q leaves Margo to continue to find herself on her own.
In 2001's "Crazy/Beautiful," Kirsten Dunst's Nicole and Jay Hernandez's working-class Carlos are worlds apart. Nicole has a complicated relationship with her father, who ends up telling Carlos to break up with his daughter or she'll ruin his life. Carlos ends it and Nicole begins a downward spiral. Carlos, who's working hard on his quest to enter the U.S. Naval Academy after high school, gets in touch with Nicole one night, only to realize she's out partying — so he comes to her rescue. Nicole, who wants to be with Carlos, realizes she needs to curb her partying, which ends up being exactly the right move so they can be together and he can achieve his dreams.
"The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"
Four best friends played by America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel and Blake Lively must spend their first summer apart in the 2005 movie "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." They decide that a magical pair of jeans will keep their bond alive and pass the denim around throughout the summer — and each has significant, emotional events happen while the jeans are in her possession.