The Sappiest Movie Moments You May Have to Endure This Valentine’s Day

A Cinematic Guide to Laying It on Just a Little Too Thick

By Najib Benouar ·
A sigh.

A glance.

A kiss in the rain.

A long-awaited pronouncement: “It’s been you all along. It’s always been you.”

Cue music swell.

And annoyed eye-rolls.

Yes, there are times when it’s hard to know when romance ends and the sappiness begins.

But since there’s probably going to be some romantic movies in your future—possibly on a certain day in February—we’ve rounded up some of the sappiest moments just so you have fair warning as to when to go get some fresh popcorn. Or a dry hankie.

Jerry Maguire
The Romantic Lead-Up: Boy meets girl. Boy is a failing sports agent. Girl is a single mom. Money is demanded to be shown. Boy and girl fall hard for each other fast, then fall back out of love just as hard, then he barges into her she-woman-man-haters-club meeting and...
The Moment of Peak Sappiness: Boy says, “You complete me.” Girl says, “Just shut up.” And then really brings it all home with: “You had me at hello.” Thy sap runneth over.

Love, Actually
The Romantic Lead-Up: There’s the British prime minister in love. A British widower... in love. A British guy who’s in love with his best friend’s new wife—also, all British. Basically, a lot of in-love British people navigating love.
The Moment of Peak Sappiness: The British guy who’s in love with his best friend’s wife shows up to their abode of newly wedded matrimony to woo the just-married wife of best friend with a silent soliloquy of cue cards professing his love for her. The complete disregard of bro code aside, this is the most overrated romantic scene of all time. This sappiness drips with a sour aftertaste.

Forrest Gump
The Romantic Lead-Up: Southern simpleton falls for the first lady he’s ever laid eyes upon. Spends the next few decades of his life pining for her and unwittingly stumbling into a litany of important American historical events. Meanwhile, she becomes a free spirit, trying to leave her simple upbringing behind. They reunite during a protest at the National Mall.
The Moment of Peak Sappiness: She interrupts a political rally, at which he’s somehow bumbled his way onto the speaking platform, by sloshing through the reflecting pool yelling “Forrest,” and once he finally realizes this is his beloved “Jenny,” he begins yelling her name back at her and jumps into the reflecting pool to hug her. The music swells, the crowd cheers, the giant statue of Lincoln sits there wishing he could look away, but he can’t.

The Romantic Lead-Up: You’re going to want to sit down for this one. You already are? Okay, good. So, boy meets girl and all is well until boy is killed after discovering his boss’s money-laundering scheme and returns as ghost to right this wrong and have one final inter-realm, pottery-related love scene with girl. Whoopi Goldberg is also a major player.
The Moment of Peak Sappiness: Ghost Lover learns to make his presence felt among the living and returns to his old apartment where his girlfriend, a potter, is working on a potting wheel. He sidles up behind her and they have a very intimate pottery session. “Unchained Melody” plays in the background and your already very thinly spread suspension of disbelief probably still won’t save you from the sappiness you’re witnessing.

As Good as It Gets
The Romantic Lead-Up: Cranky old writer falls for girl way too young and attractive for him. He’s Jack Nicholson, so it actually kinda works.
The Moment of Peak Sappiness: Said cranky old Jack Nicholson drops the line “You make me want to be a better man.” The piano starts to fade in. The camera takes what seems like an entire act of the movie to slowly zoom in to register the pleasantly stunned reaction on her face. The sap flows like beer.

Dear John
The Romantic Lead-Up: Reformed tough guy has soft spot for a college girl who sees something different in him. They begin dating, but he can’t seem to shake his rough-around-the-edges past, especially when everyone in this otherwise quaint and idyllic beachside hamlet wants to fistfight him. This only makes their love grow stronger...
The Moment of Peak Sappiness: It’s raining that perfect kind of rain that doesn’t seem to get either protagonist wet. She says that even though everyone seems to act afraid around him, “You don’t scare me, John.” He whispers back, “Well, you scare me,” while going in for a very by-the-book-Hitch-you-go-in-90%-and-hold-for-them-to-go-the-last-10% kiss. It continues to rain, very large drops, of sap.
Najib Benouar

Najib Benouar has been known on occasion to write about menswear, ice cream scoops and all other manner of gentlemanly pursuit.

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