When you can’t, but you want: 20 films about forbidden love

In the ideal scenario, two meet, fall in love, and then live in peace and harmony until death. Reality rarely indulges people with such stories, and on the way to happiness, you have to overcome many trials. It is for this reason that films about forbidden love respond to viewers who sincerely worry about the fate of the heroes of modern melodramas.

Last Paradiso (2021)

The action of the foreign novelty of the cinema takes place in a small Italian town of the 50s of the last century. The love of Ciccio Paradiso caused a divorce from his wife, but the womanizer’s troubles do not end there. A man starts an affair with the daughter of a powerful official, and the angry father promises to avenge his insolence. Ciccio wants to run away with his young lover from the city, but a perfect plan exists only in dreams.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
L’ultimo paradiso

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Riccardo Scamarchio, Jaya Bermani Amaral, Massi Furlan…

Country:
Italy

Rating:
IMDb – 5.6


Firebird (2021)

The list of the best melodramas continues with a movie about forbidden love that settled in the hearts of two military men. A young pilot, Roman, is assigned to a Baltic air base, where he meets Private Sergei. Passion flares up between men, but the relationship has to be carefully hidden for fear of severe punishment. Years later, the story continues when Roman invites Sergei to his wedding.

Original title:
Firebird

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Tom Pryor, Nicholas Woodeson, Oleg Zagorodny …

Country:
Estonia, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


The World to Come (2020)

After the death of her daughter, Abigail finds solace in keeping a diary, which she trusts with secrets and difficult thoughts. In the courtyard of the XIX century, so the woman is assigned the unenviable role of the shadow of her own spouse. Abigail does housework, helps her husband on the farm, and meeting a young neighbor gives hope for happiness. Female friendship develops into a passionate romance, but even the brightest feeling is unable to cope with the harsh laws of time.

Original title:
The World to Come

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Katherine Waterston, Casey Affleck, Vanessa Kirby …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
18+


Portrait of a girl on fire (2019)

A melodrama about forbidden love is worth watching for fans of historical films and picturesque landscapes. In the second half of the 18th century, the talented artist Marianne came to Brittany. She is instructed to paint a portrait of the young noblewoman Eloise, who is about to be married to a wealthy Italian. The obstinate girl opposes marriage of convenience and does not want to hear anything about posing, so the family goes for a little trick. Marianne is presented as a walking companion, and the artist reveals the beautiful inner world of Eloise.

Original title:
Portrait de la jeune fille en feu

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Noemi Merlan, Adele Enel, Louana Bayrami…

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Consequences (2019)

British lieutenant colonel Lewis Morgan is sent to post-war Hamburg, who is entrusted with leading the restoration work in the city. Soon a wife joins the man, grieving the death of her only son. A married couple settles in the mansion of a local widower who does not get along with an unruly teenage daughter. It is not easy for former enemies to get along under the same roof, and the situation is aggravated by a sudden flare-up of feeling.

Original title:
The Aftermath

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, military

Actors:
Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgård, Jason Clarke…

Country:
Germany, UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Cold War (2018)

The storyline of the film about forbidden love takes place in post-war Poland, where the musician Victor is looking for talents for a folk ensemble. During the next audition, a man meets the owner of an amazing voice – and falls in love with a beautiful singer. Victor dreams of taking his chosen one abroad, but on the threshold of emigration, the difference in mentalities manifests itself with incredible force.

Original title:
Zimna wojna

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, history, music

Actors:
Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Boris Shits…

Country:
Poland, Great Britain, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Grace and Joe. Love Story (2018)

Picturesque Hawaii is the perfect backdrop for a beautiful melodrama, but in the 20s of the last century, an epidemic raged on the islands . Joe was left an orphan after the death of his parents, and the local doctor took custody of the unfortunate . A grateful boy helps the doctor distribute medicines to the sick, and years later the guy accidentally ends up in the planter’s house. Joe falls in love with the daughter of an influential rich man, who is ready to do anything to prevent Grace’s connection with the poor.

Original title:
Running for Grace

Genre:
Melodrama

Actors:
James Caviezel, Matt Dillon, Ryan Potter…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 6.2

Age Limits :
12+


United Kingdom (2016)

A feature film about a forbidden relationship is a beautiful story based on real events . Seretse Khama, Crown Prince of African Botswana, makes an unexpected choice in favor of an ordinary office worker, Ruth. An interracial union becomes a reason for a political scandal, but the lovers are ready for hard trials for the sake of gaining personal happiness.

Original title:
A United Kingdom

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, biography, history

Actors:
David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Tom Felton …

Country:
Czech Republic, UK, France, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
18+


Fatal Attraction (2015)

In the center of the plot of a dramatic film about forbidden love and passion is Anna, a 19-year-old prisoner awaiting trial. Circumstances bring her together with Jean Firmino, the director of the prison . The surrounding people consider the man an exemplary family man with a crystal clear reputation, but this meeting changes everything.

Original title:
Éperdument

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, biography

Actors:
Adele Exarchopoulos, Guillaume Gallienne, Stephanie Cleo …

Country:
France, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.7, IMDb – 5.8

Age restrictions:
18+


French Suite (2014)

World War II period . The events of the film are built around a young girl living in the same house with her mother-in-law. Unloved husband Lucille went to the front, and she has to fight for life in France occupied by enemies. The case brings the heroine with a German officer. It turns out that Lucille and Bruno have a lot in common, but circumstances do not contribute to their relationship. Be that as it may, the couple cannot give up their forbidden love.

Original title:
Suite Française

Genre:
Thriller, drama, melodrama, military

Actors:
Michelle Williams, Mattias Schoenaerts, Kristin Scott Thomas, Margot Robbie …

Country:
UK, France, Canada, Belgium, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Silent Storm (2014)

The list of films about forbidden love continues with a drama, the plot of which takes place on a secluded Scottish island . So, the middle of the twentieth century. The mines are closed, the locals are rapidly leaving the city. The fanatical pastor Balor does not intend to follow the example of the majority. His wife Eileen is involuntarily forced to stay with him. One day, Fionn gets to the island – a guy who was sent here to serve his duty. Tired of her husband’s despotism, the pastor’s wife begins to show interest in the visitor.

Original title:
The Silent Storm

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Damian Lewis, Andrea Riseborough, Ross Anderson …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 5.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Two Women (2014)

The wife of a wealthy landowner, Natalya Petrovna, unexpectedly falls in love with her son ‘s teacher . The young teacher also attracts the attention of the young pupil Vera, who does not take her eyes off Alexei Nikolaevich. The plot of the melodrama is not limited to a love triangle, since Natalya Petrovna has a longtime admirer who dreams of ingratiating herself with a married lady.

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Anna Vartanyan, Ralph Fiennes, Alexander Baluev …

Country:
Russia, France, Latvia, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
12+


Victoria: A Love Story (2013)

The plot of this film about forbidden love focuses on Victoria, the daughter of a landowner. A few years ago, she met Johannes, the son of a local miller. Their paths temporarily parted, but when the grown-up guy returned home after studying, mutual interest flared up again. Social differences become an insurmountable barrier between young people. All they have left is forbidden feelings. Suspecting something was wrong, Victoria’s family marries her to another.

Original title:
Victoria

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Iben M. Akerlie, Jacob Oftebro, Bill Skarsgård…

Country:
Norway

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.7, IMDb – 5.6

Age limits :
16+


Grand Central. Love for Atoms (2013)

The list of the best films about forbidden love includes the story of a young man named Harry. He is offered a highly paid position at a nuclear power plant. The guy is happy about the changes, but soon realizes how dangerous the new job is. All doubts disappear when the hero meets his friend’s wife – an attractive blonde Karol. Harry can’t think of anyone but her. The girl reciprocates, but understands that their love is forbidden, untimely and risky …

Original title:
Grand Central

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Tahar Rahim, Léa Seydoux, Olivier Gourmet …

Country:
France, Austria

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.6, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Full breasts (2012)

Keith Reynolds is a talented musician forced to work as a music teacher in a public school. He has a family, but despite this, the hero considers his life to be rather mediocre. Everything changes when an exchange student appears in his house. Englishwoman Sophie seems to awaken Keith from a dream. He is impressed by her beauty, passion for music and eccentricity. The wife and daughter fade into the background, because now Sophie is the only one Reynolds is obsessed with.

Original title:
Breathe In

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Amy Ryan …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Anna Karenina (2012)

The top melodrama about forbidden feelings continues the film based on the ageless classic. The meeting between Count Vronsky and Anna Karenina grew into a real passion, sweeping away everything in its path. However, the connection between a married woman and a young officer soon became a problem and an occasion for gossip. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Anna is forced to make a difficult choice between feelings and family.

Original title:
Anna Karenina

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Water for Elephants! (2011)

The plot of the film takes place in the early twentieth century around a veterinary student Jacob. The young man is forced to drop out of school before receiving a diploma. After the tragic death of his parents, he leaves his hometown. Subsequently, Jacob decides to join a traveling circus . The guy notices the charming rider Marlena. True love is born between young people, but their feelings are forbidden, because the girl is married to a despotic circus owner.

Original title:
Water for Elephants

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Likes/Dislikes (2011)

Suburb of Toronto. The main character of the film is a young writer Margot. She is married to a caring homebody Lou, and considers her marriage quite successful. One day, a woman meets a new neighbor – a charming and active Daniel. Margo realizes that she has an unusual and rather strong interest in this man. Gradually, they are united by a love of walking, meaningful conversations, piercing glances and an ambiguous sense of prohibition …

Original title:
Take This Waltz

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby …

Country:
Canada, Spain, Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Match Point (2005)

One of the most intense films about forbidden relationships. Chris is a tennis player who has lost his former glory. The hero of the picture left the big sport, and now gives private lessons to wealthy clients. Among his students is the aristocrat Tom. Friendship develops between young people. Tom invites Chris to a family dinner where he introduces his sister Chloe. The girl clearly feels sympathy for the tennis player, and he does not want to miss such a profitable game. But his real interest is Nola – Tom’s beloved.

Original title:
Match Point

Genre:
Thriller, drama, romance

Actors:
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Brian Cox

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights (2004)

Among the best films about forbidden love is a story that took place in the late 50s of the last century. The main character is an 18-year-old American from a respectable and respectable family. Charming Katie Miller hopes to become a student at a prestigious university, but before that she decides to visit Havana with her parents. Arriving in Cuba, Keti accidentally meets a local resident Javier. The guy turns out to be a talented self-taught dancer, and this makes a big impression on the girl. Real feelings begin to emerge between the characters in the picture, but Keti realizes that her parents will never approve of an alliance with a poor Cuban waiter.

Original title:
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

Genre:
Drama, Romance, Music

Actors:
Diego Luna, Romola Garay, Sela Ward…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.0

Age Limits :
12+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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