The “Doomed Love” Trope(And Why It’s Awesome)
You’ve seen it before.
Two starstruck lovers fall into such a perfect, idealized form of true love that their passion for each other could burn out the sun if it was one kilowatt brighter. These two youngsters resemble all of our romantic hopes and dreams, and we want them to overcome every obstacle in their path in order to be together.
But, of course, their love is doomed due to timing (The Titanic), class differences (Shakespeare in Love), general misunderstandings (Casablanca), perceived incompatibility (500 Days of Summer), or the fact that they’re being pursued by the law (Bonnie and Clyde).
What sets these stories apart is that the leading couple doesn’t end up together by fade out. Love doesn’t triumph over all, but its transformative powers still make life worth living for both parties even after they’ve split, or died in a hail of gunfire.
It’s a beautiful message, one that resonates in our own life because it capitalizes on our fears that we will never be in a romantic relationship that works out for the best.