The concept of “the one that got away” is one of the things that make certain romantic relationships complicated even after they have ended. It is a phenomenon that refers to that person who, despite a deep connection and potential for something more, slipped through our fingers, leaving us haunted by thoughts of what could have been. This universal phenomenon sparks feelings of melancholy and nostalgia, leaving us to reflect on the choices we made and the paths we didn’t take.
Like all things that make up the human condition, this concept finds its way into the stories we tell, including films and television shows, some of which are a reflection of the complexities and uncertainties of love. It represents a powerful encounter that stokes our imagination, leaving us wondering if we made a mistake or missed out on a great love story. In this article, we will delve into the depths of this captivating phenomenon, exploring the ways that it can manifest and how this has been represented in films.
‘Past Lives’ Deals With The Regret That Comes With This
In the 2023 A24 film, the story is broken into three chapters each spanning over a 12-year period. Nora and Hae Sung were friends who loved each other as kids. But when Nora’s family relocates to Canada, their budding romance is truncated. Only to be reignited 12 years after after a quick search on Facebook. But long distance and time differences hang over their newly formed relationship, causing Nora to end things.
They finally meet each other 12 years after the second breakup, but this time it is clear that they still love each other. One of the biggest motifs in the film is the Buhhdist idea of In-yun and how all relationships are fated. Nora, who is now married, and Hae Sung agree that the fate of their relationship is this, one of deep longing and regret for the idea of what might be if she never left Korea or if she never ended their relationship.
‘The Notebook’ Is A Great Example Of Regaining The One That Got Away
Based on the 1996 novel by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook is a canonical part of the romance film genre. It is also a great example of how people change when they experience losing “the one that got away”. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams play the younger versions of the lead characters, Noah and Allison Calhoun whose love seems to be ill-fated. They have a summer romance where they fall deeply in love with each other only for them to be separated because of her family. This separation sends each of them into a spiral until they are reconnected and live together till the end of their days.
The haunting nature of the one that got away is a strong presence in this film. It guides the actions of Noah and Allison where the other feels restless until they are back together. The film starts and ends in a nursing home where Noah is retelling the story of their love to Allie, who has lost her memory. It can be inferred that his desire to keep being by her side even when her memory is completely gone, is partly driven by the depth of loss he felt when they broke up.
‘The Breakup’ Is Proof that Losing People Is Sometimes Good
In the 2006 film, The Breakup the protagonists played by Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn find themselves in a relationship that slowly begins to deteriorate. As the title suggests, they eventually decide to break up. While the movie explores the complexities and challenges of a breakup, it’s important to remember that whether losing someone is ultimately good or bad depends on the specific circumstances and individuals involved.
In the case of this film, it was proven that sometimes, parting ways can lead to personal growth, newfound happiness, or the chance to pursue better-suited relationships. As was observed when the two finally decided to go their separate ways. However, every situation is unique, and it’s essential to approach breakups with empathy and respect for each person’s feelings and experiences. No matter how much a person feels like the one for you, enduring a relationship in the name of not experiencing the one that got away, leads to a more painful outcome.
‘Love, Rosie’ Tells the Story of a Long-Drawn Case of this Phenomenon
Sam Claflin and Lily Collins are childhood friends who had feelings for each other for a long time but never said anything. However, as life often gets in the way, they find themselves caught up in separate unsatisfactory relationships. Despite their undeniable chemistry and genuine affection, they struggle with expressing their true feelings, leading to a series of missed opportunities and misunderstandings. As time passes, they continue to cross paths, watching from the sidelines as each other’s love lives evolve.
Throughout the film, we witness the beauty and agony of their enduring connection, rooting for them to finally find the courage to confess their love. As the years unfold, they navigate life’s ups and downs, often with comedic and bittersweet consequences. The movie serves as a heartfelt exploration of the power of timing and the resilience of love. It captures a drawn-out case of two individuals who are stuck in unfulfilling relationships while pining for each other, yet struggling to articulate their feelings. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, filled with moments of laughter, heartache, and ultimately, hope.