Perhaps the most popular trope on screen, the love triangle can be banal and boring at its worst — and provocative, inspiring, and stimulating at its best. From Vicky Cristina Barcelona to Y Tu Mamá También, these are the best on-screen love triangles:
1. Y Tu Mamá También
In the broad sense, Y Tu Mamá También could be classified as a coming-of-age story about two best friends (Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna) who experience a spiritual awakening when they meet the sexy, older Maribel Verdu. However, the movie encompasses so much more than that. The Alfonso Cuaron-directed flick frankly and honestly addresses issues of sexual exploration, friendship, and Mexican culture. Erotic, irreverent, and thought-provoking, Y Tu Mamá También should be a must-watch for all young adults.
2. My Best Friend's Wedding
My Best Friend's Wedding gave the traditional, completely predictable love-triangle trope an unexpected twist. When Julia Roberts' character finds out that her best friend, played by Dermot Mulroney, proposed to Cameron Diaz's perky character, she flips out. I mean, how could he possibly marry someone who isn't her? What begins as a trite rom-com ends as an alarmingly bittersweet story about love, loss, and acceptance.
3. Love In The Time of Cholera
The movie, based on the acclaimed novel Love In The Time of Cholera by Nobel Prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, centers on the relationship of Florentino Ariza, played by Javier Bardem, and Fermina Daza, played by Italian actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno. Florentino loves Fermina unconditionally, even after she marries the successful, charming, and attractive Urbino, played by Benjamin Bratt. Described as "romantic" by some and "obsessive" by others, this love-triangle will have you aching all over.
4. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Woody Allen took a departure from his beloved New York City to transport audiences to a tropical locale befitting of the steamy, passionate, and occasionally violent love triangle between Scarlett Johannson, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem's characters in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. After a few broken hearts, infidelities, and gunshots, these characters manage to live happily ever after... mostly.
5. There's Something About Mary
We can't quite classify There's Something About Mary as a love-triangle. A love-square, maybe, or a love-octagon. Mary, played by Cameron Diaz, steals the heart of an awkward teenage boy, Ted, played by Ben Stiller. After their prom date goes awry in the most hilarious (and painful) way possible, the two lose touch. Thirteen years later, Ted gets a second shot with Mary — if he can make it past her ridiculously long line of suitors. Hilarious, vulgar, and heartwarming, There's Something About Mary perfectly combines comedy with romance.
6. The Wedding Planner
You won't come away from The Wedding Planner burning with questions about the nature of humanity or the meaning of life on earth. You will walk away with an added appreciation for all things Matthew McConaughey. Before "the McConaissance," this Oscar-winner played Steve Edison, a charming peditrician who saves Jennifer Lopez's character Mary (and her shoe) from sudden death via trash dumpster. Mary, a wedding planner, soon discovers that her dream man already has a fiancé — and she has been hired to plan his wedding. The result? A deeply satisfying, feel-good comedy that you can watch over and over again with your girlfriends.