Love! It can be so fun. It can also drive people insane! That’s when I get interested, because bananas, obsessive teen love is my favorite type of love to read about or watch onscreen or otherwise enjoy while it stays the hell out of my real life! Which is why the characters on this list are my favorite young lovers.
1. Sailor and Lula from Wild at Heart (1990)
This David Lynch movie showcases rampant teen sexuality at its craziest. After Sailor (Nicolas Cage) gets out of prison he meets his sweetheart, Lula (Laura Dern), at the front gates and they decide to run away to California, away from Lula’s crazy mother and Sailor’s parole officers. When these two lovebirds aren’t being total metalheads and moshing in the desert, they’re having wild sex and breaking the law any way they can. I love Sailor and Lula because they are just so WEIRD. I love when he serenades her in the metal club with his own rendition of “Treat Me Like a Fool” I love how she is this colorful, gum-popping, Marilyn Monroe–type character who will always wait for Sailor no matter how long his prison sentences are. Not to mention that they can’t keep their hands off each other, that’s how obsessed they are. Aw, young love!
2. Jade and David from Endless Love (1979)
“The love every parent fears!” Ahhh! Endless Love is the story of Jade and David, two teenagers who are so madly in love with each other that houses are set on fire and restraining orders filed in order to keep them apart. Although Jade’s bohemian parents are open-minded about the relationship at first, they set boundaries once Jade’s schoolwork and whole LIFE start to suffer (she can’t sleep at night because they’re having too much sex and being in love and STUFF). But parental restrictions are no match for insane teen love! I wish I had a boyfriend who would burn my house down because he loves me so much! (Just kidding. Or am I?)
Although Scott Spencer’s novel was adapted into a movie starring Brooke Shields in 1981, the book is soooo much better. Seriously, read the book. It’s emotional and overly dramatic and devastating. It’s one of the most romantic novels I’ve ever read in my life.
3. Bella and Edward from the Twilight series
They might be the couple that you hate to love, love to love, or love to hate, but one thing is for sure: Bella and Edward are definitely obsessively in L-O-V-E. It’s sort of hard to understand why they are so attached to each other—perhaps Bella’s blood is Edward’s personal brand of heroin, or maybe Edward’s beauty is just irresistible to Bella. Maybe it’s because nothing EVER happens in Forks, Washington, so resorting to twisted forms of love (vampire + human isn’t exactly a normal relationship) is the only thing to do! And Bella and Edward’s drama-queen affair, with its many INTENSE trials and tribulations, is so fun to watch/read. Remember when Edward saved Bella from that gang in the first book by swooping in from nowhere and rescuing her? And don’t forget that time when Bella could barely live after Edward left her in New Moon! Wow, love sure can make you crazy (and a vampire!).
4. Pauline and Juliet from Heavenly Creatures (1994)
There’s some question as to whether Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme were actually lovers, but they were definitely obsessed with each other—so much so that they were driven to commit murder when their parents tried to separate them. In this movie, based on a true story, the girls (played by Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey) maintain a fiercely loyal bond that spirals into a strange and disturbing relationship and draws them deeper and deeper into a fantasy world of their own making. Side note: in real life, the girls were convicted of killing Parker’s mother; after serving five years they were released on the condition that they remain apart for the rest of their lives. Juliet Hulme became the mystery writer Anne Perry.
5. Deanie and Bud from Splendor in the Grass (1961)
Bud (Warren Beatty) and Deanie (Natalie Wood) are in love, and they want to DO IT. But it’s 1928, and their parents are all up in their business. Her parents are like “you have to remain a virgin until the day you are betrothed” and his dad is all “if she won’t do sex with you, find someone who will!” and Deanie and Bud do the worst thing possible: they obey. It all goes downhill from there, and Deanie goes mad and is institutionalized. Which goes to show you: never listen to your parents; it will drive you insane.
6. Edward and Kim from Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Although their first meeting is messy and awkward (wouldn’t YOU freak out too if you found a stranger with SCISSORS for HANDS sleeping in your room?) not even a broken waterbed can keep Edward Scissorhands and Kim Boggs from falling in love. Even though her asshole boyfriend sees Edward as a freak, Kim stands by Edward when nobody in the town will. The pretty, popular cheerleader and the pale, scarred scissor boy don’t make a good couple on paper, but that’s why their relationship is so perfect. It’s the most unconventional kind of love, the kind that is doubted by all and nearly impossible, and therefore just incredibly TORTURED and PASSION-FILLED. How romantic and amazing is that scene of Kim dancing under the snow that Edward hand-crafts for her? Decades later Kim hasn’t forgotten Edward, retelling the story of their time together. OH WHY didn’t they stay together forever! WHY!?!
7. Romeo and Juliet
DUH. This is the story that all teen love stories after its publication in 1597 are—directly or indirectly—influenced by. The idea of unrequited young love dates back to antiquity, but Romeo and Juliet’s story bottles up all of those heart-crushing teen emotions that come with falling in love and then spills them all over the page/stage/screen. For R&J, life without each other is just not worth living…and so they kill each other/themselves! I mean, they must’ve been REALLY in love, you know? ♦