24 March 2010 10:34 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This week, John Carvill steals himself through the sobs and reminds us of the best cinematic separations

"Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs," sang Paul McCartney. Others do something similiar with movies: from the silents to 3D, the arthouse to the multiplex, romance sells. Why? Well, to give and receive love is an innate human need: once we've sorted those bare necessities such as food and shelter, love is next on the agenda.

Romcoms may be hugely popular, but that name is misleading – in real life, relationships are seldom funny. Love can be hard work, and it can hurt. As a sagacious stranger warns Woody Allen in Annie Hall, love can fade. Love can die. Make love, not war – or so they say – but what about when love becomes war, what about when it kills? That's why breakup scenes are so powerful. They're the romantic equivalent »

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