Top Romantic Tearjerker Movies by State | CenturyLinkQuote
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Guess your state’s most googled tearjerker movie last year

Last Updated on February 8, 2023 by Zoi Walker


Tragic, tearjerker romance movies—we wish we knew how to quit you.

Sad love stories make the heart go on for all sorts of reasons: the release of a good cry, the hope of finding love IRL, or the comfort of surviving fictional heartbreak and moving on tomorrow. (What’s your reason for watching sad romance movies? Take our live poll below.)

With the 25th anniversary re-release of Titanic in 2023, our team wanted to learn which other tearjerker movies still make America pull out the tissues—and do online deep dives because they can’t get enough. Check out which sad romance movie had your state by the keyboard last year, and gather ideas for movies to watch on Valentine’s Day.

Your state’s most googled tearjerker movie

America's most googled tearjerker movies map
America's most googled tearjerker movies table

Interesting findings

  • Titanic smashed into film history like a massive iceberg, and the American internet never stopped talking about it. About half the country, i.e., 23 states, still type it into Google more often than other tearjerker movies.
    • After releasing in 1997, Titanic became the first-ever film to pass a billion dollars in gross revenue, bringing in an estimated $2.2 billion worldwide. It remained the highest-grossing film of all time until Avatar surpassed it in 2010.
    • When production began in 1995, Titanic was the most expensive film ever made at a budget of $200 million.
    • The film received 14 Academy Award nominations and won 11. 
  • My Girl takes the top spot in 7 states’ Google histories, making it the second most searched tearjerker movie by state. The film’s title references the Temptations’ 1964 single of the same name, which is featured in the movie credits.
  • Ghost took the lead in 6 states’ search histories. It may not have the epic, historical realism of Titanic, but you never really forget the pottery scene.
    • Earning $505 million domestically against an estimated budget of $22 million, Ghost topped the domestic box office in 1990, and for a time sat at number 3 on the all-time American box office list.
    • Ghost won 2 of its 5 Academy Award nominations.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, googled most in 5 states, has the highest critical rating of any movie on our list.
    • Critics give Eternal Sunshine a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.3/10 on IMDb, and the film has gained a cult following since its release in 2004.
    • Kate Winslet received an Oscar nomination for best actress, and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman won the Oscar for best original screenplay.
  • 500 Days of Summer was searched most in 3 states. The film received 58 total award nominations and 17 wins.

Why do you watch romance movies that will make you cry?

View Results

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First, we compiled a list of 64 popular sad movies using Teen Vogue, Glamour, and IMDb keyword search. We then ranked each movie by total search volume in the past year using SemRush, an online marketing tool. Finally, we used Google Trends, a tool analyzing online search patterns, to find the popularity by state of the 12 highest-ranking titles on our list. We gathered this data in November 2022.


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Your state’s most googled tearjerker movie [Table]

AlabamaMy Girl
Alaska(500) Days of Summer
ArkansasMy Girl
California(500) Days of Summer
District of Columbia(500) Days of Summer
HawaiiMy Girl
IdahoA Star is Born
IndianaMy Girl
LouisianaMy Girl
MarylandMy Girl
MassachusettsEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
MississippiMy Girl
MontanaLa La Land
New HampshireGhost
New JerseyTitanic
New MexicoGhost
New YorkEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
North CarolinaTitanic
North DakotaAtonement
OregonEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Rhode IslandEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
South CarolinaThe Notebook
South DakotaA Walk to Remember
UtahWest Side Story
WashingtonEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
West VirginiaTitanic
WyomingBrokeback Mountain

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