22 Most Depressing Movie Couples

Nil By Mouth (1997)

The Couple: Lahndaners Ray and Valerie (Ray Winstone and Kathy Burke)

The Issues: He rules by violence; she bears the brunt of it. Even when pregnant.

How To Fix The Relationship: For anyone on the outside looking in, this one's a no-brainer. But Valerie - whether deluded, dependent or in love however appalling Ray is - is convinced there is a fix.

Brief Encounter (1945)

The Couple: Would-be adulterers Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) and Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard)

The Issues: They fancy each other rotten but both are married. Even when they arrange a bunk-up at a friend of Alec's, the friend turns up early to thwart their passion. Alec takes the hint and emigrates to ensure both of them stay miserable.

How To Fix The Relationship: Oh, don't be so terribly English, Alec. Take her with you.