Books/Movies about soulmates finding each other in each lifetime?
March 24, 2013 6:40 PM   Subscribe

Books/Movies about soulmates finding each other in each lifetime? I have some vague memories about at least one book or movie that centered around a couple, soul mates who kept having to re-find each other over and over in multiple different lifetimes. Ringing any bells? I know Cloud Atlas is a tiny bit like that, but it was much longer ago than that. Also, suggestions of books/movies along similar lines? Tried searching but maybe I searched the wrong terms. Thanks in advance!
posted by bluesky78987 to Society & Culture (30 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
the time traveller's wife has no equal in this genre
posted by bobdow at 6:42 PM on March 24, 2013 [4 favorites]

The Lake House?
posted by ecsh at 6:44 PM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

The Fountain featured two main characters, a man and a woman, who were a Queen and her Conquistador in the past, a cancer researcher and cancer-ridden wife in the present, and then something else weird to each other in the future. They never really had to find each other, but their relationship was fleshed out between the three interpretations.
posted by carsonb at 6:44 PM on March 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

Richard Bach's One?
posted by limeonaire at 6:47 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ann Brashares' My Name is Memory?
posted by smangosbubbles at 6:50 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Replay, Ken Grimwood.
posted by teremala at 6:52 PM on March 24, 2013 [8 favorites]

There's an X-Files episode, The Field Where I Died, which is something like this.

Also Dead Again is something like this.
posted by cali59 at 6:52 PM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

There's a movie, "Millenium Actress", which has an interesting take on this. It's not over multiple lifetimes, but over the course of the titular character's acting career.
posted by vulgar_wheat at 6:54 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

In Made in Heaven two souls meet in heaven, then are both reincarnated into new lives and have to find each other before a certain age. (It was in heavy rotation on cable for a while years ago, starring Timothy Hutton & Kelly McGillis, with an uncredited cameo by Debra Winger in drag as Emmet/God)
posted by oh yeah! at 6:55 PM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

Something similar to this happens in the film Hancock.

Also, in the film What Dreams May Come, the protagonist goes back at the end to find his wife and soulmate in a new lifetime
posted by ftm at 6:56 PM on March 24, 2013

Katharine Kerr's series on Deverry and the Westlands?

posted by Schielisque at 7:02 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding the suggestion that it's Made In Heaven: I never saw it, but remember reading that it was about Timothy Hutton meeting an angel in the afterlife and they fall in love, but she's about to be assigned to a life on Earth and he asks to be reincarnated so he can be with her; the deal is that they can't be sent down "together," so he thus has to try to find her during their earthly lifetime so they can be reunited in Heaven again otherwise she'll forget about him.

But for the record, the book Years of Rice and Salt concerns a group of people who do keep all being reincarnated together across several lifetimes. (The book also is an alternate-history chronicle, with the what-if being about "what if way more Europeans died in the Black Plague and so the Muslims, Chinese, Turks, Native Americans and Africans drove civilization from that point forward".)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:02 PM on March 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

posted by Ideefixe at 7:12 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think Replay too, mentioned above.
posted by Glinn at 7:17 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Not quite what you're asking, but close: French-language thriller (and, IMO, one of the better thrillers ever) "Ne le dis à personne" ("Tell No One,") may fit the bill. I think it's being remade in the US this year or soon, but, well, see the original.
posted by Sunburnt at 7:17 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

So I read your question and immediately was like, wait! I've read that book, too!

And then it turns out I was totally thinking of Deverry (thanks, Schielisque!). I loved those books.

Another book with some of these themes (though not so much the specific characters being reincarnated over the ages) is Magic Circle, by Katherine Neville. In fact, it's the book I first fixated on when I was trying to figure out what your book might have been.
posted by devinemissk at 7:19 PM on March 24, 2013

Francis Ford Coppola's version of Dracula inserts this element into the relationship between Mina and Dracula.
posted by scody at 7:22 PM on March 24, 2013

The manga Please Save My Earth by Hiwatari Saki -- it's quite long, and I'm not sure if the English translation is still in print, but it's something of a darker take on the theme, with a group of seven people in modern Japan who all had past lives as alien scientists on the moon. I think it's brilliant.
posted by Jeanne at 7:23 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is the backstory of two of the characters in the Mists of Avalon, but I won't spoil it for you if you've not read it.
posted by Elly Vortex at 7:25 PM on March 24, 2013

Along with Richard Bach's One you can The Bridge Across Forever.

Also, The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson is not about soulmates per se but has a group of people re-finding each other across an alternate history throughout the centuries.
posted by mikepop at 7:26 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Overseas pretty much meets your criteria (warning: pretty cheesy).
posted by mlle valentine at 7:34 PM on March 24, 2013

Jo Graham's Numinous World series features the same characters being reincarnated, though they're not soulmates per se, they're just connected. Black Ships is a retelling of the Aeneid, Stealing Fire is set in Ptolemaic Egypt shortly after Alexander the Great has died, Hand of Isis focuses on Cleopatra and her sisters, and the General's Mistress follows courtesan Ida St. Elme in Napoleonic France.

I really like Black Ships and Stealing Fire especially, I think they do a good job of evoking the ancient world. The books all stand alone, so no need to go in order or read all of them if there's one you're less interested in.
posted by yasaman at 7:40 PM on March 24, 2013

The Fountain and Mr. Nobody are two films that work this way.
posted by dobbs at 8:08 PM on March 24, 2013

Robert Heinlein's Job: A Comedy of Justice has an Orpheus-and-Eurydice tale at its core, if that counts. It's a very weird book, though. I also have the vague impression that "To Sail Beyond the Sunset" has Woodrow Wilson Smith trolling parallel-world timelines for his one true love (who's also his mother, don't ask).
posted by gingerest at 8:24 PM on March 24, 2013

Thanks everybody!! I think the Richard Bach suggestions are probably what I was thinking of, as those (and Time Travellor's wife) are the only ones I'd run into before. I just ordered a bunch of them, so many interesting stories to check out.
posted by bluesky78987 at 8:42 PM on March 24, 2013

The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan
posted by keep it under cover at 9:19 PM on March 24, 2013

Nobody's mentioned Mishima's Sea of Fertility tetralogy? It's more about Japan than about love, but it really belongs here. (links: Spring Snow, Runaway Horses, The Temple of Dawn, The Decay of the Angel).
posted by thetortoise at 10:39 PM on March 24, 2013

Dead Again is only two lifetimes, but it's a great story.
posted by aimedwander at 5:41 AM on March 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay is about a woman and two competing lovers who are repeatedly reincarnated so that one man can kill the other in order to be with her.
posted by serelliya at 9:20 AM on March 26, 2013

The surreal and beautiful Griffin & Sabine trilogy is one of my's a correspondence of two artists/lovers who may or may not exist in the same lifetime. The high-school me thrilled over opening the individual letters; the grown-up me still appreciates the exquisite artwork and mysterious loveliness of the series.
posted by red_rabbit at 9:52 AM on March 27, 2013

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