After weeks of over-the-top, cliche hype (which always seems much, much worse when you’re single), Valentine’s Day has finally arrived. The roses may be red, and the violets blue, but you’re camped out on the sofa alone, with enough ice cream and wine for 22. As tragic and Bridget Jones-esque as your sad single life may seem to you (and your mother), it could be a LOT worse! Really. You could actually be in a relationship of some dysfunction and that, as our Top 5 Anti-Valentine’s Films show is not all it’s cracked up to be.
5. Closer (2004)
Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman and Jude Law star as two couples in this 2004 candid look at modern-day relationships. Written by Patrick Marber, and based on his 1997 play of the same name, Closer has been pegged as a modern, tragic version of Mozart’s opera, Cosi fan tutte. Closer looks at the disintegration of love between two couples via the boredom and routine that comes with being in a relationship and the both the exciting promise and disappointing reality of infidelity. It’ll remind you why being single can be a really great way to be.
4. The War Of The Roses (1989)
The ultimate battle of the sexes stars Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as Oliver and Barbara Rose; a wealthy couple whose seemingly idyllic marriage starts to crumble, ensuing in a bitter (albeit hilarious) divorce battle. Their torrid tale is told by their lawyer, Gavin D’Amato (played by Danny DeVito, who also directed the movie) to a client of his that is contemplating a divorce himself. What starts as little problems between the couple (getting irritated by how the other eats their food, for example) soon escalates into a full-on battle over their many possessions and huge home. A brilliantly wicked and funny black comedy with a shocking ending; it’ll put you off marriage for life . . . or, at least, encourage you get a pre-nup before saying, “I do”!
3. Blue Valentine (2010)
This 2010 tragic, romantic drama stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as a young couple whose marriage is at breaking point. Cindy is a pre-med student caring for her Grandmother, while Dean is a high school drop-out; the pair meet when Dean delivers new furniture to Cindy’s Grandmother’s nursing home. The young couple rush into marriage upon discovering that Cindy is pregnant, although the baby’s father is likely to be ex-boyfriend, Bobby, not Dean. Cut to 5 years later and their marriage is disintegrating among an emotional mess of alcoholism, doubt, potential infidelity, violence and alienation of a physical relationship. Tragic, but poignant; this tale of a young marriage dying on it’s feet will break your heart (and make you seriously consider the consequences of a “shotgun wedding”).
2. (500) Days Of Summer (2009)
This is a story about love. This is not a love story.
Despite this early warning, we are as heartbroken as Tom when Summer calls time on their relationship. New Jersey boy, Tom (played by Joseph Gordon Levitt) is a greeting card writer who believes in love and feels he has finally met “The One” when Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) joins his office as a secretary. However, she has a slightly different take on love altogether . . . A clever, funny and twisted version of the traditional rom-com has a stellar soundtrack and will make you laugh and cry!
1. Fatal Attraction (1987)
The movie that will put you off casual sex FOREVER! Michael Douglas is Dan Gallagher; a highly successful New York attorney who is happily married to wife, Beth (Anne Archer) with a young daughter, Ellen (Ellen Hamilton Latzen). Enter Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), an editor for a publishing company who Dan meets via business, coincidently while his family are out of town; the pair have a brief, but passionate affair, but things get REALLY ugly when Dan tries to shrug off their relationship as a “fling” and he learns there is a whole other side to Alex that he’s never seen . . . A psychological thriller where your wife finding out you played away from home is NOT the worse conclusion of this sordid scenario. Boiled rabbit, anyone?