The best films to watch on Valentine’s Day if you’re single

The best films to watch on Valentine’s Day if you’re single

Words by Tobias Handke

Make a date with these very unromantic films this February 14.

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and, for those in a committed relationship, it’s a time to celebrate the joy of being in love. Whether you choose to buy your significant other extravagant gifts or plan a romantic evening for the occasion, it’s the one day of the year love is globally celebrated.

For single folk, it’s just another day – one many of us will spend swiping madly on Tinder while bingeing on pizza and ice cream and watching rom-coms, dreaming about what we’re missing out on.

While this is only partly true for most (the Tinder and pizza part, at least), single folk don’t have to spend Valentine’s Day feeling left out. Why not indulge in movies about failed relationships and nasty exes getting their just desserts instead?

To help you feel good about being single on February 14, here is a selection of anti-Valentine’s Day films that will confirm being alone isn’t as bad as it seems.

High Fidelity (2000)

For anyone wanting to wallow in their own self pity after a failed romance, it doesn’t get any better than High Fidelity. John Cusack is in career-best form as grumpy record storeowner Rob Gordon who’s trying to understand why he’s still single. Prone to making lists, he goes through his top five break-ups of all time and realises he may have dumped his latest love, Laura, a little too soon. While it does have a happy ending (unlike the real world), High Fidelity is still a fantastic look at commitment-phobia and love in the modern world. Plus it boasts an incredible soundtrack, plenty of laughs and a great supporting cast including Jack Black, Catherine Zeta-Jones and a scene stealing Bruce Springsteen.

Gone Girl (2014)

Never have I been more afraid of entering a relationship than after watching David Fincher’s Gone Girl. Adapted from Gillian Flynn’s book of the same name, this thriller takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as Ben Affleck’s Nick Dunne is accused of murdering his wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike. It’s best not to elaborate on the plot, suffice to say it’s full of twists and turns with an outcome I certainly didn’t see coming. The deception, betrayal and horror of infidelity, mental harassment and murder are laid bare while a soundtrack from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross adds extra menace to this psychological thriller.

Closer (2004)

Based on the award-winning play of the same name from Patrick Marber, Closer takes an in-depth look at the effect cheating has on relationships. When Dan (Jude Law) starts an affair with Anna (Julia Roberts), we are witness to the breakdown of the two leads’ relationships with their respective partners Alice (Natalie Portman) and Larry (Clive Owen).What sets Closer apart from similar films is the language used by the characters and the brutal way sex and love are depicted. All four leads are incredible, with Owen – a man usually as wooden as a broomstick – managing to upstage the likes of Roberts, Law and Portman. If you really want a depressing Valentine’s Day, this is the film for you.

Fatal Attraction (1987)

An ’80s classic, Fatal Attraction sees Michael Douglas play a seemingly happily married man who has a weekend fling with a colleague (Glenn Close). Unfortunately for Douglas, Close wants more than a one-night stand and begins to stalk him and his family. Fatal Attraction helped write the rules for erotic thrillers and is full of memorable moments –  such as the infamous bunny boiler scene – and helped turn Close into a sex symbol. It might seem an odd choice for Valentine’s Day, but Fatal Attraction is a surprisingly lifelike look at depression and its effects. The film is an absorbing example of mental health and how Close’s unstable mindset, due to Douglas using her then rejecting her, pushed her to the edge, making her the real victim and Douglas the cheating villain.

The Invitation (2015)

Staying friends with your ex is always a dicey decision, something the main characters in The Invitation soon find out. Will and his new girlfriend Kira are invited to a party thrown by his ex-wife Eden and her new husband David. As the night progresses, Will discovers a number of anomalies around the house and is involved in a series of increasingly strange events, leading towards a terrifying and bloody conclusion. Similar to Gone Girl, the less said about the plot, the better. The biggest takeaway from this film is to never accept an invitation to visit your ex, especially one you haven’t seen in years.

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