[Michael Sabater | Contributing Writer]
The day has finally come; you’re officially someone’s ex. Whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, it still hurts. It’s like a piece of yourself has been ripped out, thrown on the floor and stomped on. You’re currently wearing sweatpants, trying to fill that empty hole with salty snacks and alcohol and wallowing in your sorrow. Yep, breaking up sucks, but the pain’s not over yet, not by a long shot.
So begins the dreaded recovery period – the stage between the breakup and sane, emotionally stable human being. It might take a couple of days, or it might take a couple of months, everyone’s different, but everyone goes through it. Fortunately, there are ways to speed up the process. Enter the wonderful healing effect of movies.
Sure, movies can be the morphine in your first aid kit of rehabilitation. Just plop yourself in front of a TV and let the cinematic distraction numb the pain. But breakups aren’t meant to be easy like that. Confronting the pain and riding the wave of emotion may be the only way to dig yourself out of the heart-wrenching lull and come out the better. Movies fast-track that too.
To help out in these trying times, we’ve compiled a list of the 11 best movies to watch after a breakup. These films will make you laugh, make you cry, scare you straight and take you on the turbulent roller coaster ride that is a relationship. So find somewhere comfy, grab as many pillows as you can and prepare yourself for a dose of motion picture medicine. Or just put Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on repeat. Your choice.
The Break-Up (2006)
Image: Universal Pictures
Drama, comedy, Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. It’s called The Break-Up; need I say more? This flick reveals the very real side of a failed relationship. It’s got hilarious moments interspersed with plenty of uncomfortable, tense arguments between two people who try to one-up the other as payback for the pain in their relationship.
The War of the Roses (1989)
Image: Twentieth Century Fox
A merciless, dark story about a married couple who begin a vicious divorce battle with one another to keep ownership of their opulent home. The War of the Roses is one of the funnier, cleverer and more subtle black comedies you’ll come across.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
A typical rom-com movie, but it has a story that pulls you along and jokes that are outrageously funny. It’s about a devastated musician that makes a last-ditch effort to deal with his recent breakup by going to Hawaii. However, his ex and her new boyfriend are there in the same hotel. It’s honest fun with plenty of laughs.
Double Indemnity (1944)
Image: Paramount Pictures
A slick and classic noir that tells the story of an insurance salesman who gets pulled into a murderous scheme, when he falls for a woman intent on killing her husband and living off the insurance payout. Double Indemnity delves into the depths of depravity, lust, and betrayal.
Sliding Doors (1998)
Image: Intermedia Films
A delightful and unique film about a woman whose life hinges on a single decision. In one life, she stays with her boyfriend, and in the parallel one, her boyfriend cheats on her and leaves her for another. Sliding Doors shows how a matter of moments can make a world of a difference.
Annie Hall (1977)
Image: Rollins-Joffe Productions
A stunning portrait of human nature, about a New York stand-up who reflects on the demise of his latest relationship. Annie Hall is innovative and clever; it’s carefree, fun, funny and fresh. And it’s got Woody Allen.
Modern Romance (1981)
Image: Columbia Pictures Corporation
A funny and painful view of a dysfunctional, irrationally jealous and self-centered film editor who constantly breaks-up and reconciles with his long-suffering girlfriend. It’s a neurotic, psychotic, but hilarious exploration of the horror and insanity of love.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Image: Focus Features
Eternal Sunshine is an eloquent film about a couple that undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. It’s crazy and surreal, but at the same time honest and real. It shows that forgetting is never the answer because there are things you shouldn’t or simply can’t forget.
Breaking Upwards (2009)
Image: Daryl Wein Films
A funny, original movie of a couple who strategise their own breakup. It’s a well observed, well crafted, naturalistic little flick that knows how to find small bits of comedy and sadness in odd places.
High Fidelity (2000)
Image: Touchstone Pictures
A really entertaining and refreshing story about a record store owner who recounts his top five breakups, including the one in progress. High Fidelity is a laugh-out-loud look at heartbreak, betrayal, relationships and love.
500 Days of Summer (2009)
Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures
A touching film about a hopeless romantic whose girlfriend suddenly dumps him, and he’s then left to reflect on their 500 days together. It’s a glorious and beautiful love story built on unrequited love. More than any other, it will leave you feeling warm knowing that whatever happens, you will get through the pain.