The dreaded month of February is here and as expected, it is suffocating people like us, who are averse to romance and all things sappy! Whether dating, married or single AF, Valentine’s Day can be a pretty stressful affair: what to do to make your partner feel special; what not to do so that you don’t end up being a creep; whether this is the perfect night to tell him that I am pregnant??? See my point?!
So, if you are as miserable as I am with an immediate need for some love-detox; if you are trying to shy away from the sugary fare typical February 14th movie re-runs on TV, fear not; here’s our list of 15 anti-Valentine’s Day movies that you must watch to kick romance in its rear!
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1. Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
The grandpop of all “I hate love stories” movies, and yet the nastiest of what we’ve got! Mike Nichols shocked people with his directorial debut, in which he brilliantly adapted Edward Albee’s intense piece about a horror show of a wedded couple. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor performed voyeuristically enough as the lead pair. The hellish evening of insults and games-playing is something that should be watched and not read! This is an anti-Valentine’s Day movie to keep! You can actually “Netflix and chill” but in the real sense of the phrase and not what the love-hogs have turned it into!
2. Blue Is The Warmest Colour
This stunning French movie won almost-universal acclaim and applause beginning with the Cannes debut it made. Since you are suffering from a romance-overindulge, I am more than certain that a happy ending at this point with surely wreak havoc on your health! So this film is your best bet!
Adèle Exarchopoulos who plays Adèle in the movie, is a young woman who has fallen head over heels for Emma (Léa Seydoux), who is studying art. They meet at a lesbian bar and are unalterably drawn towards each other. But soon their relationship not only becomes frenzied but also radically unstable. This 3-hour odyssey is a perfect antidote to Valentine’s Day!
3. American Beauty
An anti-Valentine’s Day movie marathon must star ‘American Beauty’! Alan Ball, take a bow! The mastermind behind acclaimed TV shows like True Blood and Six Feet Under, will never let you down!
Kevin Spacey tops the bill as Lester Burnham, who is a middle-aged dad on the cusp of the dreaded mid-life crisis. All hell breaks loose when Lester becomes obsessed with his sixteen-year-old daughter’s bestie. A rare blend of funny and tragic, this a must anti-Valentine’s Day flick!
Almost 40 years after Woolf, Nichols revisited the trenches of gender-based conflict with this bitter adaptation of Patrick Marber’s drama. The dynamic remained similar with 2 men, 2 women, skeletons in the cupboard, lies and words like weapons! A story of 4 selfish and bitter narcissists who, to say the least, deserve each other!
5. Your Friends And Neighbors
Neil LaBute loves the battle of the sexes and we say so because of his movies like In The Company of Men, The Shape of Things, and Some Velvet Morning. But with this one, he has wielded magic! Brutish, sharp, and a mocking portrait of 3 men and 3 women who lie to each other, deceive and almost cut each other’s throats. This one will make your skin crawl, and that’s a compliment when you are looking for anti-Valentine’s Day ideas!
6. 6 Years
A once ‘perfect’ relationship between a pair of teenagers takes a violent turn as they near a new chapter in the book of life. Mel and Dan were childhood sweethearts who were dating at the age of 14 and 15. They get into University together, but as soon as the guy’s graduation approaches, the couple starts growing apart. Neither is very sure of themselves or who they are without the other. This anti-Valentine’s Day movie is up for grabs on Netflix.
This is the perfect anti-Valentine’s Day movie for both with their ‘strings attached’ and the ‘cynically single.’ It portrays a tense relationship between a commitment-phobic couple, Oliver (played by Ewan McGregor) and his girl Anna (Melanie Laurent). Behind their affair is Oliver’s dad who has recently come out of the closet after his wife’s death. A quiet movie with a vague end; take from it what you want to! No pressure.
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Dating is, without doubt, the toughest challenge on earth, eh? This movie ups the dare to a different level altogether! Setting up a fake audition, to meet the gal of your dreams, sleazy right? You should watch the punishment carried out by the would-be wife in the upsetting climax of this horror masterpiece by Takashi Miike. Any confident social butterfly will be distorted into a terrified shut-in after this! Amazon Prime should be of help!
9. The Rules Of Attraction
The best thing about college? So many choices in the dating pond! This partly ensures that no one is running after the same person who’s running after them! Roger Avary’s adaptation of a novel by Bret Easton Ellis has a cast of heart-creakingly good-looking people spending the entire 2 hours cheating and raping and snubbing and screwing each other over and over again. And, yes, getting high and stoned and killing themselves! How did I miss that! Netflix again.
10. Blue Valentine
A gloomy portrait of the last few days of a marriage! This is again devilishly intercut with joyous early days of the couple’s union. Quite obviously, the contrast is surprising and depressing! You will have those ‘look how much they were into each other’ moments. But the cherry on the top will be when you realize that “even if they ended up in this cold, ugly, sexless marriage, I am better off, buddy!” A definite feel good movie for us, love Nazis.
It is impossible to go anti-Valentine’s Day without this bleak flick gracing your screen! Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are sheer magic in this heart-wrenching tale of love gone bad, very bad!
11. Ex Machina
This 2015 artificial intelligence drama was perhaps the best thing Alicia Vikander did last year though she didn’t receive much recognition as The Danish Girl in the movie. A muscle-bound programmer (Oscar Isaac) spends his life in seclusion creating android women who are super intelligent. Ex Machina has to be on this list of anti-Valentine’s Day movies because of the way it challenges the sexy-AI trope. Although there is a hint of romance at the centre of the sci-fi, in the end, it’s only about survival instincts! Amazon Prime should cut you the deal.
12. Revolutionary Road
You have to applaud the initiative taken by director Sam Mendes to unite America’s darling couple, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, and cast them in something not cheesy and sappy like the Titanic! God save his soul! This is a woefully depressing tale adapted from Richard Yates’ narrative of a marriage in rags. As was with Blue Valentine (also on the list!), the salad days are shown in flashback but to very little benefit! Man and wife awful for and to each other, concluding in a virtual PSA for singles like us! Knock at Amazon or iTunes doors!
13. Husbands And Wives
A Woody Allen film on a list of anti-Valentine’s Day movies? Are you nuts? Of course not! Recommending the old man’s flicks is quite a tricky proposition, but there is no rejecting the power of this outstanding 1992 drama. This is a chronicle of Allen and Mia Farrow’s breakup, which happened when this very film was in production! So the onscreen breakup was just a reshoot of what had happened off-screen. Bitterness, anger, and rage, you will find all the elements that you are craving for at the moment! Try Amazon or iTunes.
14. The War Of The Roses
Another display of the end of a relationship, played for the type of laughs, which stick in your throat. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner were reunited by director Danny DeVito for this pitch-black 80s comedy. A married couple in the middle of a mostly nasty divorce, willing to scratch, cheat, and pinch to come out on top. An excellently foul little movie, with a finale that people still cannot believe they got away with! You can’t afford to miss this one!
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15. Fatal Attraction
We have Douglas again in yet another fading onscreen marriage. He hasn’t had much luck off-screen also; an inspiration to everyone who’s failed in love, more than once?! 😉 A kinky one-night stand that goes awry, real bad! If The War Of The Roses on number 14 was harsh enough to alarm you right out of a marriage, this one will undoubtedly make you totally swear off casual sex! Start googling the nearest monastery after you Netflix this!
If those goddamned adverts are to be trusted, you are supposed to spend V-day cuddled up with your lover, real or imaginary, sipping on wine and watching The Notebook for the nth time! But if you are a bitter unromantic like me (our relationship status doesn’t matter!), all the above movies should help you sail through the otherwise syrupy V-week! NLT, always in your service!
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