The time has come to pull out the romantic charm hidden away for the other fifty-one weeks of the year. That’s right, it is Valentine’s Day, which means flowers, romantic meals, and of course cheesy romantic films for couples around the country: cue The Notebook. But what about those of us sitting at home, alone, dreading Valentine’s Day? Fear not, because I have compiled a list of films that guarantee a successful February 14th for the cynics among us. This collection of films will leave you wondering why you ever wanted to spend the day with a romantic partner.
Kill Bill: Volume 1 burst onto our screens in typical Tarantino style in 2003 and follows Uma Thurman as The Bride. The film sees The Bride seeking revenge on various people from her life. At the heart of this quest for revenge is the character of Bill, Thurman’s lover in the film. The Bride does not concern herself with minute acts of revenge and sees to it that everyone who has wronged her pays with their lives. I do not wish to spoil the two-part film series but it is safe to say it will not leave a couple feeling especially romantic and is most certainly an anti-Valentine’s Day film.
In High Fidelity, John Cusack stars as Rob Gordon, a man with a poor understanding of women, which sounds like the perfect premise to an anti-Valentine’s Day film. Rob recalls his most memorable break-ups, trying to examine what it was that went wrong. The film does end in a somewhat happy manner but the conversation afterwards between couples is guaranteed to cause fireworks. Talking about previous partners and break-ups is bound to come up having watched High Fidelity; saying the wrong thing is a sure fire way to end up spending the latter half of Valentine’s Day on your own, so tread carefully.
Blue Valentine depicts a couple working on a failing marriage through moving back and forth from their courtship to their present situation. Without even going into how the film pans out, it is obvious Blue Valentine should be avoided on February 14th when choosing a film to watch with a significant other. The plot centres around the dissolution of a marriage, which is a topic most couples will want to evade on such a romantic day. For those flying solo, the film is a perfect choice, as it shows the detriment involved when you invest in a romantic partner.
No anti-Valentine’s day film list could be complete without the aptly-named The Break-Up. The Jennifer Aniston comedy should be avoided at all costs during the marketing ploy that is Valentine’s Day. The film is a bit of a flop but depicts a dysfunctional relationship which falls apart – and what more could you ask for when evading the so called ‘holiday’? The relationship breaks down through a series of little fights that quickly escalate, portraying a true-to-life image of a modern couple. If the grief these partners experience over the course of their break-up doesn’t put you off settling down, I don’t know what will.
When the dreaded day comes, root out these films, sit back, and revel in the dysfunction associated with partnership. Forget Valentine’s Day – February 14th is just a regular Thursday for the cynics among us. Or, of course, you could avoid this list at all costs and enjoy the day with someone special, but remember: it is here waiting if the relationship falls to pieces!