Valentine’s Day is just an excuse for capitalists to make money off a basic human emotion with cards and flowers, and the film industry is no different.
If you’re lucky enough to be watching something with a significant other tonight, congratulations, but you already have articles about what to watch – this article goes out to the loners.
Blue Valentine (2010)
It stars two of Hollywood’s most attractive people, Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, and has the word Valentine in the title! Surely it’s a romantic drama for the ages? Well, you’re about 13% right.
It’s a romantic drama as directed by your nihilist roommate who got really into The Smiths that one time and wouldn’t leave their room for three weeks.
Blue Valentine is a fantastic film, but maybe watch it any other day of the year than Valentine’s Day, you might end up reaching for the bottle by the end of the second act.
Like Crazy (2011)
What was going on in the early 2010s that caused filmmakers to make loads of really depressing and realistic films?
This film is especially bittersweet and poignant as the conceit of American visas are a major plot point in the film (an overhanging fear familiar to most people reading this) as well as the fact that lead actor Anton Yelchin is no longer with us.
Like Crazy is another brilliant film on this list that is notable for launching Felicity Jones to stardom, giving Anton Yelchin another vehicle for his prodigious talent, and was a fun early turn for Jennifer Lawrence before she stopped making good movies.
The final scene, in particular, is as heartbreakingly realistic and draining as anything ever committed to celluloid, stay well away from it tonight, or you might get notions.
Vanilla Sky (2001)
On paper, it sounds like the ultimate romantic film; Tom Cruise stars as a hotshot magazine executive in New York, early 2000’s Cameron Diaz is his bit on the side, and he falls for the mysterious Penelope Cruz.
The film is directed by Cameron Crowe as well, and the last time himself and Tom Cruise made a movie together it was Jerry Maguire! What could possibly go wrong?
Vanilla Sky got mixed reviews when it came out and was seen as the beginning of Cameron Crowe’s downfall, but has seen a critical revaluation in recent years as a precursor of sorts to Inception, and a strange blend of sci-fi and romance, with a small tablespoon of horror added into the mix.
The thrust of the film concerns Tom Cruise trying to get his life back to normal after a horrific accident, and chasing what he lost.
The best films play on the human condition and evoke a response in the viewer, and this film will leave you lamenting your past failures and flaws.
Don’t watch it on Valentine’s Day or you might drunk dial your ex at 4 in the morning.
The Graduate (1967)
That final lingering shot of Dustin Hoffman and Katherine Ross’ faces conveying the sense “well, what now?” is one of cinema’s most iconic moments, and that deep existential dread that comes with it makes The Graduate the perfect anti-Valentine’s Day movie.
It’s technically a romantic film in the traditional sense, but there’s a reason Mike Nichols’ seminal classic is seen as the birth of the modern American cinematic landscape.
The Graduate is a flawless piece of film making that defined a generation, but if you’re really curious about it, don’t watch it on February 14th – you might get weird ideas about your frustrated suburban love life.
So there you have it lads a list of films sorted out just for you to avoid like the plague this Valentine’s night, you’re welcome!