Break ups are one of those things in life that almost all of us have had to endure. Whether it was mutual or not, it can hit you hard and those initial few days or weeks can be tough to get through.
Seeking refuge under the covers or sprawled out on the sofa with a pint of ice cream is pretty cliché but it’s actually one of the things we all should do to help heal ourselves.
But this article isn’t going to give you that magic bit of advice on how to get over a break up. Instead it’s going to provide you with the 10 best down-to-earth movies to keep you company while you have a cry, curl up on the couch in your PJs and feast on the questionable leftovers you found at the back of the fridge.
1. John Tucker Must Die
John Tucker is a serial cheater and when three of his scorned ex-girlfriends get together, they decide to reap revenge by setting him up for heart break with the new girl in town. As the title aptly shows – revenge is sweet.
Revenge is sweet: Although going through the motions during a break up is important and revenge is a phase we may contemplate, this movie should be taken with a pinch of salt. However, the comedy element will hopefully leave you feeling better after seeing some girls taking revenge on their ex.
2. The Break Up
This is a story about Chicago couple Gary and Brooke. The opening of the movie takes us through their first meeting and subsequent blossoming relationship but picks up at the point where their relationship is starting to break down. Showing the reality of a bitter divide, we see the couple fight over their luxury condo and the break up getting more and more ugly.
The best form of love is to love yourself: This film doesn’t sugar-coat love like the majority of romantic movies. Instead it serves as a reminder that falling out of love and breaking up with someone that doesn’t care for you is much better. It will help you see that not all relationships are meant to last and you’ve just got to love yourself and move on to find another person who’s more of a perfect match.
3. 500 Days of Summer
An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman (Summer) who doesn’t believe true love exists, and a guy (Tom) who falls madly in love with her. Tom believes deeply in the concept of soul mates, and thinks he’s finally found his. Undaunted and undeterred by his breezy lover’s casual stance on relationships, Tom summons all of his might and courage to pursue Summer and convince her that their love is real.
There is no such thing as ‘The One’: This is a movie that shows that love doesn’t always work out how we expect it to. It can be unrequited, messy and sometimes feels like a let down. Just because we love someone deeply and share the same interests, it doesn’t mean they are the perfect one for us. Go with the flow, detach and let life send you someone when you’re complete and ready.
4. A Lot Like Love
Two friends Oliver and Emily first met when they were college students sharing a flight from California to New York. Emily spontaneously seduced Oliver on the plane, and they spent the next few days together in the city. When they parted, Emily was not keen to pursue a relationship with Oliver even though he was interested. Over the next several years, fate kept bringing them back into each other’s paths and they remained close friends, while still certain that they aren’t meant for each other. Eventually, after nearly a decade, with both Oliver and Emily edging into their thirties, they begin to wonder if they’ve allowed a great opportunity to pass them by.
Timing is everything. If it’s meant to be it will be: Sometimes relationships are just bad timing and shouldn’t be forced. We need to let go, detach and carry on with our lives. Only then, if it’s meant to be, will that relationship come back to you.
5. How To Be Single
A group of young women going through different phases of life, navigate love and relationships in New York City. Alice temporarily dumps her college boyfriend Josh and moves to New York City to be a paralegal. She moves in with her sister, Meg, an OB/GYN who refuses to have a baby or any form of relationship. Alice befriends wild co-worker Robin, who enjoys partying and one-night stands, and local bartender Tom, who wilfully embraces the bachelor lifestyle and hooks up with various women including Alice. Tom meets Lucy at his bar when she uses his Internet for free. She explains she is looking for “The One” using various dating sites.
Move on and get back out there: This is a rare gem of a film because it truly celebrates the positives of being single. It highlights the need to really use this single time to get to know yourself, free of men and the need to be with someone to feel whole and complete. The ending to the film celebrates independence without implying that we should all become cave-dwelling hermits who live off foraged roots and rainwater. The end scenes encourage the viewer to use the power of their own interpretation and the positive views of accepting the scary excitement of where life will take you next.
6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Devastated Peter takes a Hawaiian vacation in order to deal with the recent break-up with his TV star girlfriend, Sarah. Little does he know, Sarah’s travelling to the same resort as her ex – and she’s bringing along her new boyfriend.
One for the guys out there: Men can sometimes deal with a break up differently to their female counterparts and usually involves distraction, mishaps and bad decisions. This comedic movie will show you the lighter side of getting over a painful break up and help you laugh along the way.
7. Bridget Jones’s Diary
Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) is an unattached 30-something who realizes she’s got to change her life. After a New Year’s Eve, she vows that this new year is the one in which she’ll get her act together. She’ll lose weight, she’ll smoke and drink less, and she’ll document it all in a diary.
Complicating everything is Bridget’s attraction to her boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), a man of questionable character. They launch an affair and Bridget falls for him head over heels, only to realise later that her feelings aren’t reciprocated, when her boss gets engaged to another woman. Thrown into the mix is barrister Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), who admittedly finds Bridget attractive but whom Bridget finds repulsive.
It won’t be until Bridget clearly sees the truth about Daniel, that she also clearly sees Mark for the man he is, and her feelings for him for what they really are.
Live it with someone who’s been there and done that: Love lives can be complicated and sometimes when you’re going through bad times, you need that kind of film that’ll just be your break-up buddy. Bridget Jones is someone who you’ll easily identify with and make you feel less alone in what you’re going through.
8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
After a painful breakup, Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to erase memories of her former boyfriend Joel (Jim Carrey) from her mind. When Joel discovers that Clementine is going to extremes to forget their relationship, he undergoes the same procedure and slowly begins to forget the woman that he loved.
When you just need to cry it out: This is one movie that will tug at your heartstrings, pour on the nostalgia and change everything you think you know about love.
9. Celeste & Jesse Forever
Longtime sweethearts Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) married young, but are now drifting apart. Celeste is an ambitious business owner, while Jesse has a more laid-back attitude toward life and work. Celeste wants a divorce and believes that she and Jesse can remain friends. Jesse passively goes along with her plans, even though he is still in love with her. However, as the reality of their separation sinks in, Celeste begins to have second thoughts.
Are you contemplating a friendship with your ex?: When we don’t want to lose our ex completely, we often contemplate a friendship in order to keep them in our lives. Watch this film and you’ll rethink what it means to be friends with an ex.
10. He’s Just Not That Into You
In Baltimore, five women and four men try to sort out the signals that the sexes exchange. Gigi imagines every man she meets is Mr. Right; she gets reality checks from Alex, a sweet but cynical saloon keeper. Janine and Ben seem solidly married until he chats with Anna in a market checkout line; meanwhile Anna is indifferent to the pursing Conor. Neil and Beth have been together seven years; she dumps him when she realises he really and truly isn’t going to marry her.
When you just need a bit of a reality check to move on: This movie shows the misinterpretations of human behaviour for which the majority of us are blind to when we’re in love. These interconnecting stories show and deal with the challenges of different situations which may help to give you that reality check you need to move on.
If you’re going through a break up right now, give yourself permission to get those comfy PJs on, reach for the junk food and put on a film that will help you along your emotional journey and eventually get back on track.