Films To Get You Through A Nasty Breakup

"The Graduate" Photo credit: Signature Reads

Staff Writer, Paige Welch |

Valentine’s Day is a holiday, better yet an entire season, that either excites those with romantic relationships or is loathed by those who always find themselves alone on the fourteenth. Regardless of someone’s personal alignment with the day, there are a few movie options that are outside of the box of romanticism we are inevitably trapped in for the whole month of February:

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1. 500 Days of Summer

This popular Indie flick, directed by Marc Webb, takes the trope of “boy meets girl” and twists it to make a point that there isn’t really “the one.” At first, the film seems like any other romantic comedy, with a cliché and predictable relationship between a manic pixie dream girl and a sensitive, creative boy. But, as the plot is followed through, it becomes apparent that Tom idolizes Summer for liking the same things that he likes and tries to define her for his own romantic visions. Even after she blatantly states that she is not looking for something serious, Tom becomes enthralled by a fantasy of love. The beginning tagline of the film is: “This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know up front that this is not a love story.” If you are someone feeling like relationships and dating never live up to your expectations, this may be the movie for you.

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2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 

After a breakup goes wrong, Clementine literally erases the whole thing from her memory. When her ex, Joel, learns about this, he decides to undergo the same procedure so he can forever forget about the woman he loves. But it is not so successful. For anyone hurting after a relationship has ended on bad terms, watching this movie, directed by Michel Gondry, will remind them that erasing things from our memory will never be a cure for pain and heartache. Those feelings will still be there, but you just won’t know why. Blanks will forever need to be filled. The lesson to be learned is: heartache and loss are a necessary part of life, and they only add to the intricacies of human relationships. This could be a sobering and relatable film for those with heavy hearts during this Valentine’s Day season.

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3. The Graduate 

This vintage 1967 classic directed by Mike Nichols leaves viewers with one of the most ambiguous and famously misread endings in cinematic history. Ben comes back from college filled with all this promise, but also racked by an unknown feeling of emptiness. As the adults in his life constantly ask him what his plans are, he becomes desperate for an escape and for something to fill the void inside of him. That’s when he begins his affair with long time family friend, Mrs. Robinson. This affair leaves him both disgusted with himself and empowered, all until he falls in love with her daughter. After he is forbidden from seeing her, he becomes obsessed with having this unobtainable object of affection and goes to pursue her even when he finds out that she is getting married to someone else. The last scene leaves the viewers with the question of: was it all for the idea and not for the feelings? If you are feeling like love is a necessary part of life that you may be forcing yourself to enjoy, watch this movie and remember that a romantic pursuit may not even be satisfying in the end.

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4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

If you are looking for something more entertaining than deep, going for this 2008 comedy directed by Nicholas Stoller may be the better choice. The plot revolves around Peter, who vacations to Hawaii in order to get over his devastating break up with Sarah Marshall. When he arrives, he learns that Sarah is staying at the same hotel as him with her current boyfriend, Aldous Snow. When it seems like this vacation is a bust, Peter meets Rachel, a clerk at the hotel, who encourages him to go out and enjoy his single life. Though he is constantly haunted by the presence of Sarah and her obnoxious lover, he learns how to move on. This is a choice for those who want a more positive outlook on the single life.

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