After the Break Up: 5 Films that Help, 5 that Hurt

They say breaking up is hard to do, but I find it alarmingly easy. I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem sinking a relationship. The difficult part is what comes next, the lonely nights, picking up your stuff, and slowly crying yourself to sleep every night. In a manly way. Luckily, we’ve got a few films picked out for you that will make sure you’re fast on the road to recovery. We’ve also picked out five films that you should avoid at the risk of cutting your wrists. Without further ado, After the Break Up – Five Films to Watch, 5 Films to Skip.

Flicks To Watch

The Wedding Singer – A break up classic. The soundtrack alone takes you on an emotional roller-coaster of ups and downs but always manages to keep you smiling. While it shows the volatile side of love, in the end, true love and Billy Idol save the day.

High Fidelity When talking break ups, this movie comes up just about every single time. Take a look at how someone else works through the break ups and comes out doing okay to give yourself a little pat on the back. Everything is going to be alright even if you’re moping around, thrashing around in bed imagining your loved one with a new mate, or trying your best not to succeed in the small business world. Cusack makes this movie one of the Top Five All Time Favorite Break Up Movies.

Runaway Bride – Okay, so while it’s not the most manly of choices, there’s just something endearing and safe about watching a Julia Roberts romantic comedy. Watch as Richard Gere documents the series of last-minute, standing at the alter break ups and survives his own to land the fiery red head. Maybe not the best choice, though, if you’ve recently been left at the alter by a tall, pretty woman who ran off and got married to another guy shortly thereafter.

The Princess Bride – A perfect fairy tale chronicling the extraordinary lengths a man will go to for his true love. There is no heartbreak in this film – only love and sword fights. You can hide your tears of sadness as tears of joy as Westley slays a cadre of rodents of unusual size.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: 2 – A truer love story there has never been. There’s familial love as we follow the Family and witness the great lengths they go for each other. It reminds you that no matter how emotionally devastated you are, family is your rock. Tag along for the ride as Leatherface, perhaps the ultimate in sad stories, deals with the reality of being unloved and unable to express his emotions. Watch as he falls in love and courts a lovely radio station DJ and thrusts his chainsaw at her suggestively. Or, conversely, if you fail to find all the deep emotional relationship advice here, just take utter joy in the violence and mayhem inflicted on others. After all, if you can’t fix your pain, share it!

Flicks To Skip

The Break Up – Some people might actually like watching this one after a break up, but my advice is to stay away. You’re probably sad and angry but hoping to still try and make it work. Then this film comes on and says, “Hey yeah, um, you’re probably not going to make it work, and maybe one day you’ll be friends, and then your failures will stare you in the face.” It’s a mild downer, but a downer none the less.

Lost in Translation – This movie can leave you balled up in your own frustration. Everything seemed perfect, you were going great, but the pieces just didn’t lock together. Through no fault of your own, your relationship is ending, but that doesn’t lessen the sting at all. Perhaps a painfully accurate look into the meaningless and trivial boredom of a real relationship isn’t exactly what you need. You probably also don’t need to realize that at the end of it all, we’re still stuck alone and questioning.

Romeo + Juliet / Moulin Rouge – I actually love both of these films and could watch them anytime, but fresh from a break up you may want to give them some space. Both come courtesy of Baz Lurhmann and follow burning hot passionate love stories that ultimately end in death and despair after the meddling of someone more powerful than yourself. Romeo + Juliet is probably more tragic than the latter, and you definitely don’t want to get it in your head that true love revolves around self-sacrifice, aka killing yourself. The awesome gunfights and terrific stories draw you in, but the conclusion may push you over the edge, even though the writing is long on the wall.

Closer – If you feel better thinking “At least it’s not as bad as this” then maybe Closer will help you. Otherwise, you may feel your heart sink watching a deceptive swirl of lies and affairs and mean words dance across the screen. Love is cruel, love hurts, love lies and in the end, you’ll lose everything you ever had and everything you ever wanted and be left alone and lied to. A damning portrait of both people and illicit love. Maybe we get what we deserve on some level, but is that really the realization you need right now?

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – This movie is a real wrist cutter. I have personal experience watching Eternal Sunshine after a particularly bad break up, and I can assure you, in no way does this movie help you get over anything. The tag line asks “Would you Erase me?” The answer is probably yes. The movie teases you into believing you might be able to forget the pain – but would you want to? Is it even possible? Better to have loved and lost? At the end of the day, you’ve still lost. Ultimately, the film suggests you’ll never be free of the memories, good or bad, both of which still inspire lament.

Honorable Mentions

* Top Gun – There is no ill this masculine ball of fire can’t cure. It’s got romance, action, and camaraderie. Watch it once a week for a healthier you.

* Swingers – Some memorable lines as we see a break up from a male point of view.

* Love Actually – Basically everyone who is anyone finds love and we all end up happy, mostly.

* Commando – Because sometimes you just want to see a lot of shit blow up to feel better about yourself.

So there you have it – a few films that might lift you spirits and a couple that might destroy your fragile psyche. Be careful and wise in what you choose to watch after severing all connections with your previous guy or gal. And remember, he/she was no good for you! You’re better off! You’ll find someone new! More meaningless words! Fish in the Sea!

Pick your head up and get lost in film, and before you know it you’ll be stuck watching a Jennifer Lopez Rom-Com with your new girl or guy wondering why you ever wanted back in a relationship in the first place.

What are your favorite Break Up movies, for lifting your spirits or amplifying the pain?

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