Five break-up films to get you through Valentine’s Day

satc-film-404_670495cI WAS PRETTY excited about Valentine’s Day this year. I had already bought a cute Lady and the Tramp card and was fully prepared to reverse gender roles by paying for a fancy meal for two and buying flowers. Then, two weeks before the day, I was dumped. Ouch. I now have to endure the awkwardness of cancelling my Valentine’s reservation at Little Italy (although, I could just pretend that I preferred Bella Vita). To make matters worse, cheesy cards, teddies and couples’ date deals bombard me every time I step out my front door. Those shops sure like to rub it in; it’s like this holiday hates single people.

And to think, I was actually starting to like this occasion; though I must admit, that probably had something to do with receiving presents, and what’s better than presents? I’m actually very shallow. But, if your heart has been broken and you’re sick of romance, there are a few films that can help us realise that “the end” doesn’t have to be then end of the world. So if you find yourself newly-single this Valentine’s Day then grab your PJs, ice cream, best friends and settle down to some feel-good films to remind yourself how awesome you really are. These films helped me see the light at the end of my tunnel, and hopefully they will have the same effect on you, too.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

In the aftermath of a break-up it’s only natural to see your ex as a bit of a Sarah Marshall: perfect, perfect and did I mention heart-wrenchingly perfect? How could you possibly love again after losing such a catch? Might as well dig yourself a hole to die in.

This is exactly how our hero, Peter, feels- at first. After being dumped by his famous girlfriend, Sarah, Peter goes into emotional meltdown mode. From crying along to Sinead O’Connor to actual, physical stalking, Peter displays symptoms that are horrifyingly familiar to the freshly-dumped. The added humour, however, shows that those post-break-up actions that you thought made you some kind of tragic hero of love actually make you look like an undignified moron- and you can definitely do better than that. It helps you laugh at your seemingly hopeless situation, and laughter is the best medicine, right?

Things reach a whole new level of awkwardness when Peter flies solo to Hawaii to for a recovery holiday, only to find himself in the same hotel as Sarah and her new boyfriend. But, as the title suggests, this is a film about moving on, becoming a better person than you were during your relationship, and taking off those rose-tinted ex specs. After all, if they can’t appreciate you for who you are then they can, quite frankly, sod right off.

500 Days of Summer

The break-up in this film generates some mixed feelings: are you on Summer’s side, or Tom’s? Either way, it’s clear that Tom is the devastated party after, shock horror, the woman who didn’t want to be anyone’s “girlfriend” dumps him. Tom, after all, is a hopeless romantic with a strong desire to find “The One”.

With Tom we live through the 500 days he believed that Summer, his beautiful co-worker, was that very “One” he’s been looking for. But when Summer breaks his heart, he’s forced to re-evaluate everything he’s ever believed about love,  his own life and even his sense of self worth (whilst smashing plates in anguish, of course). He learns that there are no soul mates, just those who are right for us at certain points in our lives, and there is always someone as good, or even better for us, just around the corner.

Legally Blonde

This has been my go-to heart-healing film for a few years now. The film follows Elle, a blonde sorority girl who at first glance doesn’t appear to be your usual candidate for Harvard Law School. But when her boyfriend Warner dumps her for not being “serious” enough she launches a campaign (after a lot of crying at chick flicks) to win him back, following him to Harvard to prove her worth.

What she finds there, however, is something far greater than the love of a man who didn’t deserve her in the first place. She smashes the “dumb blonde” stereotype whilst remaining true to herself (and kicking ass in those hot pink stilettos). We learn, with Elle, that appearances can be deceiving, and sometimes our “Mr or Mrs Perfect” can hold us back from realising our full potential- and we deserve much better than someone who makes us feel bad about ourselves.

Sex and the City: The Movie

This film taught me a few things about life and love. Firstly, being in your forties doesn’t look so bleak, and neither does not having found the love of your life in your early twenties.

Four years after the series ended we return to the four friends as they prepare for the wedding of the year. Carrie is finally marrying her “Mr Big”, but when a case of cold feet leaves her heartbroken she needs to learn to face the world alone- with her best friends, of course.

Despite being geared more towards more a more mature audience with its focus on marriage, the film has something to say about love and relationships in general. Love is about making your own rules, forgiving your partner’s human mistakes and most importantly, not letting go. It can show you the kind of love your relationship was lacking, and this realisation makes moving on much easier.

Runaway Bride

If your ex is male, it is unlikely he compares to Richard Gere- it’s just a fact of life, and one that should make you feel better about the loss of your ex. He’s especially charming in this film, but Runaway Bride has a few things to say about relationships, too. Gere plays a journalist who goes to meet a serial jilter after running an article about her almost marriages and losing his job. He finds herself falling in love with her, but will he be just another heartbroken groom? This film stresses the importance of knowing yourself before entering a relationship, and how being single can help you rediscover who you really are. Who knows, your break up may be a blessing in disguise, serving the purpose of making your future relationships a force to be reckoned with.

And if Richard Gere’s crinkly face doesn’t float your boat, download the films with your favourite Hollywood crush and watch them all, several times if need be. I promise you”ll be smiling again in no time.