If you’re going through a break-up or just need cheering up this Valentine’s Day we’ve compiled a list of the best films to distract you.
Recommended watching includes a vat of ice cream and a pal in a similar frame of mind.
Eschewing obvious choices like Bridget Jones’ Diary, When Harry Met Sally and Notting Hill, this list of mostly modern flicks aims to ensure you do not feel alone in your hour of need.
10 best break-up films
10 best break-up films
1/10 Celeste and Jesse Forever
This is an example of how the standard 'rom com' formula can be successfully shaken up in order to create a refreshing story which still retains the most-loved characteristics of a chick flick. By introducing a touch more reality than most 'fairy-tale' romances and including a likeable cast, this film manages to be relatable while at the same time providing much-needed escapism.
2/10 Two Night Stand
Pride and Prejudice this is not, but the premise of a girl turning to internet dating in order to 'let off some steam' is definitely an accurate reflection of our times. The fact that she is then stuck at her dates' place and a romance ensues, while slightly less accurate, is sure to take your mind off your ex, or at least get you laughing in the meantime.
3/10 The First Time
The perfect teen choice, Jon Kasdan's comedy is full of innocence, charm and good humour. The dialogue between the characters is easy and realistic, and the plot not too much of a distortion of reality. While this one is perhaps more likely to remind you of your ex than act as a distraction, the quality of the script and acting will leave you feeling good nonetheless. The chemistry between the protagonists was so good in fact that it translated into a real life relationship between Dylan O'Brien and Britt Robertson.
4/10 The Fault in Our Stars
What do you need when you feel like crying? A good tearjerker. Sometimes having a cathartic tug on the emotions when you're already feeling down can leave you feeling reinvigorated. This film, based on John Green's book of the same name, will warm your broken heart and provide you with 125 minutes of pure distraction. The actors have to be commended again for bringing the characters to life, delivering a healthy dose of pathos at every turn and making the struggle real.
Perhaps an unusual 'post break-up' choice, but I can't think of film more capable of distracting you from your woes than Neil Burger's sci-fi epic based on Veronica Roth's novel of the same name. Set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian Chicago, this should not be pigeonholed in any one genre and you should leave your assumptions at the door. Star of the moment, Shailene Woodley, portrays the protagonists' struggle perfectly and will take you along with her for the ride.
20th Century Fox/Jaap Buitendijk/AP
6/10 Stuck in Love
Josh Boone's indy rom com drama is criminally underrated. This 3-pronged flick follows the segregated lives of a successful novelist and his two children, tenuously bringing them together though their strained relationships. It offers something for everyone chronicling an endearing new romance played out by Nat Wolff, the slightly more cynical experiences of the older sister and the father’s struggles with being a single parent learning to live again.
7/10 The Spectacular Now
This might be a slightly Shailene Woodley heavy list but what can I say, the girl picks good rom coms! This film’s originality doesn’t lie with the storyline – which follows a fairly familiar 'charismatic party boy meets shy good girl' formula - but with the approach. Having won Sundance's special jury prize for acting, it is easy to see why. The truth behind the characters, conveyed so well by Miles Teller and Woodley, of how it feels to be young saves this film from being another yawn-inducing rendition of the tired concept of love.
8/10 Love and Other Drugs
This flick, based on Jamie Reidy's non-fiction book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, is slightly more complex than a run-of-the-mill comedy. Dealing with issues more akin to a drama, the plot has depth and the characters realism. If you want to lose touch with reality for a couple of hours - and put your own problems in context - you could do a lot worse than turning to this film.
9/10 Friends With Benefits
The best feature of Friends with Benefits is its self-awareness. It’s a rom com, just like all the rest, and it knows it. The typical romantic fare is relayed in a jovial way, poking fun at themselves as they go. That is almost the premise of the whole film, after all: subverting the idea of romance.
10/10 Crazy, Stupid, Love
Written by Dan Fogelman, more readily associated with Disney films, and directed by Bad Santa’s Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the crew behind Crazy, Stupid, Love. would not immediately inspire much excitement, let alone be expected to produce one of the best rom coms this side of the decade. However, that is exactly what they achieved. A recurring theme with this list, here is another a-typical example of the genre, and thankfully so.
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