It’s hard for most people to imagine anyone taking a strong dislike to Valentines Day, but if you’ve ever had your heart broken and you find yourself dateless, once again, and not even your father has sent you flowers, you might find yourself having trouble getting through the day on February 14.
In organizing a list of movies for someone in the position of hating Valentines Day there are two possible directions one could take. The first would be to put together a list of anti-love and or anti-date movies that reaffirm and reinforce the feelings that contribute to the disdain for the holiday. The second approach would be to create a list of the most romantic films of all time in an attempt to win over the cupid hater since it is more than likely that the impatience with others and the revulsion for the day itself is really just an attempt to cover up hurt feelings and disappointment over not having one’s very own Valentine.
Movies for Anyone down on Love and Romance
For those with a slightly dark side or who are through with love and refuse to risk their hearts or for those who believe there are no happy endings and relationships ultimately end in breakups or some form of tragedy here is a list of films that are sure to make you feel validated come February 14.
Match Point (2005), directed by Woody Allen with Jonathan Rhys-Myers and Scarlett Johansson starts out in one place and ends up completely in another. Don’t let the beautiful music of the soundtrack and score fool you. This movie starts out masquerading as the unlikely romantic story of a tennis pro and his rich girlfriend but takes a left turn somewhere into something dark and desperate.
Happiness (1998), with Jane Adams, Camryn Manheim, Lara Flyn Boyle and others is not a love or romance film by any stretch of the imagination and despite the title none of the people in this movie are happy. It is a perfect choice when avoiding the sunshine and good feelings of Valentine’s Day.
Fatal Attraction (1987) showed the world exactly why men shouldn’t cheat on their wives. When a one night stand goes bad Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglass) can’t get rid of Alex (Glenn Close) and her obsessive stalking behavior threatens his family.
Message in a Bottle (1999); if you’ve had your heart broken and all you can do is cry grab a box of tissues and cuddle up with Kevin Costner who stars as widower Garret Blake who hasn’t been the same since his wife died. He writes a letter and puts it in a bottle which later turns up in the hands of a newspaper reporter who miraculously tracks him down. It seems like a good beginning for happy ever after but alas it isn’t.
Enough (2002), stars Jennifer Lopez as a waitress who falls for a customer and gets married only to end up fleeing her husband with her young daughter in tow. Anyone who has ever been verbally or physically mistreated in a relationship will feel vindicated watching Lopez’s character take back her power.
Romeo and Juliet (1968) is a classic story of love that ends in tragedy. Director Zeffirelli was the first to cast actual teenagers in the roles of Shakespeare’s doomed young couple. The classic film stars a young Olivia Hussey across from Leonard Whiting.
Basic Instinct (1992) has Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone headlining this “erotic thriller” that has nothing to do with romance or anything resembling a healthy or happy relationship.
Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1997), as beautiful and sexy as this film is there are no happy endings to be found here. Sarita Choudhury, Indira Varma and Naveen Andrews star.
Stealing Heaven (1988) is the story of Abelard, a twelfth century tutor who falls for his pupil, Heloise, and breaks his vow of celibacy. She ends up pregnant, he ends up castrated and all romance goes out the window. Derek de Lint and Kim Thomson portray the title characters.
Movies for the Secretly or Wishfully Romantic
For those who protest to hate Valentine’s Day and everything it stands for but deep down inside are actually furtively hopeful, despite the number of times their hearts have been stomped on, inspiration can be found in the following:
27 Dresses (2007). If the phrase “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” rings true for you, this movie may just have your name on it. Katherine Heigl is Jane, a woman who loves weddings so much she has a closet full of bridesmaid dresses from all her friends’ weddings. In one section of the movie we see her hopping in and out of taxi cabs going back in forth between two weddings in the same evening. She seems destined to never see her own special day and to make matters worse she has been secretly in love with her boss who ends up getting engaged to her sister.
Serendipity (2001) stars John Cusak as a man who meets a woman while Christmas shopping and thinks they have a connection. The woman, played by Kate Beckinsale, is a bit nutty and writes her name and number in a book and tells him if they are meant to be he will find the book and her and they will live happily ever after. Years later, he is about to marry someone else when the book finally resurfaces.
An Affair to Remember (1957). This remake of the 1939 film, Love Affair stars Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr as two people who meet on a cruise and fall in love even though they are both involved with other people. It’s a classic romance favorite.
Next Stop Wonderland (1998) sees Hope Davis dumped by her boyfriend and dating again via the personals. Anyone who has had a string of bad dates will relate and the Brazilian music is appealing as well.
Mozart and the Whale (2005) is the story of an unlikely and quite challenging romance between two people with Asperger’s Syndrome. If you have ever felt awkward about dating this movie is for you. It stars Radha Mitchell and Josh Harnett.
Commandments (1997), stars Aiden Quinn as a man angry at god who has vowed to break all of the commandments after everything goes wrong in his life. Not exactly romantic, but it will make you feel better.
Penelope (2006) is the story of a girl who was the victim of a family curse. In true fairytale fashion she must find love with one of her own kind, that is, someone of the same blue blood social set, in order to break the curse. It is only when she decides she loves herself the way she is that the curse is broken.