Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Best and Worst Break up Films

by DionysusPsyche

The Best

  1. 500 Days of Summer
    This is one of the films where having an anonymous voiceover doesn't feel out of place. Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zoey Deschanel) have different ideas about love and dating, but when Summer breaks Tom's heart, he relives the past year in an attempt and find out what went wrong.

    Why it's Great
    The film does an excellent job of not making either character "the bad guy." It shows you that both these people are awesome, and their chemistry is just alive. The film is fun, and even when it's sad, it's still really good.
  2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
    Peter (Jason Segel) tries to put his past girlfriend (whom he works with) behind him by going on vacation. Unfortunately, Sarah (Kristin Bell) has picked the same location.

    Why it's Great
    Everyone sooner or later has to deal with seeing their ex with someone else, but sometimes it feels like when we try to escape them the most is when we're forced to resolve the person we thought was The One. The often vulgar humor clashing with Pete's morose mood and frequent crying is amusing, but Jason Segel's character being a composer makes it even better, because it makes us remember how awesome we are. Pete gets to put his dream at the forefront, which helps us say goodbye to all the Sarah Marshalls that don't deserve us.
  3. High Fidelity
    Based on the book by Nick Hornby, this is John Cusack as his best as Rob Gordon who goes back through all the lists of women (like he would any album) that he's loved and how they've broken his heart.

    Why it's Great
    This is the mother of all break up films, which dissects each major relationship resolving why Rob shouldn't get back together with any of them, and how it's actually his fault that he screwed up the only one that could have worked. Plus, Rob yells at his ex, "Charlie! You fucking bitch! Let's work out." A sentiment that I'm sure a few of us are familiar with.
  4. Better Off Dead
    Lane Myers (yes, Cusack again) decides to kill himself after his girlfriend, Beth (Amanda Wyss), breaks up with him for stereotypical jerky jock.

    Why it's Great
    It shows teenagers lamenting their love lives in prototypical dramatic fashion of saying that life just isn't worth it unless you're with the girl you're obsessing about. The under appreciated actor that plays Booger from Revenge of the Nerds is in it. There are competitive racing scenes. Ridiculously awesome and weird one-liners. Take your pick.
  5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Joel (Jim Carrey) goes to a specialty brain surgery clinic where he undergoes a procedure to wipe his girlfriend from his mind.

    Why it's Great
    My favorite role for Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, this tells a story in reverse. Erasing the person you love from your mind is a pretty nifty way to get rid of them...until you decide that maybe it was the heat of the anger and you love them, even if you're not together.
The Worst

  1. Closer
    Based on a play, this film uncovers the depressing double life of cheating and examining whether or not the person you're with actually loves you.

    Why it Sucks
    This film actually might make you feel better about your relationship. It's an interesting story, but it really brings out the worst in human beings which is not what you need right now, especially since you're already probably doubting the past.
  2. The Break-Up
    In order to keep their apartment, a couple's (Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn) break up gets worse and worse.

    Why it Sucks
    This film pretended to be a comedy so audiences would want to watch us. Yet, it shows us everything we hate about break-ups and then some weird unrealistic terrible additional things this couple does to each other.
  3. The Shape of Things
    Quiet, nerdy Adam (Paul Rudd) is entranced by art student with big ideas, Evelyn (Rachel Weisz). Yet their bizarre relationship threatens Adam's friendships with his best friends.

    Why it Sucks
    While at times boring and weird, this film actually does not suck. Still, you shouldn't watch it right after a break up. It makes you go back and re-examine your old relationships in a way you should only do long after you've distanced yourself from them.
  4. SwingersI have never liked this movie. It magnifies everything I hate about the single life, the single person mentality (especially in the '90's), and the vulnerability that one goes through.
  5. Now You Know
    This is about the calling off of an engagement. However, this film is extremely pessimistic about relationships and marriage in general. It was the first film I tried to watch after a break up, and I still can't go back and watch it. It's also not a very good movie.


  1. I really liked this categorizing of awesome (and awful) break-up films. First off, as romantic comedies/dramas are one of my guilty pleasures, it's great to hear of ones I haven't heard of/seen (Better Off Dead) as well as ones to avoid. I'm not sure I'll actually seek out Better Off Dead, since you definitely have to be in a certain kind of mode to actively seek out such movies, but it'll definitely be on my list!

  2. Ha! Well, we do own it if you ever change your mind. We apparently own all the good break up movies...and 2 of the bad ones!