Are you excited about Valentine’s Day? Me neither. But don’t fear, this selection of movies will divert your attention away from that empty space in your bedroom where the chocolates, flowers and cards could, but aren’t, piling up.
14. Play Misty For Me (Eastwood, 1971)
Those pesky secret Valentine’s admirers. If they’re anything like the psychopath who begins stalking Clint Eastwood’s radio DJ in Play Misty For Me, you might need more than a restraining order!
13. Rosemary’s Baby (Polanski, 1968)
Okay, so you’ve found love and then what happens…your husband sells your womb to the devil and you give birth to the antichrist. Talk about irreconcilable differences!
12. The War Of The Roses (DeVito, 1989)
Two hours spent in the company of a warring couple experiencing the messiest of messy divorces: does love suck – if Danny DeVito’s film starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner is anything to go by, YES IT DOES!
11. Looking For Mr. Goodbar (Brooks, 1977)
There’s very little romance on show in Looking For Mr. Goodbar as teacher Diane Keating prowls bars at night seeking one-night stands only to find a repressed and conflicted man take out his sexual frustration on her with brutal consequences. Romance can be deadly.
10. Kramer Vs Kramer (Benton, 1979)
Sobering, unflinching and heartbreaking, this post-marriage custody battle shines a light on a relationship when the romance is dead.
9. Switchblade Romance (Aja, 2003)
Jealousy gets a bloodied knife in Alexandre Aja’s bloody slasher Switchblade Romance. I’m not sure Cupid had this in mind when he fired the arrow, although to be fair a bladed spear would do a similar amount of damage.
8. My Bloody Valentine (Mihalka, 1981)
Dark and broody, this cult favourite from the early 1980s couldn’t be more anti-Valentine’s Day with its face-masked killer seeking out anyone celebrating the day with an introduction to his already bloodied miner’s pick.
7. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Nichols, 1966)
Caustically scripted and brilliantly performed, director Mike Nichols welcomes you to “romance” after marriage. Beware, he says, it’s hell!
6. Fatal Attraction (Lynn, 1987)
Michael Douglas has made a habit of sleeping with an assortment of beautiful women in the movies only to be left joyless, alone and, in nearly every instance, afraid for his life. His affair with Glenn Close’s psychotic publishing company editor in Fatal Attraction features lots of sweaty lovemaking at the beginning only to end with bunnies being boiled and a dead body in the bath.
5. Revolutionary Road (Mendes, 2008)
A relationship doomed to fail despite the protagonists being Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. What could be more anti-romantic than seeing the onscreen tragedy of this “Titanic” duo played out again?
4. Blue Valentine (Cianfrance, 2010)
Once there was romance, then it went away. What’s left is a great big hollow and two people trying to figure out how to turn their lives around.
3. Shame (McQueen, 2011)
Michael Fassbender introduces you to a rampant, no holds barred sex life without romance. Is this the alternative to the cloying self-importance of Valentine’s Day?
2. Kill Bill (Tarantino, 2004)
Quentin Tarantino doesn’t usually bother with romance. But when he does you’d expect it to be as bloody and violent as Kill Bill, a wonderful, toe-tapping entry into anarchy by way of Uma Thurman’s sword-wielding samurai who proceeds to slice and dice everyone responsible for trying to kill her on her wedding day, including her groom!
1. (500) Days Of Summer (Webb, 2009)
If ever there was a manual in movie form about getting over a doomed relationship it’s 500 (Days Of Summer). If romance is going to be this stressful, who needs it!
By Dan Stephens.