aNewDomain — If you’re stuck without a date this Valentine’s Day, you still deserve a fun-filled evening that won’t remind you of your single and dateless status. The movies below range from the outrageously funny to the downright depressing, but they all carry the theme that relationships, at least normal ones, are overrated. So whether you like a good cult classic or a suspenseful thriller, revel in your autonomy this February 14th and eat more popcorn than you would ever dare to do with someone else watching.
1. Fatal Attraction (1987)
Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) makes the disastrous mistake of having a weekend affair with a woman named Alex (Glenn Close), who just can’t let go. Alex threatens suicide, she obsessively calls him and viciously blackmails him at every turn. “Fatal Attraction” is a psychological thriller that will make you think twice about a Valentine’s Day bar crawl.
2. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
Did you ever have your genitals mutilated in the name of love? No? This dynamic rock musical will have you feeling pretty good about your single status. Hedwig (John Cameron Mitchell) is a transgender refugee from East Germany whose lover leaves her alone and broken-hearted (and, as the title suggests, sans genitals). She starts a rock band and helps a Christian teenager write a song, who then leaves her to become an international rock star with the very song they wrote together. Hedwig is left to bitterly tell her tale in dive bars with her band of misfits. “Hedwig and the Angry Itch” (2001) is a visually stunning movie, adapted from Broadway, is sure to leave you feeling good about the state of your less than perfect love life.
3. Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Ryan Gosling doesn’t just play roles as a hot stud; in this film he plays a socially crippled man who develops a relationship with a RealDoll. This Academy Award-nominated film follows the small town that learns to accept their outcast’s new, inanimate girlfriend. “Lars and the Real Girl” will have you laughing and holding back tears at the same time.
4. Harold and Maude (1971)
If you’re looking for a little bit of hope, Hal Ashby’s cult classic “Harold and Maude” will remind you of all the strange places you can find love. This dark, existential romantic comedy follows Harold (Bud Cort), a young adult living with his wealthy socialite mother, who finds unexpected love with a 79-year-old free spirit, Maude (Ruth Gordon). Paired with Harold’s morbidly hilarious fake suicide attempts and a soothing Cat Steven’s soundtrack, it’s no wonder “Harold and Maude” is a Criterion Collection treasure loved by the romantically jaded the world over.
5. The Room (2003)
This cult classic may be famous for all the wrong reasons, but watching it never felt so right. A franken-creation of the enigmatic (and potentially extraterrestrial) Tommy Wiseau, “The Room” is a dramedy about a man named Johnny (Wiseau), whose life falls apart when his fiancée Lisa (Juliette Danielle) has an illicit affair with his best friend and Brawny-man look-a-like, Mark (Greg Sestero). But you won’t just be watching this film to delight in the unravelling of a relationship. Instead you’ll be much more captivated by its status as one of the weirdest and worst movies of all time. This unintelligible clip is a perfect representation of the tone of the entire movie.
6. Blue Valentine (2010)
Another Ryan Gosling film, “Blue Valentine” is a tear-jerker about a relationship that falls apart. It’s a gripping tale about two people falling in love and rushing to marriage under difficult circumstances, and it doesn’t shy away from the complicated, messy side of relationships. Co-star Michelle Williams brings an incredible performance, and her dynamic with Gosling is sure to leave you heart-broken (that is, if you’re interested in adding some drama to your otherwise spiceless evening).
7. Oldboy (2003)
This Korean thriller shouldn’t be confused with the inferior, 2013 American remake by Spike Lee. Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-Sik) is a businessman who is taken captive and imprisoned for 15 years by a mysterious kidnapper. He’s set free filled with questions, and is left with the insatiable desire to find and kill the person who kept him in captivity for so long. Gory and suspenseful, Old Boy also has some romantic twists that will leave you begging for mercy.
8. Thelma & Louise (1991)
No man? No problem. This female buddy film starring Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, and a young Brad Pitt will remind you that if you want to become an outlaw Bonnie and Clyde style, you don’t need a significant other, just a crazy and lawless friend by your side.
9. Don Jon
If there is any movie that could make you not want love, it’s watching a porn-addicted guido (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) struggle in an unfulfilling relationship with his club-hopping girl (Scarlett Johansson). The brain-child of Gordon-Levitt, this indie film grapples with sex in the media, religion and relationships, and is graced with an incredibly touching performance by Julianne Moore.
For aNewDomain, I’m Carlo Aaron.
Single feather cover image: By Joao Estevao Andrade de Freitas [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons