What better way to ring in another Valentine’s Day than with some of the best break up movies on Netflix? Answer: none better way.
Are you maybe considering the economic benefits of breaking up rather than dumping a truckload of cash on preprinted poetry and prix fixe meals? Or are you in a happy relationship with a security cemented with the mortar of watching other relationships fall apart? It could be that, like so many, you are single and this holiday elicits feelings akin to that of an orphan on Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day too). Whatever defines your holiday spirit these films about breakups won’t disappoint!
Mike’s heartbreak is palpable from the start. The agony of the break-up with his girlfriend of six years has destroyed him and he spends a better part of the movie trying to pick up the pieces. Which is so fun to watch! The scene where he finally gets a woman’s digits, only to call her answering machine over and over again leaving more and more painfully embarrassing messages hurts so good! (Note to Millennials: An “answering machine” was like a physical box thing which kept your voicemail on a cute little mini cassette tape. Cell phones were slightly less prevalent back in ’96.)
BONUS: A fresh faced super slim and un-haggard Vince Vaughn and a still relatively fresh faced Heather Graham!
This Oscar winner encapsulates an entire relationship running its course from start to finish. One of Woody Allen’s most famous films, Annie Hall is packed with all the hilariously painful awkwardness and neurosis that define an Allen romance. Alvy begins the film trying to figure out what went wrong between him and Annie, letting us in on the upcoming breakup before we are plunged into their first meeting. An American classic.
BONUS: Super cocaine sneeze!
Does she or doesn’t she? Helen is fired from her job and sent packing. What happens next is split between two timelines: one where Helen catches her train and one where she misses it and has to wait for the next one. And guess which one it is where she gets home to catch her boyfriend Gerry banging his ex in their bed? It’s the one where she catches the train. You probably guessed that one. In this scenario, the break-up occurs right then and there and Helen moves on out. Whereas in the alternate timeline Gerry keeps the lies going and becomes increasingly unable to manage his duplicity. Even his best friend can’t help but find humor in Gerry’s misery. Through much of the film we experience the almost agonizing anticipation of an impending second explosive breakup.
SPOILER ALERT BONUS: You get to see Gwyneth Paltrow get hit by a car!
An Unmarried Woman
Another award winner and Oscar nominated film, An Unmarried Woman was released in 1978 when they also didn’t have very many cell phones. Erica’s rich broker husband and father of her child is about to leave her for a younger woman he met in a department store. She never sees it coming. And it hits like a freight train! This film pulls no punches and takes us through all of the tumult that comes with emotional upheaval and the path to recovery. Emotional recovery. Not drug or alcohol recovery. This was the seventies.
FASHION BONUS: Awful seventies fashions!
As Douglas Quaid, Arnold Schwarzenegger handles the dissolution of his marriage pretty much how you’d expect him to. With a bullet. A divorce bullet. This is the real deal Total Recall, complete with trip to Mars and a decent plot! And of course the tri-boobed lady.
BONUS: A youthful Uncle Hank from Breaking Bad with a seriously mutated up face!
BONUS BONUS: Not yet batshit crazy Sharon Stone!!
BONUS BONUS BONUS: “See you at the party Richtor!” !!!
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
The Sequel: BJ Goes To Thai Prison! Though Bridget’s breakup from Mr. Perfect Mark Darcy is of her own making, it is no less earth shattering for her. The girl simply can’t accept that her man ain’t no cheater. And when she confronts him about cheating he tells her that he won’t dignify it with a response; which is the exact response her friend told her would mean he is having an affair. Enter sleazy ex-bf Daniel who inadvertently puts Bridgett in the position of having a stash of drugs in her bag which are subsequently found by airport security dogs and her butt gets tossed into a Thai Prison. Hilarity ensues!
DIGNIFIED EDUCATION BONUS: Daniel’s Thai Prostitute is played by Ting Ting Hu who holds a BA in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and a masters degree from Oxford University