Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What are the best anti-Valentine's Day movies?

When it’s the holiday of candy and roses, if you don’t have a significant other things can get depressing. Heck, even if you do have a significant other, things can still get depressing.

The last thing a lot of single people want to do is sit and watch true love win out on the big screen.

With that in mind, I put together an “anti-Valentine’s Day” movies list. These are the movies to watch if you’ve just about had it up to here with love.

Here are, the best movies to cure your broken heart (or just entertain you when you loathe romantic comedies):

10. Bad Santa – In a weird way, this movie has a good heart. It takes a long time for the Grinch at the center of it to realize that he’s not a total turd – but the journey he takes throughout the movie involves a wooden pickle, stolen stuffed animals, a pilfered Advent calendar  and a racially insensitive black elf that practically steals the show. I don’t know about anyone else, but I never looked at Santa the same way again.

9. Chasing Amy – This is a cautionary tale of what happens when you try to change someone. In this case, Ben Affleck’s Holden falls for Joey Lauren Adams’ Alyssa – even though he knows she’s a lesbian. What follows is a twisted triangle between Holden, Alyssa and Holden’s sexually ambiguous roommate Banky. This one doesn’t end happily either – but at least there are some genuine laughs along the way thanks to Jason Lee’s obnoxious Banky and Jason Mewes' not yet overexposed Jay.

8. Sid and Nancy – This is a dark biography of punk rocker Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy – who ends up stabbed to death following the breakup of Vicious’ band The Sex Pistols. Gary Oldman is pitch perfect as Sid and Chloe Webb also shines as the doomed Nancy. The fact that the story is based on true events makes it somewhat harrowing. The fact that these are pretty much two of the most dysfunctional individuals you could ever meet makes it entertaining – in a morbid way, of course.

7. Basic Instinct – Men like this movie because you get to see – well, let’s just say a lot of Sharon Stone when she’s in her prime. Women like this movie because it shows they’re not really the weaker sex. Michael Douglas delivers a solid performance as a police officer trying to find out if Stone is offing her lovers. Let’s just say it takes him an ice pick to see the light and leave it at that.

6. Secretary – This is actually a love story. It’s a really weird and dark love story that involves public humiliation and, yes, a little spanking, but it really is a quirky love story. James Spader is deliciously offbeat as always, but this is really Maggie Gyllenhaal’s movie – and she takes the part and runs with it. This, at best, can be described as a black comedy and at worst a bad commentary on office politics. Either way you look at it, the performances and movie are fun. If you’re looking for heartfelt proclamations of love, you probably should look somewhere else, though.

5. War of the Roses – Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas may have made romance look sweet in ‘Romancing the Stone’ and ‘Jewel of the Nile.’ They do just the opposite in this 1989 film, where their long married couple loses any love they ever felt for each other in an effort to not only emotionally cripple each other – but physically as well. There’s no happy ending in this film. There’s also a dead cat, a dinner poisoning and threats of dog violence. It’s still a lot of fun.

4. American Beauty – This movie really is awesome. Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening sparkle as the Burnhams – a family that is at the edge of a precipice. Anyone who has seen the movie knows it doesn’t end happily. The buildup to that end, though, is some of the best storytelling to come out of Hollywood in the past 20 years. Lester Burnham does, indeed, rule.

3. The Devil’s Rejects – There nothing to put you off men quicker than foul-mouthed sadistic killers – one’s even dressed as a creepy clown. This is actually a love story – a love story between raping and killing sociopaths – but a love story nonetheless. This isn’t a movie for the faint of heart (or politically correct). This is really a movie for people who are enraged with the world and don't mind a lot of white trash stereotypes and nonstop cursing.

2. Thelma and Louise – This is really the quintessential “men are scum” movie. It’s also the quintessential women bonding film. Not only does it have star turns by Susan Sarandon and Gina Davis, but it also introduces a young (and buff) Brad Pitt to the world – before he was saddled with a litter of kids and a higher social calling. Though made in 1991, ‘Thelma and Louise’ still holds up to this day – and the ending of the movie is still as stirring and poignant as ever.

1. Fatal Attraction – Nothing puts you off love faster than cheating men and boiling bunnies. This 1987 thriller starring Glenn Close and Michael Douglas (yes, this is his third appearance on the list) tells the opposite of a love story. In fact, it’s a story about infatuation, infidelity and, ultimately, attempted murder. The performances by Close and Douglas are riveting and the ending of the movie still stands up in its heart-pounding elegance today. This is also a great movie for women to show their men if they want them to know what will happen if they cheat on them. Just saying.

Honorable mentions go to ‘Reservoir Dogs,’ ‘Obsessed,’ ‘Match Point,’ ‘What Lies Beneath’ and ‘Wild Things.’

What do you think? What are the best anti-Valentine’s Day movies out there?


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