Post-breakup Movies
November 8, 2012 10:09 PM   Subscribe

What movies helped you get over a breakup?

Got dumped, feeling down and with little hope for the future. I'm sure the feeling will pass, but as long it's here I'd like to take my mind off of things.

What movies have you watched directly after a breakup that left you with a bit of a renowned sense of optimism? Looking for something that gets my mind off of it, and actually makes me feel better.

Not really looking for movies that directly address the subject of breaking up (Chasing Amy, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Eternal Sunshine etc). I've seen a lot of breakup movies, and they always made me feel a little better about breakups from the past, but because everything is still so fresh I don't know if I'm really in the mood right now. Actually, not sure if any sot of romance is striking my fancy at the moment. But if there's one that really actually helped you immediately after one, by all means please share.

They can be any genre. I prefer newer films (after 2000) to older.
posted by windbox to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
500 Days of Summer, while a breakup movie, is full of brilliance and hope.
posted by 3491again at 10:26 PM on November 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Well, these are all kind of mainstream and most are pretty recent (as you requested), but most of them kind of work — and Annie Hall is a masterpiece, of course. Some are recommended because the characters go through a breakup, THEN find better relationships (which is mostly what happens in real life if we are self-aware and in-touch with our patterns). Some are just great escapes.

The Holiday
The Family Stone
Hannah and Her Sisters
Annie Hall

And movies that just make you feel OK and take your mind off things:
The Princess Bride, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Goonies — basically, anything you liked as a kid will take you out of the present and into the warm past of childhood.
posted by amoeba at 10:31 PM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Might I suggest some standup? Something along the lines of Louis CK, Patrice O'Neal, Whitney Cummings. After a breakup, even a movie might be too much to stomach (at least for me). Standup requires little to no effort on your part and laughing does release endorphins, after all. Nothing like a lot of that to make you feel a little better.
posted by chloe.gelsomino at 10:34 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I watched Disney Classics, just to take my mind off to somewhere else entirely. Lots.
posted by Namlit at 10:43 PM on November 8, 2012

After a bad breakup, a female friend's favorite vhs tape was "I Spit On Your Grave"
posted by anon4now at 11:08 PM on November 8, 2012

Razor's Edge
Better Off Dead
posted by rhizome at 11:16 PM on November 8, 2012

I came in here to suggest I Spit On Your Grave! Ideally as a doubleheader with Death Proof (fast forward through the boring talk-y first half.) Probably best if the dumper was male...
posted by kelseyq at 11:32 PM on November 8, 2012

"Swingers and booze until you pass out" is Dr. Ghostride's Breakup Medicine.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 11:40 PM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Charlie's Angels.

I had spent the day helping her move out. I came home to an empty house. Empty heart. I turned on the TV and it was just . . . perfect.
posted by ainsley at 11:50 PM on November 8, 2012

Here to be the annoying person who says "not a movie but a book" -- in this case, my friend read "It's called a break up because it's broken" and she said it made her feel a lot better.

In her case, she and her boyfriend were living together. He went off to training camp and she went to work one day. He hardly called her during the camp which was a little weird but understandable. She came back home one day and all his stuff was gone and his key was on the kitchen table. :/
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 12:27 AM on November 9, 2012

Seconding Namlit on the Disney film thing. Or any teen movie, really. The more mindless, cheesy and glossy, the better. I feel like they occupy your mind just enough to keep you from going under, while having (shallow) romantic plots that always end well.

My recent example was New York Minute. That movie sucks. But it helped.
posted by pink_gorilla at 1:14 AM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Kill Bill.
posted by Coaticass at 2:18 AM on November 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Bridget Jones' Diary.
posted by three_red_balloons at 5:31 AM on November 9, 2012

I usually turn to the warm and familiar movies that are just fun and make me feel better.


Any Jane Austin movie, or modern movies derrived from Jane Austin stories, Clueless, Bridget Jones' Diary or the amazing Bride and Prejudice, which has the bonus of being totally Bollywood!

Nativity! is hilarious, lovely and perfect for this time of year.

I too enjoyed The Holiday. It's on TBS pretty regularly lately.

The Godfather never fails to suck me in. I'm also a huge fan of the 1930's version of The Women.

Have an excellent movie weekend!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:27 AM on November 9, 2012

I'd skip the romantic theme and go for feel-good movies, ones that focus of sources of joy and relationships other than romantic ones.
I like cutesy stuff like Up, Saved!, Bend it like Beckham, Finding Nemo, 9 to 5, Big Business, The Parent Trap (the original!!!!), etc. Also, the Ocean's 11,12, whatever are fun :)
Good luck!
posted by Neekee at 7:27 AM on November 9, 2012

When Harry Met Sally is an oldie but a goodie, and I second the Bridget Jones movies. When my boyfriend of 3.5 years broke up with me last fall, I found myself delving into entire televisions series, like Battlestar Galactica, LOST, Ally McBeal (yeah...I know...), and Friday Night Lights. I found that it helped me to have something with a continuing story line to look forward to.
posted by singinginmychains at 7:34 AM on November 9, 2012

Yes, 500 Days of Summer. And High Fidelity.
posted by Silvertree at 7:44 AM on November 9, 2012

Seconding standup. I listened to comedy albums nonstop after my last breakup... tough to give suggestions without knowing what makes you laugh but there's lots of good stuff on Spotify these days.

This is Spinal Tap. Archer. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. These are good distractions: laugh out loud funny, quotable, and a refreshing lack of romantic plots.
posted by ann_disaster at 7:55 AM on November 9, 2012

It's early 90s, but Singles.

Last time I was in that position, I also watched a lot of sitcoms - Frasier is good because he has to deal with the issues surrounding dating someone not quite right every episode or so, but it isn't the dominant storyline - and sketch shows like The Fast Show or Harry Hill's late 90s series.
posted by mippy at 8:18 AM on November 9, 2012

I watch guilty pleasure tv shows like Gossip Girl and Weeds
posted by WeekendJen at 10:59 AM on November 9, 2012

I have three stages of break-up movies:
1. Underdog Sports Movies Starring Kids, my faves being The Sandlot, The Bad News Bears (1970s ONLY) and Little Big League. This is for when I am still freaking raw and numb and just want to have something on that has nothing to do with love.

2. Monster Movies (aka Nature Gone Horribly Wrong) my faves being The Host, Alien, Cloverfield, and JAWS (my go-to comfort movie for anything bad). These are for when I need to be reminded that there are worse things in the world than my puny heartache.

3. Dance-off Movies. These are for when I start to not feel so sad and instead am getting my anger back, and I just wish I lived in a world where the Important Things could be solved by an all-out Dance Battle. Boy, would I school my ex! In my opinion, the very best of this category is Stomp The Yard, because the dancing is 'grittier' than typical dance-off movies, there is lots of snarky clowning during the dance scenes, and because I, too, rep the Thetas(ttssssss).
posted by Brody's chum at 11:36 AM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

It has a romance in the background, but isn't the main thrust of the movie; I absolutely love Empire Records for this. By the end of the movie, you're feeling super warm and fuzzy.

Late 90's though. Still choice.
posted by furnace.heart at 4:19 PM on November 9, 2012

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