Breaking the Groove
May 12, 2006 2:41 AM   Subscribe

What are some good breakup movies? Think, "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," not the sort of movie where the two get back together at the end.
posted by digitalis to Human Relations (53 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Argh! No, wait! Stella Got Her Groove Back" was awful. I meant "Waiting to Exhale." This is what I get for never watching/remembering movies.
posted by digitalis at 2:44 AM on May 12, 2006


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Sliding Doors
Next Stop Wonderland
The Wings of the Dove
Chasing Amy
posted by pieoverdone at 2:53 AM on May 12, 2006


No, wait! Stella Got Her Groove Back" was awful. Second that!

Chasing Amy
Casablanca
Something About Mary (well she does end up with Brett Favre, but not with Ben or Matt)
posted by iconomy at 2:54 AM on May 12, 2006


From any era, I assume, since you didn't say.

The Way We Were
posted by iconomy at 2:56 AM on May 12, 2006


Something About Mary (well she does end up with Brett Favre, but not with Ben or Matt)

Are you sure? I was pretty certain she went after the Ben Stiller character at the end.
posted by biffa at 3:00 AM on May 12, 2006


Closer
posted by speicus at 3:19 AM on May 12, 2006


Hmmm maybe you're right. Yeah you're right. Strike that answer. Also, it's actually called There's Something About Mary - I keep forgetting that. Not that it matters now, because it's being stricken...

Another:

Breaking Up
posted by iconomy at 3:19 AM on May 12, 2006


St. Elmos Fire.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:21 AM on May 12, 2006


Don't know if these are what you're looking for since they're not exactly romantic, but damn are the breakups brutal ...

Leaving Las Vegas
In The Company of Men
The Shape of Things

Bonus "stageplay" answer: Shakespeare's "Love's Labors Lost" is remarkable in that it seems to be a straightforward romantic comedy where four lords swear off women then immediately fall in love with four visiting ladies (one a princess). Hijinks ensue as the men try to hide their love from each other, the women mock the men and a bunch of ancillary characters stage a demented play-within-a-play. In the final scene, the men come clean and propose to the ladies in earnest ... and a messenger arrives with news that the princess' father has died. Bam! The ladies leave for France leaving the men dumbfounded (and single). Talk about "breaking the groove. Brannagh made a film version but it wasn't up to his usual standard.
posted by zanni at 3:21 AM on May 12, 2006


Better Off Dead
posted by justkevin at 6:19 AM on May 12, 2006


Bitter Moon
posted by Atom12 at 6:19 AM on May 12, 2006


Whenever I go through a breakup, I always look to the three Hs:

Heartburn (I'm not sure if they get back together, though)
High Fidelity
Hope Floats
posted by superkim at 6:20 AM on May 12, 2006


My Best Friend's Wedding
posted by hooray at 6:20 AM on May 12, 2006


Annie Hall
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:36 AM on May 12, 2006


Also, this is destined to become a huge spoiler list (I put up Annie Hall because the opening tells you they broke up). Seriously, I thought Rick got Ilse in the end. Now I'll never be able to watch it.
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:37 AM on May 12, 2006


Sleeping With the Enemy (they do break-up, just not in a traditions fashion).
posted by kimdog at 6:52 AM on May 12, 2006




Taxi Driver
posted by Gungho at 7:12 AM on May 12, 2006


Kissing Jessica Stein?
posted by lampoil at 7:14 AM on May 12, 2006


the beautiful All The Real Girls.
posted by Marquis at 7:16 AM on May 12, 2006


Swingers?
posted by chunking express at 7:27 AM on May 12, 2006


Living Out Loud

Holly Hunter is amazing in it. So is Queen Latifah (she plays a singer in a jazz club in Harlem).
posted by witchstone at 7:30 AM on May 12, 2006


Don't they get back together at the end of High Fidelity?
posted by witchstone at 7:31 AM on May 12, 2006


Wow, no one posted Say Anything yet? Probably the best psychoanalytical mainstream breakup movie ever made.

Singles is another great one too.
posted by any major dude at 7:47 AM on May 12, 2006


War of the Roses, if you want your comedy black black black.

Kramer vs. Kramer
posted by mkultra at 8:28 AM on May 12, 2006


Say Anything because they break up late in the movie? And yet, I seem to recall something about them getting back together in the end...

OK, The Notebook, Hope Floats, Annie Hall, and like a billion other movies on this list are romances where the main characters break up in the middle of the movie as a plot point. Don't even get me started on how Princess Bride isn't a break-up movie.

So Digitalis -- are you talking about movies specifically about couples who break up? Or movies like Hope Floats that start off with a break-up? Or movies like Say Anything where the characters break up at some point?

First Wives Club isn't quite a break-up movie, but more like a broken-up movie.
posted by incessant at 8:48 AM on May 12, 2006


Chilly Scenes of Winter (aka Head Over Heels) is an Ann Beattie novel turned into an interesting movie about a guy working through his obsession with a former lover...bit...by...bit. And it's pretty cool to see John Heard and Peter Riegert as young men.
posted by Aghast. at 8:55 AM on May 12, 2006


Your Friends and Neighbors
posted by Jart at 9:03 AM on May 12, 2006


Total Recall.
Lori: Doug. Honey...you wouldn't hurt me, would you, sweet heart? Sweetheart, be reasonable. After all, we're married!
[Lori goes for her gun, Quaid shoots her]
Douglas Quaid: Consider that a divorce.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:21 AM on May 12, 2006


So I guess I don't need to see Stella now.
posted by acoutu at 9:25 AM on May 12, 2006


The War of the Roses
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:31 AM on May 12, 2006


Don't the main characters get back together at the end of a lot of these movies? Definitely with Eternal Sunshine and Say Anything.
posted by Julnyes at 10:08 AM on May 12, 2006


Say Anything is a wonderful movie all on it's own. Fantastic performances by fantastic cast, John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Lili Taylor, Joan Cusack. BUT, it's not a breakup movie. They DEFINITELY get back together at the end.
posted by marsha56 at 10:32 AM on May 12, 2006


Legally Blonde? ;)
posted by salvia at 11:02 AM on May 12, 2006


I can't believe no one has said Fight Club...and I'm not talking about Ed Norton's and Helena Bonham-Carter's characters.
posted by lunalaguna at 12:10 PM on May 12, 2006


I enjoyed War of the Roses (man, the ending was cold).

The Last Seduction?
posted by porpoise at 12:30 PM on May 12, 2006


Remains of the Day. Technically, the characters of Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson were never "together", but the elements of sorrow and heartbreak are all there in the end.
posted by invisible ink at 6:15 PM on May 12, 2006


Argh. That should be Remains of the Day.
posted by invisible ink at 6:16 PM on May 12, 2006


Also, Sense and Sensibility.
posted by invisible ink at 6:23 PM on May 12, 2006


Cinema Paradiso
posted by invisible ink at 6:31 PM on May 12, 2006


The Shining
posted by soiled cowboy at 6:39 PM on May 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


Royal Tenanbaum fails in his attempt to win back his wife.
posted by soiled cowboy at 6:40 PM on May 12, 2006


Something about Mary? Say Anything? Are you guys joking? Those are sweet little romances with happy ending. Sure there's a break up, but that's just a little dramatic tension in a otherwise adorable love story. You want break up movies, movies that make you wonder how or why men and women (or any combination) ever got along? Movies that make sleeping alone for the rest of your life seem like a warm fuzzy option compared to the hell that is other people?

Carnal Knowledge
Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf
Days of Wine and Roses
Bad Timing, a Sensual Obsession (older but newly released, and very twisted)
Betty Blue
Last Tango in Paris
The Heartbreak Kid
In the Company of Men
Repulsion

I could go on but I have to go slug back some whiskey and stare off into the distance.
posted by tula at 1:13 AM on May 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


A trifecta of doomed adulterers:
Anna Karenina / An Affair to Remember / In the Mood for Love
posted by rob511 at 4:18 AM on May 13, 2006


Also: If doomed, epic love has a patron saint, then perhaps its official vegetable is the radish.
posted by rob511 at 4:24 AM on May 13, 2006


The mention of Repulsion reminded me of another good one: Brigette Bardot's excellent Contempt.

(In Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf they get back together in the end.)
posted by Aghast. at 9:19 AM on May 13, 2006


Not really a breakup movie, but I always thought Castaway was a good example of not copping out at the end. Along the same lines, In Good Company.
posted by n-clue at 10:28 AM on May 13, 2006


(In Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf they get back together in the end.)

Yeah, like two rats in a cage. Qualifies as breakup movie because it makes togetherness seem like hell.

Oh, one more, less twisted, more funny/bitter:

Swept Away
posted by tula at 11:42 AM on May 13, 2006


I recently heard United 93 described as a last date movie. In my own life, that function was once performed by Eraserhead.
posted by drdanger at 11:43 AM on May 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


(In Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf they get back together in the end.)

Yeah, like two rats in a cage. Qualifies as breakup movie because it makes togetherness seem like hell.


I had my tongue in my cheek.
posted by Aghast. at 4:35 PM on May 13, 2006


Roman Holiday.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:42 PM on May 14, 2006


As a break up empowerment movie, I've always liked Private Benjamin.
posted by maryruthless at 5:27 PM on May 19, 2006


Fall: a cabbie and a supermodel fall in love (briefly). No, really.

I second All the Real Girls and Remains of the Day, but when I'm really down about relationships I watch Daughters of the Dust. It isn't a breakup movie at all, but the theme of being separated from the people you love (to varying degrees) is a common element. I find it to be powerful and ultimately uplifting.
posted by metabrilliant at 9:45 PM on October 24, 2006


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