If you’re single, cynical or simply have no plans on Valentine’s Day here are four films I’ve chosen to get you through the most romantic day of the year. These stories are about love and longing in all of its twisted, dysfunctional and beautiful glory. Enjoy!
1. Blue Valentine (2011)
A perfect contrast to “The Notebook”s Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine is no storybook romance. The film sharply cuts back and forth between the sweet beginnings and the heartbreaking end of Dean and Cindy. This film shows the dim realities of love. The ups and downs and realizations that sometimes it just doesn’t work out. The performances are so raw that at times it makes the viewer uncomfortable. Like they’re watching some private moment that wasn’t meant to be shared. Blue Valentine is honest, intimate and the perfect film to watch on V-Day while you cry over that asshole who left you before Christmas.
2. The Virgin Suicides (2000)
One of my favorite films, the Virgin Suicides is hypnotic. It has this beautiful sadness that is perfect. It’s about the Lisbon sisters who float through life living under the strict control of their parents. The youngest of the sisters takes her life and sets off a chain of events that are oddly romantic. A group of neighborhood boys become obsessed with the sisters and become involved in something much bigger than themselves. The Virgin Suicides is about infatuation and disappointment in reality. It examines love and the fragile nature of adolescence.
3. Gone Girl (2014)
Nick and Amy are a normal married couple living in Missouri. Until the day of their fifth wedding anniversary when Amy goes missing. And investigation begins and as it progresses the suspicion that Nick is involved increases. To save his own name Nick uses the clues that his wife left as a cute anniversary scavenger hunt to try and find out what exactly happened to his wife. Gone Girl is a psychotic thriller that will leave you side-eyeing your special someone. On a day when love is in the air this film will suck all the air out of the room. Smart and dark, Gone Girl is a winner.
4. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Based on a novel by Hubert Selby Jr (one of my favorite authors) Requiem for a Dream is disturbing, artistic and sensual. It follows four addicts through their drug induced utopias. We see their hopes and dreams muddied and are given a front row seat to their demise. Their is a love story within the plot but just like real life addicts, the drugs win above all else. Requiem for a Dream is an escape. It might literally be the most unromantic film ever but the cinematography is perfect and the acting is amazing.