Despite the wonder of discounted chocolate and candy hearts, Valentine’s Day will once again return to wreak havoc on those not entirely sold on Hallmark culture. But while Cupids and love songs may be the symbols of a day designed to make those more independent feel shamed, the following movies are our retaliation – because not only are they great, they’re far from the storybook endings Valentine-friendly rom-coms would have us believe is stereotypical.
Title: Revolutionary Road
Why: Far from the Kate and Leo dynamic of everyone’s favourite disaster film (Titanic), here’s a special glimpse into what life could be like if you were trapped in a loveless marriage – and it was 1958.
Title: American Beauty
Why: Because if you’re going to watch a Sam Mendes film (Revolutionary Road), you might as well add another to the list. After all, nothing says “glad I opted out of the white picket fence” like seeing what’s going on behind one.
Title: Blue Valentine
Why: Three cheers for Ryan Gosling; three more for watching the demise of a manic relationship. Suddenly those “we’re fighting all the time” couples don’t seem so romantic (if they ever did).
Title: 2 Days in Paris
Why: We all know relationships aren’t perfect – but imagine the most ordinary relationship between the most interesting people taking place in the most romantic city on Earth. What we can promise is that you won’t cry.
Title: Up in the Air
Why: A lone businessman travels the world only to fall in love and . . . well we won’t give away the ending, but we promise it belongs on this list. (Just be appreciative of the hours of straight Clooney.)
Title: Never Let Me Go
Why: Nothing says Valentine’s Day like watching the total and utter underdoing of three separate lives intertwined by a heart-wrenching past, present and future. Because remember: your life completely rules in comparison.
Why: Because the other word for “Valentine’s Day” is . . .