If you are looking ahead to the 14th February cursing cupid while awaiting the obligatory Valentine’s card from your Gran, fear not. Roobla is here to remind you that all those sickly couples may have this celebration but love isn’t all that Hollywood’s rom coms make it out to be.
Here, we suggest a selection of films to watch with your TV dinner for one this Valentine’s night.
Love breeds false expectations – 500 Days of Summer
‘This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story’ warns the narrator of this anti-romantic comedy. 500 Days of Summer bucks against the trend of sickly – and frankly, for the most part god-awful – romantic ‘comedies’ spewed out by the Tinsel Town monster.
Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) show that sometimes one person is so caught up in doughy-eyed adoration, they fail to spot that it isn’t mutual. The film does also remind us that no matter the pain of cuddleless nights, there’s someone there for us around the corner.
‘Change your nature, you’re a dead man’ – Alfie
Admittedly, the 2004 adaptation of this 1960’s Caine classic was widely panned by critics. However, there are a few valuable comforts in Jude Law’s remake. Taking on the role of the eponymous Alfie Elkins, Law addresses the camera directly as he spends the first half of the film carving apart the hassles of relationships and extolling the wonders of single life.
The main lesson comes, however, as the film draws to a close. A reformed Alfie seeks something more committed despite his earlier warning, ‘Change your nature, you’re a dead man’.
This decision has disastrous consequences and emphasises that as you spread out in the vacant double bed on Valentine’s night, sometimes, love just isn’t worth the hassle when it goes bad. Incidentally, Mr Elkins’ escapades also advises avoiding partners of your friends. Apparently, a bad move.
Temptation rears it’s ugly head – The Last Kiss
Jude Law states in Alfie ‘With such a plethora, how could a man ever choose to settle down with just one [woman]?’. The Last Kiss acknowledges this and then some. Zach Braff stars in this humoured drama charting the course of a group of friends and their various troubled relationships.
The action centres around Michael (Braff) and his fiancé Jenna (Jacinda Barrett) after they find out she is expecting their first child. Cue a premature mid-life crisis, brought about as Michael ponders the reality of ‘there are no more surprises’ as captivating college student Kim (Rachel Bilson) turns his head.
The Last Kiss shows a number of relationships, some appearing to be doing well but most becoming hard work with Michael’s wandering uncomfortably understandable. Remember, if he could do it with his first child on the way, the guy/girl you’re with probably could as well.
Love makes you do crazy things – Seven Pounds
Seven Pounds quite frankly took the ‘tearjerker’ mould, crushed it, and produced a waterfall in its place. This film is not one that will put a smile on your face. Although it scored a pitiful 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, Will Smith wields the power to drastically change seven lives.
Although Smith’s character, operating under the pseudonym of ‘Ben’, finds his apparent soulmate in ailing Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson), it is ultimately in the name of love that he changes Emily’s life. The irony being that in doing so he shatters his chances of happiness.
So, if you’re the ‘bunny boiler’ type in relationships, fret not, love would probably make you do something even more mental.
Everything has to come to an end – One Day
So. All of your friends are having candle lit Valentine’s meals with ‘the love of their lives’, their ‘soulmates’. Well, here’s the scoop as you snuggle up with your ice cream / hot water bottle / can of beer. It won’t last forever.
Cynical, yes. Morbid, possibly. True, absolutely.
One Day recounts David Nicholls’ 20 year story of two friends (Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess)) who meet on Graduation night.
As the pair bounce from ill-fated relationship to adulterous partners, their relationship stretches, twists and turns. Eventually, they find they’re soulmates, seemingly fulfilling the Hollywood ‘Happy Ever After’.
But, as the film draws to a close, we’re reminded that love doesn’t last forever and someone will always be left behind to pick up the pieces when it ends.
… So there you have it. Five films that may cheer you up, may make you shed tears. But, five things are for certain, they’ll never cheat on you, leave you, change their mind, do crazy things or hurt you.
Tuck into your single popcorn portion this Valentine’s and regular coke and enjoy some singleton silverscreen delights – you don’t need a couply Valentine’s.