Perfect films for your anti-Valentine's Day

If this Valentine's Day finds you reeling from a relationship gone wrong or stewing about a heartbreaking ex, and you're scarcely in the mood to spend the day watching others live a lie of true love, here are 10 anti-romantic films worthy of your company.

High Fidelity (2000): John Cusack wooed women as hopeless romantic Lloyd Dobler in 1989's Say Anything. More than a decade later, Cusack's neurotic music dweeb Rob Gordon in High Fidelity is more true to reality: less perfect boyfriend and more imperfect soul who obsesses over a recent ex.

To learn why she left - and therefore what he must do to win her back - Rob solicits the opinions of former girlfriends on why their relationships failed.

Lost in Translation (2003): Scarlett Johansson plays the abandoned young wife of a self-absorbed celebrity photographer. Bill Murray is an ageing actor with a fading career and loveless marriage now making commercials in Japan.

The pair meet in a Tokyo hotel, bond and finally share a secret whisper and a kiss as they sadly part. Inspired by writer-director Sofia Coppola's own marriage woes with Spike Jonze.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004): Joel Barish (Jim Carrey, spot-on brilliant) wants memories of his ex-girlfriend (Kate Winslet, equally brilliant) erased from his mind.

But wiping away all traces of intense personal connection is complicated, as love's attraction proves more powerful than even the memories it creates.

Broken Flowers (2005): Murray is quietly moving as an ageing lothario who goes on a cross-country journey to meet five former flames he suspects may be the mother of a 19-year-old son he's never met.

A dark comedy full of twists, bottled emotions and strong empathy for lives unfulfilled and dreams unrealised.

(500) Days of Summer (2009): As the film's narrator tell us, "This is not a love story".

Indeed, this is the funny-turned-tragic tale of the one who got away.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are perfectly cast as the love-struck guy and the hard-to-get - and even harder to keep - girl who consumes his affections and ultimately shatters his heart.

Crazy Heart (2009): Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is a broken-down, hard-drinking country musician who meets a young, pretty music journalist (Maggie Gyllenhaal).

She reluctantly lets him into her world, but theirs is a relationship as doomed as his love songs.

Blue Valentine (2010): Ryan Gosling is the charming boyfriend turned alcoholic husband and screw-up who desperately wants his failing marriage to work.

Michelle Williams is the loving girlfriend turned long-suffering spouse whose patience and love are irrevocably broken.

Their gripping turns make the couple's emotional dissolution all the more crushing.

Barney's Version (2010): In this odyssey of personal failure, Barney Panofsky (Paul Giamatti) is a politically incorrect schmuck given three chances at love who destroys each in different ways.

But Barney's fate and that of the woman he loves most, Miriam (Rosamund Pike), proves tragic and warmly human.

Like Crazy (2011): Director Drake Doremus' film captures the problems and heartache of long-distance romance and the wrenching pain shared by a couple (Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin) who refuse to acknowledge when love is no longer there.

Take This Waltz (2011): Michelle Williams plays a young housewife named Margot who risks her happy marriage to an adoring husband (Seth Rogen) to pursue her giddy crush on a handsome artist.

But her decision isn't rewarded, offering instead the blunt reality of "So, now what?". 


John Cusack plays a record store owner and compulsive list maker in the film High Fidelity.

John Cusack plays a record store owner and compulsive list maker in the film High Fidelity.


Discuss "Perfect films for your anti-Valentine's Day"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.