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10 Best Movies to Watch After a Break Up

Updated on September 15, 2014

Picking the wrong movie to watch after a break up is all too easy. When our heart is broken and all we want to do is eat cheetos, wear pajamas, and steer clear from all that's happy and frivolous in the world, we look for things that give us hope. We end up watching equally miserable yet hopeful movies like The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but that's really only half good. What we need after a break up is a cuddle, a good cry, and, sorry to say, a tiny kick in the butt. What we don't need is someone (or something) telling us our no-longer-significant-other will find his or her way back to us. What we don't need is false hope. What we do need, is something to relate to. The right kind of hope. A cuddle. And perspective, if only a bit. What follows is a list of movies that are guaranteed to put that heartbreak on the train to Nopeville.


1. Annie Hall

Comedy - Drama - Romance Best after-break-up movie of all time, Annie Hall tells the story of Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), who meet and fall head over heels for each other. They end up in a relationship together but over time the first cracks start to appear. Until then, Alvy had been trying to change Annie, and Annie had let him; however now that her confidence has grown she no longer wants to be told what to do.

Annie Hall is a brilliant movie of a woman finding herself through the hurt and confusion of a rocky relationship, with a few comedic pearls stuck in at surprising times. It tells the viewer that even though relationships don't work out they're not in vain, and that everything is going to be alright.


2. The One I Love

Comedy - Drama - Mystery - Romance Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elisabeth Moss) find themselves in relationship therapy in the hopes of rekindling their passion for each other. The therapist (Ted Danson), a bit of an unsubtle bastard, sends them to a retreat in the countryside. Everything seems to be going okay at first; Ethan and Sophie seem to be finding each other again - until strange things start to happen.

The One I Love is a hopeful movie with lots of twists and surprises. The ending is probably the most surprising of all. Although it may put a bit of pressure on the sore spots, it sends out a significant message about love, passion, and our choice of partners. Without spoiling too much, this movie probably suits you best if you just came out of a rocky relationship.


3. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Adventure - Comedy - Drama Granted, when you're spending most of your time crying in your pillow or your best friend's hair, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is probably not the first thing on your mind. And granted, it probably doesn't relate to your situation very much either - but that doesn't mean it isn't a fabulous pick-me-up to see.

In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is mostly invisible to the people around him, except when he's being picked on. That, and the boredom of his daily life, makes him retreat into his own mind and daydream. One day, though, he's faced with the possibility of losing his job unless he finds the slide that holds the photo for a magazine cover. Walter goes out to find the photographer and ends up living adventures he hadn't even dreamed of.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is inspiring, uplifting, and lighthearted. When nothing seems fun or inviting, it reminds you that the world out there is big and wide and fun, and that there are people to meet and places to see. And that may be just what you need.


4. Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain

Comedy - Romance Break ups hurt. Not only because they are the end of a beloved togetherness, also because they dent our ego. We end up thinking we'll never find anyone like the other. We end up thinking we'll never find anyone at all. While the former may be the case, the latter is certainly not. And if anyone can attest to that, it's Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou).

Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain is a quirky film about a girl who's spent most of her life alone. Curious about the world but never having interfered much with people, she accidentally finds a small box with someone's personal belongings. She decides to find the owner and returns it. From there on out, Amélie's life only gets better.

If this film won't make you laugh it will make you snicker. It will also remind you that there are people out there who've felt the same or similarly, and they ended up alright. Feel-good guaranteed.


5. (500) Days of Summer

Comedy - Drama - Romance (500) Days of Summer is a movie about the relationship between Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel). Jumping back and forth on the timeline, it tells the story of how it began, the good times, the bad times, and how it ended. We see Tom as an absolute mess, and it might hit close to home so you might need your tissues, but you'll have something to relate to. You'll remember that not everyone but you is holding hands and sharing kisses. Additionally, the ending is promising as ever, so basically, what this movie has to tell you, is that you're going to be alright.


6. Don Jon

Comedy - Drama - Romance How could a character that looks like he accidentally escaped Jersey Shore possibly have anything to comfort you with? You'd be surprised.

Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is your typical alpha male character. He works out, he watches pornography, he picks up girls by dozens. One day though he runs into Barbara (Scarlett Johansen) and he decides that he wants her - and no one else. Barbara, on the other hand, isn't so eager. She forces him to take it slow, and from him running after her a relationship comes to be. Eventually, when they do end up sleeping together, he finds it strangely unsatisfying and turns to pornography again. While he doesn't know how to explain, he finds his answer in the most unexpected of places.

Don Jon is a movie that centers around the subject of sex, but if you watch it until the end you'll find that it has a profound message to share. Wait for the surprise.


7. I Give It a Year

Comedy - Romance One of the best ways of getting over something that hurt is not only moving on but being able to laugh at your situation. Laughter puts a lot of things in perspective.

I Give It a Year doesn't deal in false promises. It tells the story of Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) who get married six months into their relationship. At the day of their wedding, Nat is already unbelievably annoyed with Josh and his friends and as time goes Josh finds out Nat is getting on his nerves as well. Here comes the spoiler (skip to next paragraph if you don't want to read it): they do not end up back together, but they're both all the happier for it.

I Give It a Year is basically a slap on the shoulder and a good joke to let you know it's not all as bad as it looks. If that's what you need, this movie is what you should watch.


8. Waiting to Exhale

Drama - Romance When you've really hit rock bottom, maybe all you need to know is that there are people struggling just as hard. Waiting to Exhale is about 4 women looking for love or struggling with it. While one meets a man whom she hopes will be an example to her son, the other gets left by her husband. The brilliant and perhaps most empowering scene in this movie is where Bernadine Harris (Angela Bassett) decides not to be a victim (you'll recognize it).

Waiting to Exhale is not a powerful pick-me-up, but if anything it lets you know that, hey, we've all been there and we came out okay.

(Other stars in this movie: Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine, Lela Rochon.)


9. Dirty Love

Rebecca Sommers (Jenny McCarthy), a photographer whose career won't launch, comes home to find her boyfriend cheating on her. She falls into a hysteric kind of sad, and while her moods change the hysteria lasts throughout the movie. But there's consolation in the end.

Dirty Love may be a bit of an acquired taste, but the strength in it is that it doesn't take itself (or heartbreak) too seriously. If you're a movie snob, or too heartbroken to even think about laughing, or both, skip this one. But if you like to see Jenny McCarthy making a scene, and if you can appreciate a little randomness (and stereotypes), this movie will make you feel better.


10. The Dark Crystal

Animation - Fantasy - Family What does this movie have to do with your situation? Absolutely nothing, but it is one of the best fantasies ever made.

The Dark Crystal is a fantasy movie from 1982, made with puppets. It's about Jen, a Gelfling who lives with the Mystics gets sent on a quest to find a shard of the Dark Crystal. If the crystal isn't whole when all the suns align, the evil Skeksis will rule the world, which is exactly what they've been working towards. On his quest Jen meets all sorts of fascinating characters. He meets Kira, another Gelfling, Aughra, the Keeper of Secrets, and Fizzgig, a little monster with enormous jaws and wild, fuzzy hair.

The Dark Crystal is entertaining and kind for the heart. It's a perfectly innocent movie to lose yourself in and forget about your troubles for a while. Add some popcorn or ice cream, your pajamas and your fluffy slippers, and just allow yourself to be sad. Because, in the end, that's what makes us feel better as well.


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