Back when I was single, I didn’t put too much stock in Valentine’s Day. (I still don’t, really; I’ll probably stay in and watch movies with my boo.) But I also never really did it right, either. One year, I came home from work, opened a bottle of red wine, and watched the 1977 film version of Equus, which had just arrived from Netflix. You know, there’s nothing like a lighthearted movie about a naked teenager murdering horses! It’s quite charming. Another year, after my boyfriend dumped me three days before Valentine’s Day in a Chipotle, I stayed in with a friend (who had recently broken off her engagement) and watched The Departed. Not too cheery!
So please, don’t make the same mistakes I have made. Here are some movies you should probably avoid watching at home alone this Valentine’s Day.
You’d think surviving the Holocaust would be bad enough, but then Meryl Streep’s Sophie comes to America and things don’t really work out so well for her.
Kramer vs. Kramer
Meryl Streep is in a lot of sad movies, although this one does have a precocious child actor in it. Don’t let that fool you!
Do you like genital mutilation? Then sure, go on, watch the movie that perfectly portrays Lars von Trier’s slow decent into madness.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
It’s romantic, sure, but even though it has a somewhat happy ending, Eternal Sunshine is not the kind of thing you’ll want to watch tonight.
First of all, you really have to give yourself a lot of time to get through this one. It’s long and slow. It’s gorgeous, though, but definitely not a feel-good flick.
The Ice Storm
This is the opposite of any movie that made the ’70s look groovy and fun. The clothes are claustrophobic, the mood is tense, and key parties, for the record, are very emotionally complicated!
Celeste and Jesse Forever
Don’t let the familiar funny people in the lead roles fool you: this movie is bleak.
Far From Heaven
Things sucked for women and gay guys even more back in the ’50s, basically.
There’s nothing romantic about this one, unless you consider the love for a crack pipe to be heartwarming.
Requiem for a Dream
Sure, it’s a lively little romp through the perils of addiction, but you might have a nightmare that your Valentine is a rabid fridge monster who wants to eat you.
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