Cult Culture: Top 10 Anti-Valentine Movies

For our first installment, The Tab trades in the sickly sweet holiday that is Valentine’s Day for something with a little more edge (and bitterness)

The 14th of February- think giant teddy bears, chocolate candy hearts and roses blah blah blah. We don’t mean to sound bitter, for all of you happy coupled up cuties, we congratulate you on finding someone to lavish with sugar (the confectionery kind, and the not so confectionery kind)… But for all you luckless in love/Valentine’s haters, here are our top 10 anti-Valentine movies that don’t end in a ‘cake filled with rainbows and smiles’.

1. Valentine (2001)
Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a good slasher. Our protagonist, Jeremy Melton teaches us a lesson in revenge as he goes after the 5 girls who publicly humiliated him at a high school dance 13 years ago. Enjoy watching a (much) younger Katherine Heigl and Denise Richards being tortured to death in disturbingly creative ways. ‘Roses are red. Violets are blue. They’ll need dental records to identify you.’ Hallmark card coming soon.

2. The Break-Up (2006)
Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn star in this not-so-romantic comedy about the consequences of living with someone after you’ve broken up with them. Awkward. We would say spoiler alert but you’ve already read the title… 

3. Indecent Proposal (1993)
Money can’t buy love. Or can it? A chance meeting in Vegas between a wealthy businessman and a couple who are always dealt the losing hand results in an ethical discussion about the limitations of money. Robert Redford plays the big shot billionaire who offers Woody Harrelson money in exchange for a night with his wife, Demi Moore. What would you do for a million dollars?

4. 500 Days of Summer (2009)
Boy meets bitch (in our opinion anyway) in this unconventional tale about the early stages of a relationship. You’ve no doubt seen this one, but we can’t help sympathising with the not so ideal one-sided love affair. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt is just so darn cute.

5. Jennifer’s Body (2009)
This is your classic tale of cheerleader gone possessed and murderous. After an indie rock band sacrifices her, Megan Fox, the unlikely villain, returns to unleash her wrath on the male population. We know this is weird, but then again, it is Diablo Cody. Who says romance is dead?

6. Brief Encounter (1945)
The movie may be in black and white, but it doesn’t mean that love always is. Bored suburban housewife Laura discovers the true meaning of real love when she meets the idealist Dr. Harvey at a train station. Cue wistful looks across the tearoom and stolen glances from train windows, David Lean’s classic is a British film that has withstood the test of time with good reason.

7. Benny & Joon (1993)
Thought Silver Linings Playbook was an original story? Meet Benny and Joon, two young eccentric/borderline mentally ill individuals who find comfort and understanding within each other. This is the movie that made The Proclaimers’ song ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ famous. As if you need more persuasion to watch it, a youthful Johnny Depp shows impressive sandwich making skills…with an iron. 

8. The Last Kiss (2006)
Put bluntly, this is a film that depicts the repercussions of infidelity. Zach Braff plays the blundering 30-something year old man who, unhinged by his long-term girlfriend’s pregnancy, finds escape in a college girl. For all you indie foreign film buffs, check out the 2001 Italian film upon which this one is based, L’ultimo Bacio. We guess he wasn’t quite finished with the kissing because there is also the 2010 sequel, Baciami Ancora (Kiss Me Again). 

9. The Time Machine (2002)
Watching this at 9 years old was quite an ordeal. It’s definitely no Back to the Future, we can promise you that. Based on the novel of the same name by H.G Wells, devastated mechanics professor (Guy Pearce) makes the ultimate gesture of love when he builds a time machine in a desperate attempt to save his murdered fiancée. Samantha Mumba ( shows she’s a triple threat as Mara, the doctor’s assistant. We think we just found out where the inspiration for Doctor Who came from…

10. American Pie (1999)
You’re lying if you say you didn’t picture sixth form to be just like this. We are in part thankful that it wasn’t, due to the painfully embarrassing situations Jim Levenstein gets himself into, namely making a pact with friends to ‘pop his cherry’… ew. What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than to watch this light-hearted, cringe-inducing depiction of high school drama.

Of course this list is by no means exhaustive, Titanic and the Notebook are after all every girl’s guilty pleasure. We hope you have a loving Valentine’s Day filled with those aforementioned rainbow and smile filled cakes, but if all else fails, just remember that the two most important men in your life are called Ben and Jerry.