Cinematherapy for Breakups: 20 Movies

Movies as "breakup therapy"...a great idea.

Posted Jun 08, 2011

Movie therapy...just what the doctor ordered.

Some of these movies show you the universality of feelings people go through during a breakup.  Some of them are to show you that life (and love) does go on.  And some of them are just plain silly.

1.  When Harry Met Sally (1989). "He just met her... She's supposed to be his transitional person, she's not supposed to be the ONE. All this time I thought he didn't want to get married. But, the truth is, he didn't want to marry me. He didn't love me."

2.   War of the Roses (1989).  See, it could be worse. 

3.  High Fidelity (2000).   Because who hasn't tortured themselves by thinking about what a great time (you think) your ex is having with their new partner?

4.  The Holiday (2006).  Sometimes you have to let go of the old to welcome in the new. 

5.  Love, Actually (2003).  Ditto.  Also good for coping with unrequited love.  "Enough...enough now."

6.  An Affair to Remember (1957).  To remind you that it may take some time to heal, but you will find love again.

7.  The English Patient (1996). To remind you what a relief it is to no longer have the drama of your relationship.

8.  Under the Tuscan Sun (2003).  Follow your intuition, breakups suck, and you will find love again.  But not always on your terms and timing.   (I confess, I watched this with the captions on and in fast-forward, as I am wont to do.  But still a good movie.)

9.  How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998).   She sets his car on fire, with his clothes in it.  Don't do this.  Instead, pat yourself on the back for handling the breakup well.

10.  Amelie (2001).   To take your mind off of it. 

11.  The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972).  This movie is so surreal and will confuse you so much you'll forget you are even going through a breakup. 

12.  The Princess Bride (1987).   Because your Westley/Buttercup is out there. 

13.  Bruce Almighty (2003).  Because who wouldn't want to have that power to heal a breakup, even for a brief moment, even just a little tiny bit? 

14.  Legally Blonde (2001).  "Oh Warner, do you remember when we spent those four amazing hours in the hot tub together after winter formal?...Well this is so much better than that."

15.  The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964).  Catherine Deneuve.  Singing.  Catherine Deneuve Singing.  Need I say more. 

16.  Sabrina (1954).  To quote House, "As the great philosopher Mick Jagger once said, 'You can't always get what you want.' "  But you get what you need.  Plus it has Audrey Hepburn.  I don't care what your gender, sexual orientation, whatever - everyone falls in love with Audrey Hepburn.

17.  Say Anything (1989).  "I gave her my heart, and she gave me a pen."  

18.  One Fine Day (1996).   You will survive this.  Especially good if you are a single parent. 

19.  Any of your favorite childhood movies.  To help you get back to a time where things just seemed simpler - before all this love and relationship stuff got in the way. 

20.  Anything with Muppets.  Watching Pepe the Shrimp sing "The Gambler" in Muppets from Space (1999) is oddly cathartic.  "I am not a shrimp, I am a KING PRAWN!"  And adopt "Moving Right Along" from The Muppet Movie (1979) as your theme song.

Note:  I know some of you might be saying, "ZOMG!!1!!1  You left off Best Breakup Movie of All Time!!"  I've only listed movies I've seen.  But I am welcome to movie suggestions.  I haven't seen Swingers, Annie Hall, The Break-Up, or The Way We Were. I have read Revolutionary Road, but I haven't seen the movie (the book is devastatingly amazing, by the way).   But I will see these movies pronto.

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