Top 10 Breakup Movies

breakup pop art goodbye to romance

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and if the thought of it is making you sick to your stomach, and you need a little break from all the gooey love stuff, or if you have a morbid curiosity about the total *disintegration of a relationship (or of you want to find out about some awesome movies) than this is the list for you.

*Not all the movies listed are total doom and gloom (though some will make you want to crawl under your covers and never leave your bed again), some will at least leave you a little smiley and filled with a tiny bit of hope for the age-old human connection that is love.


Top 10 Breakup Movies


10. The Wedding Singer

the wedding singer breakup movies

Adam Sandler stars in his usual brand of comedy flick with a large dose of 80’s nostalgia and Drew Barrymore sweetness.

It is about a wedding singer who gets left at the alter and unceremoniously dumped. It is a tale about how bitter and hard break-ups are, but how there is always love around the corner.

This is one of those breakup movies that is more depressing/funny with an uplifting ending, rather than depressing, I may drown myself in this tub of ice cream kind of deals.


9. Puccini For Beginners

puccini-for-beginners breakup movies

Allegra, an opera-loving writer in New York, eschews commitment, so her girlfriend, Samantha, leaves her. Allegra misses Sam, and resents the accusation that she’s afraid to say “I love you,” but she’s soon involved with two people – Grace and Philip – who, unbeknownst to her, have just broken up with each other. Allegra juggles the two affairs, telling neither about the other; each likes her more and more as her old fears start making her itchy. 

Allegra is played by the deliciously beautiful Elizabeth Reaser, in this Woody Allen-esque comedy about couples breaking up and trying to make it work with the wrong people. It is an interesting and witty comedy about the many ways to deal with breakups, trying out the bisexual side of things (whether you are straight or lesbian), juggling affairs and the utter collapse of relationships destined to fail.

Breaking up is the starting point for all the main characters in the movie and throughout the aftereffects for each character is thoroughly explored. Leaving some characters accepting the fact that the breakup is actually the way forward and others deciding to make the commitment and move on. There is also a rather heart warming ending.

By the way if at this point you are thinking…’breakup movies…meh! these two have seemed a bit too lovey dovey for that.’ Don’t worry we will be getting to the truly ‘I may never leave my bed again’ films soon.


8. Swingers

Swingers-group-shot breakup movies

A story about a guy who moved to LA from New York and got dumped by his girlfriend of six years (who is still in New York). He is having trouble moving on and so his guy friends decide to teach him how to get back on the scene. 

This is a brilliant film that for once looks at how guys deal with breakups and disses the usual take that after one night they have moved on and are in bed with a new and hotter girl. It instead deals with the depression and the unwillingness to let go that sometimes happens after a relationship (particularly a long-term one).

It  has laugh out loud one-liners, a foxy Heather Graham, some awesome swing dancing and a trip to Vegas – along with an interesting discussion about how long you should really wait before you call a girl back and still seem cool.


7. Annie Hall

annie hall breakup movies

Neurotic comedian meets ditsy and equally neurotic girl.

This is a film that charts the relationship that like most is sometimes wonderful, especially as they seem so well suited and then devolves into a bit of a nightmare. It is a film with a very bittersweet yet surprisingly honest ending.

It is warm, funny and at times a little heartbreaking. It is a movie that shows that some breakups are meant to be and in fact you can indeed sometimes be friends after…


6. High Fidelity

high fidelity breakup movies

Rob, a record store owner and compulsive list maker, recounts his top five breakups, including the one in progress.

From time to time we all recount are previous breakups and this is a movie that does it in spades. I won’t go into the story too much as each breakup has to be seen to be believed. It is an honest and sometimes uncomfortable look at how relationships breakdown. It is one of John Cusack’s finest.


5. The War Of The Roses

the war of the roses breakup moviesThe Roses, Barbara and Oliver, live happily as a married couple. Then she starts to wonder what life would be like without Oliver, and likes what she sees. Both want to stay in the house, and so they begin a campaign to force each other to leave.

This is a film that shows just how nasty to the extreme a divorce can get. It is at times funny, but it is very sad. And the ending is not what you expect. This is proof that there is sometimes no happy ever after. That being said though, this film is an utter classic and is def worth a watch.


4. Revolutionary Road

revolutionary road kate winslet

A young couple living a supposed idyllic life in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s , struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children. Based on a novel by Richard Yates.

Now this is one of those films that leaves you wanting to never leave your bed. The couple played by the lovely Kate Winslet and the seriously talented Leonardo DiCaprio play their parts to perfection. They are believable as two people still chock-full of hopes and dreams who watch them get slowly crushed, sometimes by life and sometimes by each other. There is a desperate kind of honesty that runs through out this film and it shows that sometimes no matter how much you want something, you don’t always get what you want. This one doesn’t have a happy ending either.


3. 500 Days Of Summer

500 days of summer breakup movies

An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn’t believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her.

The movie tells you at the start that this is not a love story and it really isn’t. It is all about unrequited love and that even when you have got the thing that you want, if it is not mutual it will never be truly yours. It shows the battle of power in a relationship and the difference between being a heady romantic and someone who does not believe in love.

It is sad and it is funny and it is also a very modern tale. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in particular does an expert job at playing Tom the romantic madly in love with Zooey Deschanel’s Summer. It also has a very awesome soundtrack. The ending of the film for me is unsatisfying, but that is probably because it is fairly realistic.


2. Blue Valentine

blue valentine ryan gosling

The film centers on a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.

This is an interesting film as it shows the couple (Dean and Cindy convincingly played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams) on the presipice of a complete disintegration of their relationship, interspersed with scenes of romantic hopefulness at the start of their relationship. It shows how two people with difficult pasts who seem to love each other get to the point where they are obviously and depressingly wrong for each other.

This film is not uplifting in the slightest but it is beautiful. It is like watching a storm slowly spiral and take down everything around it. It is depressing and probably won’t be one that you will want to revisit often, but it is one that will stick with you.

The acting, the script, the directing and the camera work are all lush. It is a harshly beautiful film. Just thinking about this film makes me want to reach for the ice cream (Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food…my favourite – there are some things only swirly marshmallow and chocolate fish can cure).


1. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

eternal-sunshine-of-the-spotless-mind-bed and snow

A man, Joel Barish, heartbroken that his girlfriend Clementine underwent a procedure to erase him from her memory, decides to do the same. However, as he watches his memories of her fade away, he realizes that he still loves her, and may be too late to correct his mistake.

This is a fantastic film all about the end of a relationship and that relationship being experienced in reverse through memories that Joel (Jim Carrey) decides to try and cling too when he is wiping his ex, Clementine (Kate Winslet) from his brain. It is surreal, funny and sad and an interesting look at how we retaliate against the ones we love and how we are doomed to make the same mistakes (the ending of this film is a very good example of that).

I love how director, Michel Gondry has pieced this film together. It is a jigsaw puzzle of dreams, memories, harsh realities, love and anger. Plus, how tempting would it be to erase certain people from our memories? I reckon I would maybe give it a try.

Lacuna notification eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

Do you agree with our list? If not what would you put on yours? We’d love to know, so share your choices with us in the comments section. 


Image source: Pop ArtTWS, PFB, S, AH, HF, TWOTR, RR, 5DOS, BVESOTSM 1, 2, 3

Susie McBeth

Susie McBeth is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Nerd Like You.   Susie is a comic book reading, anime loving, superhero obsessed, writer, editor, artist, gamer, occasional supervillain and all round very nerdy girl.   When not working on content for NLY and sneakily fitting in the odd zombie kill, she can be found writing entertainment posts for national news entertainment site The Metro as well as writing guest posts for Bit Rebels and a plethora of other sites (Google will tell you all).   She also writes books - including the recent How to become a Supervillain in 10 easy steps.

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