Movies: 32 Films NOT to watch on Valentine’s Day
If you’re hoping to impress your loved one with a movie on Valentine’s Day, you’ll no doubt have to choose wisely.
Consequently, we’ve compiled the following convenient list of films to avoid until death do you part.
Unless of course, you’re secretly planning to deliberately break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, in which case, go right ahead and watch them.
So sit back and recollect a series of (mostly) fantastic anti-romance films, and let us know if we’ve forgotten anything in the comments.
1. Scenes from a Marriage
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Starring: Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Gunnel Lindblom.
Premise: An intimate look at a the gradual disintegration of a married couple’s relationship.
Why it’s not romantic: Statistics illustrated that, in the period immediately after the film’s release, there was a significant increase in the Scandinavian divorce rate.
2. Knocked Up
Director: Judd Apatow
Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd.
Premise: A one-night stand between an ambitious young journalist and an irresponsible slacker leads to an unwanted pregnancy.
Why it’s not romantic: The two lead characters are completely ill-suited for one another, and of course, not forgetting the all-too-graphic pregnancy scene.
Director: Gaspar Noé
Starring: Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel.
Premise: A nightmarish day experienced by a young man named Marcus is presented in reverse chronological order.
Why it’s not romantic: Because unless you’re a very depraved person, watching an intensely violent film is no way to spend Valentine’s Day with a loved one.
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Director: Michel Gondry
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson.
Premise: A world-weary young man discovers that his ex-girlfriend has had all memories of their relationship wiped, owing to an innovative new procedure.
Why it’s not romantic: It focuses largely on the perils rather than the virtues of romantic relationships.
Director: Lars von Trier
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland.
Premise: A troubled young woman’s state of mind grows increasingly gloomy amid an apocalyptic backdrop.
Why it’s not romantic: It essentially features the type of wedding people have nightmares about attending, let alone having.
6. Valentine’s Day
Director: Garry Marshall
Starring: Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway.
Premise: The differing fortunes of a number of characters’ relationships play out over the course of the eponymous holiday.
Why it’s not romantic: It’s so saccharine and contrived in its portrayal of romance that only the most vacant of lovers will enjoy it.
7. Fatal Attraction
Director: Adrian Lyne
Starring: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer.
Premise: The woman that a married man has a one-night stand with subsequently develops an unhealthy obsession with him.
Why it’s not romantic: It’s about a man who falls for a psychopath. Duh!
8. Natural Born Killers
Director: Oliver Stone
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore.
Premise: A young couple go on the run while committing a series of violent murders in the process.
Why it’s not romantic: To say it’s difficult to warm to the protagonists – two madly-in-love serial killers – is an understatement.
Director: Carlos Reygadas
Starring: Alejandro Ferretis, Magdalena Flores, Yolanda Villa.
Premise: A suicidal man finds solace in a peaceful and remote village.
Why it’s not romantic: It contains possibly the worst sex scene ever filmed.
10. Last Tango in Paris
Director: Bernard Bertolucci
Starring: Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Maria Michi.
Premise: A middle-aged American begins a sadomasochistic relationship with a young French woman.
Why it’s not romantic: The ‘get the butter’ line springs to mind.
Director: Michael Curtiz
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid.
Premise: Rick, a freedom-fighter-turned-nightclub-owner falls back in love with a woman who deserted him amid the Nazi invasion of Paris. Despite previous plans to escape to America, she’s eager to stay with Rick in Casablanca.
Why it’s not romantic: Because it’s set in a world in which true love appears to be doomed and invariably prompts more despair than joy.
12. He’s Just Not that into You
Director: Ken Kwapis.
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Morgan Lily.
Premise: A bar owner gives dating advice to a young woman who is frustrated at the mixed signals she is receiving from guys.
Why it’s not romantic: It seems fairly self-explanatory on account of the movie’s title.
13. Shaun of the Dead
Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield.
Premise: After being dumped by his girlfriend, an electronics store employee’s mundane life takes a turn for the worst when zombies start to attack his local area.
Why it’s not romantic: Simon Pegg’s character’s idea of a perfect date encompasses a quiet night at the pub.
14. The Piano Teacher
Director: Michael Haneke
Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Annie Girardot, Benoît Magimel.
Premise: An eminent music teacher begins to engage in increasingly bizarre sexual behaviour.
Why it’s not romantic: The fact that there is a very high probability that you will feel physically sick after watching it.
Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge.
Premise: A sex addict tries to lead a conventional life in spite of his dark desires.
Why it’s not romantic: Oh, I dunno… Maybe the fact that it’s a movie about SEX ADDICTION!
16. Annie Hall
Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts.
Premise: A neurotic New Yorker analyses his rocky relationship with an uptight young woman.
Why it’s not romantic: Who wants to watch the study of a failed relationship on Valentine’s Day?
17. (500) Days of Summer
Director: Marc Webb.
Starring: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend.
Premise: An aspiring architect becomes besotted with a secretary who has just moved into his work place.
Why it’s not romantic: The occasional compulsion of the characters to shout ‘penis’, coupled with the fact that Zooey Deschanel’s character is entirely unloveable.
18. Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Director: Jean Cocteau
Starring: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély.
Premise: A merchant is set to be punished with death for picking a rose in the beast’s garden, until his daughter offers to take his place.
Why it’s not romantic: The moment at the end when (spoiler alert!) the beast turns back into a human and the merchant’s daughter seems vaguely disappointed by his appearance.
19. Fight Club
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter.
Premise: A chronically bored businessman is inspired by his enigmatic new friend to set up a ‘fight club,’ in order to give his life purpose again.
Why it’s not romantic: It’s a love story, albeit a highly unusual one between two men who continually feel the need to beat the crap out of one another.
Director: Jean-Luc Godard.
Starring: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger.
Premise: A petty criminal and a wayward American girl form an intimate relationship, as they attempt to evade the French authorities.
Why it’s not romantic: The fact that the male protagonist refers to his romantic interest as ‘a bitch’ amid the conclusion.
21. No Country for Old Men
Directors: The Coen brothers
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin.
Premise: A Vietnam veteran goes on the run after discovering and subsequently stealing two million dollars in the desert.
Why it’s not romantic: The film is largely lacking a female presence and thus, there’s barely a hint of romance.
22. Eyes Wide Shut
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Todd Field.
Premise: A wealthy-but-troubled couple’s excessive lifestyle goes increasingly out of control.
Why it’s not romantic: It’s quite possibly one of the reasons why Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise broke up in real life, given the trauma they invariably have to face as a couple in Stanley Kubrick’s final work.
Director: Seth MacFarlane.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane.
Premise: A young man begins to fear that his companion since childhood – a living teddy bear – is holding him back in life.
Why it’s not romantic: The protagonist is usually more interested in befriending Flash Gordon actors than attending to the needs of his girlfriend.
24. Team America
Director: Trey Parker
Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Elle Russ.
Premise: A group of American adventurers undergo a mission to rid the world of terrorism.
Why it’s not romantic: Unless your idea of love involves copious projectile vomiting and numerous Matt Damon references, this is not the movie to watch with your other half.
25. The Triumph of the Will
Director: Leni Riefenstahl
Starring: Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Max Amann.
Premise: The filming of the 1934 Nazi Party Convention, in which Adolf Hitler is portrayed in a Godlike manner.
Why it’s not romantic: The prospect of watching a two-hour documentary about Nazis isn’t exactly a turn on, no matter how masterfully it’s shot.
26. There’s Something About Mary
Directors: The Farrelly brothers.
Starring: Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon.
Premise: A frustrated young man hires a private detective to track down the girl he had an enormous crush on in high school.
Why it’s not romantic: Three words: the zipper scene.
27. Revolutionary Road
Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Christopher Fitzgerald.
Premise: A young couple begin to realise that the idealistic plans they had at the start of their relationship are not being fulfilled.
Why it’s not romantic: See the reason given for Annie Hall, although at least that had some laughs.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Diane Baker.
Premise: A compulsive thief is blackmailed into marrying her boss when he witnesses her breaking into his safe.
Why it’s not romantic: It’s one of the many films where Hitchcock’s troubled relationship with the opposite sex is readily apparent.
Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser.
Premise: A Belgian manicurist living with her sister in London gradually begins to suffer a mental breakdown, owing to her increasing sense of isolation and ostensible fear of members of the opposite sex.
Why it’s not romantic: Catherine Deneuve’s character seems to have acquired a phobia of sex.
Director: Larry Charles
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Luenell.
Premise: The Kazakh Ministry of Information sends one of its citizens to America, in order to gain a greater insight into the country’s culture.
Why it’s not romantic: Hairy and unfit naked men wrestling does not exactly make the heart swoon.
31. The Matrix
Director: The Wachowski brothers.
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss.
Premise: A computer jockey’s life is changed when he is informed by a mysterious acquaintance that none of what he witnesses is real.
Why it’s not romantic: Let’s face it, if you’re the type of person who feels compelled to watch The Matrix on Valentine’s Day, you’re probably not going to have a girlfriend in the first place.
32. Leaving Las Vegas
Director: Mike Figgis
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands.
Premise: An alcoholic failed screenwriter forms an unlikely bond with a prostitute who is concerned by his relentless drinking.
Why it’s not romantic: The protagonist ultimately loves alcohol more than the object of his affection and life itself.