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Love Hurts: The Depressing Valentine's Day Film Festival

by twistedthursday
Love Hurts: The Depressing Valentine's Day Film Festival by twistedthursday
In other words, a list of depressing movies you should watch on Valentine’s Day. There are only two possible outcomes from this: (1) you feel even more depressed about love, or, (2) you are grateful that you’re single ‘cause by the time you are done with most of these films, you’ll know, love equals suffering. But then again, it’s so worth it sometimes. Happy suffering! Valentine’s Day is approaching. Most people are already planning their activities in the infamous corporate holiday. Some of those people might be planning to catch a movie or two for the celebration of love, myself included. Most people, though, would be planning to catch… Read more

In other words, a list of depressing movies you should watch on Valentine’s Day.
There are only two possible outcomes from this: (1) you feel even more depressed about love, or, (2) you are grateful that you’re single ‘cause by the time you are done with most of these films, you’ll know, love equals suffering. But then again, it’s so worth it sometimes. Happy suffering!


Valentine’s Day is approaching. Most people are already planning their activities in the infamous corporate holiday. Some of those people might be planning to catch a movie or two for the celebration of love, myself included. Most people, though, would be planning to catch a romantic movie that celebrates the very same thing that the day means to celebrate: love. I, however, have a slightly different idea.

To welcome Valentine’s Day of this year, I have come up with a list of 8 films that also deal with the subject of love, though not on its most flattering light. I call it The Depressing Valentine’s Day Film Festival, which only means that the movies I have picked out are absolutely and positively depressing in their most unique ways. I don’t actually know if I am going to be able to do this marathon, but you are welcome to try. These movies are, in my personal opinion, excellent, and though at times depressing, offer fascinating views of our existence. If you haven’t seen these (or some of these) yet, you have to see it, Valentine’s Day or not. Alright, here we go!


Amour (2012, dir. Michael Haneke, 127 minutes)


“It’s beautiful.”
“What?”
“Life.”

This 2012 release had everyone losing their breath when it came out and caused a storm between film enthusiasts. Some really loved it, some couldn’t live with it. I’ve heard people saying though they thought the film was great, they would never revisit it again, at least anytime soon. It is that traumatic and it is that brutal emotionally. If you can tolerate the pacing that is quite slow, you are in for the most emotionally torturing 127 minutes of your cinema experience. But I’d say, it’s so worth it because it is a great one. (Also, bonus point for you if after this film, you’d check out Emanuelle Riva in another great one, Hiroshima, mon amour [1959, dir. Alain Resnais]).



Revolutionary Road (2008, dir. Sam Mendes, 119 minutes)


“If being crazy means living life as if it matters, then I don’t mind being completely insane.”

Ah, this movie. It might be a true portrayal of what it would be like if Rose and Jack from Titanic ever ended up together. It’s all pretty and normal and good at first, but it gets ugly in the end. Frank and April Wheeler are the perfect young couple, but they both keep very dark secrets about each other, which is their obsession of finding happiness, but alas, they are not meant to find it. Like Titanic, the film contains undeniable chemistry between Kate and Leo, but this one is sort of the more mature, more insane version. Before the sour ending, look out for a scene in which the two main characters are having their last breakfast together and trying to act as if everything is fine. Powerful scene.



Les parapluies de Cherbourg (1964, dir. Jacques Demy, 91 minutes)

“…but, my love, don’t leave me.”

This one is full of colours, and singing, and pretty people. The depressing part is SPOILER the main couple never actually ended up together. And for me, the most heartbreaking part of all, only one of them is happy without the other, meanwhile that other is left wondering what it would be like had they gotten together. Ah, I can’t really explain, just see this one for yourself. Yes it’s French, and singing all the time, but you’ll get used to that.



Blue Valentine (2010, dir. Derek Cianfrance, 112 minutes)

“I’m so out of love with you. I’ve got nothing left for you, nothing, nothing. Nothing, there is nothing here for you.”

This one left me out of breath for about 10 seconds after it ended the first time I watched it. It’s so raw, so brutal. Like a slap in the face that you expected. You know it’s coming, but you didn’t know it would hurt that much. I especially love this one because it tells you the condition at the beginning of the relationship and at the end, and nothing in between. It almost tells you to work it out for yourself, or don’t, because some things just end. No question about it.



The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939, dir. H.C. Potter, 93 minutes)

Surprised? Well, I had to put something Old Hollywood. I know, I know. From all the films I could’ve picked, I went with an Astaire/Rogers film. I just couldn’t get away from them, could I? I’ve got good reasons to put this film on this list. I know it isn’t as heavy as the other stuffs I’ve put so far, but this one is as heartbreaking as any. For the first time, Fred and Ginger didn’t end up quite so happily. You gotta see it for yourself to find out how. Just enjoy this one—the last partnership between Fred and Ginger under the RKO name. And they didn’t make another film together for the next 10 years. It’s good. Trust me.



Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013, dir. Abdellatif Kechiche, 179 minutes)

“I miss you. I miss not touching each other. Not seeing each other, not breathing in each other. I want you. All the time. No one else.”

Heard this one yet? Oh, nothing much, just one of the most talked about films from Cannes last year. Mostly it’s talked about because its portrayal of lesbian romance, and even more, graphic lesbian sex. I have to admit, I saw it to see what the fuss is all about, but then I encountered one of the most emotionally engaging love stories ever put on screen. The film touches on the subject of co-dependency like no other. I can’t help but wonder if I was witnessing something that I would experience myself once I dwell on this thing we call relationship. Ah well, I’m getting too personal. Watch this!



The Bridges of Madison County (1995, dir. Clint Eastwood, 135 minutes)

“This kind of certainty comes but just once in a lifetime.”

This one is one of my most favourites. It is an unlikely love story between a travelling photographer and a suburban wife whose husband and children are leaving town for only four days. And in those short four days, the most fascinating romances I have had the pleasure of knowing occurs. From the very first moment, we knew these would never end up together, but you can’t help rooting for them. You want her to leave with him. You want them to be together. But… ah, see the film to find out.



Love Me If You Dare (2003, dir. Yann Samuell, 93 minutes)

“Tell me that you love me first because I’m afraid that if I tell you first you’ll think that I’m playing the game.”

This other French goodie features a real-life would-be couple of Marion Cotillard and Guillame Canet, and boy, do they make a great couple. I can’t actually talk a lot about this one, because I am so due a revisit very soon as well, but I recommend it a lot for those who like their romance with a slight touch of insanity. That ending!



Alright, that is for my program for this Valentine’s Day. It didn’t become as depressing as I thought it would. Please let me know if any of you decide to pick something to watch out of this list, I would love to know! Have a beautiful love day, people! Read less