ANTI-VALENTINE

 Photo credit  BagoGames ,  license.

Photo credit BagoGames, license.

 
 

For those of us who are not in the mood for hearts and flowers this Valentine's day, here are six anti-valentine films to make you laugh, cry and experience contentment with not feeling the love.

Heathers

Take a trip to the 80s where mean girls don't get more malicious than this. Heathers is the cult black comedy starring Winona forever as Veronica, and a brooding Christian Slater who's young love and teen angst come with a body count. Slater's Romeo has a dark side, and Winona is saccharine sweet and scheming. Together they leave a scarlet trail of destruction that also kills love's young dream.

 Photo credit  Kathrine Anderson

Photo credit Kathrine Anderson

What’s a Baudelaire quoting bad ass like you doing in Sherwood, Ohio?
— Veronica Sawyer

 

Blue Valentine

Come on baby; we’re going to the future
— DEAN

This indie tale of when Dean met Cindy, could not be more bittersweet.  We watch the rise and fall of their hipster love with a series of cross-cuts through time between heady days when love is new to heart-wrenching scenes as it disintegrates. Ryan Gosling, the cool king of brood, does it again and Michelle Williams puts in an Oscar-nominated performance for her part in this tragic love affair. Break out the tissues.

 Photo credit  Raffi Asdourian , wikipedia.

Photo credit Raffi Asdourian, wikipedia.

How do you trust your feelings when they can just disappear like that?
— CINDY

 

Gone Girl 

We weren’t ourselves when we fell in love, and when we became ourselves – surprise! – We were poison. We complete each other in the nastiest, ugliest possible way
— Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

This is the tale of a perfect couple or are they? When his wife disappears without a trace, concerned husband Nick has the sympathy of his family and those watching through the media. But all eyes are on him when truths begin to emerge, and all is not what it seems. Is Nick the unfortunate victim in all of this or a cold-blooded psychopath? And what of his seemingly perfect, missing wife? No date night for these two.

 Photo credit  Lindsay Silveira ,  license.

 

Fatal Attraction

I guess you thought you’d get away with it. Well, you can’t.
— ALEX FORREST

Reminiscent of 70's 'Play Misty for Me' this is one of the definitive stalker movies. After a one night stand, Glenn Close's obsessive psychopath will stop at nothing to keep her lover. Micheal Douglas isn't going to get a happy valentine in this dark and disturbing classic that explores the tragic consequences of desire and deception in moment of weakness. Lock up your bunnies.

 

Ex Machina

What will happen to me if I fail your test?
— AVA

Set in the stunning Juvet Landscape Hotel in the Nordic wilderness (See our Head North article). Ex Machina explores our simultaneous fascination and fear of AI and technology. Caleb, a programmer at an internet company, is invited to the mountain retreat of its CEO. Here he is asked to assess the qualities of true conscious thought in the beautiful and alluring Ava; the first genuinely AI robot. Her beauty and vulnerability capture Caleb's emotions. But how genuinely human can a robot be? Is all love lost in this tale of synthetic passion and intrigue about a cyborg who will do whatever it takes to survive?

 Photo credit  BagoGames ,  license.

Photo credit BagoGames, license.

 

Revolutionary Road

Look at us. We’re just like everyone else. We’ve bought into the same, ridiculous delusion.
— APRIL WHEELER

We've always agreed that when you're tired of London, or New York or Paris for that matter, you're tired of life. Kate and Leo prove us right in this bleak drama about lost dreams and realisations in deepest darkest suburbia. There are no romantic reunions for our protagonists this time. When ambitions for a better life don't materialise, all that's left is suburban monotony and each other. There's nothing for it but to project their dissatisfaction on their closest and dearest. What develops is a marriage of resentment and inconvenience. A cautionary tale for anyone assuming the grass is greener outside of the big smoke.