Are you spending this Valentine’s Day alone? Well, fear not, and trust me when I say that sometimes a single life is so much safer. Don’t believe me? Well, you will after perusing these films. Each one is handpicked to ensure you breathe a sigh of relief for your sublime single life. So why not grab a big box of chocolates, a glass of your favourite drink and settle in for a night of hassle-free, non-commital bliss.
Meet Joe Black (1998)
Here’s a tricky one for you, you meet the man of your dreams (hell, anyone’s dreams!) in a coffee shop. One thing leads to another, and you soon find yourself engrossed in conversation with the said young man even though you are promised to another far more dull fellow. But on departing each others company, the random meeting leads no further until the man appears mysteriously at your father’s side. But, unlike your first meeting, he now carries a mysterious air and the emotional wonder of a child. And even more strange, he follows your father wherever he goes; one part mentor and one part mentee.
Now, what you don’t know is that the strange boyish man in your presence is, in fact, death. That’s right, death! Unfortunately, the man you met in the coffee shop didn’t look twice while crossing the road on leaving (a fatal mistake). But, death saw an opportunity for life by stealing the sexy guy’s body, with a mission to experience love. At this point, most sane people would run a mile, but death has a plan to have his wicked way with Susan. A project that involves a secret deal with her father (Anthony Hopkins); with death allowing the gorgeous coffee shop boy (Brad Pitt) to come back if Hopkins takes his place.
Of course, Susan knows nothing of this plan; she wouldn’t enter into romantic liaisons with someone dead if she did, would she? And even when poor Susan finds out, Brad Pitt’s smouldering good looks prove more irresistible than the love she has for her father. But, one thing is for sure, Susan’s life would have been so much simpler if she had remained single.
The Loved Ones (2009)
Do you remember those innocent school days of romance and making-out behind the bike sheds? Well, The Loved Ones is about to pour petrol over all those memories before dancing around the roaring fire. If there’s one film that will have you thanking the heavens for single life, it’s this one. After all, it’s a gruesome Aussie tale of sexual obsession, psycho parents and lobotomies. If that’s not enough to have you regurgitating your heart-shaped chocolates, I don’t know what is!
Sean Byrne’s movie is a hidden gem and a deliciously twisted one at that. The traditional high school prom turned on its head in a blaze of blood, drills and trauma, with the quiet and edgy Lola Stone finally finding her perfect date in the form of Brent (Xavier Samuel). However, this date is more than a bit strained. After all, no date should start with ropes, nails and paper hats. So hit the lights, pour a drink and thank god there isn’t a deranged teenage serial killer watching your every move.
READ MORE: BOY MEETS BOY
Weird Science (1985)
The average teenage boy spends at least two years locked in their bedroom, slowly working their way through a years supply of Kleenex tissues while dreaming of sex. Of course, many will accuse me of simple stereotypes in this statement, but any man reading this knows it to be true.
Many sexual ideas that swim around the young male mind are based on pure fantasy, and it’s here where John Hughes sublime 80s comedy hits all the right notes in all the right places. Weird Science reminds us of youth’s innocence while reflecting an eternal truth; our teenage dreams are often far more exciting than reality. So why not take a trip back to those innocent days before internet porn and dating apps. Days where sex and desire needed imagination and more than a bit of creativity. After all, sometimes fantasy and escape are far better and safer than reality. Here Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly may harness magic in making the perfect woman, but really they just need a good cuddle.
READ MORE: PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES
The Beach (2000)
Do you remember the sense of invulnerability that followed you like a shadow during your late teens and twenties? This sense of adventure, opportunity and sexuality sits at the core of Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Alex Garland’s novel. However, The Beach also has a dark heart, as it follows our intrepid young backpacker Richard from innocence and escapism to entrapment and isolation. Here Richard’s journey encapsulates various themes, varying from tourism to community and belonging. But The Beach is at its strongest when exploring sex, deception and relationships.
Here, the phrase “two’s company, three’s a crowd” reigns supreme as the complicated and hormonal friendship between Richard, Françoise, and Étienne leads to individual destruction. The result is a film that gloriously unpicks the dangers of love, sex and belonging in a metaphorical garden of Eden.
I Love You to Death (1990)
Let me start by setting the scene; a man meets a woman, and they fall madly in love and open a pizza restaurant together. However, the woman is unaware that the man also has a plethora of other female lovers – the man’s love of pizza and pasta delivery, venturing far beyond the normal realms of customer service. This is the backdrop of Lawrence Kasdan’s deliciously dark comedy about marriage, murder and pasta.
Loosely based on the 1983 trial of Frances Toto, a woman who repeatedly tried to kill her husband. Kasden brings together a truly sublime cast with Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, Joan Plowright, River Phoenix, William Hurt, and Keanu Reeves. His movie, exploring themes of revenge, love, coercion and forgiveness in a comedy that proves marriage can indeed be murder. So, why not enjoy this comedy classic with a glass of wine and a take out pizza. But whatever you do, don’t invite the pizza delivery guy to join you on the sofa.
READ MORE: BYE BYE MORONS
Poor Leo doesn’t have much luck in love. After all, he finds himself the third spoke in a complicated love wheel in The Beach and then meets a lovely rich girl on a doomed ship. It is fair to say that Leo should have remained a charming, single bachelor in both cases. However, hindsight is, of course, a frustrating and deeply unhelpful thing. Anyway, back to the ship in question, of course, the RMS Titanic. Here young Leo’s character, Jack, is an aspiring artist working his way back to America after a stint painting prostitutes in Paris. But one fateful night, he meets the depressed Rose (Kate Winslett), and his life takes a decidedly deadly turn.
The pair become acquainted through Rose attempting suicide, not the best introduction, as I am sure you will agree. Anyway, Jack saves her life and sees an opportunity to make mini Jack’s. However, once again, I digress, as, before this, we have a sweet little romance that includes some sketching, spitting and dancing before a heated back seat shag. By the time the dreaded iceberg comes into view, the two are inseparable despite the snobbery and hate surrounding Jack’s presence. Therefore, it is all the more depressing that as the ship goes down, Jack saves Rose while his own skinny twink body falls foul to the icy depths of the Atlantic. This leaves us with two big questions, the first is the size of the floating door that Rose hogs, and the second is whether Jack would have stood more of a chance on his own? I will leave you to consider the answers.
READ MORE: THE OUTLAWS
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