The Best Break-up Movies (Plus One You Should Never Watch!)


Happy Breakup Movies

Breakups are rough, but luckily, there’s a ton of movies that range from happy to sad that will have your back during this tough time. There’s nothing more cathartic than watching a big Hollywood star go through the same things you’re going through. If you’re thinking about throwing a divorce party for yourself or a friend, a breakup movie is a great way to kick the night off. Here is a list of breakup movies that will fit any situation – plus one breakup movie you should never watch!

Happy Breakup Movies

How To Be Single

If there’s one thing that’ll cheer any newly single woman up it’s newly single woman partying it up. The tagline is “if you’re not having fun being single, you’re not doing it right,” so you know you’re in for a wild and fun time. This one stars Dakota Johnson and a hilarious Rebel Wilson, and it’s the perfect movie to enjoy with friends after a heartbreak.

Available to rent on YouTube, iTunes, and Vudu.

Crazy Stupid Love

After Cal (Steve Carrell) finds out that his wife of 25 years (Julianne Moore) has been cheating on him, he is forced to reevaluate his romantic life. He meets the womanizing Jacob (Ryan Gosling), and the two strike up an unexpected friendship as Jacob tries to teach Cal how to pick up women. The movie is filled to the brim with comedy, and it’s incredibly charming to watch Cal regain his confidence and find love once again. The movie also features stars like Kevin Bacon and Emma Stone, and it truly has a little something for everyone. Plus, Gosling and Stone recreate a classic scene from Dirty Dancing AND Gosling is shirtless at one point – that’s something every newly single woman wants to feast her eyes on.

Available to stream on HBO Go or Hulu (with an HBO subscription). For those without HBO, you can rent or buy the movie from Google Play, iTunes, or Vudu.

He’s Just Not That Into You

This one’s a breakup movie classic. The movie stars an ensemble cast, with celebrity favorites like Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Bradley Cooper, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, Ben Affleck and more. Multiple storylines run throughout the film, with each one centering on a breakup or a date gone wrong that ends up opening the door to a new romantic opportunity. It’s got splashes of romance, drama, and comedy. Plus, it’s based on a self-help book, so you know you’re going to walk away with some warm fuzzy feelings that’ll respark some confidence.

Available to stream on Netflix, or to rent or buy from Google Play, iTunes, or Vudu.

Bridesmaids

Sure, Bridesmaids starts off pretty depressing, with our lead Annie (played by Kristen Wiig) going through a series of pretty pathetic mishaps as she prepares for her best friends’ wedding. Annie ends up getting dumped after her bakery business flopped, and now she has to put up a happy front. However, the movie is so funny in its portrayal of Annie’s misery that it’s sure to cheer up anyone going through a breakup. Even if you’re going through the worst time of your life, at least you didn’t make a bunch of people poop their pants at your best friends’ bridal shower, right? Plus, over the course of the movie there’s a bit of romance between Annie and a charming Irish policeman (played by Chris O’Dowd), so it ends on a cheery note.

Available to stream on HBO Go or Hulu (with an HBO subscription). For those without HBO, you can rent or buy the movie from Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, or Vudu.

For A Good Time, Call…

For A Good Time, Call… is a unique little breakup rom-com – instead of our heroine Lauren (Lauren Miller Rogen) getting dumped and then falling in love with a new guy, she ends up starting a phone sex line with her new roommate Katie (Ari Graynor). It’s a great story about personal discovery. The uptight Lauren finally learns to unwind once she meets Katie, and she realizes that her old beau had been holding her back this whole time. On top of all that, the movie is straight-up hilarious and bound to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Available to stream on Starz or Hulu (with an Starz subscription). You can also rent or buy the movie from Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, or Vudu.

Someone Great

After Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) lands her dream job, her boyfriend tragically dumps her. Her best friends are having romantic issues themselves – one is Erin (DeWanda Wise) who cannot admit her true feelings to her girlfriend, and the other is Blair (Brittany Snow), who is afraid to break up with her boyfriend. A fear of commitment permeates the story, but ultimately, the movie is about slowing things down and figuring yourself out. It’s also about the power of friendship and how much your gal pals can help mend your broken heart.

Available to stream on Netflix.

How To Get Over A Breakup

This is a really charming Peruvian film about a copywriter who finds herself suddenly dumped. To cope with the breakup, she starts up a blog and is surprised when it ends up becoming super popular. She explores her newfound popularity by partying with friends, and even finds a bit of new romance along the way. How to Get Over a Breakup is a great story about making the most of your situation and moving on.

Available to stream on Netflix.

Under the Tuscan Sun

If there’s one great way to explore your feelings and find your true self, it’s by traveling. Perhaps you can’t fly out to a foreign country right now, but at least you can watch Under the Tuscan Sun! The movie stars Diane Lane as Frances, a recently divorced writer whose husband had been cheating on her. She winds up losing the house in the divorce and, to add insult to injury, finds out that her ex has impregnated a much younger lover. In order to cope, her best friend Patti (Sandra Oh) urges Frances to take a soul-seeking trip to Tuscany. Here, she buys a villa and starts remodeling it, thus finding purpose in her life once again. Along the way, she meets new friends and even helps a young couple get married. Oh, and she finds a little new love herself, too!

You can rent or buy the movie from Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, or Vudu.

Sad Breakup Movies

Sad Breakup Movie

 

The Last Five Years

Based on a Broadway musical, The Last Five Years is a musical that tracks the crumbling marriage of Cathy and Jamie, played by Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. The movie actually begins with their divorce and then travels backwards to the day they first met. Each bit of their relationship is described via song, and while there are plenty of sweet moments, it’s mostly pretty dang depressing. The music is excellent, though, and there is sure to be a song in here that will really hit home and get the waterworks going.

The Last Five Years is free (with ads) on Tubi TV. You can also rent or buy from the Google Play store, iTunes Store, or Vudu.

Scenes from a Marriage

Ingmar Bergman’s classic, Scenes from a Marriage, might be the ultimate gut-punch breakup movie. Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson turn out incredible performances as Marianne and Johan. The couple slowly falls apart after Johan starts to have an affair, and we get glimpses of every brutal moment of their crumbling relationship. Originally, this was aired on television, but was later adapted and re-cut into a film. For any cinephiles looking to get out a good cry, this one’s the perfect film.

This one is available on the Criterion Channel’s streaming service, Kanopy, and via HBO Max. You can also rent via Google Play, YouTube, or iTunes.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This might be the ultimate breakup movie. It dares to ask, “what if you could just erase your memory of your ex? Would it be worth it?” Follow Joel, played brilliantly by Jim Carrey, as he falls deep into his own mind and slowly watches the memories of his ex Clementine (Kate Winslet) fade away. He starts to realize that he doesn’t want to forget about the love they shared after all, no matter how painful it might be for him to remember. It won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay, and for good reason – it tackles just about every heartbreaking aspect of romance and regret, and even blends multiple genres like thriller and mystery into the story. It’s a must-watch, but only if you’re ready to tackle some serious topics after your breakup.

You can stream this via Netflix. It’s also available for rent via Amazon, Fandango, Vudu, and Google Play.

Blue Valentine

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star as Dean and Cindy, a couple whose marriage is on the rocks. It follows their relationship in a non-linear fashion, jumping around from when they first meet to the tragic end of their marriage. To make the movie even more upsetting, the couple raise a child together (though the father of the child is not Dean). It tackles heavy themes and packs an emotional punch, but it’s worth a watch – the movie met with universal acclaim when it came out in 2010.  A haunting and heart-wrenching score from the indie band Grizzly Bear serves as the cherry on top for this depressing yet cathartic movie.

Blue Valentine is streaming on Showtime, and is also available to rent via Redbox, Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes.

Silver Linings Playbook

This one is another Oscar winning tearjerker. Bradley Cooper plays the bipolar and somewhat delusional Pat, who is determined to somehow win back his wife. He meets the widowed Tiffany, who has some mental health issues herself. The two begin spending time together, and Tiffany convinces Pat to enter a dance competition with her. Some scenes are pretty brutal – these two have a LOT of issues to work out, and though they help each other cope, it takes quite some time before either of them can healthily spend time with one another. There are some silver linings to the story, hence the name, but it still focuses on some really heavy and depressing themes.

Silver Linings Playbook is streaming on Netflix, and is also available to rent via Fandango, Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes.

(500) Days of Summer

This movie is a mixed bag emotionally. There are some really charming bits of romance here between Tom (Joseph Gordan-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel), but they all end up becoming depressing by the end. This is a breakup movie, after all. The movie follows the couple’s relationship in a non-linear fashion, and examines what went wrong between the two of them. It focuses on the way Tom idealized Summer and projected a lot onto her, which ultimately led to their breakup. It ultimately ends on a positive note for Tom, with the promise of new love for the future, but it’s still a really tough movie about coming to terms with the loss of the person you truly believed was “The One.”

Available to stream on Starz or Hulu (with an Starz subscription). You can also rent or buy the movie from Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, or Vudu.

Like Crazy

Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones star in this romantic drama about a British exchange student (Anna) who falls for an American student (Jacob). The two embark on a long-distance relationship after Anna is denied a student visa and can no longer stay in America. They try to make things work, but ultimately, the distance puts far too big a strain on their relationship. To make things even sadder, the movie is super realistic – most of the performance was improvised to make everything seem as natural as possible. Since you can believe in the story thanks to the strong performances, it makes the couple’s eventual downfall hurt that much more.

Like Crazy is streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Empowering Breakup Movies

Empowering Breakup Movies

 

Nappily Ever After

A popular movie trope is having a scorned woman shave her hair and start her life anew. That’s exactly what happens in Nappily Ever After – Violet (Sanaa Lathan) starts a new life for herself after having other people dictate how she should wear her hair her whole life. She breaks up with her boyfriend, Clint (Ricky Whittle), and after a few drunken hookups, she shaves her head. At first she’s horrified with what she’s done, but then she learns to find confidence in her new look and to ditch the people who have tried to make her straighten her natural hair her whole life. It’s a great movie about loving yourself and not letting your old significant others (or your parents!) dictate how to live your life.

Available for streaming on Netflix.

Legally Blonde

Does it get any more empowering than watching Elle Woods get dumped and then head to Harvard and become a lawyer? Reese Witherspoon puts on a great performance in this excellent chick flick, and it has plenty of classic breakup moments like Elle eating chocolates and throwing them at her screen while watching a romance movie. Not only does Elle turn out to be a great lawyer, but she also learns that she has nothing to prove to her old ex.

Streaming on Hoopla and Sling, and is also available to rent via Google Play, Amazon, Fandango, and Vudu.

John Tucker Must Die

If you’re newly single because your ex was a cheating jerk, this movie is the one for you. This 2006 teen rom-com is about a group of girls who have all been cheated on by their school’s basketball star, John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe). They recruit Kate (Brittany Snow) and plan to get John to fall in love with her so that they can publicly humiliate him. It’s super cathartic, and it’s a great reminder that you can get through any bad breakup with the help of a few friends who have been through the same thing.

Available to stream on HBO Go or Hulu (with an HBO subscription). For those without HBO, you can rent or buy the movie from Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, or Vudu.

Eat Pray Love

Nothing makes a gal feel more empowered than watching Julia Roberts discover herself in this movie. Roberts plays Elizabeth Gilbert, a newly divorced woman who chooses to risk it all to change the path her life is on. The movie follows her as she travels to Italy (to eat), India (to pray) and Indonesia (to love). It’s based on a true story, too, so it gives single ladies a little hope that one day, they can find a little inner peace across the globe themselves.

Streaming with ads on ImDB TV, and is also available to rent via Google Play, Amazon, Fandango, and Vudu.

Breakup Movies For Men

Breakup Movies For Men

The Wedding Singer

Believe it or not, Adam Sandler brings the sap in this 1998 romance. He plays Robbie, a wedding singer who has just been left at the altar. Frustrated, he aims to give up singing at weddings all together until a waitress named Julia (played by Drew Barrymore) convinces him to press onwards. Over time, he falls for Julia and learns that her fiance is a huge cad. He then makes it his mission to save her from a sad marriage. It’s a cute romance that has a little something for everyone.

The Wedding Singer is currently streaming on FreeForm.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

This comedy stars Jason Segel, Mila Kunis, Russel Brand, and Kristen Bell. It focuses on Peter, a lovable schlub who has just been dumped by Sarah Marshall (Bell). To try and forget her, Peter leaves to take a vacation in Hawaii…only to run into Sarah and her new man, the rock star Aldous Snow. Lucky for Peter, though, he finds new romance with Rachel (Kunis). Filled to the brim with raunchy jokes and charming bits of romance, this is a perfect movie for any guy who just got his heart broken.

Streaming on Hulu, and available for rent via Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, and Fandango.

Swingers

This earlier collaboration from Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn is a sweet little movie about cheering up a brokenhearted bro. After Mike (Favreau) gets dumped by his longtime girlfriend, his buddy Trent (Vaughn) surprises him with a trip to Las Vegas to get him out of his funk. And no, the movie isn’t about THAT kind of swinger, but instead about swing music. It’s a charming and funny movie with a great soundtrack to boot.

Available to stream on HBO Go or Hulu (with an HBO subscription) and streaming on Hoopla. For those without HBO, you can rent Swingers via Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, or Vudu.

Conclusion

All these movies really hit home when it comes to breaking up. There’s a little bit of truth in every one, and anyone who has been dumped will find something to relate to in these movies. We look to breakup movies to learn more about ourselves and to figure out how to cope. Does life mimic art, or does art mimic life? Who knows, but for now, just kick back and get some ice cream to go with these breakup movies!

 

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