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How many people do you know that can sincerely say they enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day?
For those in relationships, this annual holiday brings nothing but anxiety. You’ll spend a week worrying about organizing everything (even if you’re only planning one of these Valentine’s Day pranks). And if your significant other ever says they’re skipping the holiday this year you’d better stay on the safe side and get her those flowers.
If you’re single, then it’s a day when you try really hard to not think about how no one is bringing you flowers or asking you out to an overpriced restaurant. So why not grab yourself a glass of wine and watch some anti-romantic films on Netflix instead!
What Netflix Has to Offer
If your idea of a good film for Valentine’s Day is Love Actually then check out our list of the best rom-coms on Netflix. On the other hand, for all of you fed up with this superficial holiday, we’re going to suggest movies that show the other side of love and relationships.
That means no more cheesy rom-coms that set unrealistic expectations. Many of the following films might have unhappy endings, but at least they portray love and romance with honesty.
1. Gerald’s Game (2017)
Perfect for you if… you’re bored on Valentine’s Day.
They say love can kill you. Gerald’s Game takes this saying a little further by illustrating the worst scenario of a romantic getaway.
This chilling Stephen King adaptation is stylish, gripping, and definitely intense. Watch how a passionate role play turns into a nightmare when one partner injures another causing them to have a fatal heart attack. All while being chained to the bed with no key.
Gerald’s Game will easily grab your attention and take your thoughts away from the sadness surrounding being single on Valentine Day. A friendly warning though—you might find yourself having some trust issues after this one.
2. Blue Jay (2016)
Perfect for you if… you’re looking for something a little outside-the-box.
Blue Jay might have an ultimate romantic premise, but don’t be fooled—this one is not your typical cheesy rom-com. It’s a black and white indie dramedy with a truly heartbreaking plot. The leads, Sarah Paulson and Mark Duplass, have incredible chemistry and deliver “the one that got away” story masterfully.
This movie might take you on a trip down memory lane, so do prepare a box of tissues if you’re a sensitive type.
3. Tallulah (2016)
Perfect for you if… you keep finding yourself in self-destructive relationships.
While Tallulah might have a premise of a rom-com, it is, in fact, a comedy-drama. The central theme of this Netflix original is putting platonic love over romantic love. It’s about knowing what’s best for you, leaving bad partners, and building a family in the most unexpected of places.
What makes this movie so realistic is the script based on the writer’s actual experiences. Topped with the standout performances from Allison Janney (Margo) and Elle Page (Tallulah), this is probably the perfect Valentine’s Day movie to watch on your own.
4. The Invitation (2015)
Perfect for you if… you’re looking for proof that your ex is evil.
Want proof that love sucks? The Invitation is just the film for you. This horror-thriller is about broken relationships, grief, depression, and how we cope with life-changing events in the modern world.
If you’re not patient, you might want to skip this one. The Invitation is a bit of a slow burn. But if you’re a fan of the “dinner party from hell” subgenre, this movie is definitely a good fit for you. It’s impossible to say much more without giving away the plot. However, the ultimate takeaway here is to never accept an invitation from your ex.
5. Friends With Kids (2011) [No Longer Available]
Perfect for you if… you’re ready to see how messy love can be in real life.
While Friends with kids might have some romance and a happy ending, you’ll have to sit through a lot of real life mess and relationships gone toxic before you get to it.
Some of the main plot lines include that of two good friends who come up with a somewhat unorthodox parental arrangement and a couple whose marriage is failing so hard it starts to affect other people around them.
6. The Graduate (1967)
Perfect for you if… you’re tired of cheesy Valentine’s Day cliches.
Continuing with the more realistic love stories, our next pick is The Graduate. This movie is a good example of what’s left of romance when reality sets in.
You’re guaranteed to enjoy this all time classic about being young and confused about love and its place in your life. It’s also a great watch if you believe that love and everything we think we know about it is a lie.
7. Atonement (2007) [No Longer Available]
Perfect for you if… you’re looking for a good old-fashioned drama with a twist in the end.
Love sucks. Atonement will give you yet another reason why: jealousy. Jealousy that comes from the most unexpected person in the worst moment of time, which ultimately decides fates of more than just one couple.
What can be a better pick and antidote for the Valentine’s Day cheesiness than a war drama that doesn’t end well?
8. Berlin Syndrome (2017)
Perfect for you if… you’re looking for reassurance that your love life isn’t entirely hopeless, and someone might have it worse.
Ever had a one night stand that you remember with a pinch of regret? Watch Berlin Syndrome to see how things could have turned much worse.
This psychological thriller follows a story of a photojournalist Clare who’s backpacking across Europe. After she hooks up with a seemingly innocent Andi and spends the night at his place, she realizes Andi might see things differently. Things start looking grim when Andi locks Clare up in his apartment making her his captive.
9. 6 Years (2015)
Perfect for you if… you believe that all relationships are doomed.
6 Years is yet another romantic drama on our list about an idyllic relationship turning bad. This time the two lovers are teenagers (Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfeld) who grow up together and begin dating in school.
As one of them nears college graduation, the two start to grow apart. But when you spend that many years together, it becomes difficult to figure out who you are without the other. Watch this relationship turn violent and the two characters face the inevitable end of their romance.
Perfect for you if… you’re up for something a little more scandalous.
This somewhat provocative movie might be not for everyone. But if you’re looking for something to spice up your boring Valentine’s Day, look no further.
Concussion presents a modern take on relationships and make you question whether you can ever know your partner as well as you’d like to. The story revolves around a lesbian housewife who gets knocked out by a baseball and discovers a new side to her personality.
Her newly found sexual desires then push her to become a high-end escort and lead a double life.
What Films Top Your Anti-Valentine’s Watchlist?
There’s nothing wrong with watching romantic movies on Valentine’s Day. Especially if you’re in a relationship or longing to be in one. However, more and more people find themselves looking for something a little different, especially if they’re happily single.
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