Love sucks: Unromantic films to get you through Valentine’s Day

Let me tell you a little story. In Rome, a few centuries ago there was a priest and a ruler. The ruler didn’t like the fact that nobody was enlisting in the army because they were all happy in love and married. So he got rid of marriage. The priest, upset by this, performed ‘illegal’ weddings. When the priest was found out, he was stoned and beaten with clubs. That didn’t quite kill him so they lopped off his head. And that’s why we celebrate St.Valentine’s Day…

Love sucks. (Technically it’s just that bastard ruler that sucked and love is awesome but I needed an opening bitter paragraph to help with what follows).

In response to finding out this grim story, I’ve decided to compile a list of the most depressingly bleak anti-love films I can. Watch one or more of these and I can pretty much guarantee you won’t be canoodling by a fire, surrounded by flowers and oversized teddies and shit chocolates. If canoodling and chocolate teddies wasn’t on the cards at all, then these should help you just not care.

9. Irreversible


For many the most upsetting thing will be the eight-minute long ‘subway attack’ featuring the most horrific piece of celluloid this side of Vanilla Ice’s ‘Cool as Ice’. When you couple this with the mantra of the film that ‘time destroys everything’, you’re left with a downer of a film that would kill the spirit of the most romantic Romeo.

8. Requiem For A Dream

As in love as Harry (Jared Leto) and Marion (Jennifer Connelly) are, they can’t quite compete with their mutual love of smack. Not only does Jennifer sell her body to pay for her habit, her boyfriend has his arm cut off and left to fester in prison, safe in the knowledge that his one true love is turning tricks. So if you are alone this February the 14th, try heroin.

7. Teeth

Not the most unromantic film, but it certainly is the one to put on if you’re worried about the lack of rumpy pumpy in your life. A few shots of severed members falling out of the heroine’s lady bits was enough to keep Sgt. Nicholls down for several days.

6. Gozu


Similarly the manic, yet quite hilarious, Takeshi Miike film was enough to help me through a period of unintentional celibacy. Opening with a dog being repeatedly beaten to death the film gets progressively more distasteful as a Yakuza boss pleasures himself anally with a ladel, a Minotaur-like creature clad in underwear tongues the hero and a fully grown man climbs out of a woman’s vagina, midst intercourse. Lovely.

5. Kids

Children can be very cruel. But some of these Kids, they are fucking assholes. With a “plot” that sees a teenage sk8er boi setting out to deflower as many virgins as possible, the potential this film has for limiting your libido is endless. To say it’s realistic would be to have a bleaker outlook on life than Dick Cheney, but thinking like the ex-VP may be the only way to survive a day of such overly naive romanticism.

4. Dangerous Liaisons

Even back in the 18th century people were playing with other people’s hearts like rabid dogs play with small children. As two individuals you wouldn’t find in a Nora Ephron movie, Glenn Close and John Malkovich are deliciously horrid as they toy with the feelings of Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman and a particularly wet Keanu Reeves. That there is some redemption for Malkotraz spoils things a little, so just put the first half on repeat and all will be fine.

3. The Die Hard Quadrilogy

Not only is it the perfect ‘boys entertainment’ it also has one of the most dislikeable female characters ever in Holly Gennaro. Seriously, what is her fucking problem? “Woe is me, my man is married to his job”, Thank holy fucking Christ he is! Otherwise you and your ‘suits’ would be at the bottom end of a skyscraper in little yuppy pieces and your plane would be kablooey. What thanks does he get for saving the day four times? Divorce.

2. The War of the Roses

“Once in a lifetime comes a motion picture that makes you feel like falling in love all over again. This is not that movie.” As taglines go, this is a humdinger. Mercilessly cruel, Danny DeVito’s film gets the best out of Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as the bitter, twisted couple working on a cocktail called ‘Grounds for Divorce’. A battle over their material possessions leads to an ending bleak enough to compare with any mentioned above, hammering home the true misery of marriage.

1. Casablanca

The message of this seems to be don’t bother sticking with the person you love, go off and kill some Nazis instead. I mean what about ‘true love will out’? On second thoughts, the idea of putting the world before your own selfish thoughts is probably the greatest sacrifice you could make, rendering this 1942 classic one of the best and most romantic films of all time. So don’t, whatever you do, watch this.