There are worse things than being single on Valentine’s Day.
The movie “Valentine’s Day,” for instance.
Whether you’re fresh off a breakup or have been on your own for a while, you could try to bury your head and pretend it’s just another Thursday.
Or you could lean into the holiday with these relationship movies that will make you feel better, offer a ray of hope or help you recognize that maybe, just maybe, you’re better off alone.
To some, it’s the greatest love story of a generation. To others, it’s a stark realization that, no matter how much you think you love someone, when push comes to shove, she’ll let you freeze to death before prying your dead, frozen fingers from the door that’s keeping her afloat, thereby denying you the niceties of a proper burial.
“The Shape of Water” (2017)
The reigning best picture Oscar winner proves there really is someone for everyone — even if that someone is a fish man.
Chiron, an African-American growing up in a bad part of Miami, struggles with his sexuality and identity throughout his childhood, teen years and young adulthood in this powerful coming-of-age story. You think you’re lonely? You don’t know lonely.
“Gerald’s Game” (2017)
Oh, sure. Romance is fantastic. Right up to the point when, in an effort to spice up your marriage, your husband takes you on a weekend getaway to a secluded vacation home, shackles you to the bedposts and, because he popped too much Viagra, suffers a heart attack and dies on top of you, leaving you to figure a way out of your predicament.
“Thelma &Louise” (1991)
Men? You don’t need no stinkin’ men. All you really need is a best friend who’d drive off a cliff for you, no questions asked.
“Boxing Helena” (1993)
A needy surgeon (Julian Sands) becomes obsessed with a woman (Sherilyn Fenn) who wants nothing to do with him following a one-night stand. After she’s run over by a truck — in one of the most hilariously avoidable collisions in movie history — he saves her by amputating her legs. Then, in a curious but somewhat successful attempt to make her fall in love with him, he removes her arms and displays her, Venus de Milo-style, inside a box in his mansion. This is an actual movie. Released in theaters. In America.
“Lars and the Real Girl” (2007)
If a guy who looks exactly like Ryan Gosling is perfectly happy being in love with a sex doll, there’s no reason for you to feel any shame. You be you, buddy.
“Blue Valentine” (2010)
Don’t be fooled by the “Valentine” in the title. Gosling is back, alongside Michelle Williams, in this drama that looks back at the young love and promise of a new relationship from the ashes of a marriage undone by alcohol and shattered dreams. It’s a gut punch of beautiful misery that suggests it really might not have been better to have loved and lost.
“True Romance” (1993)
Another deceptively titled love story, this bloodbath written by Quentin Tarantino follows an Elvis-obsessed comic book store employee (Christian Slater), the prostitute (Patricia Arquette) he just married and a suitcase full of stolen cocaine. The knockout supporting cast includes Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Val Kilmer and Samuel L. Jackson. But it’s worth your time just to see Gary Oldman — yes, that Gary Oldman — as a dreadlocked, gold-toothed pimp.
“The Theory of Everything” (2014)
Just a friendly reminder that, if given the chance, men will cheat. Even Stephen Hawking (Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne) — one of the greatest minds of all time, his body wracked by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — leaves his long-suffering wife (Felicity Jones) for his nurse.
“Fatal Attraction” (1987), “Basic Instinct” (1992) and “Disclosure” (1994)
The world can be fraught with peril for a fella — especially if he happens to resemble Michael Douglas. Jeez, you sleep with a woman, and the next thing you know she’s either boiling your daughter’s pet rabbit, contemplating skewering you with an ice pick or, in the case of “Disclosure,” biding her time until she’s your boss, forcing herself on you and, when she’s rebuffed, trying to ruin your career and marriage by claiming you sexually harassed her.
Anything by Nicholas Sparks
Even if you were in a relationship, odds are he or she would just end up being struck down in their prime anyway.
Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrenc @reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.