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For some people, Valentine’s Day really sucks. Singles Awareness Day. Watching all your friends go out on dates, be all lovey-dovey in public, meanwhile you’re stuck at home with your cat, a carton of ice cream, and some stupid romance movies…. But, I’m not speaking from experience… not at all, no. On the day that celebrates all things love, sometimes you gotta watch a movie that says love, sex, and relationships are stupid.
Well, here are five films that do just that, and a bit more.
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One of Lars Von Trier’s more contemporary and weirder films – which is saying A LOT – Antichrist
focuses on a couple trying to rebuild their relationship after their toddler son falls out of an open window. Despite the husband (Willem Dafoe) being a psychologist, he is unable to successfully counsel his wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and she goes nuts… and on his nuts. The film is filled with gross, disturbing imagery, including a fox who creepily says “Chaos reigns”, a way too intimate shot of sexual intercourse in the shower, and some genital mutilation… Good times had by all, well except for Willem Dafoe - he kinda gets the crappy end of the stick, especially cause the stick breaks his junk. Bummer.
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Takashi Miike is a master of the gross and disturbing, which is exactly what is delivered in Audition
. The mother of all “slow burn” films, Audition
centers on a widower who sets up an audition looking for the perfect wife. He enters into a relationship with a charming, innocent, and seemingly perfect woman… who just happens to be a sadist and keeps people locked in her basement; we all have our little quirks. The last twenty minutes of the film are brutal, with some of the most hardcore torture ever filmed, and will leave the viewer questioning how truly well they know their significant other, or just want to stay away from relationships all together and forever.
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Peyton Reed’s romantic comedy, The Break-Up
, unfortunately is neither romantic nor comedic. Cute couple Gary (Vince Vaughn) and Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) break up for a totally clichéd reason, but in a ‘genre breaking’ twist at the end Gary and Brooke stay broken up. The film successfully highlights the miscommunications between men and women, especially in relationships. But, the film fails because of the choice to have the couple not end up together. It just doesn’t inspire the confidence or fantastical hope that romantic comedies obligatorily need to, thus making it utterly depressing.
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Sam Mendes is known for making emotionally poignant movies with shocking endings, like American Beauty,
for example. Based on the book of the same name, Revolutionary Road
is about April and Frank (Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio). Their relationship starts off passionate, ideal – what everyone person truly hopes to find in their lives. What follows is two hours watching their relationship disintegrate. The film actually tackles a myriad of issues within a marriage, focusing heavily on the idea of having personal aspirations that fall away during the course of a relationship… so basically the theme says love and relationships destroy your dreams.
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Director Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender have made some of the more provocative films of the last five years (they’re both nominated for Oscar their work in 12 Years a Slave
is an intimate look at a male nymphomaniac, Brandon (Michael Fassbender), and how his addiction to sex destroys his relationships (family, friends, co-workers), ability to have a healthy relationship, and ultimately himself. His quest for sex takes him on a destructive journey through New York, which ends with him having lost anyone who actually cared about him. It’s a darker side to sexuality, addiction, and obsession that is all together unnerving. But, on the bright side, you get to see ALL of Michael Fassbender, yay!
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