LONDON Being single is great. But movies about being single aren’t always that enjoyable or relatable.
Time and time again, films purporting to tell the singleton’s story actually tell the same old story, over and over again.
Single girl lives it up partying, dates someone she isn’t keen on and then falls in love.
Sometimes there are a few twists and turns to this formula. Take the ‘fixer upper’ movies, for example, where the girl throws out all her booze and stops her bad habits in order to make herself loveable (we’re looking at you Trainwreck). Or the ‘best friend turns into lover’ storyline (we’re looking at you When Harry Met Sally).
So how about something new?
Thankfully, there are actually some decent films out there that are empowering, moving and funny. Oh, and there are even films where single people don’t find love at the end. Shocking, isn’t it?
Here are just a few of the films to start watching if you’ve reached the end of your tether. Readers beware, spoilers abound.
This is a wonderful movie about a woman we can all relate to. Frances Halladay (Greta Gerwig) is a 27-year-old apprentice for a dance company who dreams of becoming a professional dancer. As she struggles to find a place to live in New York City, hopping from one apartment to another, the passion with which she pursues her dream never falters. The beautiful thing about this film is that it is centred upon Frances’ quest to stand on her own two feet as she navigates the perilous path of twenty-something city life. It explores female friendship and the (at times) unrealistic nature of our dreams.
Moral of the story: Your twenties aren’t about relationships. They’re about pursuing your aspirations.
Breakups are the worst. And boy is Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) going through a bad one. Her boyfriend cheats on her with her best friend and then decides to break the news to her in a comedy club toilet. She captures the true spirit of heartbreak when she stands outside her ex’s house and spots him walking a dog with his new girlfriend. In a bid to move on, she has a one night stand with a guy she meets in the aforementioned comedy club (where she also happens to perform) and ends up getting pregnant. Her previous heartbreak is soon replaced with far more important concerns, like whether or not to continue the pregnancy, how to pay for an abortion, and whether or not she should tell the guy she slept with. It’s a funny, heartwarming and relatable film about the reality of break ups and casual sex.
Moral of the story: Breakups are horrible.
Written and directed by Lena Dunham, this film is about Aura (Lena Dunham) who moves back into her mum’s apartment in TriBeCa after graduating from university. She’s just been dumped by her boyfriend and she’s unsure what to do with her filmmaking degree. Aura’s struggle to adjust to post-graduation life and the trials and tribulations of casual sex and dating is something that many of us can relate to.
Moral of the story: Casual sex isn’t all fun and games. Oh and, don’t have unprotected sex in a pipe on a construction site.
(500) Days of Summer
It’s a feeling many of us are acquainted with heartbreak. (500) Days of Summer charts Tom Hansen’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) romance with Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) and its subsequent demise. The film follows Tom through his struggle to move on and his memories of their relationship. This film is perfect for anyone who’s ever struggled to process and accept a breakup.
Moral of the story: Sometimes it takes a long time to get over someone, and that’s OK.
This film based on a novel by Kathryn Stockett tells the story of Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) a young, aspiring journalist during the Civil Rights era in 1962. Skeeter decides to write a book from the perspective of the maids in Jackson, Mississippi, shedding light on the racism they face when working for white families. Skeeter’s status as a singleton makes her the exception in her group of married-with-children friends, something that is too much to bear for her mother. “Eugenia, your eggs are dying! Would it kill you to go on a date?” her mother protests. Skeeter finally goes on a date with a guy, who ends up becoming her boyfriend. He later dumps her when he finds out about the book.
Moral of the story: You’re better off single, Skeeter!
My Best Friend’s Wedding
When your former boyfriend (and now-best friend) gets married, ‘shit’ doesn’t begin to describe how it feels. Restaurant critic Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) gets a phone call from her BFF Michael (Dermot Mulroney) who professes to be madly in love with a 20-year-old student named Kimmy (Cameron Diaz). Then he drops the bombshell that he plans to marry Kimmy in four days’ time. Cool, NBD, right? Wrong! Julianne is wildly jealous and realises she might actually want to be with him after all. Julianne pulls out all the stops to try and win Michael over including enlisting friend and boss George (Rupert Everett) as a fake fianc. Needless to say, Julianne does not win and the film ends with her dancing at the wedding with her new BFF George.
Moral of the story: It’s normal to feel weird when your ex moves on. Maybe don’t try to ruin his wedding, though.