10 Movies That’ll Make You Pleased To Be Single On Valentine’s Day




After I saw this movie, I dumped my boyfriend and got a job at a massage parlor and started lying to everybody about everything. I felt really hard and untouchable, like a human knife, like if I hid my heart deep enough in my chest, nobody would be able to find / hurt it. I felt strong and smart. I told my roommate if she saw it she wouldn’t want to love anybody again but she came with me anyhow (I saw it three times) and we both cried through the whole thing and then she fought with her boyfriend in the taxi all the way home. He was a ballet dancer in Ohio. It’s a play too, which I’ve read and seen and read and seen again. It’s my favorite, I can’t get enough of it, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

Gone Girl


The idea here is that it’s all a game, that love is a power play. You try to make sacrifices for each other but you resent them the moment you make them, and then you drift so far away from each other that before you know it you’re on opposite sides of a battlefield. Secrets pile up between you and then you go out and make more of them. But I don’t think this is how love actually is, or how relationships actually are. I don’t think people like this are common, if they exist at all. But it’s a damn good story, masterfully woven, carefully unfurled. The worst part is that the main character’s description of what it is to be a “Cool Girl” is so perfect, so dead-on, so so enormously accurate, but what she does about it is so terrible.

Brokeback Mountain


And that’s the only time I use Grindr, I swear

Oh, they love the gays when we’re sad! They love us when we can’t have each other! When people die and pretty girls marry gay men. One of the men can’t go on like this but the other one can, because he’s just better at lying or something. To top it all off, Heath Ledger consequently died in real life and he was very young and it was very sad.

Blue is the Warmest Color

I've already filled out my Passion planner and This Week's Focus is "never letting go"

I’ve already filled out my Passion planner and This Week’s Focus is “never letting go”

First everybody chews spaghetti really loud, then there is a very long sex scene, and then they’re like, wait, is that long sex scene the only thing we have in common? Everybody messes up and then the one with the soft young face and the traditionally colored hair just can’t move on. She’s just sad and chewing things. It is implied that the aforementioned very long sex scene will be the best sex either of them, and probably all of us, will ever have!

Harriet the Spy

Look, your potluck sounds cool, but I have people to spy on

Look, your potluck sounds cool, but I have people to spy on

This movie will make you glad you’re single because you’ll realize that part of what made Harriet such a good spy was that she didn’t fall head-over-heels for the blue-haired girl like our friend up top.

Old Yeller

No, Dana doesn't die in this episode

It’s okay, Dana won’t die ’til Season Three

So as a child I was deathly afraid of dogs ’cause they made me sneeze and made my eyes itch and then I’d have to go home early from the sleepover party, so I was not particularly inclined to feel deeply about the relationship between a boy and his dog. Especially a dog with so much hair. But this dog protects his human friends from WOLVES and WILD BOARS and BEARS, which I think in human terms is like the equivalent of defending your girlfriend against her homophobic family, her asshole ex and, um, a bear. Probably an actual bear (lesbians love camping!). Ugh I can’t even keep talking but I cried so hard into my pillow at my Grandma’s house that nobody could even tell I was having an allergic reaction to my cousin’s dog.


Okay, sorry, obviously we shouldn't have watched Old Yeller

Okay, sorry, obviously we shouldn’t have watched Old Yeller

I know Aileen Wournos was a serial killer and everything, but man, it bummed me out so hard when her girlfriend ratted her out, like my heart just broke for her. So I guess the moral of this story is that if you are a serial killer, you definitely don’t want a girlfriend.

Romeo and Juliet

let's die later

Let’s die later

They just met!

Moulin Rouge

love is a LIEEEEEE


One time I made a girl I was dating watch this because I felt like I too was secretly choking up metaphorical blood behind the curtains and despite my legend was perched precariously on the verge of death. I wanted her to be prepared and also understand my state of mind. Conversely, I adore this film, have memorized the soundtrack, and in the summer of 2001 I listened to this soundtrack every day and I had a fabulous slutty summer of singlehood. I highly recommend it.

Love Actually

It's just us here, we left the dead lesbian in the back

It’s just us here, we left the dead lesbian in the back

Even more depressing than this being the worst movie ever made, and people I love actually loving it, is that JUST LIKE YOUR LIFE, they cut out all the lesbian scenes!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3211 articles for us.


  1. So this didnt make me want to watch any of these… other than maybe closer and monster… which I’m hoping doesnt have any deeper meaning, but ignoring that, I still enjoyed reading it. :)

  2. Watching monster (not researching the real story), Aileen’s girlfriend was using her as much as the men abusing her. The irony in all that was that she kept whining about how her family keeps telling her Aileen is using her… That court scene is really cringe-worthy.

  3. This is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read, and also just some exquisite writing!

  4. Funny thing: I watched Blue is the Warmest Color a couple days after watching another French film where the characters seemed only ever to eat spaghetti, generally, very messily. Is that a metaphor/symbol/something that I’m just not getting? Why spaghetti, French people?

    Also, I will now go look for a copy of the play Closer. I love me some printed-out plays, for real.

    • I think the spaghetti scene in “Blue” is to show constrast between Adèle’s working class background and her girlfriend’s highbow background. What other film did you watch?

      • The translated title was Under the Sand – it was about a woman whose husband disappears while swimming in the ocean, and how she deals with uncertainty of what happened. The spaghetti was probably just so striking because of Blue, but maybe it was meant to illustrate class there too…I can’t remember the film well enough.

        • I don’t think I’ve seen that film so I can’t help you on that! Would be funny to see if there’s a pattern, though…

    • Also, I think it was meant to let you know she’s voracious and insatiable, to prepare you for the sex.

    • Spaghetti in general (bolognese usually) is a fairly common meal in french households. We prepare it in a way that would get insults thrown at us by Italians (like overboiling the pasta in too little water), undercooking the sauce and throwing tons of emmental rapé on top.

      I think at some point that was like a weekly wednesday meal in my house.

  5. If you start Moulin Rouge when Christian starts talking about moving to Paris and end it when the curtain comes down, it’s a happy movie!

    • I always stop watching velvet goldmine just after the rooftop sex scene so it’s a happy movie about people being very queer and glam.

  6. this is a good list and you should feel good about it

    i tried to watch blue is the warmest color and i straight up could not get through it. i had to stop watching midway because i was falling asleep. i felt like a bad queermo and a bad art lover, because i’d already thought “well, i know the working conditions for the actors were bad, but let’s watch it anyway,” and so that conflict was settled in my mind, but i had been WHOLLY UNPREPARED for the conflict of it just being a frankly boring terrible movie! this coming from someone who likes other french movies. you’re spot on re: spaghetti situation, though, i think.

    • I couldn’t watch because of the spaghetti. I love spaghetti too much to risk being turned off cuz of a movie.

    • I totally came out of that movie exhausted and whenever someone asked me about it all I really had to say about it was “they cried for like an hour and a half, took a ten minute sex break then cried for another hour.” I also just find the premise sort of uninteresting, like it hits pretty much every other lesbian movie trope out there.

  7. This list is extremely good.

    Also, I still can’t bring myself to watch Blue is the Warmest Colour, and now I know that there is egregiously loud eating featured, I fear this will never change.

    • You know, it’s not just loud, it’s very messy. Adele seems to loooove chewing with her mouth wide open and moving in all directions. Fact: I read an interview where the director claims he decided to hire her because of the passionate way she ate. It feels like 60% of the movie is Adele tying her hair up and chomping lol

  8. You know, I’m pretty sure Monster is the reason some poor straight girl told me she wasn’t gay at the gay bar the last time I went out. Maybe that’s how she thought that works. Maybe that’s how she thought any of this works??

  9. This is perfection. My valentines day tradition is to go to work and then come home and drink a bottle of wine and watch an entirely valentines day inappropriate movie. I like to tell coworkers about my plans whenever they bring up the subject of what day it is. I always say I’m going to watch The Shining*.

    *I have never watched The Shining. I am afraid to watch it alone so this will have to wait until I am not single on valentines day I guess, but telling people that I am going to watch The Shining, alone, on valentines day makes me very happy.

  10. I believed you until the list got to Old Yeller and now I’m convinced this is actually the short list that’ll make you ugly cry but be glad you have no one to watch you ugly cry because you’re single and things are just less messy that way so try to glad you salty wet snotted mess.

  11. Laughed at the Moulin Rouge part. It’s one of my favourite movies and I too have the soundtrack memorized (it’s on my phone!) but damn if that ending doesn’t feel like a gut punch.

  12. even though this list insults Love Actually, one of my favorite movies of all time, I still very much enjoyed reading this list

  13. This made me want to finally watch Love Actually, but I feel like that wasn’t your intention…

    Closer was a good opener, though, that’s what hooked me in.

  14. I have a coworker who very strongly resembles Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl… her reputation around the office has really gained a life of its own since that film came out.

Comments are closed.