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Films

From Damien Chazelle to Noah Baumbach: 10 Netflix films to mend a broken heart

Whether you got dumped or cheated on, whether you lost a dear friend or comrade, heartbreaks come in all shapes and sizes. It is safe to assume that we have all been heartbroken at certain points of time in our lives. We have all gone back to our favourite tub of ice cream, listening to songs that remind us of the times we spent with the person in question while shedding silent tears. Since curling up in bed and nestling under the blanket seems like a good way of dealing with heartbreak, Netflix can be your best friend through thick and thin.

While you can quite easily go to WikiHow and look up ways in which you can deal with heartbreak, sometimes all you can do is let things be and revel in the misery and grief of it until you finally feel better. To beat the crippling loneliness and misery as well as to prevent yourself from wallowing in self-pity, watching films is definitely an effective home remedy that is recommended to anyone with a broken heart. The pervading blue light and distant chatter of characters might help you emotionally disengage!

If you are nursing a broken heart and need to find ways in which you can beat those post-breakup blues, here are ten films that are not sappy romantic comedies that shall surely help you in these trying times.

10 films to mend a broken heart:

The Break-Up (Peyton Reed, 2006)

Clumsy and klutzy Gary Grobowski falls for the prim and proper Brooke Meyers. As they move in together into a posh condo, they begin bickering over their conflict of interests before gradually parting ways. However, they begin living as roommates and soon face bitter truths regarding unaddressed emotions and personal feelings. 

The film sees heartfelt performances by both Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. Being a classic anti-romantic comedy, the characters are wacky and bicker over the most trivial things. Although the script could have been more nuances, the constant quarrels can become tiresome. 

9. Legally Blonde (Robert Luketic, 2001)

Born into riches and luxury, Elle Woods gets dumped by her boyfriend and goes blonde. She then decides to follow him to law school and soon realises the hardships of life as she continues to battle adversaries such as grades, other women, sexism and more to make the world a better place for all the Elle Woods’ who suffer. 

Reese Witherspoon transforms from the Hollywood stereotypical sorority girl to a witty and pretty girl. While the dumb blonde jokes might rile you up given how misogynistic they sound, Elle’s battle to get back her man from Harvard might let you realise how important it is to dye your hair right after a breakup to feel like a new person! 

8. Sex and the City (Michael Patrick King, 2008)

Fashionable and gorgeous, four friends Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte are classic New Yorkers trying to balance their work and respective families. Miranda gets cheated on, Carrie gets dumped on her wedding day, Samantha feels unseen in her relationship and Charlotte is paranoid about her upcoming pregnancy. To destress, the group take off some time to enjoy Carrie’s honeymoon together. 

Even if you got cheated on or dumped, the film is a gentle reminder that your gang of girls and guys have always got your back! Filled with humour and raunchy sex jokes and scenes, the film also has a kind of delicate poignancy to it which can be explored via the struggles of individual characters as they try and wade through their ever-demanding urban lives. Get yourself a glass of wine and rediscover the meaning of friendship with these four women. Maybe try having an at-home fashion show with your girls like Carrie did while trying to figure out what clothes to take to her new apartment?

7. My Best Friend’s Wedding (P.J. Hogan, 1997)

Best friends Jules and Michael plan to get married if they are single by the age of 28. However, when Jules gets to know of Michael’s impending marriage to a college student named Kimmy Wallace, she is absolutely devastated and tries to go to extreme lengths to sabotage their engagement. 

With a talented cast comprising Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz and Dermot Mulroney, the film is a riot. As Jules tries desperately to win over Michael, she accidentally ends up making a fool of herself and making Kimmy appear endearing. If you are in love with your best friend and cannot afford to look at them with their partners, watch this film instead and take note of all the dos and don’ts. 

6. How To Be Single (Christian Ditter, 2016)

There is no right way of going about singlehood. Amidst a sea of lonely people who are plagued by urban loneliness, one tries various ways in form of relationships, hook-ups, meaningless conversations and texting to try and feel. The film focuses on such a group of lonely individuals in New York City who desperately try to come to terms with their emotions. 

Dakota Johnson plays Alice, a girl who dumps her boyfriend before moving to the city. She befriends people who are suffering from loneliness and heartache. The film is funny yet tender and realistic and makes one reexamine their singlehood and try and find the true purpose of life. 

5. 13 Going On 30 (Gary Winick, 2004)

A gawky 13-year-old teenager Jenna yearns for popularity and a boyfriend. After a disastrous and humiliating birthday party, she wishes she were 30 and suddenly a bit of magic dust lying atop her dollhouse makes her wishes come true. Jenna must navigate through adulthood with the heart of a 13-year-old and learn to make correct decisions.

Adhering to cliches, Jenna grows up to be a beautiful 30 ye-year-old who regrets rejecting the advances of her then-gawky-turned-inanely-hot neighbour Matty played by Mark Ruffalo. The film is a comical reflection of all our teenage desires and juxtaposes the innocence of childhood against adult complications. A heartwarming story, the film shows how Jenna finally comes to terms with whatever she truly wants in life.

4. Queen (Vikas Bahl, 2013)

Rani, a girl who grew up in a traditional Punjabi household, gets dumped by her fiance who is ashamed of her lack of etiquette and exposure. Heartbroken, Rani goes on her honeymoon alone and rediscovers herself as well as her innate passion for cooking, befriending people from all across the globe. 

Rani’s fiance hurts her in the worst possible ways and is the epitome of toxic masculinity. Her journey, however, is inspirational and moving. We see Rani metamorphose from a shy, naive girl to a confident, social butterfly who even gets to do a “lip to lip kiss” with a handsome French man. As Rani rooms with three other men and goes on adventurous night-outs with another Indian girl who helps Rani break out of her shell, we see the catharsis take place. Perhaps, Rani’s journey might inspire you to do something as wild and adventurous and finally reinvent yourself?  

3. 500 Days of Summer (Marc Webb, 2009)

Tom Hansen works as a writer at a greeting card company and falls head over heels in love with the elusive Summer Finn whom he ends up, dating over the summer. However, she suddenly breaks up with him. Caught off-guard, Hansen begins to take every single day of the last 500 days spent with her to reevaluate his life and find closure. 

If your partner quit the relationship without any reason and not letting you have closure, we suggest you watch Webb’s film to figure out ways in which you can reinvent yourself. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is soulful as the heartbroken Tom who pines for Zooey Deschanel’s Summer. His character helps one realise how important it is to fall for the actual person and not just the mere idea of that person. 

2. La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

A jazz pianist wants to open his own bar. He meets an aspiring actress and together they explore love and affection while trying to find their place in the modern world. Young and passionate, caught in the throes of the uncertainty that the future holds, the film is a delightful musical with vibrant colours, stellar performances and an overall feel-good factor. 

The film is Chazelle’s tribute to its cinematic predecessors as it is an ingenious exploration of romance and eventual heartbreak. Mia and Sebastian dance under the stars, break up yet meet years later to share a knowing smile that probably acknowledges the beautiful times they spent in each other’s arms. The film also upholds the beauty and sparkle of Los Angeles and is nothing short of a well-stylised fairytale. 

1. Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach, 2019)

A slightly more poignant film on the list, it deals with the aftermath of a messy divorce and the kind of emotional and psychological impact it has on the couple as well as the child. With emotionally charged performances delivered by the likes of Scarlet Johansson and Adam Driver, the film is an intimate exploration of the anguish and isolation that results from contentious divorce proceedings. 

The departure of the respective spouses causes an unimaginable gulf that culminates into anxiety and heartache. However, soon they emerge victorious from the legal drama and decide to recuperate by binding over their son while dealing with the results of a rocky emotional separation. If you want to let it all out and are looking for a good outlet to cry, go watch Baumbach’s wonderful and extremely human commentary on marriage, divorces and relationships in general.