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5 Anti-Valentine's Day Movies and TV Shows for Singles and Cynics

By Sarah Moran 14 February 2019

If you're in a loving relationship with someone and can't wait to spend a romantic Valentine's Day together – congratulations, we're happy for you. But if the thought of February 14 and all the smug couples makes you want to gag, then don't worry because we've got your back. Get ready to grab a bottle of wine and get stuck into one of these top anti-Valentine's Day movies and TV shows that offer a refreshing alternative to the sappy rom-coms we pretend to hate. From manipulative lovers to painful breakups, these cinematic treasures will make you thankful to be single, and remind you why relationships can suck.

1. YOU

What better way to shun the thought of hitting up a stranger for Valentine's Day than watching a girl discover that the guy she's been seeing is actually a narcissistic, manipulative, stalker and murderer. In the hit psychological thriller, YOU, charming bookstore manager Joe (Gossip Girl's Penn Badgley) falls for aspiring writer, Beck (Elizabeth Lail). What follows is 10 episodes of Joe going to extreme measures to wedge himself into Beck's life, doing whatever it takes to remove the obstacles (i.e. people) that stand between them – how "romantic"!

2. Dirty John

Adapted from the chilling true crime story and critically acclaimed podcast of the same name, Dirty John follows Debra Newell (Connie Britton), a beautiful and successful Californian woman who falls head over heels for charming doctor, John (Eric Bana), who she met on the internet. Debra is quickly swept into a whirlwind romance with the handsome doctor, but her daughters are less convinced. The girls hire a private investigator to dig up some dirt on their mum's new beau. Spoiler alert – things do not go well. Set to be released on Netflix this Valentine's Day, Dirty John will make you think twice before scrambling into a relationship anytime soon.

3. Blue Valentine

Blue Valentine is a beautiful and heart-wrenching portrayal of a romance found and lost. The moving indie flick bats us back and forth between the excitement of new love and the misery of its slow, painful death through Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams), whose marriage goes from spontaneous tap-dancing in shop doorways to shouting at each other across the kitchen sink. If Valentine's Day has you tempted to enter a relationship just to avoid being single, then Blue Valentine will remind you that a relationship driven by fear of loneliness could lead to finding yourself lonelier and more afraid than ever.

4. How To Be Single

Singles and cynics, stay away from Dakota Johnson's Fifty Shades of Grey and instead, opt for the hilarious anti rom-com, How To Be Single. Adapted from a novel by Sex and the City episode writer Liz Tuccillo, How To Be Single – as its title suggests – is an instruction manual for going solo, and actually enjoying it! Through the amorous misadventures of newly single Alice (Dakota Johnson), her workaholic sister Meg (Leslie Mann), party-girl Robin (Rebel Wilson – who is reason enough to see any movie), and love-obsessed Alice (Alison Brie), this film shows you how much fun being single can be.

5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Relationships can be complicated and messy, especially when they end, and no movie depicts the excruciating process of getting over someone better than Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The film begins on Valentine’s Day, when Joel (Jim Carrey) cynically declares a sentiment many singles share every February 14 – “Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.” Yet, it's also the day he meets Clementine (Kate Winslet), who he falls in love with. Viewers looking for a meet-cute story will quickly be disappointed after learning that this is just one of the many memories Joe is trying to surgically erase from his brain after enduring a painful breakup with Clementine. If you're single this Valentine's Day, this emotional rollercoaster will leave you feeling thankful you don't have to deal with the messiness of relationships.

Read More! Check out these Romantic Films on Netflix, or explore the rest of our Cinema & TV section.

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Sarah Moran

Staff writer

Born and raised in Hong Kong to expat parents, Sarah grew up as your typical third-culture kid, caught between two worlds. As someone who is nosy (or just curious) and loves the written word, there was never any other career that appealed to her as much as journalism. When she’s not busy on her mission to find the line between not enough coffee and too much coffee, you can find her exploring the city or getting stuck in a good book.