Cameron Flatt lists the best break up movies

By Cameron R. Flatt, E23 Reporter

A strong support network of friends and family, coupled with a resilient sense of independence, is what it truly takes to get over a hard break-up. There is that initial period, however, where most will find themselves in an emotional state equivalent to that of the Democratic National Convention: hopeless and on the verge of collapse.

Thankfully, that is where movies come in. No matter what is happening in your life, great movies and television will always be there to help you get lost in a good story. After going through a tough break up myself recently, here are my recommendations to help heal a broken heart:

500 Days of Summer

I do not want to give away too much about this surprisingly subversive romantic comedy, but it was the first thing that I watched after having my heart torn out (for illustration, see “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”).

All that you need to know is that it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a hopeless romantic that falls hard for Zooey Deschanel, a free spirit that isn’t looking for love. The story jumps back and forth between their first days together, their multiple break ups, and subsequence reunions.

As a film-lover, I admire director Marc Webb’s unique spin on story structure, editing techniques, and expectation reversal. As a man with a broken heart, the final message about moving on was a much-needed lesson.


This is more of a guy thing, but absolutely anyone can enjoy this unlikely masterpiece of hype and emotional manipulation. Acting as a reboot and quasi-remake to the “Rocky” series, “Creed” has everything you could possibly need to get pumped up and feeling like you can take on the world.

The under-dog story, touching father-son relationship, light love story, on-point directing, relatable performances, and one hell of an ending will leave you wanting to climb mountains and lift some weights.

Spongebob Squarepants

No spiritually uplifting stories or philosophical epiphanies here, just a whole bunch of genuine laughter. After watching this show for over 15 years, I still double over in laughter at the zany antics of these unmatched characters.

What makes the early seasons of “Spongebob” stand out from the huge crowd of modern cartoons is that it never presumes to teach you a life lesson or make any value statements, instead opting to focus on snappy dialogue and unforgettable situations that seem more directed toward the enjoyment of adults rather than children.

Seriously, while most kids’ shows recycle the same situations over and over, there is absolutely no precedent for anything that happens here. So, when you find yourself in the darkest pits of misery, you can always rely on this show to tickle your funny bone.

It’s a Wonderful Life

I don’t think that most millennials have seen “It’s a Wonderful Life”, and that is a DAMN SHAME. This is not only a Christmas classic, but also one of the greatest films ever made. I am not going to tell you what it is about, just WATCH IT!

The first part does an amazing job of setting up the life and motivations of the iconic main character (George Bailey, as played by the acting legend Jimmy Stewart). This leads to the second part working extraordinarily well because any human with a soul will care about this character when he finds himself in a seemingly impossible situation, then learns that a person’s worth is measured in something far more important than money.

This is an important watch for the broken hearted, not only because the sheer beauty of the ending brings me to tears every time, but because it shows that one person can make a difference for so many people and that investing in other each other’s lives is its own reward. Or, as Todd Chavez put it:

"I meant I was rich because I have friends, like George Bailey."

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

I think that this one is pretty obvious: it is about beating up a bunch of exes. This hilarious and action-packed comic book adaption from the director of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” stars Michael Cera, Brie Larson, Chris Evans, Aubrey Plaza, and Anna Kendrick (amongst others).

Michael Cera (as the titular Scott) must defeat the 7 evil exes of his would-be new girlfriend. Amongst the video game inspired action scenes and British/Canadian dry humor is an insightful commentary on the complexities of moving between relationships and that, if you ignore your baggage for too long, it might literally kill you. Also, it has a killer soundtrack of original music.

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