Dating can be hard. With the economic crisis looming, spending money on gifts and meals out can be stressful for both parties involved. Undeniably, post-college relationships are hard to navigate. Often there is a pressure to pander to patriarchal stereotypes, to settle down early and to live in blissful coupledom.
However for many men and women, relationships can act as little more than a crutch. Too lazy to make new friends? Moved to a new city recently? Thank god your girlfriend is coming with you, right? Well, yes, that is if you want to continue to live a sheltered existence, cuddled up on the sofa watching reruns of Friends and Seinfeld until you hit your forties, only to realize that you've invested all of your youthful energy into a couch potato relationship. Okay, I'm getting sidetracked here. The point I am trying to make is that breaking up is never easy. Saying the words out loud can seem like an insurmountable, even horrific task.
So to ease your way in, I thought I would pick ten movies that can help do the talking for you. I cannot guarantee that they'll end your relationship point blank, but if you insist on ten successive nights of these films, your partner will certainly start to get the message.
Forcing your girlfriend to watch any Star Wars movie against her wish will without a doubt rile her feathers. The most effective way to aggravate her would be to start with Episode 3 or Episode 5. She'll be confused and left scratching her head for hours. You won't bother explaining the plot to her of course, putting down her confusion to sheer dim-wittedness. Immediately, alarm bells will start going off. Could there be a communication problem abounding? Possibly. She'll start reconsidering the future of your relationship as soon as those end credits roll.
The Mighty Ducks
The next step is to force her to watch a kids' movie. The Mighty Ducks is a classic about hockey and team spirit. But when you're found rolling on the floor laughing at the infantile jokes, your girlfriend will start questioning your IQ score, and accordingly, your prospective financial security. Does any woman really want to be married to a child? Definitely not, never have.
If you really want to throw her off the loop, then the next film will be Danish Dogme masterpiece, Festen. The art house film about incest and molestation is bound to leave a bad taste in your partner's mouth on date night. Curling up with a bottle of wine, desert and inappropriate sexual revelations? She'll be running for the hills before you know it.
My Summer Of Love
The next step is to tackle the coming of age genre. Start with this one, a tender little ditty about young lesbian love, starring (a then unknown) Emily Blunt and Nathalie Press. Yes, the fact that Miss Blunt would later star in The Devil Wears Prada might help add to the picture's appeal, but when you are caught harping on about how pure the pair's unbridled love is, heads will start to turn.
Y Tu Mamá También
Now that you have tackled the rites of passages story in English, it's time that you put a foreign spin on it. One the surface, the epic film about Mexico will appeal to your loved one. But the waft of the homoerotic love triangle that is to ensue will turn this film upside down for your lady friend. If you're feeling especially courageous, you could suggest a threesome in the vein of the narrative itself. This might just save you having to make your way through the rest of the list.
It's no secret that the highest grossing picture of all time is a female fan favorite. But will your other half feel the same way when you bring the special four disc boxed edition home? My inclination is that this won't necessarily be the case, especially if you can pull off the suggestion with a little sparkle in your eye and an allusion to Leonardo's suave personality and greased back hair.
The next step is to get into musical mode. Generally speaking, these are an acquired taste. Most men feel ashamed to admit that they like them, although plenty of them secretly do. Bringing home a musical could signal that you are a mature and comfortable heterosexual man. However, Cabaret, with it's overflowing decadence, the brutal Nazi backdrop and personal turmoil will leave you both feeling cold on date night. Crawl into bed with a biography of Hitler afterwards, and she'll start to think that you are a purveyor of the dark arts.
This surrealist, psychological thriller from David Lynch was renowned for leaving even some of his most die-hard fans scratching their heads. Prostitutes, rabbit-people and dark secrets roam wild in this inexplicable fantasy. Film buffs will love it after repeat viewings, but as a precursor to romance, Inland Empire will without a doubt, squelch the amorous mood.
It's time to get serious now as we approach the end of our list. Closer is a film about two couples hell-bent on hurting each other. To put it simply, the picture makes relationships seem like the most painstaking, agonizing, soul-destroying act of life. The characters scheme, lie and cheat, burning and feeding off of each other's pain. You want to break up, like now? Pop this masterpiece into the DVD player.
And now to seal the deal?
The Break Up
Everyone thought that this Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn vehicle would be a saccharine-filled love story that would make romantic couples drool. Oh how wrong they were. If you want to branch out and spread your wings, then nothing says it better then The Break Up.
Rarely, does the film ever present a happy picture of ‘togetherness'. Instead, it suggests that a life spent following one's own path is a far better alternative to the painful humdrum of a now loveless relationship.
In the end, these are but mere words of advice. A better person would have the courage to say outright how he felt about the situation. But let's face it; no man was born a saint. Assemble this DVD collection and before you know it, the movers should be round, helping you divvy up your belongings.