The Best Breakup Movies

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema
June 6th, 2012

The Best Breakup Movies

--Everyone has been through a breakup at one point or another. Even the most amicable breakup can leave you feeling sad, hurt and regretful, but just because your last relationship didn't work out, that doesn't mean you shouldn't try again. Movies are more than just entertainment. You won't find better examples of how breakups can happen, be handled and in some cases, prevented. The plots are fictional, and the characters aren't real, but the emotions displayed are realistic, and we can relate to them. The movies on this list are some of the best examples of what to do and what not to do during and after a breakup.

10. "The First Wives Club"
It's bad enough to have your spouse leave you. However, when your spouse leaves you for a younger woman, that is a slap in the face that some women cannot tolerate. In "The First Wives Club," three middle-aged women who went to college together reunite at another friend's funeral. Despondent over the breakup of her marriage, she jumped from her penthouse apartment. Once the three women realize that they have also been jilted for younger women, they formulate a plan to not only exact revenge from their ex-husbands, but also to help other women who may find themselves in the same position.

9. "Annie Hall"
It is said that a relationship takes two people to work. It also takes two people to screw it up, and sometimes it's as easy as never being on the same page at the same time. It's obvious that Alvy loves Annie, but they can never manage to commit at the same time. Someone's feelings are always being trampled.

8. "Sex and the City"
If you watched the show, then you know that Carrie and Big had the ultimate on-again/off-again relationship. They would get together, and then they would break up. Big married someone else, and Carrie was engaged to Aiden, yet they got back together and had an affair. At the end of the series, Carrie and Big are finally a couple. The movie is supposed to be the big payoff-we finally get to witness Carrie and Big's wedding. Of course, it's not that simple, and the bulk of the movie is Carrie lamenting over why they didn't get married, with drama between Miranda and Steve and Samantha and Smith thrown in as well.

7. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
If you could have all memories of a past relationship erased, would you? For most people, getting rid of all the things that remind them of the other person is sufficient, but for Clementine, that wasn't quite enough. She had all memories of Joel erased from her mind. In retaliation, Joel does the same thing. However, even though you don't remember the person, the impact he or she had on your life never goes away.

6. "The Way We Were"
Considered a classic movie no matter which version you watch, the movie has a simple premise: Can a relationship survive if one half is more powerful and successful than the other? When the male is the successful one, things are okay, but if the female is more successful, well, as this movie points out, it takes a strong man without an ego to make it work.

5. "Sliding Doors"
The simple act of either making or missing a train can be the difference between being clued in and remaining clueless. This movie is a classic what-if, and explores both sides of the issue. On her way home after being fired from her job, in one scenario, Helen makes the train, catches her boyfriend cheating on her and breaks up with him. In the other scenario, she misses the train and her boyfriend gets away with cheating...for the moment. The breakup occurs in both scenarios, but it shows how one single act can change a person's course.

4. "The Wedding Singer"
Robbie was engaged to Linda. Unfortunately, Linda jilts him on their wedding day. This makes Robbie bitter, and although he's a wedding singer by profession, he has all but given up on love. Julia wants nothing more than to be happily married, and she tries to convince herself that self-absorbed Glenn is the perfect man for her. Robbie and Julia become friends, and eventually, it all works out in the end. If there's a lesson to be learned from this movie, it's that you can't really find love, it has to find you.

3. "The War of the Roses"
This movie is a good example of what can happen when two people forget why they fell in love in the first place. When Barbara asks Oliver for a divorce, he refuses, because he still loves her. She, on the other hand, no longer loves him and wants to move on. The only thing she asks for is the house: Oliver bought it, but Barbara decorated it. Out of spite and hurt feelings, Oliver refuses her request, and the bitter divorce battle begins. And divorce battles don't get much worse than this.

2. "Casablanca"
A breakup is always painful. However, when you do it to save all of Europe from an evil dictator, it doesn't sting quite as much. And that is the gist of Rick and Ilsa's relationship. If you've never seen this movie, you should.

1."Gone With the Wind"
There is a lot that could be said about this movie, and it is number one on the list because of eight words: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."
These ten movies are all examples of classic breakups. If you haven't seen them, watch them if you have the opportunity.