If you're looking for a quick and easy fix to said dilemma, transitioning to the better portion of the night with Netflix Instant may be your best call. Sure no one wants to endure the dreaded Valentine's Rom-Com, but if you play your cards right you might actually end up with a decent movie. With that in mind, here's a quick guide to the sorts of flicks that'll move to the forefront this Thursday night, and which one's you might actually be able to endure.
How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days
For an assignment, a “how to” writer must figure out how to get rid of a dude in less than two weeks time. Except that guy is convinced that he could get any girl to fall for him.
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson
You’ll Like It If: You’re a Knicks fan
You’ll Hate It If: You live in 2013 and realize that a guy in McConaughey's position likely wouldn’t have as dope an apartment in Manhattan.
Note: This was in the “Matthew McConaughey either a really good actor, or just flat-out terrible” stage of his career. (Note that this is the same phase FNL alum Taylor Kitsch, AKA everyone's favorite “John Carter,” is going through right now.) Suffice to say he’s moved more and more towards the latter. Though as the exact definition of a rom-com, this movie has some disturbingly cheesy moments. But get past those, and as far rom-coms go, it’s not completely horrendous.
Watchability Level: Could be worse
Passive Aggressive Breakup Meter (out of 10): 4 — if your girl is sort of psycho/if you’re too passive to speak up, this will put some of those issues on full display.
Needing money to attend graduate school in the fall, James Brennan returns home to work at his local amusement park. Unexpectedly, he goes on to learn mad life lessons.
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds
You’ll Like It If: You’re struggling to “figure it out,” you are from Long Island
You’ll Hate It If: You lack proper appreciation for hanging out in parking lots.
Note: If you’ve ever had the right kind of summer job, you’ll find yourself appreciating this movie a lot more than you'd probably think. “Adventureland” is a loosely masked portrayal of writer/director Greg Mottola’s experience working at a theme park of the same name in Farmingdale, NY. It’s still there today, and it’s still…this.
Watchability Level: “High”
Passive-Aggressive Breakup Meter: 3
The story of a couple in rural Pennsylvania who, after an intense and trying courtship, begin to grow apart a few years later
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
You’ll Like It If: Ryan Gosling’s ya boy, you despise busy businesswomen
You’ll Hate It If: You dislike secondhand smoke
Note: Like many movies starring Ryan Gosling, he plays a dude who, despite being a seemingly intelligent person with many a talent, seems to let his vices get to him in a way that is both tragic and heroic. The way he balances between totally in love while still being a man is pretty impressive, and there are some tremendous lines/universal observations here. That said, this is a love story that takes itself VERY seriously. Not so much unnerving at it's slightly tiresome.
Watchability Level: Painfully Watchable
Passive-Aggressive Breakup Meter: 11 – probably impossible not to get into a “where is this going” serious talk/argument.
Take Me Home
An illegal cab driver in NYC gets an unexpected cab fare, which leads him and his passenger all the way to California
Starring: Sam Jaeger, Amber Jaeger
You’ll Like It If: You feel like you have a lot more potential than what your current life situation offers
You’ll Hate It If: You no longer understand how people can still make a living from photography
Note: This takes a decent amount to get going, but the plot is very straightforward, the characters are quite well developed, and it doesn’t try and be anything it’s not.
Watchability Level: Surprisingly Watchable
Passive-Aggressive Breakup Meter: 2
A directionless postgrad gets seduced by an older woman, only to fall for her strictly-forbidden daughter.
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross
You’ll Like It If: You enjoy MILFS, panic attacks
You’ll Hate It If: Simon and Garfunkel is not your thing
Note: This is the iconic movie that you should probably watch at some point in your life, because society has repeatedly told you to. It’s over 45 years old now, but still plenty of themes that still resonate. Though if we’re talking realistic premises, not exactly sure how an unemployed postgrad has the endless funds to book hotel rooms every night
Watchability Level: Pretty Damn Watchable
Passive-Aggressive Breakup Meter: 5
An American man falls in love with a British woman while she attends college in the states. But when she returns to London, their relationship–and ideas of love–are put to the test
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence
You’ll Like It If: You dig British accents, have a strange affinity for woodworking
You’ll Dislike It If: You have interests in life other than hanging out with your super serious girlfriend
Note: The premise is most certainly a bit vomit-inducing, but the most annoying part of the film is that every single character is way too relationshippy, in the sense that life is purposeless unless you have one to skype with for five hours at all times. Somewhat of a necessary plot device, but there’s no doubting that in real life, these are amongst some of the worst types of people.
Watchability Level: Felicity Jones
Passive Aggressive Breakup Meter: 7
Over the course of a 48-hour period, a series of loosely connected events ignite social and racial tensions in Post 9-11 Los Angeles
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Ludacris
You’ll Like It If: You enjoy good movies, are fascinated by basic misunderstandings that result from the struggle of being human
You’ll Hate It If: You’re not in the mood to stay an extra two hours to replay the really dope scenes in your head
Note: This is far from a love story in a traditional sense, but the 2004 Best Picture Winner follows a number of different couples and families, and shares a number of themes with less watchable drivel–meaning that if you’re hoping to watch something you can later “Like” on Facebook to prove your cultural validity, just spin a few words around and you’ve got yourself a perfectly acceptable Valentine's Day selection
Watchability Level: Actually a good movie
Passive-Aggressive Breakup Meter: Very situational. (Though if you best identify with the rich white couple of Sandra Bullock and Brendan Fraser, certainly pretty high)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
An estranged couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories.
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo
You’ll Like It If: You're a psychology major
You’ll Hate It If: You despise psychology majors
Note: One of those movies that doesn't make complete sense till the end, but sorta worth it if you end up buying into what it's all about. Very well done movie, and probably the only time Jim Carrey didn't suffer a popped blood vessel while on set.
Watchability Level: “Let's do something critically acclaimed, get all sad, and then have an adult conversation about it” watchable.
Passive-Aggressive Breakup Meter: 6
A “teen lifestyle parody,” Clueless follows the Adventures of rich and popular Girl “Cher,” who spends her time reforming her friends and looking for the perfect boyfriend.
Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd
You'll Like It If: You find this blog amusing.
You'll Hate It If: You despise “White Girl Problems”
Note: Clueless is very much the precursor to the present day mantra of relatively attractive girls from well-off suburbs who were OBSESSED with their blackberrys back in 2009, but have since moved onto things like “boys in finance” and cursing a lot to make it seem like they weren't once extremely innocent and sheltered.
Watchability Level: Hate-watchable
Passive-Aggressive Breakup Meter: Contingent on whether or not there's a dude your girl is holding captive in the friend zone.
Lost In Translation
A neglected young wife and a movie star past his prime form an unlikely bond after meeting each other in Tokyo.
Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johnansson
You'll Like It If: You have the proper opinions about Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansoon
You'll Hate It If: You have no sympathy for the oft-insufferable notion of needing to “find yourself”
Note: If there was one movie I'd recommend watching, it'd be this. Acting is subperb, perfect blend of seriousness and humor, and above all, is a believable story about the disconnect between how people think you're supposed to act vs. how you actually want to act, and the consequences of veering to far down either end of the spectrum. And unlike most movies about realer shit, this one isn't really that depressing.
Wachability Level: Yea
Passive-Aggressive Breakup Meter: 5 -if it isn't working out, this is one of those movies that'll make both parties realize in a way that is somehow amicable.