There are five stages of grief. But when it comes to breakups, four moods are more than enough. Here are four films for those four moods.
Mood 1: Cookie Dough Coma, “Stardust”
You’ve officially moved on from the initial state of shock and denial. Realizations are just starting to creep up on you as you begin psychoanalyzing the past. It’s important to indulge in some cheesy period dramas and to fall into a cookie dough-induced slumber. Being, quite literally, a star-studded film, Matthew Vaughn’s 2007 film “Stardust” does exactly that. Detailing the journey of Tristan, a hopeless romantic, to retrieve a fallen star in efforts to win the heart of his “one true love,” this film comforts you the way hot chocolate fudge does on a bad, cold, rainy day.
With actors and actresses across Marvel, “Lord of the Rings,” “The Godfather” and “The Kingsman” franchises, Vaughn’s conventional take on an even more conventional narrative was made so much better. Picture Daredevil (Charlie Cox) getting beaten up by Superman (Henry Cavill), Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) dancing in drag and Ricky Gervais just being Ricky Gervais. Like truffle fries, “Stardust” is a dollar snack made great with a luxury garnish, a cheap 2000s film made great with an A-list cast. Evoking a sense of security and familiarity in its predictable narrative, wholesome smiles and unexpected laughs, this film truly is a gift that keeps giving.
Mood 2: Nostalgic, maybe a little alcoholic, “You Are the Apple of My Eye”
When feeling numb and honestly still a little disoriented, nostalgia mixed with a hint of familiarity is always the cure. Fall back to those note-passing, awkward “I-like-you-but-do-you-like-me” looks. Maybe re-watch Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” music video again for the 100th time. Feelings are meant to be felt.
Throw yourself into a high school romance film, watch “You Are the Apple of My Eye.” Yes it’s foreign, but its classic take on the “what could have been” narrative gets me every time. How tragic is it, that over a bar fight, two people who were so obviously meant for each other spend their lives contemplating missed opportunities only to end up watching the other get married to someone else. Lighthearted, childish and very much inevitably tragic, the film documents the gradual blossoming of an unexpected high school relationship that inevitably breaks up. Think about the simpler times, happier times, and go for a quick, intense cry. I know Yale couldn’t afford double-ply toilet paper, but you can always fold it.
Mood 3: Kind of lost, having a low-key existentialist meltdown, “Pierrot Le Fou”
You’re unsure of who you are. You’ve lost yourself a little. You feel like life has just lost a little bit of meaning. With existentialist questions like these, “Pierrot Le Fou” is the perfect film for you. Why run away from your problems when you can watch a couple run away with stolen money on a dead man’s car? Following Pierrot’s journey with Marianne, Jean-Luc Godard captures the couple’s irresponsible, absurdist decisions in his 1965 French New Wave film “Pierrot Le Fou.” Remind yourself of the times when you felt carefree and truly happy, the times you didn’t feel guilty after a night out. You’re free now! Free to make all sorts of bad decisions. Drive a vintage sports car into the lake, set millions of dollars on fire, run away with a wanted criminal. You name it, Pierrot and Marianne have done it.
As you fall in love, once again, with the thoughts of being reckless and hopelessly in love, the prevailing themes of betrayal, from Pierrot abandoning his family to Marianne cheating on Pierrot, keeps you grounded. It serves as a constant reminder of why you broke up and how you hate said ex-significant other.
Mood 4: Feeling so hot you’d shit toast, “Easy A”
You don’t just need a feel-good movie, you need a feel-hot film. Put on your best going-out-going-out clothes, slap on your most dramatic makeup and strap on your tallest stilettos because you’re in for a ride. It’s true, you might look a little worn out from all those sleepless nights, but just like Emma Stone in the 2010 classic “Easy A,” you have to own it!
Documenting the life of 17-year-old Olive Penderghast, “Easy A” captures the rapid spiraling of an innocent white lie. What started as a cover-up for both Olive and her gay best friend Brandon, Olive’s selfless act of pretending to have sex with her gay friend soon made the school news. As the story develops and her best friend tells her that the school thinks she is “a dirty skank,” Olive struts down the school hallways in nothing but a black corset, heels and a scarlet letter. Now that’s the level of “idgaf” you need. Being a rom-com that isn’t conventionally cheesy, there’s an added level of spice. If this film were a coffee shop drink, it’d be chai. But not just any normal chai, it would be “spicy” chai.
Watch all four films at once or watch them periodically, and remember to take all the time you need. Life is pretty much a romance film, filled with pretty boys, charming girls and a whole lot of cheesy drama.
Tiffany Ng | firstname.lastname@example.org .