Valentine's Day is upon us once again, and love is in the air... Try not to choke on it.
Yes, it's the time of year when couples flock to celebrate their commitment and that leaves some of us out in the cold. Have no fear, however, we've got you covered this season. While everyone else is out spending money carelessly on splendid romantic dinners, boxes of chocolates, bushels of red roses, and heart-shaped Jacuzzi getaways, you can take solace in the fact there are many movies made for ignoring such an occasion. In fact, Netflix seems to specialize in them. Sick of love this year? These films should help you get through Valentine's Day:
1. 45 Years (2015)
Starring: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay
A heart-ripper, 45 Years tells the story of a couple, married for decades, who are suddenly thrown into turmoil when old memories resurface. Kate and Geoff are about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary when Geoff receives word that the corpse of his deceased former lover has been found frozen in a now-melting glacier (I swear this is the story). She died tragically during a hike with Geoff long ago. Invigorated by the news, he begins acting differently, sending Kate into an investigation of his former life. She doesn't like what she finds.
2. Boogie Nights (1997)
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, John C. Reilly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham
There's nothing more anti-Valentine's than porn sex in the '70s. Want to feel like relationships don't matter? Watch this 1997 masterpiece about the rise of Eddie Adams from Torrance into superstar Dirk Diggler, featuring the greatest Mark Wahlberg performance of all time. It's about a world where love will only get you hurt. If the freewheelin' relationships don't make you feel better about flying solo, perhaps the ruined marriages and cheating spouses will reinforce your decision to stay single this year.
3. It Follows (2015)
Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi
The menace in It Follows is straight out of the George A. Romero school of lumbering, unquenchable dread, but director David Robert Mitchell updates the zombie aesthetic to feel modern and unique... And pointed right at the camera! The evil here isn't a zombie, It just acts like one. What's behind It is something much more intimate. It follows you unless you have sex and pass It on. Otherwise, It materializes in the form of a stalking stranger, anyone, and It hunts you endlessly. All you can do is run. Consider It the best form of contraception this Valentine's Day.
4. The Invitation (2015)
Starring: Michiel Huisman, Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard,
Emayatzy Corinealdi, Lindsay Burdge, Mike Doyle, Jay Larson, John Carroll Lynch
From Jennifer's Body director Karyn Kusama, The Invitation is a slow-building, tense thriller with a weird ending you can somewhat anticipate, but not completely. It lulls you with familiarity. Set inside a Hollywood Hills home, Will and his girlfriend have been invited by Will's ex-wife for a dinner party. As the night unfurls, Will gets more and more suspicious of his hosts' motives. A nightmare scenario unfolds for the couples, something you can wish for all your happy friends celebrating Valentine's Day without you this year.
5. Drinking Buddies (2013)
Starring: Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston
Director Joe Swanberg's very funny, very true look at love and friendships will appeal to anyone stuck in the friend zone this Valentine's Day. Led by two fantastic performances by Wilde and Johnson, Drinking Buddies doesn't default to silly melodrama, opting instead to investigate the real motivations between two friends in their relationship.