Valentine's Day, with its relentless barrage of drugstore chocolates, bouquet specials and goofy diamond ads, is all well and good for those of us who are dating, betrothed, living in sin—or just plain married. But what about those solo souls who don't want romance shoved down their throats every February? Despite many a happy ending, Hollywood has churned out its fair share of cynical love stories. Here are eight movies to help thumb your nose at love.
Jennifer Aniston portrays a modern city gal with perfect hair, perfect artsy job, perfect apartment – she's perfect! Barf. Luckily for us, she lives with Vince Vaughn, a selfish, lazy, beer-guzzling baby of a man (though he can be funny, as if this alone makes up for it). Good thing they fall out of love, are cruel to each other, ditch their perfect digs and then meet on the sidewalk one awkward, melancholy day. Take that!
To Die For
Love is blind, as they say, and so is doting husband Matt Dillon in this 1995 black comedy. But Dillon's Mafia-esque family knows a bad egg when they see one: his new wife, fame-obsessed weather girl Nicole Kidman, is a complete crackerjack whose busy seducing a gang of misfit teens to shoot him in cold blood. The best part? Kidman brings a boom box to her hubby's burial and, with all eyes on her and no sense of its gargantuan inappropriateness, blasts “All By Myself.”
Sid and Nancy
One minute you're sucking your girlfriend's toes through a rip in her fishnets, the next you're nodding off at the methadone clinic. It's hard to say whether it's the heroin or the love affair that's so toxic in the real-life story of Sex Pistols guitarist Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) and his troubled soulmate Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb). One thing's for sure: this is no ringing endorsement of love. Pretty soon Nancy's dying of stab wounds and Sid's charged with her death. Oh, yeah, then he ODs.
You know you've lost that lovin' feeling when your spouse jerks off as you lie in bed beside him unmoved. Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening are trapped in unholy matrimony, though, as he tells us, “She wasn't always like this. She used to be happy. We used to be happy.” The relationship becomes the ultimate anti-love story since, as their marriage falls apart, Spacey emerges as a more powerful, better cut, happy pothead....without her.
Basic Instinct, et al.
Sure, Basic Instinct and others in its vein (Fatal Attraction, Body Heat) are more about naughty sex than good old-fashioned love, but the fact remains the guys in these thrillers all fall head over heels for their respective femmes fatales – whether it's horny, pathological Sharon Stone in Instinct, unhinged bunny-boiler Glenn Close in Attraction or aloof rich-bitch Kathleen Turner in Heat. In the end, nobody fares well.
I Love You to Death
Kevin Kline plays a philandering pizzeria owner with a dubious Italian accent who picks up his booty calls in front of his wife Tracy Ullman...during the daytime! When he's not displaying his furry chest, he's openly gawking young, hot chicks. Yet Ullman is so devoted to him (or so brain-dead) she actually says, “Joey would never run around on me,” with a straight face. Then she spends the rest of the film miserably trying to off him.
Towards the end of this tale of sexual conquest, moral depravity and saucy scandal, John Malkovich says of Michelle Pfeiffer, “I love her. I hate her. My life is a misery.” Yep, that about sums up the whole crazy little thing called love. Despite his being gaga for Pfeiffer, Malkovich and cohort Glenn Close set out to ruin her and others in Paris society circa 1780s. Some die, while Close is on one end of the worst case of stink-eye ever to grace an opera house.
The War of the Roses
Michael Douglas (again) and Kathleen Turner enjoy a fairy-tale marriage in their dream manse until one fateful day when Turner looks at her husband and says, “When I watch you eat, when I see you asleep, when I look at you lately, I just want to smash your face in.” She then proceeds to smash his face in. Love is a hilarious battlefield in this picture that serves up the unraveling of once-happy wedlock. By Act Three, the couple is in full-on combat. Love stinks.