Top 7 Anti-Valentine films that make you glad to be single

February 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Features

Unless you’re a serial relationship rebounder, your name is Jodie Marsh or you have one of those fancy electric blanket heater things, it’s highly likely that during your lifetime you will spend at least one February 14th retiring to the cold, cold embrace of a woefully empty bed.

But chin up! Being single really isn’t all that bad. No-one steals your food, you’re free to do what you want when you want (that includes playing computer games/doing your make up and munching on pizza whilst sat in your pants), you’re never emotionally disappointed (because, let’s face it, you’re awesome), the only stupid drunken arguments you have are with the homeless, and most importantly, the TV remote is ALWAYS yours.

So join us here as we celebrate the lesser publicized upshot of Valentines Day – a contemplative, perspective-granting appreciation of quite why it’s not all that bad to be single. Here you’ll find OTB’s top list of films to watch this Saturday to make you fully appreciate exactly how great it is NOT to have another half.

SCREAM (1996)

So, the local murders kind of suck, eh? And your mum’s rapey death? That blew. And the fact that you and your friends are being systematically stalked, maimed and diced by a lumbering Edvard Munch painting? That’s also going down as a tick on the ‘unfortunate’ column for this year.

But at least you’ve got your greasy haired, oedipal, manic eyed boyfriend. You know, the one who got caught at the last murder scene? The one person you loved, you trusted, you finally gave yourself to.

SURPRISE. He’s also going to kill you.

What do you mean, you don't deliver?

What do you mean, you don't deliver?

The cinematic, emotional equivalent of the horrific real-life moment where you tell someone you love them only to have them laugh in your face, kick you in the balls/womb, and set fire to your dog all the while singing The Macarena VERY LOUDLY into your ear.

Heartbreaking and more than a little annoying.

So…. that life, or a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, sat on the sofa in your pyjamas. We know which we’d choose.

Without relationships…. Sidney would have booked a 3 day spa getaway and avoided the whole messy shebang.


This is for those of us who have contemplated, no matter how momentarily, mail-order wifery/husbandry (I know. We were surprised too). You know how it is: you’ve just bought the entire West Wing collection off eBay and your pizza off t’internet, when your mind starts to wander. What else could you order? When real-life, tactile companionship is just a click away, it’s pretty tempting.

Well, that’s how I’ve heard other people justify it, anyway.


Takashi Miike’s cult classic revolves around Aoyama’s search for love in the wake of his wife’s death. His son suggests ‘auditioning’ a series of women with the pretense of them later becoming his partner which, in some misguided way, is actually quite a sweet sentiment.

"But she looks so innocent"

But she looks so innocent

The hiccup comes in the form of Asami, a stunningly beautiful former ballerina who entrances Aoyama with her quiet yet oddly confident personality. What with this being a Japanese film and all, it’s no surprise to discover everything takes a markedly darker turn and Asami is soon merrily claiming her rank alongside cinema’s other great crazybint stalkathons, with a series of sofa-cowering torture scenes that exemplify the hysterical paranoia relationships can inevitably generate.

Image Blind Date with less Cilla and more Killer.

Without relationships…. Aoyama would have lived out his days on a rocking porch with a dog and a book. Or he could have watched Lars and The Real Girl and got a couple of ideas from there. If you get my drift.


Hey ladies! Patrick Bateman is one great catch. He’s hot, rich and predominately naked.

And he’s also likely to cut off your toes and use them as decorative candles.

"I said don't EVER touch the lights AGAIN!"

Don't EVER touch the lights AGAIN!

A convincing warning sign against all those flashy, arrogant bankers who aim to sweep you off your feet with their exuberant cockiness and money-splashing showiness; it’s easy to be distracted by shiny cars and pretty necklaces, but ultimately, look where it’s going to get you.

Single + Broke = Alive.

Without relationships…. Bateman’s flagrant nudity and unrestrained psychosis would have spilled over into his work life and a hysterical foray into nude business analytics. Then Prison.


Yep, it’s THAT couple that we all seem to know. The one that’s soberly fractious at best and just loves to dominate every party with its explosive, vodka throwing arguments.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s timeless classic crystallizes the height of relationship dysfunctionality – all the way from its niggly little backhanded comments to its ear-rupturing, crazy-lady screaming apex. A clawing need for validation, bubbling physical violence, enough wind-ups to put Jeremy Beadle to shame and Elizabeth Taylor’s relentless (Oscar-winning) emasculation all add up to leave you feeling exhausted, but entirely convinced that the very last thing you want, need or would even like to be near, is a relationship.

I said use SWEETENER in my tea

I said use SWEETENER in my tea

Without relationships…. Burton would be blissfully wrapped up in his academics, more than likely culminating in a Nobel Prize or somesuch. Taylor would still be mental but sexually harassing Central Park’s pigeons as opposed to college professors.


Yes, it’s a brilliant film. Yes, it won loads of awards. But by God is it depressing.

Keira Knightly and James McAvoy’s relatively faithful recreation of Ian McEwan’s ‘war-torn lovers’ epic is full of astounding cinematography and electric performances, and also handily condenses and amplifies the perils of long-distance relationships.

They look happy, don't they?

They look happy, don't they?

Seriously, if this is where love gets you (septicemia, prison, heartbreak and worst of all, an eternity stuck on the underground), then we’re alright on our lonesome, ta.

Without relationships…. McAvoy would have focused more on fighting the war (and probably avoided the debilitating, horrifically painful disease), whilst Knightly would have kickstarted her hat and wimple making career. Probably.


The ultimate ‘we don’t need men’ feel-good movie, wrapped up in a delightfully non-feminist, bubble-gum quirky sheen. Near 99% of chick-flicks delight in teasing its female viewers with the faux-charms of a ‘we’re BF’s forever – who needs men?’ mentality before crumbling before the Hollywood machine and concluding with a vomit-inducing couple-off.

Not Lesbians

Not Lesbians

Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino’s offbeat buddy classic uses its bizarre slapstick/surreal humour mash-up and genuinely endearing friendships to branch off into a chickflick subgenre that leaves you feeling warm, fuzzy and perfectly content with a single, friend-filled life.

Without relationships…. They’re happy.


Ah, Glenn Close. As if the thought of her face alone weren’t enough to have you retreating into a nomad-like Guatemalan-based existence, her timeless role as Alex Forrest completely epitomized and defined the term ‘bunny boiler’.

Well, at least she cooks

Well, at least she cooks

Fatal Attraction’s Wikipedia page likes to label Close’s insania (that’s a word you know) as a ‘borderline personality disorder’. Holy crapmonkeys. If that’s a BORDERLINE disorder, what the hell are FULL disorders like?

The majority of us know what it’s like to be on either side of the fanatic fence. The non-stop, irrational thoughts of ‘Why they haven’t rung me? How long should I leave it? What did I do wrong?’, and its blasé ‘God why won’t they just leave me alone?’ counterpoint.

This, right here, is reason enough to be content in your singledom. Relationships, and their gestation period, are often full of confusion, heartache, fluffy genocide and knife-wielding Glenn Closes. And who wants that?

Without relationships…. Glenn Close would be a hit on the New York indie expressionist art scene with a one-woman bi-polar performance that captured rave reviews.

While it’s great to be single, there’s always the possibility that solitary spinsterhood may not be the thing for you. So here’s one movie to give you that little nudge back towards the search for love, kittens and rainbow-sprinkled unicorns.


Two words. Samantha Jones. What started out as an enjoyable neo-feminist romp through the hearts and penises of New York City’s most eligible bachelors soon descended into the same old ‘I WANT A MAN/MARRIAGE’ whiny diatribes of old.



Seriously, if Samantha’s slutty, vacuous pomposity and desperate craggy faced pleas for attention are supposed to represent a paragon of 21st century femininity, you’re better off with the psychotic, bunny boiling weirdos.

Matt Risley

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  1. Lucy says:

    Brilliant article – very amusing!

  2. Dawn says:

    You never fail to make me laugh with your writing Matt…and I’m embracing singleton life this Saturday so here here!!! Good article!

  3. Fran says:

    Hahaha! Loved the Scream one – very true. Hurray for single life! The new layouts great too.

  4. bunny boiler that was shocking

  5. Alisha says:

    Happy to be single!!! Great article, made me smile.

  6. hahaha I miss the old times

  7. Andy says:

    “Taylor would still be mental but sexually harassing Central Park’s pigeons as opposed to college professors.”

    Oh Yes.

  8. I wan’t my freedom back!!

  9. Carlota says:

    You could definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write.
    The world hopes for more passionate writers like
    you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.