8 Films You Shouldn’t Watch if You’re Single on Valentine's Day

© Focus Features
© Focus Features
Photo of Cassam Looch
Editorial Manager13 February 2018

No matter what your relationship status, Valentine’s Day can be an emotional minefield. Luckily, we’ve undertaken some research to help you out at this loved-up time of year.

Dallas Buyers Club | © EOne

Enlisting a number of willing participants, musicMagpie has put together a list of films you should totally avoid on your night in to prevent you from feeling the V-Day pain. And now Culture Trip has created the ultimate ranking for them.

The measurement is simple: just how many tears are you likely to shed per minute when watching these emotionally charged stories on your own? Here’s what the test subjects have come up with. Tissues at the ready…

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

10 Things I Hate About You | © Touchstone Pictures

It may be one of the greatest teen movies of all time, or at least one of the best from the late 90s, but if you want to stay clear of clichés and happy endings then maybe give this one a miss! There’s something to the said for seeing people having a great time on screen, but perhaps not if you’re flying solo on February 14th. We’ll say this, though, the late Heath Ledger and Julia Styles do make for a wonderful movie pairing.

Viewer rating: 1 tear per minute

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

(500) Days of Summer | © 20th Century Fox

This raw depiction of a relationship tells the story of a hopeless romantic (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who falls hard for a carefree spirit (Zooey Deschanel). She never quite loves him the way that he loves her, and eventually they split. The knife in the heart is when he creates multiple scenarios in which they get back together…

(500) Days of Summer | © 20th Century Fox

We’re slightly surprised this didn’t get more people in floods of tears, but that’s partly down to the fact that there are also some great moments of hope and joy in there too.

Viewer rating: 1 tear per minute

The Break-Up (2006)

The Break-Up | © Universal Pictures

The title says it all, doesn’t it? Watching this while in a relationship is rough enough. Reliving the worst-case scenarios of a break up is just about as difficult as it can get, especially if you’ve recently gone through one. Sure, it’s supposed to be a comedy, but real relationship issues arise that are all too relatable.

Viewer rating: 2 tears per minute

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

When Harry Met Sally | © Castle Rock Entertainment

Can men and women really be ‘just friends’? College graduates Harry and Sally share a car ride from Chicago to New York and have a heated discussion on that very topic. Ten years later, they meet again and try it for themselves. Spoiler alert: Harry and Sally end up together after a passionate new years kiss and a heartwarming speech (delivered perfectly by Billy Crystal). This film isn’t the one to watch on V-Day if your platonic relationship has gone the other way.

Viewer rating: 2 tears per minute

Notting Hill (1999)

Notting Hill | © Working Title

Something of a surprise, but perhaps this one hits home on account of how unlikely these types of relationships are in real life. A chance encounter between a bookshop owner and a famous American actress leads to a kiss that blossoms into a full-blown affair. Best not to watch if you’re dreaming of a better relationship, or one that will prove to be more difficult than you thought. As the average bloke and glamorous movie star draw closer and closer together, they struggle to reconcile their radically different lifestyles in the name of love.

Viewer rating: 3 tears per minute

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | © Focus Features

This heart-wrenching romantic film is the worst nightmare of any recently single person. This story follows a couple that voluntarily erase their memories of each other to avoid the anguish of breaking up. Throughout the film, you see flashbacks of their happy and sad times as the main character, played by Jim Carrey, realises he does not want to forget and tries desperately to cling to any memory of their relationship midway through the procedure.

Viewer rating: 3 tears per minute

Titanic (1997)

Titanic | © 20th Century Fox

For the love of God, just don’t. No one wants watch this on Valentine’s Day, whether they’re single or not.

Also, slightly annoying, because as we’ve all wondered since seeing the film: surely Jack could have fit on the door?

Viewer rating: 5 tears per minute

The Notebook (2004)

The Notebook | © New Line Cinema

If you don’t fancy crying your eyes out on your own this Valentine’s Day, stay well clear of this film! This one is just too romantic and too sad at the end. Another heartbreaker.

The real kicker is for those who have been “Notebooked”, whereby someone shows you the film when you’re in a relationship with them. How on earth can you go back and watch the film once things are over?!

Viewer rating: 5 tears per minute


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