[Here's a reader/guest contributor to share something aimed at those of you who are single and not feeling the Valentine spirit! -Nathaniel]
My name is Adam and around the time that I began visiting The Film Experience, nearly a decade ago during my freshman year of high school, I had my first serious crush on a guy. While we were never technically official, I knew being rejected for a virtual profile of someone he’d never met was probably not the greatest bookend to a first romance. The years since then have allowed me to be the brunt of even more uncomfortable and sometimes excruciatingly painful rejections but I have also had the opportunity to willfully, and sometimes unwillfully, be the asshole initiator of a break up. As the cliché goes, breaking up is hard to do.
The movies have always been my go-to resource to help me pick up the pieces. The following scenes have helped me, and they might help you, to put that nearly empty pint of Haagen-Dazs back in the freezer, put on something other than sweatpants, and get back out there.
-Why would I be single?
-...With two cats.”
In our twenties, being asked to adopt two cats with fine curly hair and moving in together might as well be the same as an engagement. It’s fucking huge. As Frances first thinks of her allergies as an excuse, then her transient jubilance at the prospect of cohabitating, to her quick decline and even quicker increased happiness when talking about, or interrupting their conversation to talk on the phone with, her best friend, it’s clear France’s relationship with her best friend, running through Brooklyn on her own ragged sidewalk path to her dreams and figuring who exactly she is rightfully take precedence over focusing on a relationship.
-No Harm. No foul.
You said that, like, seven times tonight.”
We have all had our fair share of hook ups that, depending on the person, we foolishly think are something more than just two people fucking. While no words ending whatever future the two have of hooking up again or dating are spoken, Aura’s face expresses her realization that they will probably never see each other again as hides her behind a car when he thinks he sees a friend of his girlfriend, and then dismisses her by staring at his phone and texting the entire time as she confronts him about it and then asks him if they will see each other again soon. Faster than the faux chivalrous kiss on her cheek as he bolts, leaving her to catch up a cab home alone, Aura begins to comprehend that, no matter how much effort she puts in, some guys will always be douchebags.
VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA
-I want something different.
-I don’t know…not this.”
Sometimes we end relationships even if there are no obvious antagonistic forces present. They could be a great person who you still love, but inside, just like Cristina’s own restlessness and her thoughts overpowering her feelings, you know breaking up is what you need to do even though you have no idea what comes next or what you actually want. You’re only more certain on what you don’t want and, for right now, that’s good enough.
I can’t stop. You can’t stop. I can’t stop. I don’t know what else to do.”
Love fuels hatred more than anything else in this world. Dean and Cindy, at once madly in love, have now reached their breaking point, one that has no coming back from. Adoration has turned to disgust. Fucking has become a reluctant, sickening obligation. “I love you”s have morphed into “I hate you”s. Love can be transient and what was great once may not always last. It’s the recognition and subsequent acceptance that’s the most difficult. And juxtaposed against their wedding? Brutal, heartbreaking, and real.
-A guy should be able to do what he wants to do!
-THAT IS NOT HOW THIS WORKS!”
The tell off we all wish we said. There are going to be boyfriends and girlfriends out there who want to control everything you do and have you be what they want you to be. A backbone and clear sense of self is a necessity in any healthy relationship. And when someone attempts to erase and rewrite who you are? That’s when you stand on whatever makeshift soap box you can find and assert your independence. Especially if they claim to know you better than you do, or if they cheat on you with a bartender on a cruise ship.
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR [spoilers ahead]
-I don’t know how to ask for forgiveness.
-There is none.”
There are cheaters and there are the cheated on. Both are human. Adele, in the midst of navigating her way through her first committed and serious romantic relationship, with a woman no less, acts out from her feelings of confusion, loneliness, disconnect and jealousy of her girlfriend Emma by having sex multiple times with a male coworker. Confronted, Adele pleads, apologizes, and the two physically lash out creating an irrevocable chasm of hurt between them that proves too painful to move past. During Adele’s tortuous sob filled walk away from the apartment she once shared with Emma, her emotions and feelings pour out of her as she loses all restraints and composure she once had allowing her to reflect on the consequences of her actions. As always, time passes and the two recover from the pain inflicted upon one another, and even though they don’t get back together, we hope Adele has grown and learned from what she has done to discover who she is and who she wants to be with in the future.
What are your favorite breakup scenes in the movies?