There’s no way around it: Going through a breakup is hard. Even if the relationship wasn’t all that great, the end of one comes with its own kind of mourning—the mourning of a way of life, perhaps a circle of friends, and maybe the connection to your former significant other’s pets, among other things. Life as you knew it won’t be the same. And even though you know that can be a good thing, early on, it’s hard to see.
While the jury’s still out on the best way to move on after a breakup, one tried-and-true way to distract yourself is to watch a movie. Whether you’re with loved ones or watching it alone, the right movie will help you experience a range of emotions and step through the five stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—all from the comfort of your couch and snacks.
Chocolat tells the story of a young mother who arrives at a conservative French village with her spirited daughter. She opens a chocolaterie, and it begins to change the culture of the town. In the process, she collides with town leaders and finds love.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
When 20-year-old bride Sophie reveals she secretly invited three men who could be her father to her upcoming wedding without telling her mother, chaos ensues in Mamma Mia. Based on the Abba musical, the film includes many of the Swedish band’s top hits as friends and family prepare for wedding day.
Walking and Talking (1996)
In Walking and Talking, viewers step into Amelia’s rough life. Her roommate moved out, her cat got cancer, and her best friend, Laura, is getting married. She learns to cope with things with the help of some friends, and a brief romance with “the ugly guy,” Bill.
Available on: Amazon Prime Video
500 Days of Summer (2009)
500 Days of Summer is about a breakup that catches one party completely off-guard. That’s at least how Tom, a greeting card writer and hopeless romantic, feels when his girlfriend, Summer dumps him. The film is filled with Tom’s reflections on their 500 days together, trying to figure out what went wrong.
50 First Dates (2004)
In 50 First Dates, Henry sets his heart on winning over Lucy, only to find out she has short-term memory loss and can’t remember what happened the day before. Each day he has to woo her again. He also has to convince her loved ones he’s the real deal.
Legally Blonde (2001)
Elle Woods has one goal at the beginning of Legally Blonde: To become Mrs. Warner Huntington III. Her plans fall apart when Warner fails to propose. Elle fights back by getting into Harvard Law to be with Warner, determined to win his heart once again, but finding her personal power instead.
After Carl Fredricksen’s wife passes away, he pines for her in the home they shared in Up. In an act of desperation, the 78-year-old Fredricksen fulfills a lifelong dream and ties thousands of balloons to his house in order to fly away to the South American wilderness. Fredricksen’s worst nightmare comes true when he discovers a stowaway, a young boy named Russell, aboard his floating home.
Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012)
In Celeste and Jesse Forever, longtime sweethearts Celeste and Jesse begin to drift apart after marrying young. Celeste initiates a divorce, believing she and Jesse can remain friends, and Jesse goes along with it even though he loves her. As the separation starts to sink in, Celeste begins to have second thoughts.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)
Scott Pilgrim has never had trouble getting girlfriends. That is until Ramona Flowers enters his life. In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Pilgrim has to face an army of Flowers’s ex-boyfriends who are determined to keep the pair apart.
Before Sunrise (1995)
When American Jesse meets French Celine on his way to Vienna, the pair form a strong connection. The only problem is Jesse is headed to Vienna, and Celine for Paris. Jesse convinces her to get off the train with him in Vienna, and the pair wander the city together, making their imminent morning separation painful.
Sliding Doors (1998)
In Sliding Doors, two scenarios are at play. First, Helen is fired from her job as an ad executive in London and catches a train to find her boyfriend Gerry in bed with another woman. In the second scenario, she leaves late, misses the woman, and lives miserably, suspicious of Gerry’s infidelity.
Crazy Stupid Love (2011)
Cal Weaver’s life looks picture-perfect until it starts to unravel in Crazy Stupid Love. Once he learns his wife, Emily wants a divorce (and reveals she's been unfaithful), Cal struggles with navigating singledom, until he meets the charming Jacob, who teaches him how to impress the ladies.
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
In this film adaptation of the famous novel, Pride and Prejudice follows Elizabeth Bennet as she lives with her family in the English countryside and faces mounting pressure to marry. When Elizabeth meets Mr. Darcy, the pair begin to fall for each other. While the pair’s attraction is no secret, Darcy’s demeanor threatens the fledgling relationship.
2 Days in Paris (2007)
In 2 Days in Paris, American Jack and French native Marion book a European vacation to repair their relationship. By the time they arrive in Paris, it’s clear the efforts aren’t helping. Could the visit to the most romantic city mean the end of the couple’s relationship?
Someone Great (2019)
Over the course of one action-packed adventure, music journalist (Gina Rodriguez) romps through New York City with her two best friends before she moves west to San Francisco. Over one indulgent night, viewers join the emotional rollercoaster that often follows after heartbreak.
Available on: Netflix
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Peter, played by Jason Segel, retreats to a Hawaiian resort to nurse his broken heart. Only his ex-girlfriend, Sarah (Kristen Bell), has checked in to the same resort with her new, British beau (Russel Brand). If you're looking for a quirky and raunchy romantic comedy with a star-studded cast, watch (or re-watch) Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Rachel Chu is excited to visit Asia for the first time with longtime boyfriend, Nick Young, one of Singapore's most coveted bachelors. She's in for a complicated visit filled with family and societal politics when she learns that Nick belongs to one of Singapore's wealthiest families.
Love and Basketball (2000)
A young couple, who grew up in the same neighborhood, must navigate adulthood as they balance their relationship and their mutual first love: Basketball. We join Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) and Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan) through their growing romance; including high school, college basketball, and hopefully, to the big-leagues.
To All The Boys I've Loved Before (2018)
The letters introverted Lana writes to her crushes were supposed to be private, and yet somehow all five of them received them anyway. We love this romantic comedy for a revealing look at what happens when we get out of our heads and start being vulnerable in real life.
Available on: Netflix