15 Best Movies to Watch Right After a Breakup

15 Best Movies to Watch Right After a Breakup

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Everyone handles breakups differently. While some prefer to twist the knife by drowning themselves in a sea of schmaltz, others would rather binge-watch gory revenge films to induce a cathartic release of anger. 

Over here, we believe that a great way to get through heartbreak is to see the hope in it. You can get a little sad and a little angry, but at the end of the day, it’s the desire to be better or even just okay that will keep you going. So below, we’ve rounded up the best movies to watch fresh out of a breakup. They still touch on love and romance, and they’ll make sure you use up the full range of your emotions, but they’ll also keep you grounded with their uplifting wisdom and optimism.

15. Entergalactic (2022)

7.1

Country

United States of America

Director

Fletcher Moules

Actors

Arturo Castro, Christopher Abbott, Francesca Reale, Jaden Smith

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Grown-up Comedy

Entergalactic, a vibrant animated romcom from the mind of musician Kid Cudi, follows new neighbors Jabari (Cudi) and Meadow (Jessica Williams) as they navigate their way through the ups and downs of modern love. They’re both established artists at the height of their careers, but when it comes to romance, they’re still scraping for lessons, which they mostly get from equally clueless but funny friends.

Featuring songs from Cudi’s latest record of the same name, Entergalactic doubles as a visual album that comes to life with every beat and movement. It also stars many familiar names, among them Timothée Chalamet, Vanessa Hudgens, Ty Dolla $ign, Jaden Smith, and Macaulay Culkin.

14. Obvious Child (2014)

7.1

Country

United States of America

Director

Female director, Gillian Robespierre

Actors

Cindy Cheung, David Cross, Emily Tremaine, Ernest Mingione

Moods

Grown-up Comedy, Heart-warming, Quirky

This is a revelation of a movie for its simplicity in handling a pretty serious and dark subject. It’s the story of a generally immature and newly unemployed stand-up comic in New York and her unplanned pregnancy with a man that was supposed to be a fling, and it’s surprisingly funny and yet rather touching. I can’t think of many actresses who would’ve fit the bill quite like Jenny Slate. Not only is she hilarious, but her treatment of a generally sensitive issue from the honest, crass point of view of a down-on-life, New York-er leaves you drowning in empathy for her. I recommend this for anyone looking to cuddle up, have a few little clever laughs and feel all tingly in the chest-al area.

13. I’m Your Man (2021)

7.2

Country

Germany

Director

Female director, Maria Schrader

Actors

Annika Meier, Christoph Glaubacker, Dan Stevens, Falilou Seck

Moods

Feel-Good, Funny, Grown-up Comedy

Romantically pairing up AI with humans is hardly new, and I’m Your Man is aware of that. Instead of spending way too much time explaining the advanced tech that makes the perfect mate possible, the movie zeroes in on its charismatic leads Tom the robot (Dan Stevens) and Alma the indifferent academic (Maren Eggert). Tom is the curious, humanoid automaton who is designed to worship Alma, and Alma is the disillusioned human who is conflicted with the authenticity of her growing feelings for Tom. I’m Your Man is smart and empathetic enough to stay afloat amidst its swirling genres and ethical dilemmas, but it is mostly the chemistry between Tom and Alma that anchors it to the love story that it actually is. 

12. Rudy (1993)

7.2

Country

Ireland, Japan, United Kingdom

Director

David Anspaugh, Neil Jordan

Actors

Amy Pietz, Charles S. Dutton, Chelcie Ross, Christopher Erwin

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Lighthearted

Based on the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Rettinger, this biographical movie follows young Rudy as he pursues his childhood dream of playing football for Notre Dame, despite significant obstacles and copious discouragement from those around him. The movie works not by hitching the action to any major sequences of ball play, but rather to the most remarkable feature of the story: the sheer determination of the title protagonist. The film’s success also largely comes down to a fantastically consistent and earnest performance by Sean Astin, who outshines a very talented supporting cast to the legendary, crowd-stirring end.

11. Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022)

7.3

Country

United States of America

Director

Cooper Raiff

Actors

Brad Garrett, Colton Osorio, Cooper Raiff, Corrie Danieley

Moods

Character-driven, Easy, Emotional

Primarily, Cha Cha Real Smooth follows Andrew (Cooper Raiff) as he figures out what to do with his life post-college. But peripherally, it’s also about love, friendship, coming of age, and parenthood. Sometimes the movie wobbles under the weight of all it wants to be and you start to wonder whether it would benefit from a leaner script and a tighter focus. 

But ultimately, Cha Cha Real Smooth is endearing and a breeze to watch. Andrew is relatable as a know-it-all who doesn’t actually know it all, and Domino (Dakota Johnson) is moving as a young mother consumed by both her envy and love for Andrew. Despite its occasional unevenness, the film’s big emotional heart triumphs, and sometimes that’s the best that you can hope for in a story about one’s 20s.

10. Dating Amber (2020)

7.6

Country

Ireland, Ireland UK USA Belgium

Director

David Freyne

Actors

Ally Ni Chiarain, Anastasia Blake, Arian Nik, Barry Ward

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Funny

This lovely comedy-romance from Ireland is about a closeted gay teen and his lesbian schoolmate who pretend to be in a relationship to avoid being bullied at their school.

This premise makes Dating Amber an original story in a genre in which that’s increasingly rare. This is added to the setting, in 1995 rural Ireland, which is executed to gorgeous perfection in everything from the clothes to the music. 

Dating Amber ends up being more coming-of-age than a comedy-romance. It’s a tale of friendship and self-acceptance.

9. In the Heights (2021)

7.9

Country

United States of America

Director

Jon M. Chu

Actors

Anthony Ramos, Ariana Greenblatt, Christopher Jackson, Corey Hawkins

Moods

Dramatic, Emotional, Feel-Good

Even if you aren’t familiar with the original, Tony Award-winning Broadway production from Lin-Manuel Miranda, this adaptation of In the Heights is still infused with the same infectious energy and loaded with many of the same eclectic songs. This is musical theater at its most fundamental (cheesy, us-against-the-world romance; unstoppable optimism) and also at some of its most unique—with old-school Broadway numbers mixing seamlessly with hip hop, Latin dance, and cheery 2000s pop. But beyond its music, In the Heights offers a gorgeous tapestry of stories about life in a proud immigrant community and the challenges of staying rooted to home while reaching for the stars.

8. Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)

7.9

Country

UK, United Kingdom

Director

Mike Leigh

Actors

Alexis Zegerman, Andrea Riseborough, Caroline Martin, Eddie Marsan

Moods

Feel-Good, Heart-warming, Lighthearted

Happy-Go-Lucky is a Mike Leigh feel-good movie tells the story of Poppy, a North London teacher, whose story we follow through a number of different situations: driving lessons, solving work issues, having fun with friends, all while trying not to lose her optimism. The acting is superb, Sally Hawkins is a gem as Poppy, and one cannot describe it, one simply has to see it and enjoy it, because it leaves you smiling 🙂

7. Only Yesterday (1991)

best

8.0

Country

Japan

Director

Isao Takahata

Actors

Chie Kitagawa, Ichirō Nagai, Issey Takahashi, Masahiro Ito

Moods

Heart-warming, Lovely, Slice-of-Life

This beautiful, realistic, and nostalgic anime movie about childhood is one that almost anyone can relate to. Set in the year of 1982, twenty-seven-year-old Taeko Okajima is traveling to the countryside by train. Along her journey, she gets flashbacks of her childhood: mostly in elementary school, stealing glances at a boy, and navigating puberty. The movie goes back and forth between past and present, easily making one long for sun-filled summers of yesteryear and silly jokes between playfriends. As well as telling a story about Taeko’s past, Only Yesterday also tells a story about her present, and the combined realism of the plotline with the beautiful animation grips you and doesn’t let go. Only Yesterday truly feels like home.

6. Hello, My Name is Doris (2015)

best

8.0

Country

United States of America

Director

Michael Showalter

Actors

Abraham Lim, Amy Okuda, Anna Akana, Beth Behrs

Moods

Feel-Good, Funny, Romantic

Doris Miller is an unassuming sixty-something office worker whose life takes an unusual turn after her mother passes away. We find out over the course of the film that Doris’ life was put on hold early when she had to give up her dreams and ambitions to take care of her mother. Something is awakened in Doris though when she falls head over heels for John, a much younger co-worker, and Doris dives head first into the world of social media, electro-pop, and Brooklyn hipsterdom. Sally Field is an absolute delight here — her Doris is sweet, lovable, and tragic in equal measures. And the chemistry between her and John is palpable; you can see why they eventually strike up a friendship. In many ways this is a late in life coming-of-age story, and while there are moments of uncomfortable humor, you will find yourself rooting for Doris to come out of her shell and embrace her new life to the fullest.

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