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10 Best Movies in 2023 That Prove Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

10 Best Movies in 2023 That Prove Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Singer Neil Sedaka once rocked the charts with his pop anthem “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.” And boy, did he hit the nail on the head! Besides its infectious tune, this song struck a chord with everyone. We’ve all been through the heartache of a separation at some point in our lives, whether we were the initiators or the recipients. Let’s be real, it’s a tough pill to swallow no matter which side you’re on.

Breakups have always been a captivating theme in the world of cinema. While many movies focus on romantic splits, there are also those that explore different kinds of separations. In the list below, you’ll discover films that dive into the ends of marriages, friendships, and even living arrangements. There’s even one movie that tackles the daunting challenge of parting ways with a dominatrix. Despite their diverse genres and tones, all of these films take us on an emotional rollercoaster, delving deep into the toll that breaking up takes on their characters.

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
In “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” Joel Barish, played by Jim Carrey, is devastated after his girlfriend Clementine, played by Kate Winslet, breaks his heart. To cope with the pain, Joel decides to try an unusual service offered by Lacuna, a company specializing in erasing memories. Interestingly, Clementine had already used this service to erase Joel from her own memory, leading him to make the same choice.

Throughout the movie, we witness the gradual process of Joel’s memories being wiped out, which unexpectedly brings back memories of the happy times they shared. This realization leaves Joel questioning his decision, as he begins to understand the significance of these memories despite the failed relationship. In a desperate attempt to hold on to Clementine, Joel frantically searches through his vanishing memories.

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” offers a unique take on the typical break-up movie. It incorporates trippy sci-fi elements to explore why our memories of failed relationships may have value to us. The film uses stylish visuals and cool effects to tell a story that delves into the idea that erasing these memories is akin to erasing a significant part of ourselves.

2. Marriage Story

Marriage Story
Writer/director Noah Baumbach drew inspiration from his own personal experiences in crafting the emotional drama, Marriage Story, released in 2019. The film features Adam Driver in the role of Charlie Barber and Scarlett Johansson as his wife, Nicole. Their once-loving marriage has crumbled, but both strive to handle the situation maturely, particularly for the sake of their child. However, the dynamics change when Nicole seeks legal counsel from the tough and pragmatic lawyer, played by Laura Dern, leading to a more cutthroat atmosphere. Charlie responds by engaging his own lawyer, portrayed by Alan Alda. As the story unfolds, the couple becomes embroiled in a tense feud, simultaneously experiencing escalating anger and heartbreak.

What sets Marriage Story apart, and contributed to its recognition with a best picture nomination at the Oscars, is its remarkable level of specificity. The film delves into the agonizingly painful intricacies of Charlie and Nicole’s deteriorating relationship. It also delves into the emotional turmoil they experience when confronted with the dissolution of their once-cherished dream of a happy life together. Rarely has the tragedy of divorce been portrayed with such meticulousness and precision on the big screen.

3. The War of the Roses

The War of the Roses
We all know that couple – the ones who went through a really messy divorce. Well, The War of the Roses takes that whole idea and cranks it up to a whole new level of dark comedy. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner play Oliver and Barbara Rose, a married couple who are just done with each other after 17 long years. They’ve reached the point where they can barely stand to be in the same room. But here’s the kicker – neither of them wants to give up their gorgeous house. So, things start to get pretty ugly as they both try to force the other one out.

The crazy antics of the Roses really highlight just how nasty people can get during a divorce. Barbara even goes as far as locking poor Oliver in a sauna, almost cooking him alive with the intense heat. And Oliver, well, he’s not exactly innocent either. He starts destroying things that have sentimental value to Barbara, just to get under her skin. It’s a total mess. Objects are flying, punches are thrown – it’s a full-on brawl. And believe it or not, things take a turn for the worse when Barbara and Oliver end up dead. Yeah, they fall from a freaking chandelier during their epic feud. Talk about a dramatic ending.

Even in their final moments together, there’s no love lost between these two. Barbara pushes Oliver’s hand away, just to make it clear that forgiveness is definitely not on the table. It’s a pretty grim scene. But hey, that’s what you get when you mix a bitter divorce with a whole lot of dark comedy.

4. The Banshees of Inisherin

The Banshees of Inisherin
In the Oscar-nominated film, The Banshees of Inisherin, Pádraic Súilleabháin played by Colin Farrell experiences a shocking surprise. He had expected a typical day of beer drinking and casual chats with his best friend Colm Doherty, portrayed by Brendan Gleeson. However, things take an unexpected turn when Colm drops the bombshell that he no longer wants anything to do with Pádraic. The reason behind this sudden decision remains unknown, leaving Pádraic baffled and hurt.

Throughout the movie, Pádraic embarks on a journey to seek closure or at least an explanation for Colm’s abrupt rejection. At first, he refuses to accept Colm’s request to stay away, believing it to be some sort of cruel prank. However, when Colm starts fulfilling his threat of cutting off one of his own fingers every time Pádraic pesters him, the gravity of the situation becomes undeniable.

As Pádraic goes through a range of emotions, from denial to disbelief, and eventually to sadness and anger, he begins to come to terms with the fact that their friendship is truly over. He realizes that the issue at hand involves both Colm and himself, acknowledging that it is not solely his fault.

In The Banshees of Inisherin, the film explores Pádraic’s journey of self-discovery and acceptance, as he grapples with the loss of his once cherished friendship.

5. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Forgetting Sarah Marshall” kicks off with a rather humiliating moment for Peter Bretter (Jason Segal), as he experiences the heart-wrenching act of being dumped by his girlfriend, Sarah (Kristen Bell). In a state of shock, Peter’s towel slips from his grasp, leaving him standing before her in a vulnerable and distraught state. In an attempt to drown his sorrows, Peter indulges in casual sex, excessive drinking, and numbs his mind by immersing himself in endless hours of television while battling depression.

However, despite his efforts, Peter finds it unexpectedly challenging to erase Sarah from his thoughts. Seeking solace and clarity, Peter escapes to a tranquil Hawaiian resort, hoping to untangle his emotions. To his dismay, he discovers that Sarah is staying at the same resort, accompanied by her new boyfriend, Aldous Snow, a self-obsessed rock star played by Russell Brand. Amidst this chaos, Rachel (Mila Kunis), a genuinely kind and attractive resort employee, begins to connect with Peter. Unfortunately, his overwhelming preoccupation with his own heartbreak prevents him from fully recognizing Rachel’s presence.

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” employs a blend of broad and often vulgar humor to uncover a painful truth about the aftermath of a breakup – in order to progress forward, we must first purge ourselves of the memories and attachments to our ex-partners

6. Chasing Amy

Chasing Amy
Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy, released in 1997, is often recognized as a significant independent film of its time. However, the plot may be perceived as more controversial today. The story revolves around Holden McNeil, portrayed by Ben Affleck, a comic book artist who unexpectedly falls in love with another artist named Alyssa Jones, played by Joey Lauren Adams. The twist is that Alyssa identifies as a lesbian, which Holden discovers only after pursuing her romantically. Despite this revelation, a connection forms between them, leading to a romantic relationship.

The film delves into the consequences of Holden’s lack of confidence in their relationship. Throughout the story, Holden struggles to believe that Alyssa’s feelings for him are genuine. His insecurities, particularly regarding his sexual experience in comparison to Alyssa’s worldly nature, drive a wedge between them. The breaking point occurs when Holden proposes the idea of a threesome involving his best friend, Banky, played by Jason Lee, hoping to match Alyssa’s wild experiences. Understandably, Alyssa is offended by the suggestion. Ultimately, Holden’s actions result in a painful and permanent breakup, for which he bears full responsibility.

7. Midsommar

Midsommar is essentially a horror movie that tells the story of a breakup. It revolves around Dani, a young woman who is grieving the tragic loss of her parents and sister. Her boyfriend, Christian, tries his best to support her, but he finds it overwhelming. In an attempt to escape the burden of caring for Dani, he suggests a trip to witness an annual pagan ritual in rural Sweden. Dani decides to join him, hoping that being with him will help her heal from her grief. Little do they know, they are about to experience more than they bargained for as they discover the unimaginable practices of the community.

The terror in the movie stems from the shocking rituals performed by the pagan community, which put Dani, Christian, and their friends in potential danger. As the audience witnesses these rituals, they also come to realize that Dani’s experience helps her see the true nature of her relationship with Christian – a lousy boyfriend who has always been unsupportive. A pivotal moment in the film occurs when Dani is unexpectedly named the May Queen by the community. This grants her the power to end her relationship with Christian in a permanent and irreversible way. She chooses him to be the subject of a sacrifice, forcing him into the body of a disemboweled bear and burning him alive in a small structure. Dani, with a smirk on her face, shows no remorse or guilt for her actions.

8. High Fidelity

High Fidelity
High Fidelity, based on Nick Hornby’s excellent novel, follows the story of Rob Gordon, portrayed by John Cusack, a record store owner who spends his days immersed in music and engaging in lively debates with his coworkers. However, his life takes a turn when he is unexpectedly dumped by his girlfriend. Seeking solace, Rob decides to create a list of his top five heartbreaks, which sparks an idea to track down these women and unravel what led to their heartbreak.

This movie, High Fidelity, offers a perceptive and intelligent exploration of the impact failed relationships can have on one’s psyche. Rob, driven by the belief that he must have made mistakes, embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Throughout this process, he uncovers a significant realization – his deep-seated reliance on music as a shield to conceal his true emotions. Rather than expressing his own feelings, Rob has channeled his passion for music into fervently discussing songs and artists. Confronting this uncomfortable truth, Rob aspires to finally be prepared to embrace lasting love.

9. Possession

In the 1981 chiller Possession, Anna (played by Isabelle Adjani) drops a bomb on her spy husband Mark (played by Sam Neill) and expresses her desire for a divorce. Not only that, she moves in with a new boyfriend named Heinrich (played by Heinz Bennent). Mark decides to confront Heinrich, but things take a turn for the worse as he ends up getting beaten. Determined to understand why Anna left him, Mark seeks her out and their encounters turn physical, including one involving an electric knife. Despite their clashes, Mark still holds onto hope of winning her back.

To Mark’s utter shock, he discovers Anna’s dark secret – she has given birth to a strange, tentacled creature that has a lethal effect on people. The exact meaning of this revelation has been a subject of debate for decades. However, in general, Possession is seen as a horror-themed exploration of anger and resentment within a fractured marriage. Anna’s significant line, “I’m the maker of my own evil,” implies that when dissatisfaction takes hold in a marriage, it can transform individuals into the opposite of their former selves.

10. The Break-Up

The Break-Up
In the comedy film “The Break-Up,” Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston play the roles of Gary and Brooke, a couple going through a humorous breakup. Gary is in the tour business with his brothers, while Brooke works at an art gallery. Although they initially met at a Cubs game, the initial spark in their relationship has long faded. Despite no longer being together, they are forced to live together until they can sell their condo.

The movie offers a comedic perspective on the small quirks and behaviors that can strain a relationship between men and women. Brooke is annoyed by Gary’s preference for playing video games instead of helping with household chores, while he feels that she is trying to change him. The bickering between the characters in “The Break-Up” generates plenty of laughter. Anyone who has experienced a failed relationship can surely find something relatable in this film.

Emma Isabella
Emma Isabella
Emma is a regular contributor to WhatsNewNetflix. She likes delving into the world of Netflix TV shows as well as studying films, especially comedies.


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