When a relationship ends, all you want to do is lay on the couch and wallow in the misery you feel. It’s cliche, sure, but there’s something comforting about eating your weight in McDonald’s fries and torturing yourself with sad songs and movies that remind you of all that you’ve lost. It’s not healthy long term, but it’s something we all do. With that in mind, here are some of the best movies to watch on Netflix after a breakup.
Admittedly, this is a tough watch under any circumstances. Noah Baumbach always knows how to get you right in the heart, and “Marriage Story” is no exception. It stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a dysfunctional couple going through divorce. It’s intense, painful, and all too relatable for many people. If you want to feel a little less alone and you need a good cry, give this one a watch.
“Fifty Shades of Grey”
Chances are, you’ve already seen “Fifty Shades of Grey” — potentially more than once. While this may not seem the most obvious choice of best movies to watch after a breakup, it fits the bill for precisely that reason, and thankfully, it’s on Netflix. Who doesn’t want to watch relatively plotless softcore p**n that’s kinda infuriating if you actually thought about it but you’re not going to because you’re just kinda horny and want to take your mind off being sad? Jump into the world of Anastasia and Christian Grey for a couple of hours. You’ll feel better afterward.
“The Breaker Upperers”
This New Zealand rom-com is exactly what you need after getting out of a relationship. It centers on Jen and Mel, two women who are super cynical about love, to the point that they run their own business called — you guessed it! — The Breaker Upperers. If you hire them, they’ll break up with your partner for you. As you can imagine, there are some pretty hilarious (and heartwarming!) antics that ensue.
“The Broken Hearts Gallery”
Another of the best movies to watch on Netflix after a breakup is “The Broken Hearts Gallery.” You might have heard of this 2020 rom-com because it was executive produced by Selena Gomez. It’s all about a woman who decides to create an art exhibition featuring items from people’s old relationships after her boyfriend dumps her. It’s sweet, sad in places, and just feels very comforting.
“All The Bright Places”
This movie skews a bit young, but sometimes you need a bit of teen drama to remind you how far you’ve come in life and love, right? Theodore and Violet are the black sheep in their small town and ultimately find comfort in one another. While this one doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending — and there is a trigger warning for suicide — there is something special about “All The Bright Places.”
“Good on Paper”
One of the quirkier entries on this list, “Good On Paper” focuses on stand-up comedian Andrea and a guy named Dennis who she meets at the airport. This isn’t your conventional rom-com, however, and things get wild pretty quickly. If your ex was less than truthful about himself and his life, you’ll relate to Andrea hardcore (though you may not react in the same way). If you need a laugh, this is a must watch.
“Seriously Single” is a South African movie featuring two best friends with a very different view on love. Dineo wants to find “The One” and get married — she’s dating with that goal in mind. However, her BFF Noni is the total opposite. She avoids commitment at all costs and thinks Dineo should embrace the joys of single life more. After a breakup, this is one of of Netflix’s best movies to watch. It’ll make you appreciate your closest friends even more — and give you a bit of hope for the future.
“When We First Met”
Noah has been in love with Avery ever since they met at a Halloween party, but she’s placed him firmly in the friend zone. Not only that, but she now has a fiance named Ethan that she met only a day after meeting Noah. He’s devastated, which is why it’s pretty handy when he finds a photo booth can transport him back in time so he can win Avery first. Needless to say, this doesn’t go quite to plan. If you need a bit of an uplifting rom-com to get you out of your funk, “When We First Met” is a good choice.
Is there anyone more relatable and reassuring than Gina Rodriguez? We think not. She’s certainly a highlight of “Someone Great,” the 2019 rom-com about a music journalist who gets dumped by her boyfriend and decides to have one last wild time with her BFFs before leaving to start a new job. This is another feel-good flick that will make you grateful for your girls and how they always have your back.
This is another entry on this list geared more towards teens/those in their early 20s than at those of us who are a bit longer in the teeth. However, “6 Years” deals with a very important topic that people of all age may be able to relate to: domestic violence in relationships. Mel and Dan seem super compatible and passionate at first, but it soon becomes clear just how dysfunctional and dangerous their relationship actually is. You’ll have to watch to find out what happens. However, if you’ve ever been in a situation like this, you may recognize elements of this young couple’s story.
“Bridget Jones’s Diary”
If you’ve seen any movie on this list, this is probably one of them. A total classic, Netflix has kindly made “Bridget Jones’s Diary” — one of the best movies to watch after a breakup or, well anytime — available to stream. It’s hard to believe it came out all the way back in 2001, but it’s just as good today. It’s all about Bridget Jones, a single woman who keeps a diary about how she wants her romantic life to go. But, when two separate men decide they want her, things get a bit mental. There’s no way you can watch this movie and not feel good.
“Blue is the Warmest Colour”
Wild Bunch/Vertigo Films
Turn on the subtitles for this one and have tissues at the ready. Based on a graphic novel of the same name, “Blue is the Warmest Colour” is about teenager Adele and her coming of age after meeting and falling for an older painter named Emma. Together, they learn so much and share an intense passion (seriously, it’s hot), but they also deal with plenty of difficulties. While it doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending, it doesn’t have a sad one, either. In fact, it seems incredibly fitting.
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
This one’s a doozy, and one you should probably wait a bit before watching. However, it is undoubtedly one of the best breakup movies in history, and it just so happens to be on Netflix. It focuses on Clementine and Joel, an intense couple who end their relationship after a huge argument. Joel struggles to cope and decides to have all of his memories of Clementine erased to ease the pain. Of course, the implications of such a procedure are huge. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” asks really big questions about life and love that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
If you’re a hopeless romantic, “About Time” is for you. The Richard Curtis movie is all about a guy named Tim who discovers he can time travel. Instead of using that ability to change history or to help himself get rich, he decides to improve his love life instead. After falling for a woman named Mary, he spends hours going back and forth through the years to win her over, sometimes with frustrating or heartbreaking results. This is one of the sweetest movies on this list.
“Malcolm & Marie”
If you’re looking for a movie that’s stylized and very sexy (and that stars Zendaya!), Malcolm & Marie is for you. The titular characters are boyfriend and girlfriend, but they run into trouble when, on the night of writer-director Malsolm’s film premiere, their relationship comes to a head as unspoken issues bubble to the surface. For all the darkness in this film (figuratively and literally), there’s a lot of light to be had, especially at the end.
“I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
If you’re into stories that are a bit more “out there,” Charlie Kaufman’s “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is a great choice. It’s the story of a woman and her boyfriend who go on a road trip to meet the boyfriend’s parents just as she’s thinking of breaking up with him. We don’t want to ruin anything so we’ll leave the synopsis there. Needless to say, it’s well worth watching.
“Silver Linings Playbook”
The Weinstein Company
Based on Matthew Quick’s novel of the same name, “The Silver Linings Playbook” is all about Pat, a man with bipolar disorder who just got out of a psychiatric hospital and meets Tiffany, a widow who convinces him to join a dance competition with him. This movie isn’t really about romance. Instead, it’s about recovering from the tougher times in life and how the people we have around us make that possible. If you haven’t seen this, please do. It got eight Oscar nominations for a reason!