TIME movies

15 Movies for People Who Hate Valentine’s Day

This year, Valentine's Day is for haters

Valentine’s Day is as apt to dredge up feelings of bitterness and contempt as it is to inspire warmth and love. For every teddy bear clutching a heart-shaped box of chocolates, there is a cynic clutching a bottle of wine, for every dozen roses, a dozen haters who decry the holiday as a sham built on maudlin Hallmark clichés. It’s no coincidence that the new comedy How to Be Single lands in theaters smack-dab in the middle of February, joining a crop of other movies that—contrary to the suggestion of Netflix queues rife with romance—focus on friendship, empowerment in the absence of a partner and the kind of fun that just can’t be had while weighed down with a ball and chain.

  • How to Be Single (2016)

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    As its title suggests, this new comedy is an instruction manual for going solo and loving it, offering several viable options for singledom, from treating every night like a one-night stand (Rebel Wilson) to making a Project Plan for landing your dream guy (Alison Brie) to simply marrying your job (Leslie Mann). Dakota Johnson stars, taking a break from the Fifty Shades trilogy—which debuted this weekend last year—to tout the benefits of going it alone.

    Where to watch: How to Be Single hits theaters on Feb. 12.

  • Bachelorette (2013)

    The Weinstein Company

    This movie may revolve around a wedding, but it does not trade in the currency of love. Instead, the three bachelorettes in question—played by Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher—constitute perhaps the most mean-spirited, irresponsible, coke-snorting bridal party in movie history (for Rebel Wilson’s unusually straight-woman bride). Bachelorette is not for brides and grooms but for the scrooges who dream of ruining the wedding.

    Where to watch: Rent from Amazon or iTunes

  • Waiting to Exhale (1995)

    20th Century Fox/Getty Images

    “Everyone falls in love sometimes. Sometimes it’s wrong, sometimes it’s right.” Yes, these are the words Whitney Houston sang on the soundtrack of Waiting to Exhale, but they are also a good summary of its plot. Four best friends (Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon) find that men often drool while lady-friends most definitely rule. It’s all right there in the song: “When you’ve got friends to wish you well, you’ll find a point when you will exhale.”

    Where to watch: Rent from Amazon or iTunes

  • Thelma & Louise (1991)


    What do murder, armed robbery, the fugitive life and (spoiler alert) simultaneous suicide have in common? They are all hallmarks of best-friendship, at least as depicted in Thelma & Louise. For two friends played by Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, men—yes, even a hot, young Brad Pitt—are the source of all their problems. Solutions don’t come easy, if at all, but that’s where the unconditional love comes in. If anything makes you want to grab hold of your best friend’s hand, it’s the last 30 seconds of this movie.

    Where to watch: Rent from Amazon or iTunes

  • Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

    Touchstone Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Under the Tuscan Sun is like Eat Pray Love if Julia Roberts had stayed in Italy and focused her energies less on spaghetti and more on home repairs. Diane Lane plays a newly divorced woman, still stinging from the pain of her ex-husband’s affair, who fulfills the age-old fantasy of dropping everything, buying a Tuscan villa and dating a hunky Italian dudebut still finding that inner peace comes from within.

    Where to watch: Rent from Amazon or iTunes

  • The First Wives Club (1996)

    Paramount Pictures

    What better way to repudiate everything Valentine’s Day stands for than to sing “You Don’t Own Me” with Bette Midler, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn? The First Wives Club is a story of retaliation through resilience and choosing friendship over lovelorn despair. Revenge is sweetest when served with a side of attitude and Lesley Gore.

    Where to watch: Rent from Amazon or iTunes

  • 9 to 5 (1980)

    20th Century Fox

    Surely there are more legal ways to pursue equality for women in the workplace—from equal pay to improved childcare—but they’d be much less fun to watch than the way Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton pursue these changes in 9 to 5. It is as much a testament to female friendship as it is a tale of sweet revenge and a reminder of all the good that can come from putting a woman in charge.

    Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes

  • Baby Mama (2008)

    Universal Pictures

    Fans of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler don’t need many reasons, beyond their sheer existence in a movie, to watch the two comedians play out their crazy antics onscreen. But Baby Mama provides ample reason to queue it up if you’re not feeling Valentine’s Day: when it comes to baby-making, these sisters are doing it for themselves (mostly). From surrogacy snafus to baby-proofing mix-ups, Baby Mama gives us two funny ladies grabbing life by the ovaries, relationships be damned.

    Where to watch: Rent from Amazon or iTunes

  • Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)

    Universal Pictures

    This movie involves best friends who thwart an abusive husband’s evil intentions, intergenerational connections (between Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy, no less) and a murder mystery that revolves around a barbecue spit. And it scores a double whammy on the female empowerment scale: the chutzpah and moxie of the best friends in the olden-days story Tandy’s character narrates to Bates’ unhappy housewife gives the latter, in turn, the courage to face her own life with newfound strength.

    Where to watch: Rent from Amazon or iTunes

  • Happy Go Lucky (2008)

    Momentum Pictures

    Cynics beware: Happy Go Lucky is a movie about the happiest woman on the planet, so if you can’t spend two hours with an unshakable glass-half-full type, proceed with caution. But the film’s protagonist, Sally Hawkins’ Poppy, is an example of the kind of contentment that comes from appreciating what one has (a wonderful job and friends, for example) rather than lamenting what one doesn’t (a life partner). For those who need a little reminder in this department, Hawkins delivers it with considerable charm.

    Where to watch: Rent from Amazon or iTunes

  • Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)

    ABC Family

    Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion is like Revenge of the Nerds, minus pocket protectors, plus hair gel and feathers. As Romy and Michele, Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow prove that friendship is stronger than the taunts of mean girls and platonic love trumps popularity. The ladies may not have everything, but they have each other, time after time.

    Where to watch: Rent from Amazon or iTunes

  • Me Myself I (2000)

    Sony Pictures Classics/Getty Images

    In this Aussie comedy starring Rachel Griffiths, a single journalist who has dedicated her life to her career gets the chance to see how differently things might have turned out had she settled down and had a family. In an alternate-universe storyline reminiscent of Sliding Doors, Griffiths’ Pamela gets the opportunity to see that domestic bliss isn’t as blissful as she imagined it might be, and there’s much worthiness to be found in her, herself and she.

    Where to watch: Rent from Amazon or iTunes

  • Muriel’s Wedding (1994)

    Miramax Films

    Another quirky Aussie comedy featuring Rachel Griffiths (this time in a supporting role), the title of Muriel’s Wedding may refer to nuptials, but the movie is hardly a love story. Much like Romy and Michele, ABBA-loving Muriel (played by Toni Collette) is the target of ridicule by the popular women in her tiny seaside town. She believes an elaborate wedding to her dream guy will solve all her problems. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t. This movie acknowledges that nothing truly can. But you know what comes close? A best friend.

    Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes

  • Frozen (2013)

    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Frozen has receded from view just long enough for us to get “Let It Go” out of our heads, but no anti-V-Day list would be complete without its icy tale of sisterly love and redemption. The handsome prince is a jerk, after all! True love is just as powerful when it’s platonic and sisterly! It passes the Bechdel Test! If your vitriol for Valentine’s Day doesn’t extend to the entire Disney sensibility—or if you’re spending the night babysitting—this might just be the perfect little pick-me-up.

    Where to watch: Rent from Amazon or iTunes

  • Auntie Mame (1958)

    Warner Bros./Getty Images

    Few women make single look as good as Auntie Mame. Played by Rosalind Russell, the character, adapted from the protagonist in the 1955 novel of the same name, is a glamorous, party-going, live-life-to-the-fullest broad who assumes care of her orphaned nephew. She’s cultured and well-traveled and and happy to be alone. Auntie Mame reminds us to live exuberantly. “Life is a banquet,” she says, “and most poor suckers are starving to death!”

    Where to watch: Rent from Amazon or iTunes

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team