Had your heart broken? Here are the films to get you out from under your duvet and back into the world.

03 June 2024

LUMI Programmer Katherine Harris shares her favourite films to help heal a broken heart 💔

Had your heart broken Here are films to get you out from under your duvet and back into the world

So you’ve had your heart broken. It's devastating, soul-crushing and gut-wrenching, you think you’ll drown in the floods of tears and your flat mates start to wonder if you’ve taken up haunting the house Wuthering Heights style. In the cold light of day, you go through life normally but mentally you're wrapped up in your duvet, it's 3am and you’re eating the comfort food you’ve tried so hard not to wake everyone else up to get at (for me, it's banana ice cream).


I know how you feel, and this article hopefully can bring you out from under your duvet and get you back into the world. Think of me as your fairy godmother, or better yet, the animal handler coaxing you out from under the deck where you’ve made your nest. This is your guide, your manual, the pocket handbook that can be read over and over between googles of ‘will this feeling last forever?’ (spoiler: no it will not) and ‘who the hell eats banana ice cream?’ (that one is fair enough, although I hope this is a safe space).


Last thing to note before bestowing my wisdom, although these films will help you process a broken heart and navigate a path through it, it will be hard. As much as I wish blocking out 2 days for a movie marathon will mean you no longer think of them in the queue getting coffee or they’ll never pop into your head again, this article is not an ultimate fix all. Trust me, if I had the definitive cure to heartbreak I would have saved myself a whole lot of money on 2 for 1s and banana ice cream (again, no judgement).


To start, the first film I would recommend is La La Land. It's a feel your feelings film (try saying that 5 times fast), perfect for the flood of emotions you’re going through. It’s okay to feel them, to feel like the world is crashing down and there's an endless hole you’re constantly falling through. But it's also good to not become those feelings; they are there for you to feel, not for them to overwhelm you. Live and grieve your relationship like Sebastian and Mia for the emotional 128 minute run time. (P.S. A good cry to City of Stars is healthy and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).


Okay so at this point you're sure (or at least are starting to think) that breaking up was right for you, that's an incredible first step. What happens now to the x amount of memories I have in my head? What do you mean I took them to my favourite coffee shop/bar/cinema and now frustratingly the space feels tainted with the memory of them? I get it, the anger and sadness creeps up until you want to tear your hair out and curse that you let them turn ‘your stuff’ into ‘our stuff’. Don’t worry, my next film recs will help. This is a double whammy, the first of which is obviously Midsommar. The cathartic yet claustrophobic aura of this film echoes the suffocating anger and off kilter feeling a break up leaves you with. This exploration into a seemingly innocent festival is the best way to channel your anger, sit with it and let Florence Pugh's incredible acting flow through you.


The second of this double whammy is The Grudge (2004). This is such a classic horror film, you’re submerged into the story and can be fully immersed to take your mind off everything. Release yourself into feeling your heart rate spike, your breath catch in your throat and the terrifying but refreshing feeling of being alive. This is the perfect film to reset and erupt through the muddy bleariness of a break up. Think of the benefit of running a marathon without the even more horrifying thought of being perceived right now. And trust me, after watching this you won’t be worrying about being alone anymore!


At this point you'll hopefully be able to start feeling a bit more like a person and less like Uma Thurman, Kill Bill style. It is at this point, I’m sorry to say, the reminiscing and bargaining will come full force. The “We did this together” comes with “What if I did this, would things be different?”. It is at this point (if you haven't already) I would recruit backup. Be that friends, family, a mix of both, or even housemates who have made the mistake of investigating the strange new haunting of the house, a support system is essential. To pair with these films, I would recommend a movie night, specifically cramming as many people onto the one sofa and letting the snacks flow while you watch a double bill of Someone Great and Mamma Mia.


Someone Great is designed to be honest, the needed combination of a feel good gal pal adventure and heartbreak. It includes an amazing post break up soundtrack including Lorde and Phoebe Bridgers (nothing beats belting Supercut at such an apt time). Mamma Mia, being such a classic feel good film that it is, means this article wouldn’t be complete without it. Be comforted by the knowledge Donna did amazing things without a partner and trust me when I say sing-screaming to this soundtrack also doubles as free therapy.


By now, following the metaphor from earlier, you’re almost out from under the deck, and hopefully less acquainted with the morning birds, but I won’t leave you to fend for yourself just yet. I have a couple films left to build you back up and to leave you to remember you are worth so much more than them, whoever they are.


Another classic, Legally Blonde. It’s one of the greats for a reason, an incredibly empowering film of a woman's resourcefulness post breakup. Her confidence will rub off on you, the infectious feeling of “I can do anything” is just what will give a boost to get out there again, to see the world and your favourite places as not tainted with memories but as layered with them. You are worth so much and there's no way you're letting one person dull your ammonium thioglycolate moment.


And finally, the last film I'll leave you with is Rye Lane. It's a refreshing down to earth love story, a light footed, meet-cute romcom. This, I leave with you to rediscover love, to reacquaint yourself with the idea, even if you're not ready to pursue it yet. The main characters Yas and Dom are delightful and in their capable hands you are taken on a journey around South London, experience with them their quest to get a beloved record back and in turn find each other.