Movie List

20 Best Breakup Movies on Netflix Right Now

Updated December 15, 2020
15 min read

As usual, let’s ask Google the best ways of getting over a ‘breakup.’ The search results will guide you to numerous sites listing N number of ways to deal with the breakup. The advice varies from blocking him or her on all social media handles, or not getting drunk alone, or maybe to start some intense workout routine. But the best advice anyone can give is to watch how our beloved characters deal with the trauma and afterlife. You may end up in tears by the end of such movies but never mind, you are just having your cathartic moment, which means a safety valve for your grief to vent out.

Watching someone going through the same ordeal as you also gives us a feeling of companionship. We can easily identify and empathize with them, which consoles our own wounded self. For those who’ve never gone through the breakup process, watching breakup movies will help to get a taste of the cherry without buying them, placing them intimately close and at a safe distance at the same time. People are splitting up ever since they invented the magical phenomenon called love. Netflix addressed this universal truth and compiled some of the best breakup movies for streaming. So, here’s the list of really good breakup movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now.

20. My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

Starring Julia Roberts, ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ is the story of two childhood friends who make a pact to marry each other if they are still single by the time they are 28 years old. But the plan comes to a halt when Juliana (Julia Roberts) receives a call from Michael (Dermot Mulroney) sharing the news of his wedding to Kimmy Wallace (Cameron Diaz). The realization hits Julianne that she has feelings for her best friend, Michael, and decides to sabotage the wedding. With the wedding right around the corner, do people have second thoughts? How do you think it will change the nature of their friendship? Watch this film to find out.

19. The Breakup Playlist (2015)

The Filipino musical drama takes us through the journey of two musicians who collaborate professionally and develop feelings for each other along the way. Piolo Pascual features as Gino Avila and Sarah Geronimo as Trixie David. Various other factors come into play over time, like differences between their families and their pride. The smash-hit at the box office, the film was not only praised by the critics but also collected 100 million pesos within a week of its release.

18. Remember Me (2010)

‘Remember Me’ looks at the strain on various kinds of relationships- romantic relationship, familial relationship, as well as friendship. The reason why this film features on this list is that it looks at what the impact of the absence of a person we love, can have on our lives. Starring Robert Pattinson, Pierce Brosnan, Emilie de Ravin, Chris Cooper, and Lena Olin, this film is a romantic coming-of-age drama directed by Allen Coulter. The story revolves around Tyler (Robert Pattinson) and Ally (Emilie de Ravin) as they meet in the unlikeliest of situations and fall in love with each other. They both have suffered trauma in the family due to the violent deaths of their loved ones, which disrupts the quality of their relationships in the family. As they heal with time and learn to deal with their pain, the unexpected 9/11 terror attacks change everything.

17. Her (2013)

her

Spike Jonze sets his fantasy-romance ‘Her’ somewhere in the future. The movie depicts the complex relationship formed between an introvert writer Theodore Twombly, played brilliantly by Joaquin Phoenix, Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson, an artificially intelligent virtual assistant. Theodore works for a letter-writing firm as a personal letter writer. He writes intimate letters for those who can’t write or don’t have time. He is very lonely and depressed.

When Theodore buys an operating system upgrade with an artificial intelligence-powered personal assistant, his life changes forever. He personifies the assistant with a female voice, Samantha, and starts his long conversations with her. Slowly they develop a very intense and emotional bond. But when Samantha announces the departure of her generation of AIs, Theodore is left with a broken heart. After Samantha left, he realizes that Samantha imbued new gratitude, acceptance, and openness within him. In the last scene, we see Theodore reuniting with his estranged real-life lover.

16. The Squid and the Whale (2005)

Written and directed by Noah Baumbach, ‘The Squid and the Whale’ is a semi-autobiographical story of two boys dealing with their parents’ divorce. The independent arthouse comedy-drama was nominated for many awards, including the Golden Globe and Academy Award for its screenplay. Focusing on the children Walt (Jesse Eisenberg) and Frank (Owen Kline), this film takes us through the differences in their coping mechanisms. This is not devoid of drama as they both act out and develop questionable behaviors. With a little help at school from the school psychologist, will they be able to face their fears, insecurities, and unresolved feelings?

15. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Being an all-time cult favorite of those who’ve lost their loved ones and those who’ve reunited with their soulmates, ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind‘ is a sure bet when you are in need of a breakup movie watch. Joel Barish, played by Jim Carrey, is heartbroken when he learns that his girlfriend Clementine, played by Kate Winslet, erased all his memories through a new clinical method. Equally provoked and pained, Joel decides to do the same to her, to erase all her memories with the same method. But as he passes through the process, he realizes how passionately his mind holds onto Clementine’s memories when they are wiped off. He realizes their deep connection and decides to correct their mistake which seems literally irreversible.

14. The Lobster (2015)

the lobster

Director Yorgos Lanthimos takes us for a dark comedy tour to a dystopian society. The system has implemented a weird rule for the city dwellers. According to the laws of The City, single people are sent to The Hotel in The Woods to find a romantic partner. If they can’t find a match within forty-five days, they will be transformed into various beasts and abandoned in The Woods. Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz play the lead pair who desperately strike a connection with each other to evade being transformed into a beast. Unable to find his mate after some romantic misadventures, the man escapes The Hotel and joins the rebel insurgent group, The Loners. The group believes in the complete rejection of romance. But when he falls for the mysteriously silent beauty, played by Rachel Weisz, things take a dangerous turn. The movie is a brilliant vision of our society and how it deals with love, relationships, and breakup.

13. An Education (2009)

Set in London in the early 60s, ‘An Education’ is about a relationship between Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan) and David Goldman (Peter Sarsgaard). Despite their age difference, David charms Jenny and her family into believing that he is one of the best things that could happen to them. Jenny is convinced that the life David is offering is all she needs, she decides to quit her education, only to find out that none of it was worth it. When one is swept up by the feelings they have for another person, one doesn’t see sense. It is only in retrospect they question if any of it was worth making the life-changing decisions. The film gives us hope in the end as it makes us realize that it is never too late to make a change.

12. Nappily Ever After (2018)

nappily ever after

Nappily Ever After‘ is a hilarious take on the way we live out our life. Violet Jones, played by Sanaa Lathan, leads a nearly perfect life with a good job, a doctor boyfriend, and the most popular hairstyle in the town. But an unexpected accident at the hair salon turns her life upside down. A mistake of the hairstylist triggers hair loss from her scalp. Eventually, Violet finds her boyfriend with another woman and in utter desperation, she shaves her head. In the next few days, she ponders on the life she had lived so far and realizes it was not what she really wanted. When she meets a philosophical barber, Violet starts putting the scattered pieces together, and ‘Nappily Ever After’ ends on a positive note.

11. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ is a very unusual film in the sense of its storytelling, which is based on the graphic novel series ‘Scott Pilgrim’ by Bryan Lee O’Malley. This ensemble cast portrays the story of Scott Pilgrim (John Cera), who must defeat seven evil exes of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) if he wants to win her over, and in addition, also deal with his own exes. Although this comedy is on a lighter note, it deals with the basic idea of wrapping up the past before moving on.  Although it initially tanked at the box office, it received appreciation from the critics and ultimately garnered a cult following; not to forget that it was shortlisted for an Academy Award for the Best Visual Effects.

10. Irreplaceable You (2018)

Irreplaceable You (2018)

‘Irreplaceable You’ is a heartbreaking tale of love, loss, absence, and farewells. When the friendship between Abbie, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Sam, played by Michiel Huisman, since childhood culminates in their engagement, the movie starts with a positive vibe. But things take a devastating turn when Abbie is diagnosed with a terminal illness. With her timeline on earth marked short, Abbie begins searching for a new companion for Sam after she leaves.

The search takes her to different people and humorous situations, which create a deep impact on her take on the illness. She meets Myron, played by Christopher Walken, Kate, played by Kate McKinnon, and Mitch, played by Steve Coogan, during her search and makes friends with them. One thing that connects them all is that they are dying and it makes them very passionate about life’s remaining precious moments on earth. Before leaving her beloved and others, Abbie learns how to say goodbye to those we love before we die, by living life with them to the fullest.

9. Gaga: Five Foot Two (2017)

Gaga Five Foot TwoNetflix’s original documentary ‘Gaga: Five Foot Two’ takes us to the ‘behind the scenes’ of Lady Gaga’s legendary musical journey. Directed by Chris Moukarbel, who is known for ‘Banksy Does New York,’ the movie narrates Lady Gaga’s life during one of the most difficult periods in her career. The director uses the cinema verite style to bring out the vulnerable real persona of the super singer. We see Gaga spending time with friends and family, recording, publicity, and release activities of her 2016 album ‘Joanne,’ and grappling with her personal demons for over an eight-month period.

Gaga visibly goes through intense emotional and physical pain. As she was going through a rocky relationship with then-fiance Taylor Kinney, it affected her professional career for a while. The movie also shows Gaga as a simple person who attends a family christening, visiting her grandmother, cooking food for the family, and playing with her dogs. Gaga bounced back after the 8-month period, and the title of the movie, ‘Gaga: Five Foot Two’, stands for how the 5’2 singer managed to win over her personal demons and established a global fan base with her music.

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8. When We First Met (2018)

when we first met

When We First Met,’ is a time travel odyssey of love and mistakes that repeat with the time wheel. When Noah, played by Adam Devine, gets an opportunity to open up his undisclosed love to his dream girl, Avery, played Alexandra Daddario, things go awfully awry. On a romantic night, she simply treats him as a friend. Noah searches for the reason behind his tragic rejection at that night for the next three years but in vain. Then, a phone booth facilitates unexpected time-travel for him. Now, Noah can go back through time and intervene in the events of that night and alter the outcome! The movie depicts Noah’s destiny of repeating the same mistake again and again like a loop.

7. Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Based on the classic novel of the same name by Jane Austen, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is set in the 19th century. Although the film is not exactly about breakups, heartbreak is a consistent feature of the story. It talks about a time when relationships were almost wholly based on class divide and social status. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ follows the Bennett family and their desire to see each of their daughters settled into a “good” marriage. This was Joe Wright’s feature directorial debut and cast some Hollywood heavyweights alongside fairly new actors at the time. The cast of the film includes Keira Knightley, Judi Dench, Rosamund Pike, Tamzin Merchant, Matthew Macfayden, Jenna Malone, and Donald Sutherland.

6. 6 Years (2015)

6-years-2‘6 Years’ chronicles the toxic relationship between Dan and Melanie, a young couple in their early 20s. Being childhood friends, their 6-year-long romance takes a blow when Dan receives an irresistible offer from a record label. Now, he must choose between a milestone in his career and forming a family with Mel. The couple then starts to realize the depth and intensity of their mutual affection. It is a painful realization for both of them when the bitter truth that their love has evolved into a mere routine. Written and directed by Hannah Fidell, ‘6 Years’ pits love against the individual existence of the lovers. In the end, the young couple chose to take their individual paths at the cost of their joint future together.

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5. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Silver-Linings-Playbook-DI

David O. Russel’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ stands out among typical ‘breakup and fall in love again’ movies. When Pat Solatano, played by Bradley Cooper, returns after spending a few months in a state institution, he has nothing left as his own. Everything has gone, including his house, his job, and his wife. Pat has nowhere to go except his mom and dad, played by Jacki Weaver and Robert DeNiro. But Pat doesn’t want to leave things as it is. He is still optimistic about reuniting with his wife. Then he crosses paths with the mysterious beauty, Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence. Tiffany has problems of her own but agrees to help Pat to reconnect with his wife. But she has plans of her own, which puts Pat in a dangerous situation. As their pact starts rolling, a strange intimacy develops between Pat and Tiffany. ‘Silver Lining Playbook‘ renders the nuances of mutual affection and the weird ways through which it guides the lovers, not to mention the excruciating pain.

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4. Someone Great (2019)

For those who are going through a breakup and craving a cathartic blowout with your friends, you can live vicariously through this fun bunch. As Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) accepts her dream job with Rolling Stone in San Francisco and loses her boyfriend of nine years at the same time, she seeks comfort in her friends’ company before she leaves New York the next day. This film takes us through the painful phase of accepting the end of a relationship. But what makes it slightly more bearable is when you have your friends who help you get through it.

3. The Incredible Jessica James (2017)

‘The Incredible Jessica James’ has a very relatable storyline; two people who meet on a blind date do not exactly have a clean slate when it comes to getting over their previous relationships. Jessica (Jessica Williams) and Boone (Chris O’Dowd) open up to each other about their past relationships and where they are vis-a-vis their process of “getting over” them. As they bond over their similar situations, they come closer and ultimately fall for each other. But when past issues have not been resolved, it is bound to drag in the mess. This romantic comedy is written and directed by James C. Strouse.

2. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

If you want to watch a movie for all the crushes you have had, ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before‘ is your pick. The movie revolves around the crazy idea of documenting your thoughts about your ex-crushes. Lara Jean Song Covey does exactly that. She has written down everything she thinks about five boys, as five separate letters. But, her love life turns upside down when all the five love letters are mysteriously mailed out to the respective addresses. Based on the best selling novel by Jenny Han, the movie reminds us of the beauty and innocence of being vulnerable. ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ will connect emotionally with anyone who has had a big crush in their life, which, is all of us!

1. Marriage Story (2019)

‘Marriage Story’ is a beautiful film about the intricacies of emotions, between former spouses who are parents to Henry (Azhy Robertson), Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), and Charlie (Adam Driver). Nicole is an actress and Charlie, a successful theatre director in New York City, but their marriage starts falling apart for various reasons. In her attempt to pursue her dreams, Nicole temporarily moves in with her mother in West Hollywood, along with her son Henry. She has an offer to film a pilot for an upcoming TV series in Los Angeles. Although the couple decided to split amicably, Nicole gets a lawyer involved, after which things take a turn on their own whether Nicole and Charlie like it or not.  This widely acclaimed film is directed and written by Noah Baumbach.

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