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Down with love: 9 movies to celebrate Singles Awareness Day
Don't be SAD on Singles Awareness Day. Grab one of these movies to remind yourself why love isn't always everything it's cracked up to be. - photo by Jeff Peterson
It might say Valentines Day on the calendar, but for a big percentage of people, Feb. 14 is Singles Awareness Day, aka SAD.

Dont let the name fool you, though. While the rest of the world celebrates love and togetherness with (overpriced) dinners and flowers (that die), there are plenty of ways to celebrate being a free agent, including movie marathons.

With that in mind, here are nine movie recommendations that might make the solo fliers out there just a little bit happier to be single this Feb. 14. Included are stories of love gone wrong, relationships based on lies and ulterior motives, dangerous obsessions and the inevitable pain that comes from caring about someone too much or not enough all reminders that being alone isnt as bad as being with the wrong person.

So get into some PJs, break out a pint of ice cream and enjoy.

Vertigo Alfred Hitchcock is commonly known as the master of suspense, but he was also a master at portraying seriously twisted relationships.

In possibly his best film, he explores the fine line between passion and obsession and the dangerous ramifications of crossing it. Perennial nice guy James Stewart subverts his own onscreen persona, playing a detective hired to shadow the wife of an old friend. In the process, he ends up falling in love with her, which takes him on a dark, messed up journey.

For those who havent seen it, theres a reason Vertigo was named the Greatest Movie of All Time by critics in the British Film Institute's latest Sight & Sound poll. Part ghost story, part mystery, part psychological torture, its a perfect remedy to all the schmaltzy rom-coms thatll be playing on TV come Feb. 14.

Another pro tip: Download Bernard Herrmanns moody score and use it as a personal soundtrack throughout the day to drown out all the marriage proposals, poetry recitations and singing telegrams you might otherwise overhear while walking down any given street.

Dial M for Murder Another Hitchcock classic, this one stars Ray Milland (The Thing With Two Heads) as a former tennis player who hatches a plot to have his wife (Grace Kelly) murdered after he discovers that she had an affair.

While Millands character is clearly the bad guy, none of the cast comes off squeaky-clean here, showing how messy relationships can be, even for athletes and future princesses of Monaco.

Milland would later continue his fight against love in all its forms as the antagonistic father in that staple of Valentines Day cinema, Love Story, making him a true Singles Awareness Day hero.

Meanwhile, Dial M for Murder went on to inspire the Gwyneth Paltrow/Michael Douglas vehicle A Perfect Murder, which is probably more notable these days for introducing a large number of moviegoers to a pre-Lord of the Rings Viggo Mortensen.

Crazy Love A documentary that at once epitomizes the adage truth is stranger than fiction while also casting a morbid pall on Valentines Day slogans such as love means never having to say youre sorry.

Crazy Love, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, recounts the bizarre, destructive relationship between New York City attorney Burt Pugach and the unfortunate victim/object of his affections, Linda Riss.

Instead of chocolates and flowers, this love story involves hired hit men and prison sentences. Suffice it to say, it makes even the most imaginative soap operas seem bland by comparison.

Clearly, happily ever after is a relative term.

Double Indemnity Populated by duplicitous lovers and femme fatales, the film noir genre abounds in movies that would be perfect to watch on Singles Awareness Day. Perhaps none more so, however, than this 1944 Billy Wilder flick co-written by Raymond Chandler and based on a novella by James M. Cain. (Not a bad pedigree right there!) Fred MacMurray of The Shaggy Dog and The Absent-Minded Professor fame stars as an insurance salesman seduced by a beautiful woman (Barbara Stanwyck) into murdering her husband. Naturally, things get complicated just like anything involving the heart and a lot of money.

Other film noir titles to consider: Gilda and The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Cleopatra A spiritual cousin to Double Indemnity, in some ways, but on a scale that spans empires instead of city blocks, Joseph L. Mankiewiczs 1963 historical epic portrays what the movies 50th anniversary edition trailer touts as the greatest love story of all time one rooted in political scheming and ambition, all of which culminates in (spoiler) a double suicide.

If this is the best love story there is, bachelors and bachelorettes everywhere should watch it and count themselves lucky.

The films production was almost as disastrous as the historical romance portrayed onscreen. It notoriously ended up costing a jaw-dropping $44 million (not the $2 million it was budgeted at), making it the most expensive movie of all time up to that point and nearly bankrupting 20th Century Fox, according to

(500) Days of Summer Marc Webbs 2009 Sundance hit starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel is frequently categorized as a romantic comedy, which would make it a pretty poor choice for this list if that were accurate.

But when you get down to it, (500) Days of Summer is really more of an anti-rom-com, showing a relationship that hits the typical Hollywood movie high of complete, head-over-heels love (including choreographed musical numbers and cartoon birds) but then unravels in a way thats probably all too familiar for anyone thats ever dipped a toe into the world of romantic courtship.

Despite all that, its not a complete downer quite the contrary. In fact, youd be hard pressed to find a movie about the end of a dysfunctional relationship thats more enjoyable than this, thanks to its extremely watchable leads.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Winning the girl of your dreams is really, really, really hard work. Thats more or less the theme of this cult comedy from Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), based on the indie comic series by Bryan Lee OMalley, which follows the titular protagonist (Michael Cera) as he battles his crushs seven evil exes in order to win her heart.

But in the end, is a dream girl even worth it? Judging by the films famous (well, relatively) alternate endings, thats debatable.

While not quite on par with Wrights so-called Cornetto Trilogy, Scott Pilgrim is a love story for people who arent in love, all wrapped up in the trappings of a live-action video game.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Love is the greatest con of all. That wasnt the tagline for this 1988 comedy starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, but it should have been.

Directed by Yoda himself, Frank Oz, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels follows a pair of dueling con artists competing for the right to operate in the fictional French Riviera city of Beaumont-sur-Mer, where wealthy, single, vacationing women are easy targets.

This movie clearly shows how easily manipulated people can be once the head gives way to the heart a valuable lesson for people on any day of the year, but Valentines Day especially.

More generally, Caine (doing his very best David Niven impersonation) and Martin are a blast to watch, so this ones an easy recommendation whether youre a lone wolf or a packaged deal.

Bonnie and Clyde Finally, another of the great romances, right up there with Antony and Cleopatra and Hamlets mother and uncle.

Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway star as the outlaw lovebirds in Arthur Penns 1967 film, based on the true story of Depression-era bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker.

That same year, the story was also immortalized in a Serge Gainsbourg pop song of the same name. Watch the movie, though. Not only is it a bona fide American classic, having been selected as one of the first 100 films to be entered into the National Film Registry, but singles everywhere can also use it to fulfill a very specific and vital function: If at any point in the future there is even the slightest temptation to fall in love, just watch the climactic scene on repeat as a reminder of what could happen if you do.
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