If you’re looking for some feel-good movies to distract you from the betrayal you just experienced, this is NOT the list for you. However, if you’re feeling a lot of feelings, like rage, confusion, melancholy, anxiety, disgust, and loneliness, and you want to wallow in them for a bit, do it with these films. You have to embrace the emotions before you can move on, and these movies, many of which feature infidelity and break-ups, will validate your heartbreak.
1. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Watching Jason Segel cry in his sweatpants and completely fall apart after his break-up might make you feel like you’re doing okay. The movie is a sensational depiction of how moving on after a long relationship is a painful, slow process, and it’s even worse when you find out they betrayed you.
2. Someone Great (2019)
If you want to bawl your eyes out for an hour, this is the movie for you. However, by the end, you’ll feel uplifted and hopeful. There’s no cheating in this one, but it does show the downfall of a long relationship. It might help you find some peace and accept that you’ll be better off.
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
I know everyone recommends this movie when someone goes through a breakup, but it really is the best medicine. It shows how you can truly love and connect with someone but still be wrong for one another. After being cheated on, you may want to forget the whole relationship ever happened, but every failed relationship helps you grow and find yourself.
4. Becoming Jane (2007)
Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy have unbelievable chemistry together in this film about Jane Austen. Even if your partner betrayed you, walking away is still hard, and this movie shows how difficult it can be to let go of someone you want to be with. Make sure you have tissues ready.
5. The Break-Up (2006)
The Break-Up is one of the quintessential break-up movies. Breakups are rarely neat and clean, especially if you live together. The rollercoaster the two main characters go on in this movie will resonate with anyone who is struggling at the end of a relationship.
6. The Holiday (2006)
This movie kicks off with Cameron Diaz throwing her cheating boyfriend out of the house while he tries to blame her for his infidelity. If you were recently cheated on, this movie could be a cathartic watch, as multiple people are cheated on in the film, but they move on to bigger and better things, and you will, too.
7. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
A few of the main characters in the movie are cheaters themselves, but the film doesn’t try and excuse their behavior. The film tackles a few different relationships, divorce, betrayal, and related themes that may resonate with you. If you’re feeling angry, you can direct some of your anger at the unfaithful characters.
8. The First Wives Club (1996)
For any ladies going through a breakup with an unfaithful man, The First Wives Club is a must-watch. Three wives betrayed by their husbands set out for revenge, mostly on their husbands but also the other women. It’s funny but also validating, as it’s easy to lose yourself in anger when something like this happens.
9. The Other Woman (2014)
Three women discover that they’re all involved with the same man and come together to enact revenge on him. This quirky and charming movie will feel like lamenting with a group of girlfriends who get exactly what you’re going through, whether you’re the wife, girlfriend, or secret lover.
10. EuroTrip (2004)
EuroTrip is a wildly hilarious movie that starts off with a painful scene where a recent high school graduate discovers his long-time girlfriend has been gleefully cheating on him. The movie may inspire you to heal your heartbreak with a rambunctious adventure and find yourself again.
11. Marriage Story (2019)
On the other hand, Marriage Story is definitely not funny or lighthearted. The movie takes a raw look at the demise of a marriage, showing the complexity of these situations. There is cheating, fighting, lying, betrayal, and more, so it’s easy to find something to relate to. Be prepared for a rollercoaster of emotions that might help you process your heavy feelings.
12. Palm Springs (2020)
Cheating is a driving force in Palm Springs. There are likable and hateworthy characters who cheat, but in no way do they justify the affairs. The story may help you gain a better perspective following a romantic betrayal, as the main characters realize that in the grand scheme of things, they’re better off without those toxic people in their lives.
13. The Heartbreak Kid (2007)
The Heartbreak Kid is all about how people aren’t always who you think they are. It’s not always good when someone finally shows their true colors, but in the end, it’s best to find out who you’re with as soon as possible so you can move on if they aren’t right for you.
14. Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005)
Being blindsided by betrayal can feel like a gut punch, and that’s exactly what happens in this film. In one of the best scenes in the movie, she destroys all of her soon-to-be ex-husband’s belongings, which is extremely fun to watch. This is another wonderful movie to watch if you’re teeming with rage.
15. Along Came Polly (2004)
This funny movie is another quintessential film for post-betrayal heartache. Ben Stiller plays a newlywed whose wife cheats on him on their honeymoon. It’s a heartbreaking situation, but he bounces back and finds someone better. The depiction of him moving on feels very relatable and authentic.
16. The Rental (2020)
This thriller is about two couples who go on a getaway together, but things fall into madness. The cheating and betrayal in the movie are next level and will make you angry for the victims. However, the movie is about more than cheating and takes a dark turn that will keep you hooked.
17. Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 (2003-2004)
If you want to sink into your feelings of anger, a Kill Bill double feature is a brilliant way to do so. Uma Thurman’s character goes on an epic rampage to take down everyone who betrayed her. You may not be able to take out your fury with a samurai sword, but you can live vicariously through Uma Thurman.
18. (500) Days of Summer (2009)
(500) Days of Summer is a great breakup movie because it shows how two people in a relationship can be on completely different pages. It also depicts how, after a breakup, you tend to replay moments and situations in your head over and over again. Relating to my point in the intro, you have to let yourself grieve before you can wholly move on.
19. John Tucker Must Die (2006)
I like to think of John Tucker Must Die as Kill Bill for teens. Three high schoolers realize they’re secretly dating the same guy and decide to methodically destroy his life. It’s another great movie if you want to be angry and shows how chaotic you may feel after discovering the betrayal.
20. Lost in Translation (2003)
Lost in Translation is a complex and meaningful movie about two people at different stages in their lives, but both are deeply unhappy. There is physical and emotional cheating in the film, but the main theme is the existential dread and dissatisfaction the characters feel. If you’re trying to process some very complicated feelings, this movie may be insightful.
21. Her (2013)
Her is filled with heartbreaking and raw moments that will bring you to tears and make you feel connected to the main character. The movie is supremely unique and offers some interesting ideas surrounding relationships and individual worth.
22. Gone Girl (2014)
Gone Girl is another amazing movie if you’re feeling angry about your partner cheating. If you haven’t seen this movie, you’re in for a thrilling mystery. And if you have seen it, you can watch it again and probably relate more to Amy than ever before.
23. The Graduate (1967)
This classic movie is about a young man who has a fling with an older married woman. He essentially ruins his own life by doing this and falls down a rabbit hole of emotions and mistakes. I would describe The Graduate as the exact opposite of a feel-good movie, so it’s great if you feel awful and have no interest in being cheered up.
24. Do Revenge (2022)
Yes, this is another film with a lot of anger in it. You can live through the main characters, who are each enacting their own revenge plots. If you’re feeling your hateful emotions festering inside, you’ll find the film relatable and maybe a little cathartic.
25. Love Actually (2003)
There are a few betrayals in this movie, but the one that hits me the hardest is always between Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman’s characters. The scene when she realizes he’s being unfaithful always wrecks me, and you’ll likely connect with her feelings of despair and sadness.