How To Deal With A Breakup According To Harley Quinn And 6 Other Movie Characters

breakup movies, La La Land, Birds of Prey, Legally Blonde

(Image credit: (Lionsgate/Warner Bros/MGM))

As tradition dictates, this month is packed with tender love stories like The Photograph and adorable meet-cutes such as To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. Sure, falling in love is a beautiful part of life filmmakers love to capture… but so it falling out of it. In Birds of Prey, Harley Quinn is navigating her “emancipation” from Jared Leto’s Joker in an action-packed and hilarious ballet of a breakup film unlike any other. It reminds us that sometimes watching a movie character like Harley blow up a chemical plant is just the catharsis we need in a big Hollywood world full of adorable love stories and mushy dialogue.

How do you pick up the pieces of a broken heart? These movie characters have some ideas for you should you find yourself in such a situation this Valentine's Day. Most of these are straight-up horrible ideas that you should definitely not do, but watching them play out is fun!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 500 Days of Summer

(Image credit: (Fox Searchlight))

Break Every Dish In Your Kitchen

Sometimes you just have to take your frustration out on something, and going at it on an object is a better alternative than other things I guess, such as texting your ex “WHY” or going over to their house to ask “WHY.” Much, much better! In the iconic breakup indie (500) Days Of Summer, the movie opens on Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Tom just going one plate at a time and breaking them to pieces over his counter. But the real lesson of the 2009 film is what happens after all the dish breaking. After Zooey Deschanel’s Summer breaks it off with him, he turns to personal growth. He finds passion in pursuing his love of architecture, resulting in Tom entering a new and better season of his life.

Robin Williams and Sally Field in Mrs Doubtfire

(Image credit: (Fox))

Masquerade As Their Dream Housekeeper

Oh yes, 1993’s Mrs. Doubtfire is a 100% a breakup film. You thought it was just about the main character spending time with his kids, but this kind of crazy could only have come from heartbreak. In Robin Williams’ classic comedy, he is in the middle of a divorce with his wife (Sally Field). His custody deal is not great, so he thinks up an elaborate housekeeper character to dress up as in order to see his children, hang around at the house he’s built a life in and keep watch of her new BF – Pierce Brosnan. The movie provides some hilarious moments – like when he dunks his head in the pie! That said, Mrs. Doubtfire is also required viewing about the journey about coming out of the other side of divorce and heartbreak.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land

(Image credit: (Lionsgate))

Imagine A Grand One-Shot Music Number About Your Relationship

Courtesy of 2017’s almost-Best Picture La La Land comes a what-could-have-been story of romance and heartbreak. The beauty of Damien Chazelle’s musical is how it highlights the beauty of love, even the ones that don’t end up panning out. A romance such as the one Ryan Gosling Sebastian and Emma Stone’s Mia had is often shown beat-for-beat and it ends in happily ever after. In La La Land, audiences fall in love with this couple’s chemistry, but they are also faced with the struggles of a young relationship diverging on two paths. During the film’s beautiful finale, Sebastian imagines their future, but it’s all in its head. Often we romanticize our lost relationships after the fact, but they were better off breaking up.

Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde

(Image credit: (MGM))

Enroll In The Same Law School As Your Ex

Another bold move of a breakup film comes in the form of 2001’s Legally Blonde. Reese Witherspoon’s pretty-in-pink Elle Woods gets dumped by her boyfriend, but she just doesn’t know how to let it go. Elle gets herself in her ex’s law school to spend more time with him and prove herself. It starts as a flawed decision fueled by loss, but what Elle Woods finds out is that it wasn’t worth it for her to do these big gestures to get her ex to take her back. She needed to push herself, for herself and when she does, she becomes a star at the law school! Legally Blonde is a fun take on the breakup film that offers a bit of hope for new flames. Hello, early '00s, Luke Wilson!

Adam Driver in Marriage Story

(Image credit: (Netflix))

Break Out Into Song In Front Of All Your Closest Friends

A recent A+ breakup movie that was the talk of Oscars season is Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. The movie takes audiences in the stresses and toxicity that can come out of a divorce between hotshot lawyers, your ex’s still-close relationship with your parents and the intensity of arguments. That wall punch – I do not recommend it! What’s great about Marriage Story is how it’s framed in the beginning and end through what Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver’s characters love about each other. The movie really explores the grey areas of love and heartbreak – because despite the drama, their love was always real, and that’s a beautiful reminder for a movie to include. But seriously, sometimes karaoke/public singing can be therapeutic.

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook

(Image credit: (Weinstein))

Take Up A New Hobby

Here’s some classic advice: try something new. Place your passion and heartbreak in something else besides the thought of your breakup. It’s the premise of Silver Linings Playbook. In a desperate attempt to show his ex he’s getting better, Bradley Cooper’s character decides to enter into a dance competition with Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar-winning widow Tiffany. They’re both messes going through their own personal struggles, but when they get together, it’s electric. Watching the final, hilarious dance scene between the both of them at the end is good every single time. It delivers the perfect message about creating something positive from a low point.

Huntress, Harley and Black Canary in Birds of Prey

(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Blow Up A Chemical Plant And Become A Walking Target

Finally, to the latest breakup movie extravaganza: Birds of Prey. The new Warner Bros flick has Harley Quinn splitting off from her famous love, The Joker. At first she doesn’t know quite how to deal with life without him considering he’s a powerful villain in Gotham City and she had immunity to do whatever she pleased, but then she meets the “birds.” This action flick features some awesome action sequences and it’s just stylish – but it’s also all about coming into your own after a breakup. Harley Quinn finds out she’s even more powerful without Mr. J and meets some badass friends along the way, and blowing up the Ace Chemical Plant played a huge role in getting her there.

You can take or leave some of this bonkers advice on breakups. Which of these films are you popping in today? Vote in our poll and recommend your favorite in the comments below!

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Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.