Drive Me Crazy: Dr. Amy's Guide to Everyone's Favorite Dysfunctional Movie Couples
The holidays are upon us and there’s nothing I like more than taking some time off, sitting down with family and friends, and watching a great classic film. Overboard, There’s Something About Mary, Brokeback Mountain, The Seven Year Itch, Breakfast at Tiffany’s - some of my favorite movies feature dysfunctional movie couples. These movies are always a good place to go when you need to feel better about your relationship. Or, if you’re single, it’s a nice reminder that things could always be worse. Haha!
If you’re looking for movie inspiration, here’s a short list of some of my favorite flawed cinematic relationships:
Fatal Attraction, 1987
A married man, Dan, meets single gal, Alex. Dan’s wife, Beth, and daughter head out of town and Dan hooks up the perfect no-strings-attached weekend fling with Alex. Then Alex stalks Dan, cooks his pet rabbit, abducts his daughter, and attempts to murder both Dan and his wife with a butcher's knife, until Dan half-drowns her and Beth shoots her in the head.
Gone With The Wind, 1939
Often dubbed the greatest love story of all time, Scarlett and Rhett’s romance is anything but idyllic. Highlights include: marital rape, Scarlett’s constant manipulations, her snobbery and infidelity, his cruelty, and the fact that she only declares her love for him at the very moment she loses him. Don’t get me started on all the social stereotypes!
Splendor in the Grass, 1961
Teenage Bud and Deanie meet and fall passionately, deeply in love. Bud is from a wealthy family and his parents throw a fit when they hear of Bud’s plans to marry Deanie. They force Bud to dump her, she doesn’t take it well, has a nervous breakdown, and her parents send her to a mental institution. Deanie does eventually get another chance at love with a fellow psychiatric patient but Bud feels bad about the breakup for the rest of his life.
Silver Linings Playbook, 2012
A romantic dramedy about former psychiatric patient Pat, who enters a dance competition with recent widow, Tiffany, in exchange for her help in winning back his ex-wife. Pat has bipolar disorder and Tiffany is seriously depressed but somehow the combination is absolutely charming. Bonus! In addition to the mental instability of both of the main characters, this film is also an interesting study of the world of dysfunctional families.
Natural Born Killers, 1994
Everyone’s favorite psychopaths, Mickey and Mallory, meet, fall in love, and go on a murdering rampage rendering them instant media celebrities. Throughout the film, incest, molestation, murder, rape, rampant drug use, and kidnapping are all presented in graphically glorifying detail. Despite all the insanity, you can’t help rooting for them.
Whatever your genre, happy movie watching!