Happy Valentine’s Day! This is the day so many of us dread and would rather purge from our minds. From the lack of a love life to the sheer amount of annoying paraphernalia that accompanies this holiday, I’m sure we each have a reason for disliking the occasion.
If you’re like me and would like to just sit back, grab a drink, and watch a movie alone on your couch, here are a few recommendations for films to watch tonight. By the way, mostly every item listed is a classic and what I would consider a sublime piece of cinema, therefore I won’t include any “so bad it’s good” movies. As I consider all of these films masterpieces, I implore viewers to watch these movies sober first; otherwise, have fun!
Directed by the creator of the sci-fi classic animé Ghost in the Shell, Angel’s Egg is perhaps his most unique film. In fact, this arthouse animation is one of the strangest, most surreal films ever made.
Angel’s Egg features a lonely, young, white-haired, enigmatic girl who is accompanied by none other than an egg. This egg seems to be the apple of her eye as she seeks to protect it at all cost. She stumbles upon a mysterious young man as the two begin to walk around the decrepit city, discussing philosophy as they traverse the dilapidated cityscape.
This film does not have much of a plot and has even less dialogue. I would advise prospective viewers of Angel’s Egg to watch YouTuber Chris Stuckmann’s review and analysis of the movie, as it requires scrutiny in order to truly enjoy. Furthermore, the entire film is, of course, a metaphor and contains heavy religious—particularly Christian—symbolism throughout. It is the type of movie that leaves you in such a state of awe by its conclusion that it feels as though you were high or drunk watching it. So, try it out and see if you can pick up on the many hints and religious references laden in the movie while intoxicated.
Francis Ford Coppola’s secondary masterpiece (after The Godfather) is probably the scariest movie I have ever seen. It is not a horror movie (well, not until the third act), but the sheer rawness of the film is absolutely astounding and horrifying. It has a potent dreamlike quality to it but is so realistic in its execution.
Apocalypse Now stars acting legend Martin Sheen as a disillusioned Vietnam War veteran who is sent on a covert mission to assassinate, “with extreme prejudice,” a U.S. Special Forces colonel who has gone M.I.A. (“missing in action”) and has perhaps gone insane. We follow Sheen’s character as he, teamed up with several fellow soldiers on a U.S. Navy patrol boat, travels down a Cambodian river to find and exterminate his target. Along the way, he (and we, the audience) spectates the iniquities of the war and its effect on the locals, physically and psychologically.
Apocalypse Now is an insane movie. It is edited in such a way that it feels like a nightmare and that quality is amplified more and more as the film continues, reaching a climax that is the epitome of depravity. Also, many immoral actions are committed in this movie, so I believe a drink or two may help viewers get past the more upsetting scenes.
The Big Lebowski
Okay, this was a very obvious, easy addition to this list. The Big Lebowski is one of the quintessential “stoner” movies, so I had to add it here.
The Big Lebowski features Jeff Bridge as Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, a textbook slacker. He is attacked by a couple of thugs who have realized that they assaulted the wrong person; the Jeff Lebowski they were targeting is, in fact, a millionaire philanthropist who owes money to several sharks in LA and happens to have the same name as our protagonist. The “Big Lebowski” then asks for The Dude to act as an envoy to pay the sharks back the money he owes them.
I truly believe the Cohen Brothers—the directors of the film—intended The Big Lebowski to be watched while intoxicated in some way. The film acts as a commentary on the pretentious nature of many of the bourgeois in LA, as well as the ostentatious culture that is often portrayed in the city. The film is ridiculous and over-the-top in so many ways but also feels lifelike.
David Lynch’s debut feature is not for the fainthearted.
Eraserhead is rather difficult to summarize. I can merely explain it as a film about an introverted man who, after the birth of his child, is left by his girlfriend to care for it on his own. It features surrealist imagery, strange hallucinations, and grotesque body horror.
This is likely the most triggering movie on this list, so I advise viewers not to watch Eraserhead on a full stomach. I did not know much about this film before watching it, so I’ll just say to go check it out yourself and try to be in an inebriated state mind when doing so. Like Apocalypse Now, this movie is a nightmare made into a feature film.
Like The Big Lebowski, David Lynch’s magnum opus is a very clear addition to a list like this, and with great reason.
Mulholland Dr. features Laura Harring as an amnesiac woman who comes across an aspiring actress (Naomi Watts, in her breakthrough role) who aids her as she tries to figure out her identity. We follow their hijinks in LA as they attempt to put the pieces together as to who our amnesiac heroine is.
Mulholland Dr. makes you feel high while watching it. This is because the setting of the movie is a dreamlike LA, where we cut to seemingly random scenes of locals going about their day and getting into their own hijinks. Furthermore, the characters also behave in a strange, dreamlike manner that is not conventional in our world. It’s the kind of movie that makes absolutely no sense until the very end of the film (and the many analysis videos you’ll probably have to watch afterward), but damn is it satisfying. I also believe that the movie, for reasons I will not spoil, turns into a heart-wrenching romance when viewed properly.
To conclude this list is a Hollywood Golden Age classic. Directed by Billy Wilder, this film was a game-changer in American cinema.
The film stars screen legend William Holden as a down-on-his-luck writer who accidentally stumbles across the mansion of a wealthy, washed-up, delirious silent-film actress (Gloria Swanson), who then forces him to reside in her home so that he may write up a script for a film in order for her to make her on-screen comeback.
Sunset Boulevard is a classic, so I recommend everyone to watch the film—especially since it is currently available for streaming on Netflix. I do, however, believe that watching the movie while intoxicated can change the dynamic of the two lead characters, turning the story into a rom-com of sorts. This movie is already considered by some to be partially a romance and a comedy, so for entertainment purposes, I believe the film could be a more fun experience high or drunk while watching Holden and Swanson’s characters’ bickering.
Some honorable mentions I would recommend include Black Swan, Perfect Blue, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Some Like it Hot, Fight Club, and 12 Monkeys. All of these films are also fantastic, but I believe they are best enjoyed sober. This Valentine’s Day, pop a bottle and check out a few of these films if you’re feeling a bit lonely!