Great Movies for the Single Millennial
You don’t need a date to sit on your couch.
By Samantha Gross, Concordia University Irvine
It can be difficult living as a single in a couple’s world.
It seems like everything nowadays was built around the concept of having a significant other. The phrase Netflix and chill has made even watching movies a lonely event if there isn’t someone else on your couch. And unfortunately, most of the movies out there appropriate for a night in are romantic ones, meant to be watched from within the arms of a lovely smelling romantic interest. But alas, we can’t all have those.
While going out alone has become a slightly more normalized part of society, having a lonely night in makes it harder to drive away the looming fears of “Why am I still single? Is it my hair? Is it because I talk about Chris Evans too much?”
But fear not, my brave movie-loving singles. You can have a night away from social interaction and responsibility without being reminded of your unfortunate singularity. Get your popcorn ready, kids, because you are not trapped in an inescapable void of romantic comedies; there are other perfect singles’ night movies out there. So here’s a list of movies that your single self can watch and not feel bad about. And don’t worry, not all of them will star Chris Evans.
1. “Before We Go”
This one is a romance movie, but not really, if that makes any sense. It’s one of those rare instances where we have a male and female protagonist who are not romantically inclined toward one another. I know, you can hear the sounds of director horror-filled screams fill the distant winds, because a boy and a girl just being friends??? Unheard of!!
This movie is primarily a one night New York adventure, where two strangers learn more about themselves and each other than they ever thought possible. With almost everything you could hope for in a movie—impromptu karaoke, a police raid, a psychic visit, pay phones and a trumpet—this is the perfect show for a singles night in.
And while (spoiler!) the two main characters do share a kiss, it’s recognized in both characters that their hearts are elsewhere and their adventure has brought them to a level of intimacy that can only be found in friendship. They part as good friends to find their futures, savoring the memories of their erratic journey through New York.
Chris Evans and Alice Eve do a remarkable job of pulling the audience in and making them believe that they’re running through the streets of New York with the protagonists, waiting to see if Brooke will save her marriage and if Nick will make his audition. Plus, Chris Evans directed this one, so that’s just an extra bonus.
Overall, a very charming movie perfect for a calm night in and a mug of hot chocolate.
2. “Nanny Diaries”
This is one of those funny feel good movies where you might not cry, but you’ll feel like you’ve gone through some sort of Emotion by the end. It might be just because it focuses on a recent college graduate trying to find her way to a job within a major not many people appreciate, but this movie really resonates with me.
A movie about navigating through unknown waters and learning more about others in order to find yourself, this movie is a comedic not-quite-coming-of-age that quickly becomes a touching, empowering lesson for both the main character, Annie, and the mother whose child she nannies.
Additionally, in order to be a nanny, Scarlett Johansson has to be single. And I mean, her character gets with Chris Evans, so she may not follow that rule, but it’s a secondary plot to Annie trying to figure out her life, which makes it an easier semi-romantic pill to swallow.
Great for a Chinese takeout or hot pocket for dinner evening, though there should be some sort of warning label because you will think about young Chris Evans for a while after watching this movie.
Okay, I’m seeing now how often I talk about Chris Evans.
3. “The Martian”
Instead of thinking about your own painfully single life, you can worry over whether Matt Damon will make it off Mars or not.
The emotions are raw, the humor is constant and uproariously funny, and there are so many wonderful actors in this movie. Like seriously, everyone was in this movie, to the point where every time someone new shows up you wonder if all these celebrities got together and decided to make a movie with only top-tier stars. And most of it takes place on Mars, with all sorts of sweet space shots and cool rover drives. Who doesn’t love space? And unlike “Interstellar,” the science is all explained and you don’t have to trip over your brain trying to understand what all is happening.
The only bit of romance in this movie is the minimal interaction between astronauts Beck and Johansson. And that’s cute, so you don’t feel the pang of loneliness every time you see them do something. I also have a running theory that astronaut Mark Watney is asexual, since he never mentions any sort of romantic entanglement from Earth, or that he’s missing anything other than humanity as a whole.
Not to stereotype, but Watney is a dude alone on a planet, and he never once mentions anything to do with sex. And I mean, he might be single for other reasons, because if you’re going on a several year mission to Mars it’s probably hard to hold up a relationship that isn’t already nailed down by marriage. But either way, I feel like the lack of major romantic interest helps.
It means you just get to focus on sick space shit.
4. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Okay, I kind of lied, most of these movies have Chris Evans in them. Sue me, I like him.
“The Winter Soldier” is one of those movies that is so good you can sit down and watch it any time and it would be appropriate. Feeling sad? “Winter Soldier.” Feeling angry? “Winter Soldier.” Feeling the inescapable brand of loneliness that only comes from watching a movie alone on your couch? Motherfucking “Winter Soldier.”
This is once again a movie where Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans kiss, but it’s a friendly one and not enough to send your heart into romantic tailspins. And if it does, you just have to watch Bucky blow up another building, and the only thing your heart will be doing is admiring Sebastian Stan.
Cause he’s with you to the end of the line.
5. “Mad Max: Fury Road”
For my adrenaline junkies out there, this is your ultimate night in movie. Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy kick all the ass in this movie, and it’s all set to extreme guitar playing and epic engine roars.
An unapologetically and angry feminist movie, every character’s story is compelling and leaves you wanting more. Sure there’s death and dirt and chainsaws, but there’s also a lot of heart and beautiful female friendships. Women banding together to escape a forced sex industry and the condemning clutches of a mad king, helped along by a bad-ass disabled woman and guilt-ridden survivor, all set in the background of a desert wasteland dystopia full of pimped out cars and not-quite humans. What more could you ask for from a calm night in?
Disclaimer: Please don’t attempt to drive right after watching this movie. You will feel the need to drive like Furiosa, and I cannot tell you enough that this is a terrible idea unless you also have a big rig in the desert, and even then you probably shouldn’t do it.
Netflix and chill ain’t got nothin’ on your single self knowing how to have a sweet movie night for one. So next time you feel like there’s nothing to watch but “Pride and Prejudice” or “27 Dresses,” remember that you can pop one of these in, grab your popcorn, and experience a euphoric night on your couch, just for you.