Too often we see blissful, happily ever after endings of relationships portrayed by the media – where are the downsides of every honest relationship? We bring you some of the silver screen and TV’s brutally honest relationships.
BLACK MIRROR: THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF YOU
If you haven’t yet been introduced to the universe of Black Mirror, start with this episode. Charlie Brooker’s series of satirical (yet aptly accurate) comment on our fixation with the digital age and social media. The Entire History of You centers around a memory implant called the ‘grain’, implanted just right behind the ear and in your skull to record everything you see for instant playback whenever you feel like it. It sounds like perfect security and a fantastic way to live life, without having to rely on just the human memory (see: drug influence, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia). This episode touches on an entirely different matter – Liam (Toby Kebbell) starts to doubt his wife Ffion’s (Jodie Whittaker) word, and begins to obsessively second guess and analyse Ffion’s every single move.
Admittedly all of us stop to analyse, overthink, and reanalyse interactions in our daily goings. The Entire History of You digs under your skin so deep, it hits a bit too close to home, and is one of the most uncomfortably honest episodes of Black Mirror to watch.
THE OFFICE (2005)
Onto more cheery thoughts, the American adaptation of Ricky Gervais’ The Office sees one of the most heartstring-tugging moments of relationships. Most romantic comedies either conclude with a date or an engagement, but The Office follows Pam and Jim’s relationship from the first day of expired blueberry yoghurt to documentary footage over the years, and teapot letters. Step aside Rachel and Ross, Pam and Jim Halpert will go down as The Romance of all romances.
BLACK MIRROR: SAN JUNIPERO (2016)
Praised as one of Black Mirror’s best episodes yet, San Junipero brings us back to the 80s, 90s, present, and far into the future. Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) and Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) meet in the magical town of San Junipero in California, synonymous with sun, surf, and sex. Like all Black Mirror episodes, the twist does reveal itself in the end – but instead of the bleak dark side of human nature, it’s surrealistically optimistic. San Junipero explores the freshness of coming-of-age love, the loyalty of old love, and the choice of conscious afterlife.
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF A SPOTLESS MIND (2004)
World, meet technology, your latest breakup coach. Joel and Clementine fall in love, but two years and a huge fight later, they decided to completely erase their memories of each other. Eternal Sunshine doesn’t hide anything from its viewers, especially the ugly brutal side of a long-term relationship turned sour. For the heartbroken wanting to get back on their feet, a mind-wipe would sound very appealing – a surefire way to heal in no time. The film portrays a realistic view on modern relationships, and begs the question of whether it is better to cope, heal, and move on from loved ones; or to completely eradicate a once-important person in your life from existence.