The Best Worst Arguments Between Couples On Film

Are you good in arguments? Can you get the words out without crying, stuttering or just saying it wrong? Do you long for Kevin Spacey’s chilling delivery as he confronts his cheating wife at the drive-through counter in American Beauty? For the compelling passion of Ryan Gosling as he asks Rachel McAdams what she wants?

In almost all life situations, I suck at confrontation. I find it surprisingly (considering my job) difficult to state my case, dilly-dallying around until I finally piece together what I really wanted to say three hours later at the traffic lights on my cycle home. In a relationship argument however, I’m unbeatable. I can be horribly cutting, blithely manipulative and have a mean, mean ability to a) talk myself out of things and b) turn the situation around.

After a particularly painful breakup, I googled “best break up scenes” and spent hours crying into them. It made me feel better to wallow alongside the best actors of my generation. Because despite differences in plot, context, and the fact that most of these are fiction, relationship arguments are all the same really: two people with the ability to hurt each other, hurting each other.

So for the heartbreakers, the heartbroken, and the emotionally obsessed, here’s 12 harrowing scenes to feel something to.
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1 of 12
Revolutionary Road

Also known as the most miserable film ever. This adaptation of Richard Yates’ 1961 novel stars Kate and Leo in possibly an even more tragic scenario than their first on-screen duet. A tale of two young once-lovers with talent and big dreams whose small-town life suffocates them.

“But I don’t [love you]” says Kate with a smile on her face, “you were just some boy who made me laugh at a party once and now I loathe the sight of you.”

Kicking and screaming ensues, along with “You are an empty, hollow shell of a woman.” This fight is high quality; it was written by one of the greatest writers of the 20th century after all.
2 of 12
Blue Valentine

Director Derek Cianfrance spent 12 years writing the script for Blue Valentine, loosely based on his parents’ divorce. With impeccable performances by Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, the fight scenes in this very, very sad film aren’t satisfying, they’re painful.

The story is split into two time periods, the past – where the pair meet and fall madly in love, and the present – a relationship running on resentment and disappointment. There are any number of devastating scenes in this film, so this is practically picked at random. It is a beautiful film, but watch at your relationship peril.
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3 of 12
American Beauty

Asparagus is the real victim here. But Kevin Spacey’s retort: “Your mother seems to prefer that I go through life like a fucking prisoner while she keeps my dick in a Mason jar under the sink” is also pertinent.
4 of 12
Kill Bill Volume: II - SPOILER!

A non-verbal reasoning. Uma Thurman (The Bride) finally gets her revenge and kills Bill – once the love of her life. After some horseplay sword fighting, Uma executes the canny five point palm exploding technique – a fatal series of pokes which doesn’t take effect until the victim has stood up and walked a certain number of steps, at which point their heart explodes. It’s a literal heartbreak. And really quite moving, in the end.
5 of 12
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Remember that weird film where everyone’s in love with Javier Bardem? “You spoiled little shit” cries a stunningly dishevelled Penelope Cruz in Spanish as Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) breaks up with both of them. There may be a language barrier, but the language of heartbreak is loud and clear.
6 of 12
Closer

A terribly brutal exchange between Julia Roberts and Clive Owen’s characters in Closer – a particularly fucked up film about two sets of cheating couples who lustfully destroy each other’s lives. It’s very rude! – but the final battle between these two is also searingly satisfying.

“What does it taste like?”

“It tastes like you but sweeter”

“That’s the spirit, thank you, thank you for your honesty, now fuck off and die.”
7 of 12
The Notebook

This is here on merit and merit alone. Guzzling Gosling is perched on the dazzling white deck he built for Ali twiddling some daisies as she tells him her fiancé is in town. He smacks his hand “we’re back to that?” Whatever you think of The Notebook (the worst/ actually quite good), this argument is decent.

PS. “I’m not afraid to hurt your feelings.”
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8 of 12
Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason

After the hilarious “that’s not your coat” gag, this argument becomes very real and very relatable. Bridget wants to get married, so sue her, and after an awkward conversation between Darcy and all their parents where he says something like “we’re certainly not thinking about that yet”, she asks him outright “do you want to marry me?” It’s sad. Although actually fine, because he does.
9 of 12
Blue Is The Warmest Colour

A perfect depiction of first love and first heartbreak. Or true love and true heartbreak a more adequate description. Lea Seydoux’s character (Emma) grills Adele about where’s she’s been (she’s been sleeping with a guy in his car.) Emma’s anger escalates quickly and she starts talking really fast and making sharp movements, and the speed with which it all happens makes this scene explosive. It’s the chaos of the situation that feels so realistic.
10 of 12
The Last Kiss

Ok, it’s Zach Braff, and probably only a handful of Garden State fangirls actually watched this film, but it’s one of the most realistic fight scenes I’ve ever seen. Zach Braff (Michael) cheats on his beautiful, pregnant, long-term girlfriend and she finds out.

First, she screams in his face with brute force. Then she calls him a "f*cking slut." Then she asks the question that, come on, you’d definitely want to know but might not want to ask: “Is she prettier than me?”

Finally, she pulls a knife on him out of sheer panic and finishes with the brilliant, “fuck you man, it’s over.”
11 of 12
Good Will Hunting

Oh Matt Damon (the Will in Good Will). As the willing, loveable Skylar (Minnie Driver) desperately tries to unlock the demons of her enigmatic lover, he reveals some dark truths about his childhood and concludes he doesn’t love her and that she’ll never understand him. Nightmare.
12 of 12
The Godfather Part II

“At this moment I feel no love for you at all. I never thought that would ever happen, but it has,” says Diane Keaton as Kay to her husband Michael (Al Pacino). This scene begins so calmly, with Kay apologising for interrupting a meeting with a quiet, "The children are outside, we're going", and ends in bloody chaos.
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