Heartbreak is the ailment, could culture be the cure? Our critics’ suggestions to help ease your pain – or channel your angst

The best method for getting through a breakup is watching Marc Webb’s movie (500) Days of Summer, in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets dumped by the original Manic Pixie Dream Girl Zooey Deschanel. For all its faults, this film has a killer rejection scene; it’s so painful, especially for a man, that it should lance the boil of emotional pain all by itself. Gordon-Levitt stars as Tom, who shows up for a party to which he has been diplomatically invited by his now ex-girlfriend Summer. The poor dope is somehow hoping against hope that the old magic will be rekindled. The party is cleverly split on the screen between “Expectations” and “Reality”: on the left we see his fantasy that they will start canoodling, on the right, the horrible reality of her distant, if polite interactions with him. Pure agony. Peter Bradshaw

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