Movies to Watch if You’re Divorced (or Just Thinking About It), Hello Divorce

Movies to Watch if You’re Divorced (or Just Thinking About It)

When you’re experiencing a powerful life change, like divorce, watching a movie can be a wonderful coping mechanism. Movies about divorce embody our experiences and can validate our feelings. They can also help us feel better and help us purge out the emotions we’ve bottled up inside. There are hundreds of movies about divorce. Here are a few of our favorites to watch when you need a laugh, cry, reality check, or motivation.

When you’re curious about divorce…

Marriage Story is a brutally honest portrayal of a crumbling marriage crumbles. It shows just how stressful the co-parenting relationship can be. Some scenes can be tough to watch, but provide a window into the divorce process (and the struggle to stay amicable).

The Story of Us is a tad overly-dramatic and drawn out, but it’s a powerful story about communication, both before, during and after marriage. It stars 90s-era Michelle Pfiffer and Bruce Willis.

It’s Complicated is a comedy starring Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. It shows you what happens when boundaries get blurry and couples struggle to move on.

Crazy Stupid Love, while mostly a comedy, also gets deep into the “should I stay or should I go” dilemma. It stars Julianne Moore and Steve Carrell as a separated couple whose daughter (Emma Stone) is dealing with her own complicated love affair (with Ryan Gosling).

When you’re mad as hell…

Waiting to Exhale is a must-see friendship movie about four women dealing with men who play them, betray them, and just plain don’t deserve them. The scenes where Bernadine (Angela Bassett) burns her ex’s precious material possessions and sells the rest for next to nothing will make you squeal with wish-I-could-do-that delight.

The First Wives Club is the ultimate laugh-out-loud but also validating film for any woman who’s been wronged by an unfaithful or super unappreciative husband. And, oh yes, they get revenge. It’s also led by an all-star cast of kick-ass women.

Diary of a Mad Black Woman is a bit over the top at times (it’s a Tyler Perry flick with his famous Madea character), but it’s satisfying to see the jilted ex-wife get her happy ending.

What’s Love Got to Do With It is the story of Tina Turner and Ike Turner’s cringe-worthy relationship (fortunately, ending in divorce and Tina’s incredible solo success). Warning: it also shows some of the horrific abuse Tina endured.

When you’re eager to find love again…

When you need a reminder that your love life isn’t over, watch Under the Tuscan Sun or How Stella Got Her Groove Back (technically not about divorce, but about finding love again after 40). Both are feel-good movies about strong, sexy women who finally live out their dreams — and steamy romance. However, the focus is on their independence.

When you need a good cry…

Mrs. Doubtfire is a dramedy starring Robin Williams. He plays a divorced dad who loses custody of his kids (with ex-wife played by Sally Field) due to his inability to adult functionally. Since he’s an actor, he disguises himself as an elderly female housekeeper and is hired by his ex. His act teaches him how to be the kind of father his children need.

Hope Floats is a romantic film starring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr., but there are a few scenes that really hit. If your ex fails at co-parenting, those moments will require lots of tissues.

Stepmom unfolds around a classic storyline: a husband (Ed Harris) leaves his devoted wife (Susan Sarandon) for a much younger woman (Julia Roberts). But there’s a lot of depth and interweaving tragedies and triumphs in this movie.

When you need a laugh…

The War of the Roses shows just how ugly (but entertaining) it can get when a divorce is far from amicable. Namely, when a couple refuses to reach a settlement agreement.

Troop Beverly Hills is a totally campy 80s flick starring Shelly Duvall, who becomes a wilderness girls troop leader to prove to her soon-to-be-ex-spouse that she can stick to something (but more than that, be a devoted mother). There’s a bit of a Real Housewives vibe.

Death Becomes Her shows just how nasty things can get when the desire for revenge and vanity take over. The dueling ladies are played by Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep, with their antihero ex-fiancé/miserable husband Bruce Willis caught in their crossfire.

When you need inspiration…

Eat Pray Love lets you live vicariously through Julia Roberts’s character as she chooses herself, good pizza and travels over marriage.

Joy is about struggling to make ends meet and is based on a true story. Jennifer Lawrence plays the lead, Joy Mangano, who makes a fortune with her Home Shopping Network-promoted inventions. Erin Brockovich is another powerful true-life story about a single mother who thrives with her own resourcefulness, determination and intelligence.

If you wish you could just get away from it all and have an adventure, Wild is a must-watch. It stars Reese Witherspoon and captures the real-life tale of writer Cheryl Strayed, who hikes the entire Pacific Crest Trail solo after the end of her marriage. 

Related: Apps for Uncoupling, Websites for When You’re Going Through Divorce & Books About Divorce.

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