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.
Movies for when you're curious about divorce
This movie is a brutally honest portrayal of a crumbling marriage. 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).
This film 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 Pfeiffer and Bruce Willis.
This movie is a comedy starring Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. It shows you what happens when boundaries get blurry and couples struggle to move on.
This movie, 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).
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Movies for when you're mad as hell
This movie 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.
This film 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.
This movie 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.
This movie 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.
Movies for when you're eager to find love again
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 after divorce.
Movies for when you need a good cry
This 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.
This 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.
This movie 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.
Movies for when you need a laugh
This movie 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.
This movie 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.
This movie shows just how nasty things can get when the desire for revenge and vanity takes 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.
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This movie lets you live vicariously through Julia Roberts's character as she chooses herself, good pizza and travels over marriage.
This movie 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.
This movie 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.