Movies are great at showing us how complicated human relationships can be. One topic that movies often explore, and which many people can relate to, is divorce. Movies about divorcecan show us the pain, challenges, and opportunities for personal growth that come when a marriage ends. In this article, we will talk about some of the best movies that deal with divorce, giving viewers a chance to understand what it means through the stories they see on screen.
The poster of the movie Thunder Road
Hollywood often shows men in ways that aren't realistic, but Jim Cummings did something different with his short film "Thunder Road" in 2016. He wrote, directed, and acted in the film, playing Jim Arnaud, a police officer who is very emotional because his mom died. Cummings continued Jim's story in a longer film in 2018, where we see how his divorce also really hurts him.
Jim's mom's death makes him very sad, but that's not the only thing bothering him. He's also going through a tough divorce with his wife Rosalind, played by Jocelyn DeBoer. It's especially hard because he doesn't get to spend enough time with his daughter, Crystal, played by Kendal Farr. The movie shows how the legal system can be unfair, as Jim has to prove to a jury that he can be a good dad.
"Thunder Road" does a great job of showing how divorce affects every part of Jim's life. He's always worried about doing something wrong that could make the court case worse, and it's really embarrassing when he gets divorce papers while he's at work. Even though the movie is simple, it's important because it looks closely at how being a man and going through tough times can be really complicated.
The poster of the movie The Fablesmans
Steven Spielberg has made lots of different kinds of movies, but "The Fabelmans" is a special story that only he could tell. This movie is a bit like his own life story. It's about a young filmmaker named Sammy Fabelman (played by Gabrielle LaBelle).
In a documentary about Spielberg called "Spielberg," he talks about how his parents' divorce when he was a kid had a big impact on him. "The Fabelmans" brings that story to life as Sammy has to deal with his parents, Mitzi (played by Michelle Williams) and Burt (played by Paul Dano), getting divorced.
What's great about "The Fabelmans" is that neither Mitzi nor Burt is mean or angry. They're just at different points in their lives. Mitzi is adventurous and free-spirited, while Burt is more thoughtful and calm.
They still care about each other, but Sammy starts to notice that his mom might be interested in his dad's best friend, Bennie Loewy (played by Seth Rogen). Spielberg does a great job of showing how the couple tries to make their marriage work until it's just not possible anymore.
"The Fabelmans" is a reflection of Spielberg's whole career, and it makes his other movies feel even more powerful. It's a movie that will probably still be good even in the future and might even be considered even better as time goes on.
The poster of the movie Joy
In 2015, Jennifer Lawrence starred in a movie called "Joy," which was an important step in her career. The film is loosely based on a true story and focuses on the life of a woman named Joy Mangano, who is a single mom and an inventor.
Right from the start of the movie, we feel for Joy because she's had a tough time with failed marriages. Her ex-husband, Tony, doesn't make things any easier, and it gets even more complicated when her dad, Rudy, moves in with her after his own divorce.
The movie shows how society sometimes judges women who have been through divorces. Joy has a hard time finding good job opportunities while taking care of her kids. Meanwhile, Tony and Rudy also have their own problems after their divorces, and this shows how big of a problem divorce can be in our society.
But "Joy" also shows that people can recover from divorce and find new kinds of relationships. Even though Joy and Tony's relationship changes, with some space between them, he learns to respect and support her.
Rudy, Joy's dad, tries to make up for his past mistakes as a husband by being there for his daughter. The movie is a bit long, but it does a good job showing the challenges of being a mom and adds depth to the story, making it an important part of the movie.
The poster of the movie Kramer vs. Kramer
"Kramer vs. Kramer" was quite daring for its time. It openly talked about tricky issues like cheating, women's independence, and feeling really down, and it challenged ideas about how men and women should act. Ted Kramer, played by Dustin Hoffman, has to become a single dad when his wife Joanna, played by Meryl Streep, decides to stand up for her own choices. The movie is sensitive in how it shows how people can change a lot because of a tough divorce.
At first, it might seem like the movie is taking sides. Ted is not great at being a dad, and it's easy to feel sorry for Joanna because she's really sad. But as the movie goes on, we see how this whole experience is important for Ted. He learns how to be responsible and makes choices that are good for his son, Billy, played by Justin Henry. It shows that even a small accident at the playground can make a big difference in the case.
We get to see both Ted and Joanna's points of view really well, and the ending of the movie is satisfying because we see how they've both changed. While it's not exactly a feel-good movie, "Kramer vs. Kramer" tells it like it is and shows how people can make real progress in tough times. The poster of the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love
Not all divorce movies have to be super sad! "Crazy, Stupid, Love" is a classic romantic comedy that gets everything right. It's one of those rare breakup movies where all the characters eventually find happiness. Watching it might give some comfort to people going through a divorce because it shows there's a reason to feel hopeful.
At the start of the movie, Cal Weaver (played by Steve Carell) finds out that his wife, Emily (played by Julianne Moore), is cheating on him, and he decides to get a divorce. Even though this is played for laughs, it does a great job of showing how shocked and hurt Cal is by the whole situation. Interestingly, the idea of divorce actually makes Cal want to try to save his marriage with a fresh outlook.
There's this funny and sweet moment where Cal helps his son, Robbie (played by Jonah Bobo), give a speech about love in front of his whole school. "Crazy, Stupid, Love" might be a bit too easy to predict in some parts to be at the very top of the list, but it's consistently funny, and that's why it deserves a high spot.
The poster of the movie Carol
Todd Haynes' profoundly moving historical drama, "Carol," offers a poignant exploration of the stigma that enveloped the LGBTQ+ community in the 1950s and unravels the facade of that era's pristine reputation. At its core, "Carol" is a tale of forbidden love, encapsulating the struggle of individuals unable to openly express their feelings.
Cate Blanchett takes on the titular role, portraying a well-to-do woman, Carol, entangled in a tumultuous divorce from her husband, Harge Aird (played by Kyle Chandler). Despite societal expectations that she mask her grief in public, Carol finds a fleeting connection with Therese Belivet (brought to life by Rooney Mara), an aspiring photographer.
Their love is deemed impossible due to the stark contrast in their social standings - Carol exudes wealth and glamour, while Therese toils as a cashier in a department store. The film poignantly illustrates how Carol's divorce shackles her, preventing her from pursuing the person she truly loves.
"Carol" transcends its narrative of toxic masculinity even beyond the realm of divorce. Even in the midst of their separation, Harge continues to exert a possessive hold over Carol, exposing the unsettling underbelly of the legal system. Perhaps, delving further into Harge's perspective could have elevated "Carol" to an even higher standing on this list.
The poster of the movie Wildlife
Paul Dano is a really great actor, and he also directed an amazing drama called "Wildlife." In this movie, we see how the marriage between Jerry Brinson, who works as a golf pro (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), and his wife, Jeanette (played by Carey Mulligan), falls apart. But instead of focusing on why the marriage fails in the usual way, Dano looks at how their divorce affects their son, Joe (played by Ed Oxenbould).
Seeing the divorce from Joe's perspective makes it even sadder. He has this perfect image of his parents and their marriage, and it's painful to watch as that image starts to crack. "Wildlife" is one of those rare movies about divorce where you can feel for both characters.
Jerry is proud and confident, but he won't take jobs he doesn't like, and that puts pressure on Jeanette to find love elsewhere. The most heartbreaking moment in the movie is the last scene. Joe tries to take a perfect picture of his family together, but you can see that they've grown very far apart. The movie's subtleness and emotional depth make it one of the top ten films about divorce.
The poster of the movie Her
The movie "Her" was kind of like a glimpse into the future of technology. It tells the story of a man named Theodore Twombly (played by Joaquin Phoenix), who's divorced and really sad because of it. He used to be with his girlfriend from childhood, Catherine Klausen (played by Rooney Mara), but they're not together anymore.
Even though the movie is set in a world with futuristic technology, it deals with some heavy stuff like loneliness and depression in a respectful way. Joaquin Phoenix's acting is really touching as he grapples with the idea of being alone for the rest of his life.
The movie "Her" shows Theodore trying to start a new relationship after his divorce. He falls in love with a computer program that's like a super smart assistant named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). At one point, Catherine gives him divorce papers and tells him he can't connect with real people. Those scenes are tough to watch because they're so emotional and honest. But then, the movie takes a bit of a hopeful turn as Theodore becomes friends with his neighbor, Amy (played by Amy Adams), who is also divorced.
"Her" is so emotionally powerful that it's hard to put it any higher on the list. But there's a little extra twist to the story: Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, who play the divorced couple in the movie, actually got married in real life!
The poster of the movie Blue Valentine
"Blue Valentine" doesn't shy away from showing the tough and very real situations that a couple in a tough divorce might face. It doesn't try to make the story look nice or clean (you can tell from the explicit sexual scenes). The movie's story jumps back and forth in time, making it even sadder because it mixes the happy moments from when the couple first fell in love with their later struggles and divorce.
The movie tells the story of Dean Pereira (played by Ryan Gosling), who didn't finish high school, and Cindy Heller (played by Michelle Williams), who's studying to be a nurse. Cindy is charmed by Dean's goofy ways at first, but after they get married, she realizes he's not very responsible. It's tough to watch how their marriage falls apart, especially as Dean tries to make things right.
The movie shows how they once had this perfect idea of their marriage, but it's just not possible anymore. Dean might seem like a good dad for a short while, but he can't keep it up. "Blue Valentine" is a movie you might not want to watch more than once, but it's very well done and that's why it's high up on the list.
The poster of the movie Marriage Story
Movies about divorce can often be mean and nasty, but Noah Baumbach's "Marriage Story" is different. It shows that even though Charlie (played by Adam Driver) and Nicole (played by Scarlett Johansson) can't stay married, they still care about each other. There's a really nice part in the movie where they write down all the things they love about each other, and it connects with the ending.
The sad part of the movie is that Charlie and Nicole just want different things. They're both artists who want to do well, but they're not quite ready to be parents. The movie shows how the complicated legal process makes them act in bad ways. Their lawyers, Nora Fanshaw (played by Laura Dern) and Jay Marotta (played by Ray Liotta), push them to be meaner to each other.
Baumbach makes it clear that the stress of the case makes them say hurtful things they don't really mean. "Marriage Story" looks at both sides of the story really well. But there's only one movie better than it on this list.
Movies about divorce remind us that even in tough times, people can learn, grow, and find happiness again. These films let us connect with characters going through the difficult process of divorce. Through these stories, we can see that relationships can be complicated, and there is hope for healing and happiness after a marriage ends.