At best, getting a divorce is a turbulent experience, and at worst, it can be absolutely harrowing. It’s a time that we do a lot of self-reflection, and we need support from family and friends.
Any divorce is hard. So is piecing your life together again and moving on afterward. The divorce grief journey can be a rollercoaster of emotions, and you might find yourself swinging wildly between laughing and crying. Or even do both at the same time.
Sometimes, all you need is to see how other people face divorce challenges and how they are overcome, including fictional characters. We reach for movies for so many other aspects of our lives, and recovering from a divorce shouldn’t be any different.
Movies about divorce come in all shapes, forms, and genres. From laugh-out-loud comedies and cry-your-eyes-out heartbreak to inspiring tales of recovery, new beginnings, and making the best of bad situations. There are divorce movies on Netflix to suit every situation.
Let’s take a look.
“Under the Tuscan Sun” is the ultimate movie about how our best lives could look a little different from what we expect.
The main character, Frances (Diane Lane), is a book editor that has just gone through a harrowing divorce. Her wonderful friends encourage her to travel and visit Italy in an attempt to get her out of a rut in San Francisco.
She ends up buying a dilapidated Tuscan villa. As she repairs her new home, she starts to repair her heart and build a new, more fulfilling life than she could ever have imagined. Frances realizes that her life might be different from what she thought it would look like but that it is ultimately just what she was looking for.
We love a strong female lead, and Julia Roberts portrays the main character in a powerful and heart-warming manner. “Erin Brockovich” is less a movie about divorce and more about the strength that many divorced women have to find within themselves when they are forced into a corner.
Erin makes her lawyer hire her after her divorce in order to support her three kids, despite the fact that she has no law degree to speak of. However, the gutsy single mom uncovers a huge scandal when she finds out a gas company is dumping cancer-causing chemicals in a small town.
She helps the victims get millions in damages while making enough money to support her family and finds the inner strength that she thought she had lost.
If it’s a laugh you’re after, the “Bad Moms” is going to be right up your alley. This movie has a sumptuous cast of Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Christina Applegate. Mila Kunis plays an overworked and underappreciated mom that walks in on her husband being intimate with a webcam girl.
So, what does she do? She gets her best friends together for a wild all-night bender that includes heaps of laughs and pure comedy gold. While I certainly don’t advocate using partying as a tool to handle a divorce, there’s nothing wrong with letting your hair loose with your best friends.
This is a seriously funny movie that is sure to put you in a better mood.
If there’s one thing that we know about divorce, it’s that it’s rarely a straightforward, uncomplicated process. In fact, it’s often rather messy, especially if both parties just so happen to still be attracted to each other.
In “It’s Complicated”, exes Jane and Jake (Meryl Streep and Ales Baldwin) are having an affair. Jake is married to a much younger woman, Jane starts seeing a new man, and their grown-up children have no idea that the affair is happening.
Of course, soon everyone finds out, and it comes crashing down around them. This is a movie that shows that moving on from a divorce isn’t as simple as people would like it to be, and it can take years to get out of a messy situation.
Domestic violence is a difficult topic and one that’s also hard to watch in a movie. However, this Tina Turner biopic is worth the discomfort. Angela Basset plays Tina, and the movie gives an excellent look into the childhood trauma that led to Tina marrying a domineering Ike Turner at a young age.
Her husband turned into an emotionally and physically abusive man that strips Tina down to her very lowest. Of course, she soon finds her inner strength, leaves the awful marriage and becomes the incredible superstar that we know and love today.
If you have been through an abusive marriage or want to support someone that has, this is an empowering movie to add to your list.
We’re going to skip over the delicious subplot and steamy scenes between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in this movie and rather focus on Steve Carrell’s character instead.
Carrell seemingly has a perfect life: A wonderful daughter, a beautiful home, a good job, and a gorgeous wife. This all explodes, however, when his wife, played by Julianna Moore, tells him she’s been unfaithful and is leaving him.
Carrell gets training from Gosling’s character on how to pick up women and goes out and sleeps with a whole lot of different women before realizing that it is an empty lifestyle that isn’t giving him joy.
The movie ends ambiguously with the possibility of him and his wife getting back together. We’ll never know if they do, but it’s just another showing of the complicated and messy nature of divorce. The bonus? This movie provides a barrel of laughs along the way.
This movie, starring Reese Witherspoon and based on the true story of Cheryl Strayed, is the perfect antidote for those looking for inspiration when going through deep turmoil.
Cheryl is depressed. She’s destroyed her marriage with drug use, affairs, and more. What does she do to try and get a grip on the damage that she’s caused herself and her loved ones? She heads out on a 1,100-mile trek through the wild on her own.
This gives her the opportunity for some much-needed self-reflection and healthy habits and leaves her in an improved mental state. She finishes her trek in the right frame of mind to take responsibility for her actions and to move on with a healthier, happier life.
Of course, these are just a few of the best movies about divorce out there, and there are many more that you can use as a little bit of catharsis on your divorce journey.
What are your favorite divorce-related movies?
Of course, you can’t rely on movies alone to get through a divorce, and you need to have the right support structures in place. Whether that’s a divorce coach, medical professional, or trusted friends and family.
Get in touch with Naked Divorce if you need support on your divorce journey.
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.
With you in service,
Book a Clarity Call for any divorce or break up support you need,