In 2019, we were taken through the emotional journey of a marriage coming to an end in the amazing film Marriage Story. Starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, the Netflix movie ended up receiving six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. It was also included in the ‘Top Ten Movies Of The Year’ lists by many critics as well as the American Film Institute.

To some, Marriage Story might have triggered a yearning for other movies that tackle the same subject matter. Divorce is never a good thing to experience personally but when portrayed in films, it is much more palatable. Here is a ranking of some of the most amazing movies about divorce.

10 The Squid And The Whale (2005)

The Squid And The Whale, was nominated for Best Original Screenplay as the Academy Awards and it isn’t hard to see why. The film mostly explores how jealousy and setbacks in careers can lead to tensions within couples and eventually cause messy divorces.

In the movie, Bernard, a once-promising novelist, fails to get his career going. His wife Joan also happens to be an author but she has better luck. She begins publishing her own books and they sell well. Tensions arise and the two end up cheating on each other, causing a rift that forces their two children to take sides. Eventually, they are left with no choice but to part ways.

9 Heartburn (1986)

Jack Nicholson is known for his scary or villainous roles, but here, he was just a man having troubles in his marriage. And his estranged wife is played by Meryl Streep. Enough reason to drop everything else? You bet. Heartburn was adapted from Nora Ephron’s novel which she based on her own marriage. In the 2013 documentary Makers: Women Who Make America, she was quoted saying“One day, I was sitting at the typewriter writing something else, and started writing a novel about the end of my marriage.”

Heartburn loosely tells the story of Nora’s divorce from popular journalist Carl Bernstein. Streep plays Rachel, a budding writer, while Nicholson plays Mark, a political columnist who is cheating having an affair. Sadly, Nora died in 2012 but we are glad her real-life story inspired this beautiful film.


8 The Parent Trap (1998)

When a couple with one child divorces, the custody battle tends to be much tougher. Who will keep the child? According to The Parent Trap, couples with identicals twins can’t relate to this. In the movie, a husband and wife file for divorce and decide that each of them will take one of the twins. Fair enough, but is it fair for the kids?

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At a summer camp, 11 years later the twins bump into each other and are shocked to realize that they are siblings. In order to reconcile their parents, they decided to switch places, Each twin trains the other on their mannerisms and the mission to fool the parents who never wanted them to know each other in the first place begins.

7 Along Came Polly (2004)

How quickly can a marriage end? Sometimes it ends even before the honeymoon is over. In Along Came Poly Reuben (Ben Stiller) is looking forward to an amazing life with his new wife but then she dumps him on their honeymoon for a scuba instructor who looks like he borrowed Dwayne Johnson’s body.

He makes a vow to be careful about who he falls in love with next but then he meets his childhood friend Polly (Jennifer Aniston) who throws him back into a chaotic world that he hopes to avoid. Alec Baldwin brings his charm here too. So, if you want a divorce movie that won’t make you too sad, Along Came Poly is a good bet.

6 First Wives Club (1995)

How do you handle your former partner who hurt you really bad? Do you forget about them? Don’t tell that to the devious women in First Wives Club. All they want is revenge and they want it served cold. It’s a comedy, of course, so no one is going to get killed.

The movie follows three former college classmates who have been reunited by the suicide of another former classmate. While bonding, they realize that they have something in common. Their husbands divorced them for younger women. They thus decided to make hell rain on their former partners. The cast members jointly won a Best Acting by an Ensemble award at the National Board of Review Awards.

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5 Under The Tuscan Sun (2003)

Under The Tuscan Sun is a movie that explores the much-ignored emotional struggles that come after divorce while also giving you a few laughs. In it, a professional writer called Frances Mayes is left with depression and writer’s block after she parts ways with her husband.

Frances decides to go to Tuscany, Italy on vacation but she ends up loving the place so much that she buys a villa and settles there. She makes new friends while slowly recovering from her divorce. When she visits Rome one day, she bumps into a man called Marcello who inspires her to give love another chance.

4 A Separation (2011)

In this Iranian film that won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012, we see what marriage struggles are like in the middle east. There, personal decisions aren’t the only things that count when a couple is separating. Religion plays a huge part too and so does society.

A Separation is about a couple with conflicting wishes. Simin wants her daughter, Termeh to be raised in another country while her husband Nader wishes to stay because he has to look after his sick father. Simin decides to move out, forcing Nader to hire a helper. But their problems are only just beginning.

3 Mr. Wonderful (1993)

Mr. Wonderful is another great comedy film from the 90s that sprinkles the laughs on the serious issue that is divorce. The plot? An electrician (Matt Dillon) has been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug so he plans to purchase a bowling alley. Sadly, he doesn’t have enough money to do so.

So what does he do? He plans to stop paying alimony to the woman he just divorced so that he can save up enough dough for his business venture. But he’ll get sued right? Well, not if he finds her a man to marry. When she’s someone else’s wife, he won’t be obligated to her anymore. But when he starts setting up dinner dates for her with various men, he begins falling for her once again.

2 Marriage Story (2019)

Scarlett Johanson had a great 2019. After taking a break from her popular superhero role of Black Widow, she ended up getting two Oscar nominations for her roles in Jojo Rabbit and most importantly, Marriage Story. In the latter, she plays Nicole, an actress who is divorcing her director husband.

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Charlie and her husband initially want to separate amicably but their conflicting views set them up for a messy divorce. The film does a great job of revealing how career goals end up competing with love among married couples. Adam Driver also gives a memorable performance as Nicole’s husband Charlie.

1 Kramer Vs Kramer (1979)

The beauty of Kramer vs. Kramer is that it doesn’t take sides. A strong case is made for both the woman and the man. This leaves the viewer as the judge. A groundbreaking film, it owned the 1980 Academy Awards. Meryl Streep won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. The film also scooped Best Picture, Best Director (for Robert Benton), Best Actor (for Dustin Hoffman, his first) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

In Kramer vs. Kramer Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep) decides to leave her art-director husband Michael ( Hoffman). She also leaves behind a young boy called Billy who Michael doesn’t have a strong relationship with. At first, Billy and Michael hate each other but they soon develop a bond. Michael becomes so obsessed with parenting that he loses his job. After Joanna gets a good job, she comes back, wanting custody of her son. And so the court battles begin.

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