Portland Relationship Counseling: 5 Marriage-Strengthening Movies

November 12, 2014 by

The icy Portland winter wind rattles against your window panes, but you and your spouse are safe and warm, wrapped under a blanket and bathed in the warm glow of a movie. Cozy, affordable, and enjoyable for both parties, a movie night is a great winter date idea.

But the right movie can be more than just a snuggly and inexpensive date—according to a recent study by the University of Rochester, watching certain relationship-themed movies together can strengthen your marriage and prevent divorce.

The study found that couples who watch movies portraying relationships and talk about them afterwards are only half as likely to split up.

“Taking time to sit down and take an objective look at your relationship with your partner is going to be helpful for any couple at any stage,” study lead author Ronald Rogge explained.

A full list of movies from the study, as well suggested discussion questions are available here. And to help you get started, I’ve picked out a list of five date-friendly favorites:

Date Night

In this quirky comedy, a jaded suburban couple’s romantic date night is ruined by a case of mistaken identity. As the couple (played by Steve Carell and Tina Fey) takes on obstacles to rectify their perilous situation, they begin to remember why they fell in love.

It’s Complicated

Movie greats Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, and Alec Baldwin join forces in this romantic comedy, where a bakery owner gets involved in a secret fling with her ex-husband.

The Five-Year Engagement

This amusing and sometimes poignant comedy follows an engaged couple (Jason Siegel and Emily Blunt) as they trip, stumble, and fall while attempting the long walk down the aisle.

Sweet Home Alabama

Reese Witherspoon plays a successful fashion designer in New York who becomes engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor—the mayor’s son. When she returns to her hometown in Alabama to finalize the divorce with her high school sweetheart, however, she begins to reconsider the engagement.

Gone with the Wind

If you haven’t seen this American classic, move it to the top of this list. The brilliant, timeless epic follows a passionate and hopeless affair between a Southern beauty and a married man.

For more suggestions of appropriate movies and a list of effective discussion questions, or for further help strengthening your marriage, contact a Portland marriage counselor.