Man Watching a Movie After a Divorce

Curling up on the couch in your fuzzy slippers to enjoy a classic movie about how to live life after divorce can be a very worthwhile form of self-therapy. Have some tissues handy, because it’s likely to be cathartic and inspiring. At the very least, it can be a comforting reminder that millions of other people share your experience. You may even find yourself on a binge of these emotionally cleansing films. Below are some recommendations of timeless classic movies about life after divorce, to get you started.

What? Me? Spend Valuable Time Watching a Movie?

Yes, you’re definitely functioning beyond a normal rate after a divorce. You’re now filling double roles in many areas — performing every task of household management and operations, and all daily parenting responsibilities, and still exceeding expectations at your job. These are actually all important reasons to take necessary downtime.

You can expect to perform better and manage a hectic life in a higher-quality and more sustainable way by incorporating downtime for self-rejuvenation. So, carve out a couple of hours and order a movie that delivers a relaxing, fun experience and even slips in some helpful reflections on aspects of the post-divorce experience. Try one or a few of these:

It’s Complicated

After being divorced for a decade, Jake and Jane are the most “worked out” divorced couple ever, by all observers’ accounts. Even their three young adult kids don’t know that mom and dad are having a clandestine trial affair, while dad is remarried to the woman he cheated on mom with. Mom is also in a new relationship as she begins the affair with her ex. It all becomes amusingly complicated.

Jane has long accepted that her marriage wasn’t working even before Jake’s infidelity, and she has let go of the pain of the past betrayal. But, the divorced pair rekindle old feelings, have the affair, and then have to face their disillusioned current mates and their stunned kids, who were still healing from their parents’ divorce. This movie is a sweet and hilarious cautionary tale about trying to recapture past love.

(2009, Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin)

First Wives’ Club

Elise, Annie, and Brenda are feeling more than a little vengeful toward their unfaithful husbands, whom they supported as the men climbed their respective professional ladders to success. The three resourceful, revenge-seeking ex-wives put their heads together and devise clever and costly strategic plans to hit their former unfaithful husbands where it hurts, in the wallets.

They do it all, from emptying the exes’ accounts, to seizing their businesses, and much worse. Of course, as you might expect, the scheme for ultimate retaliation is fraught with mishaps and pitfalls, each funnier than the last. 

(1996, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Bette Midler)

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

This movie focuses on the big question: When is it time to start dating again? Stella questions whether or not she is really ready for it. She’s successful professionally, but can’t help wondering in the wake of divorce if she actually has the potential for a successful relationship, and she worries about the risk of negative impact to the kids.

Stella’s pal Delilah helps persuade her to get away on a trip to Jamaica. There, she finds herself confronted with tempting feelings, but is torn by her concerns.

(1998 Angela Bassett, Whoopi Goldberg, Taye Diggs)


This movie brings an overwhelming mix of post-divorce difficulties cascading down on a nice, newly married couple Isabel and Luke, and on the husband’s ex-wife Jackie. Jackie is nice too, but resentful after the divorce, and also fatally ill. The film explores some painful realities of parenting and step-parenting across broken homes and hearts in the emotionally turbulent wake of divorce. Luke’s and Jackie’s two children and all three adults are trying to adapt to the breakup and remarriage.

Jackie is utterly devoted to ensuring every facet of her children’s lives is ideally managed, leading to tensions with the new, younger, step-mom, who is loving and responsible, but preoccupied with her career. Phases of natural fear and jealousy give way to growth and transcendent strength of character in the emotionally devastated Jackie. 

(1998 Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, Ed Harris)

Under the Tuscan Sun

After her husband leaves her for another woman and she gets a divorce, Frances, a writer, takes on the renovation of a deteriorated villa in Tuscany. She is grieving the loss of the married life she had assumed would always be hers. A friend sponsors a bus tour through Italy as a therapeutic post-divorce gift. Frances discovers the crumbling house and is captivated by its potential for revitalization.

She undertakes rebuilding a home, and in the process rebuilds her life after divorce. The project inspires her to write. This uplifting story of overcoming the shock and pain of betrayal and the deep loss in divorce leads to an inspiring tale of self-discovery and the excitement and wonder of a new beginning with new places and people.

 (2003, Diane Lane)

More Great Inspiring Life-After-Divorce Movies

For a veritable movie marathon of uplifting post-divorce films, here are some additional masterworks of cinematic entertainment from the post-divorce genre, all well worth the time for the healthy, cathartic belly laughs they generate and the often forgotten insights into life after divorce that are tucked around the comedic themes:

  • Crazy, Stupid Love (2011)
  • Life of the Party (2018)
  • Enough Said (2013)
  • Marriage Story (2019)
  • Sisters (2015)
  • Book Club (2018)
  • Bad Moms (2016)
  • Heartburn (1986)
  • Eat, Pray, Love (2010)
  • Joy (2015)
  • Hope Floats (1998)
  • Bye Bye Love (1995)
  • Waiting To Exhale (1995)
  • Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
  • War of the Roses (1989)

What Can You Accomplish By Just Watching a Movie?

Well, admittedly, it’s unlikely that you will escape all the difficult realities of dealing with your divorce for long by watching movies about fictional people going through creatively crafted divorce scenarios. But, a little downtime escape into an uplifting story can sometimes offer a few laughs and help make a start on the road back to a more hopeful frame of mind. That can actually be a very good self-prescription for help in taking the first steps toward moving on to happier times. A mere movie may present the moment when you start to ask yourself, “Is life after divorce better?”

Attorney David Pedrazas, Salt Lake City, Utah

For over 20 years, Attorney David Pedrazas has been helping people in Utah get through the challenges of divorce and move on toward better years. He will help you in understanding how Utah divorce laws affect your case and help ensure that all your legal rights are fully protected. He helps clients make fully informed choices that help them prepare for the best future for themselves and their families after divorce.

David has been rated as one of Salt Lake City’s best divorce lawyers by the American Institute of Family Law, the National Academy of Family Law Association, and the American Academy of Trial Attorneys.

If you want information about the divorce process and ensuring you can make the best possible fresh start after a divorce, call the Law Office of David Pedrazas, PLLC, Salt Lake City, UT, or contact us online.

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