Best Movies For Married Couples

What’s the difference between the two Meg Ryan films, When a Man Loves a Woman and When Harry Met Sally?

Give up? Well, one of these can cut your chances of divorce in half while the other one won’t. We’re not kidding, and here’s the data to back it up.

We’ve all seen the news articles predicting a baby and divorce boom following the coronavirus pandemic. Let’s prove them wrong on the latter and use these movies to give our date nights more meaning. 

Keep reading to learn the best movies for married couples.

best movies for married couples

The inspiration for this article began after we watched Couple’s Retreat. The rom-com prompted meaningful discussion about the couple’s relationships, challenges they were facing, and how they repaired their marriages by the end of the movie.

We wanted to find more movies like Couple’s Retreat that were not only enjoyable but would strengthen our relationship.

Instead of searching Google for good movies for couples, we turned to the data (as per usual) to identify the best movies for couples to watch.

The Data Of Couple’s Movie Therapy

A University of Rochester psychology professor, Dr. Ronald Rogge, found that some good movies for couples can be just as effective as marriage therapy.

Dr. Rogge and his team created a study for 174 engaged and newly married couples in Los Angeles. He divided them into three groups.

The first group received a list of relationship-centric movies and told to watch five films and discuss.

Group two attended traditional marriage preparation workshops.

The final group did nothing.

Three years later, both the first and second groups who had either discussed the movies or went to marriage workshops were twice as likely to be still married versus the control group.

That’s right. There are good movies for couples that can cut your chances of divorce in half.

Read more: Our marriage advice for newlyweds.

Ryan and I researched and studied the best apps out there for married couples to improve our relationship.

We found the good, the bad, the ugly. We’ll tell you which apps for married couples are worth it, and which ones you should skip.

What’s A Good Movie For Married Couples?

The key is not to watch random movies — many divorcing couples watch movies. The essential part is to find films that focus on relatable problems within a marriage.

For example, the Meg Ryan movie, When a Man Loves A Woman, addresses alcoholism and creates meaningful dialogue for couples.

However, another Meg Ryan film, When Harry Met Sally, is an ineffective choice, as it portrays an idealized, romanticized, and unrealistic relationship.

The Couple’s Retreat movie addresses everything from sexual intimacy struggles to infidelity to last-ditch efforts to save a marriage. 

Finally, it’s not just watching the movies. It’s the discussion that follows that is therapeutic. Before we list other movies like Couple’s Retreat or When a Man Loves A Woman, these that the questions you need to discuss. 

Therapeutic Post Movie Discussion

After watching the movies, the couples were asked to discuss several questions, such as:

  1. What primary problems did the couple face?
  2. Do you see similar issues within your relationship?
  3. What did you like and dislike about how the couple resolved their problem?
  4. What did you like and dislike about how the couple communicated their feelings?
  5. How did the characters handle their hurt feelings or disappointment?
  6. How strong was the couple’s friendship?

Best Married Couples Movies

Since Dr. Rogge’s 2014 study, more than one thousand couples have gone through his movie therapy program. Below are the top 10 films found most relevant to couples while simultaneously sparking the best conversations.

  1. Funny Girl (1968)
  2. Obsessed
  3. Before Midnight
  4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  5. When A Man Loves A Woman
  6. Hope Springs
  7. Fools Rush In
  8. The Five Year Engagement
  9. Four Christmases
  10. Yours, Mine and Ours

Our Recommended Movies For Couples

As mentioned, we focused on the data rather than giving you a list based off of movie reviews, blogger’s opinions, and our preferences.

Fortunately, Dr. Rogge had curated a long list of approved movies. So, we corroborated his list with our favorites to bring you our top 15 best movies for married couples:

  1. I Give It A Year
  2. Couple’s Retreat
  3. Meet the Fockers
  4. This is 40
  5. Date Night
  6. Sweet Home Alabama
  7. Anger Management
  8. The Notebook
  9. A Star is Born (1954)
  10. Wanderlust
  11. Her
  12. Marley and Me
  13. Father of the Bride
  14. American Beauty
  15. The Best Man Holiday

Schedule Your Next Date Night Movie

Before you write off the value of “chick-flicks,” consider them for their instructional, relationship value.

Would you take a few hours to watch five of these movies over the next three years to cut your chance of divorce in half? Yup, we thought so.

So, are you wondering why movies are as effective as marriage workshops?

As Dr. Rogge wrote up in his study findings, “The results suggest that husbands and wives have a pretty good sense of what they might be doing right and wrong in their relationships.

Thus, you might not need to teach them a whole lot of skills to cut the divorce rate. You might just need to get them to think about how they are currently behaving.”

Based on the data, these are the best movies for married couples, which, in our opinion, makes them the best date night movies of all time! 

Try our Couples Yoga Poses or Couples Workout Routine or Couples Yoga Flow Routine for a fun way to get healthy and bond with your partner.

More Useful Quarantine Entertainment

1. Schedule in a 1-Day Marriage Retreat At Home

To help couple’s celebrate and strengthen their relationship during COVID-19, we have created a DIY marriage retreat agenda

2. Try Learning Together Through MasterClass

We keep seeing couples in quarantine sharing on social media that they’ve exhausted the TV shows and movies on all of their Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Video accounts. Okay, I’ll admit, we even watched the first episode of Tiger King just because everyone was talking about it. 

We stopped because we have been trying to focus more of our time together on developing new skills. Therefore, we have been supplementing our entertainment time lately with MasterClass video courses.

We wrote an in-depth review of MasterClass recently because we’re so thrilled with all the new skills we are learning from the world’s top performers. When you buy an all-access pass the value is incredible!

MasterClass: Get access to video courses from the world's top experts. Learn to cook from Alice Waters, understand conservation from Jane Goodall, hone your negotiation skills with top hostage negotiator Chris Voss, or take pictures like Jimmy Chin. Read our review or get an all access pass.

3. Commit to a 30-Day Gratitude Challenge for Couples

Gratitude is like a muscle that can be exercised. It takes time to build. One UC Berkeley study found that it takes about 30 days of practicing gratitude before the effects are felt — but then they last for months.

So, to help you on your way, we created a 30-Day Gratitude Challenge for couples. The daily prompts cover health, nutrition, fitness, relationships, and soul.

I have questions. What do I do?

Ask away in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible and add your recommendations to this article accordingly. Which of these films is your favorite? Or, is there a movie you would add to our list that created deep conversations with your partner?

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for your comment!


just duo it course ryan and alex duo life 5

Just Duo It

Our flagship program. Transform your mind, body, and marriage using small, systematic steps. These tried-and-true techniques have been taken from our research and personal experiments to reconnect, get healthier, and add spontaneity into your relationship.

  • "Daily Duoables" to keep progress simple and easy
  • Access to our exclusive Duo Life Community app to stay accountable for your fitness and nutrition
  • Monthly guides to put it all together

We're willing to commit a year on you, are you ready to commit a year on you? Made for couples by couples.

Featured On

As Seen In Feature Bar Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.

The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.

Join our 120,000 monthly readers

Select your free gift and receive our newsletter bringing healthy couples practical tips and life-changing ideas based on science.

Pin It on Pinterest