Couples, cue up your Netflix. A 2014 study conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester, which we wrote about here, found that watching and discussing movies about relationships could cut the divorce rate in half. Movies that portray the ups and downs of day-to-day life in a committed romantic relationship (unrealistically sappy love stories need not apply), are the flicks that were proven to do the trick.
The researchers shared their movie list with us, and here are our 25 favorites. Watch. Discuss. Fall in love all over again.
The Classic Rom-Com
Romantic comedies tend to be a lighthearted look at romantic partnerships, while still comically revealing the challenges of being in a relationship: “Couples Retreat,” “Father of the Bride,” “This Is 40,” “Meet the Fockers.”
These heart-wrenching tales will leave you with puffy eyes and a pile of tissues as you watch couples struggle through insurmountable odds. Watch ’em and weep: “Love Story,” “The Way We Were,” “The Notebook,” “Dying Young,” “Untamed Heart.”
The Rollercoaster Relationship
These movies focus on the powerful ups and downs of relationships that can bring couples closer together—or tear them apart: “Husbands and Wives,” “The Five-Year Engagement,” “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “The Story of Us.”
“Payback is a bitch” could be the underlying theme of any movie about unfaithfulness, since the betrayal often has devastating—and in some cases, deadly—consequences: “Unfaithful,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Obsessed.”
A popular theme in the 80s and 90s was men comically freaking out over their partners’ pregnancy. The characters are forced to confront their fears and finally grow up: “She’s Having a Baby,” “Nine Months.”
The Emotionally Unavailable 180
Is there anything more enticing than an emotionally unavailable man who finds that he can’t help but open up his heart and fall for you? We think not: “Love and Other Drugs,” “Life As We Know It,” “Something’s Gotta Give.”
When Work Gets in the Way
These films deal with relationships that have suffered because of demanding jobs that put romance on the backburner and show how couples were able to get their priorities in order—or not: “Devil Wears Prada,” “Adam’s Rib,” “True Lies.”
Want to try the method yourself with your significant other at home? Visit www.couples-research.com for a sample movie list and discussion questions. Let us know how it goes!