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Romantic Movies Don’t Have to be Good to Save Your Marriage

Posted by Editor on Apr 9, 2014

Romantic Movies Don’t Have to be Good to Save Your Marriage

According to a new study, married hearts may be in the right place if they're beside one another on the couch.

Conducted by the University of Rochester, the study showed that watching films highlighting the complexities of marriage and discussing the issues afterward can be as successful in hindering divorce as traditional couples counseling (full findings here).

For the study, 174 couples were split up into three groups: those who learned how to deal with heated conflicts, those who underwent compassion and acceptance training, and those who watched one movie per week and talked about it afterwards with a set of guided questions.

The results: Discussing movies proved to be just as effective as the other two traditional methods, cutting the divorce rate of the newlywed couples from 24 to 11 percent at the three-year mark.

According to Ronald Rogge, the lead author of the study, Movies like 'When Harry Met Sally' or 'Sleepless in Seattle,' don't work as well. Because the couples only end up together at the very end of the movie, you don't really see them going through day to day life.

But upon viewing Rogge's 86 recommended films (as seen in this Huffington Post article), I start to call into question Rogge's perception of day to day life as well as his choice in movies. Sure, a number are esteemed titles - 'Anna Karenina', 'As Good as It Gets', 'Funny Girl' - but they're polluted by a slew of extremely questionable inclusions. Is an unrealistic flop like 'Fool's Gold' going to make you reflect on how you can work things out with your spouse? Can a 30-minute discussion on a film as predictable as 'Surviving Christmas' really salvage a marriage?

It's possible. But then, it's also possible that at the end of the experiment, what's really keeping these couples together is their mutual hatred of hackneyed rom-coms. That's why, (more for fun than anything else), we put together this list of movies that aren't insignificant and lend more insight on the complexities of relationships than 'Monster-in-Law'.

For the sake of Valentine's Day, the first 5 relationship movies on the list are ones you and your significant other can enjoy while snuggled up on the sofa. The next five six (I couldn't decide to chop The Baxter or Shop Girl, so I kept both), well, you can choose when to watch those for yourself.

Suggested Films:

  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  2. Amelie
  3. Enough Said
  4. Love Actually
  5. Silver Linings Playbook
  6. The Fountain
  7. The Baxter
  8. Shop Girl
  9. The Kids are Alright
  10. Blue Valentine
  11. 500 Days of Summer

Any you movies you think should be on the list? Let us know your thoughts!

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