It is the most difficult task yet it is the most rewarding and the easiest too. A marriage is full of risks and rewards, of highs and lows and of happiness and sorrows. No marriage escapes from these cycles and no one knows exactly how to play it.
Do we really need books and movies on marriage? Probably not. Perhaps yes. We do not 'need' others to tell us or to show us how to live in our marriage but perhaps it helps to take lessons from others. Movies on marriage are generally real. They talk about an average couple that is out there in this big, vast world living in a world of their own. Watching them moving on with their lives gives us a sense of connection that makes us feel that yes, I have felt that too.
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Today, I am going to talk about my top 10 picks of movies that teach a lesson or two about marriage. These are NOT the movies that show elaborate weddings and nor are these your typical fairy tale romantic movies. These are films that share one common thread - marriage. To see my best romantic movies, click on the link.
Please share your choice and let me know in the comments, if there is a great movie that I have not included in the list.
If I have to pick one thing about this movie that makes it great, then I become dumb for just about everything of the movie is so remarkable. Direction, performances, background score, script, story practically everything. The movie deals with how a marriage survives an extra marital affair of the husband who not only slept with another woman after being married for seven years or so but also gave birth to a son who has now come to live with him.
I think the movie is great as it shows how a marriage goes into turmoil but comes up strong in the end.
2. When A Man Loves A Woman
"It's horrifying how much you can hate yourself for being low and weak and he couldn't save me from that. So I turned it on him; I tried to empty it onto him. But there was always more, you know. When he tried to help I told him that he made me feel small and worthless. But nobody makes us feel that, we do that for ourselves. I shut him out because I knew if he ever really saw who I was inside, that he wouldn't love me. And we're separated now, he's moved away, and it was so hard not to beg him to stay. And I don't know if I'm going to get a second chance but I have to believe. That I deserve one. Because we all do."
Though the basic theme of the movie is alcoholism, I somehow find it very romantic and a lovely love story. The herione of the movie, a loving wife and a mother of two is an alcoholic and needs help. The pilot husband who has to now take care of his two young daughters, his ever changing flight schedule and find new ways to express his love for his wife, decides to help her. She goes to a de-addiction centre and finally comes out clean.
The movie is great in the way it teaches us how a strong marriage can deal with any threat - even alcoholism.
3. Tuesday, After Christmas
This is a Romanian movie and probably the only movie that generates a bit of sympathy for the man caught between two women. Paul, the main character is married for 10 years and has a daughter. He has a warm, friendly relationship with his wife but feels nonchalant and misses the spark. He thus gets into an extra marital affair with a young woman who awakens the lost passion in his life. Paul's life takes a turn when he has to choose one of the two women this Christmas.
There have been many movies about infidelity but this one is different in the way it shows how monotony creeps in and shows the man as a person and not a villain. This movie tells you the the tale of a man who respects his marriage but loves someone else. Sometimes, some situations become inevitable.
This is a Russian movie that I totally love. It is a movie beautifully made on the complexities of marriage and love. You can read my review of the movie by clicking on the link on the title. The movie explores how two people outgrow each other in marriage and what happens when a kid play its role.
If a marriage does not work, you can't blame the other woman or the other man.
5. Away From Her
"I'm thinking that sometimes you just have to make the decision to be happy. Just decide. Things aren't ever what you hoped they'd be. Not ever, for anybody. The only thing that separates one kind of person from another is there are some who stay angry about it and there are some who... accept what comes their way."
There have been legions of movies made on 'Alzheimer's disease' and there have many outstanding movies but there is one movie that talks about the disease and marriage and this is the one! The Notebook also celebrates love in the time of Alzheimer but while the latter is more about falling in love and living it throughout, the former is about staying married and dealing with the disease and infidelities. The couple is a retired married couple who have been marries for many years. The wife now begins to suffer from Alzheimer and when she sees herself as a risk to the family, she decides to go to a nursing home. There she becomes friends with another patient and begins to forget her husband. The husband visits her after a month and feels upset to see her happy with another man and reflects upon his life doubting that her wife might be just putting up the act of dementia to punish him for his infidelities.
The movie touches you with its subtle plot that one's wrong doings continue to haunt and true love is actually in seeing your partner happy.
How can a list of movies dealing with relationships be complete without mentioning a Bengali movie? Feel proud to say that Bengali art has always explored the subjects of marriage, women liberation, women's fantasies and extra marital affair with more finesse than any language. Dosar is a masterpiece in my opinion atleast with the kind of script the movie deals with.
A married couple's life is turned upside down when the husband is grieved after the death of his mistress in a car accident. The wife is shattered to know this and is contemplates divorce but is resisted by the loyal, loving wife in her. The husband has to not only deal with the loss of a loved one but also has to now regain his wife's trust and love.
The movie preaches the universal lesson that forgiveness is the key to peace.
7. Hope Springs
"Even great marriages have terrible years"
This is a true marriage movie as it just talks about marriage throughout. A middle age couple who are devoted to each other but live a separated life. They sleep in different rooms and find no spark in the marriage though they love each other. They decide to visit a therapist and he begins to suggest them ways to embrace each other.
The movie ends with both of them loving each other physically and we learn how every marriage does not have to end at the loss of that passion!
This has to be my favorite movie when it comes to relationships and particularly marriage. The lead character is Mahender whose marriage is fixed with a school teacher named Sudha. He visits Sudha once to tell her that he is in love with Maya, a strong headed, independent urban woman. In a turn of events, Mahender marries Sudha and they live happily but Maya returns back to their life. The movies goes on with lives of these three characters and how they entwine into each other's life.
9. There's Always Tomorrow
"Love is a very reckless thing. Maybe it isn't even a good thing. When you're young and in love, nothing matters except your own satisfaction. The tragic thing about growing older is that you can't be quite as reckless anymore."
This one is yet another beautiful marriage movie that deals with the subject of infidelity. A decently married couple has two kids and now live a routine life. They plan for a vacation but wife cannot go and urges her husband to go alone. There he runs into his ex colleague who is now a glamorous woman but lonely. They become friends. The kids come to know about their father's growing friendship with this another woman and ask her to leave and not break their parent's marriage.
The other woman leaves as the husband waits for her besides a window! So true that in marriage, you cannot blame or credit someone else for its failure or success. How you live your marriage is solely upon you.
10. A Separation
Simin: Your daughter's future isn't important to you?
Judge: There are a lot of children who live in this country. You say none of them have a future?
An Iranian movie that many of us can relate to. A couple is faced by a daunting situation when they have to pick one of the two - move to a another city for a better upbringing of their only daughter or stay back to take care of a father-in-law who suffers from Alzheimer's. The wife decides to move and takes the daughter along while the husband stays back and takes care of his father. In the course of time, the husband gets into a legal trouble where he has to prove his innocence and the wife comes back to help him resolve.
So true that in an intricate relationship like marriage, making choices is not always easy.
I hope you liked the list. If you did, please share it with the ones who may enjoy reading it!