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Cheap Thrills: Movies Can Offer Release and Relief in the Face of Divorce


Divorce can be a stressful, isolating, and frankly, miserable experience at times—especially if those around you haven’t been through it themselves. Sometimes simple pleasures, like watching a movie, are just what you need to escape from reality for a little while and have the opportunity to laugh, smile, or cry in peace. Put on something comfy, grab some of your favorite snacks, and let your mind drift while you watch one of these movies. No matter what kind of genre you like, there’s bound to be a movie in this list that resonates with you (seriously).

First Wives Club

Did your husband leave you for a twenty-something? Was that twenty-something Jessie Spano? Do you like musical numbers (that involve an overwhelming amount of white formalwear)? Yes? The First Wives Club is for you! Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, and Diane Keaton play three divorcees out for revenge. You can live vicariously through them while still taking the high road even though your ex-husband ‘Steven’ is the scum of the earth and his new girlfriend ‘Tiffani’ doesn’t look old enough to babysit.

Mrs. Doubtfire

Did you lose your custody battle? Have you considered posing as a female nanny to spend more time with your kids? Yes? Then Mrs. Doubtfire, starring Robin Williams, is the film for you! It’s rife with slapstick humor and belly-laugh-inducing shenanigans…not to mention, it’s a lot cheaper than hiring a professional makeup artist to transform you into an elderly Scottish lady.

Desperately Seeking Susan

Would you describe yourself as a bored housewife? Do you read personal ads to get you through monotonous days? Do you live vicariously through those ad writers? Have you ever been swept up in an ancient Egyptian jewel heist? If you said “yes” to all of these, we may have some follow-up questions for you…Anyway, just know that this movie is a gem (terrible pun intended) and you watch it—if for nothing else, because of its fantastic soundtrack, sublimely 80s New York, and Madonna.

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Did your wife leave you for some chump she works with? Do you have a man crush on Ryan Gosling? Are you looking for some tips to help you pick up women in bars post-separation? Crazy, Stupid, Love is your movie! While your chances of running into Ryan Gosling at your local bar are slim—as is your likelihood of having a pick-up artist randomly take a personal interest in you and teach you the tricks of the trade—we encourage you to watch this movie and pretend for two hours that these things can indeed happen.


Is your husband having an affair with a famous romance novelist? Do you want to ruin his entire life? She-Devil may prove very cathartic. Just don’t get any ideas…So much of what the movie’s main character, Ruth, does would land you in jail for a long time. Really.

Hope Floats

Did your husband cheat on you? Did you find out he cheated on you when he told you on a national talk show? Destroyed by the news, did you move back to your hometown in an effort to rebuild your life? Is that only partly true? That’s fine. You should still watch Hope Floats. After all, there’s nothing like a sappy chick flick to get you through the hard times and give you some perspective. The perfect combination of preposterous and heartwarming, Hope Floats is an ideal “feel good” movie.

Enough Said

Are you divorced and dipping your toe back into the dating pool? Are you relatively ‘normal’ and understated (according to your best friend and your adoring mother)? Yes? Then, this one’s for you. Enough Said is a sweet little film that feels real and just might make you feel less alone in the world.


Are you ready to leave your painful relationship in the past and start fresh? Have you changed your mind about that decision a bunch of times? Heartburn is for you! Based on Nora Ephron’s novel (and personal life!), it stars Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson, taking you along for all of the twists and turns of their rollercoaster marriage.

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