Fun Learning by Watching Marriage Movies

Can you believe you can do marriage preparation watching a movie? Overhearing (and over-watching) others can be a great learning tool.

The Exercise:

  • Rent or buy the movie The Story of Us starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Bruce Willis. Here’s a relationship that gets into a lot of trouble. (You can watch The Story of Us movie trailer to see the basic story line).
  • After the movie, discuss what went wrong and how they could have prevented things going so bad.  There is an extended Story of Us study guide to prompt your discussions.

Please note! This movie is rated R and is intense. Every once in a while someone tells me they hated this movie!

Finding the Movie:

You may not be able to find this movie in your local video stores. You can try one of the online movie rental companies.

Or, you can buy the movie fairly cheaply on Amazon here.

If you find other sources for the movie, please write a post response to let other couples know.

Other Marriage Movie Options:

Can’t find the movie, or don’t like it? There are many other great marriage themed movies you can watch. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Fireproof – This is a Christian produced and themed movie. You can also get a couples kit with DVD including movie segments and discussion questions. It introduces some important concepts for a successful marriage including marital commitment, forgiveness, unconditional love, and dealing with temptation.
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding – A movie for thinking through family differences, merging them and accepting each other. There a great study guide for this movie to prompt your discussions.
  • Parenthood – funny movie right, and a time to discuss with each other your plans for a family and how you will parent and keep your marriage strong at the same time.
  • Barefoot in the Park – whether newlywed or not yet wed, this movie can help you dig into your differences and how you will deal with them.
  • Meet the Parents – you’ve got to get into those family of origin issues and understand how they impact your marriage. A hilarious movie that gets you to thinking about the importance of family differences and learning to get along despite differences.
  • Jerry McGuire, The Notebook, and the Family Man– all good movies that remind us all of what’s most important in life.

Now, do you have some ideas for others? What’s your favorite marriage movie? Want to go further and suggest some questions to go along with the movie for a couple study guide? If so, please leave a reply.

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17 comments to Fun Learning by Watching Marriage Movies

  • Tiffany Baladad and Jack Wilton

    Jack and I were pleased to see Barefoot in the Park on this list!! It’s a great film and a must see.

  • Tish & Chris

    Fireproof is an awesome movie and the book is a must have for any couple. It just has some great romantic ideas in it for any couple. It can help you keep things alive, aprreciative, and focused on your marriage. Chris and I agree, communication is the key in any relationship. We have to let each other know our feelings and we have to be focused and dedicated to each other 1st. The couple in this movie had lost their way. THey needed to focus on each other 1st and to talk to each other without being hurtful or degrading. They needed to find their spark and work to reignite that fire. Love isn’t just words, it is actions. Daily actions. Never focus on the world around you, focus on each other and how to achieve your personal happiness in a relationship. Jobs come and go, friends come and go, material things come and go, your marriage should be forever.

  • John and Jessica

    My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a movie that we can really relate to. With only one of us being from an ethnic background it has defiantly been a learning experience over the past few years of our relationship. The cultural differences between us are something that we both embrace as it adds a new dimension to the relationship. We are happy that in the future we will be able to share traditions from two different family backgrounds with our children.

  • Katie and John

    We believe our marriage will work. We believe in ourselves. We believe in Our God. Anything is possible through him. We go through a day to day basis remembering these statements.

  • Dustin and Katie

    We watched Parenthood and we loved it. It really shows how children can take their toil on a marriage. We both eventually want children, and I think you could use this movie as guide of what not to do. We loved the roller coaster speech, because it shows how life has its ups and downs and how you have to stick together.

  • Lindsey and Rhett

    This was Rhett’s favorite exercise! He LOVES movies as do I and we have seen many on this list. The Notebook is my all time favorite rom com, especially since it reminds me of my grandparents. My grandfather adored my grandmother even during her decline with alzheimers. This movie really showcased true love, especially when one person may not be on the same page as the other. But the husband reading their story on a daily basis and waiting for those few moments of her remembering him, is heartwarming. There will be many ups and downs in a marriage and it takes hard work and dedication at times to remember why you fell in love and committed to one another, even in the most difficult of times.

  • Kelly and Larry

    Larry and I have seen meet the parents. This movie demonstrates the importance of acceptance of each other by our families. We want to incorporate traditions of both families in to our household. We would try and prevent any tension between family member by communicating with each other.

  • Maggie and Jason

    “The Notebook” is one of my favorite movies, and Jason will openly admit he loves it, too. It meant a lot to me personally because I lost my grandfather to Alzheimer’s and my grandmother stood right by him every minute until her death. Jason’s grandmother also had dementia and dealt with a lot of the same issues my family did. This movie is a great reminder of how love will always win and it reminds us how devoted our grandparents were to each other through all of the tough times. They set amazing examples for us both.

  • Raychel and Peter

    The Notebook – The two main characters in this movie came from very different backgrounds, with very different expectations from their families. Raychel and I grew up in two different countries with certain social expectations, and we have had to fight through the standards and the norm to finally be with each other. Unlike the characters in the Notebook we have been fortunate to have very supporting families which have helped us tremendously throughout our relationship.

    The movie shows that if you truly love someone you are willing to sacrifice anything to be with them, even risk losing your family’s approval.

  • Raychel and Peter

    The Notebook – The two main characters in this movie came from very different backgrounds, with very different expectations from their families. Raychel and I grew up in two different countries with certain social expectations, and we have had to fight through the standards and the norm to finally be with each other. Unlike the characters in the Notebook we have been fortunate to have very supporting families which have helped us tremendously throughout our relationship.

    This movie shows that if you truly love someone you are willing to sacrifice anything to be with them, even risk losing your family’s approval.

  • D & S

    We have seen the majority of these movies. I would like to suggest one more…The Vow. It speaks to the seriousness of the wedding vows we make.

  • Brooke & Lucas

    While “Meet the Parents” was a hilariously frustrating movie, it taught us both to NEVER lie! Even if you think the lie you’re telling will somehow be beneficial to your partner, you will always get caught and be worse off than if you told the truth. It’s important to be open and honest from the very beginning because no matter how small the lie is, it will make others wonder what else you could be lying about.

  • Richard and Sarah

    Richard and I chose My Big Fat Greek Wedding to watch due to our cultural background difference. I think our cultural differences sometimes enhances our relationship. I feel we are always teaching each other, and learning something new about the other because of these differences. Even within the movie as compared to our lives, I have a large and loud family whereas Richard’s family is much smaller. Our differences shape our expectations in life and marriage, but our strong emphasis on communication has helped us shape our expectation into a loving relationship.

  • Amanda & Nate

    Since it was difficult to find the primary movie, Amanda and I watched one of the alternate selections: “The Family Man”. It really put us in the mind of “It’s a Wonderful Life” in some ways – the main point being that without the love of your family, nothing else in life really matters. The movie poses a great question that many of us will face: when faced with the decision of keeping a great relationship or pursuing an excellent career opportunity, which do you choose? The main theme of “The Family Man” is “I choose us!” Amanda and I actually had just such a decision point very early on in our relationship. I had been planning to move to Columbus, OH for college before I had met her, and had big dreams of the exciting dorm life and having fun away from home. Then I met her. We had a fantastic summer, but soon the time came for me to leave her and head off to college. I simply couldn’t do it. I chose her, and 16 years later, I’m SO glad I did! Things fell into place, I still got to move to school and all, it just worked out differently, in ways we couldn’t even have imagined. In the future, if any huge opportunities come along, we will always consult each other and no one will make a move that doesn’t benefit both of us. Essentially, we will always “choose US”.

  • Hunter Earnest & Amy Mahoney

    Fireproof is a great movie to demonstrate the real commitment of marriage. Relentlessly pursuit of one another.
    We’re looking to see the Story of Us. She’s seen it, but I haven’t had the opportunity.

    Many youth including me had a false sense of what a marriage should or could be. Perpetuated by Hollywood love stories that have no root in reality.

  • Aaron & Chelsey

    We took a look at the list and we were planning on watching “Meet The Parents” again when I (Chelsey) recalled the Robin Williams film “License to Wed”. For those who have not seen it, it’s an absolutely adorable film about a couple going through pre-marital counseling.

    We saw a lot of ourselves in the couple being portrayed, as I tend to prefer control and organization, while Aaron prefers to go with the flow. I enjoy talking about my feelings while Aaron prefers to internalize some things. Throughout the film we saw how these obstacles drove the couple apart and we began to understand how we can better communicate and navigate these obstacles, regardless of the situations we may face.

  • Katie & John

    John and I had both seen Jerry McGuire before, but it was fun to rewatch from a marriage perspective. In the movie, we see both Rod & Macee and Jerry & Dorothy deal with life’s challenges together as a couple. While each couple has their own hurdles to overcome in the movie, they each come to recognize that their relationships/families are truly what matters in life. It’s a nice reminder to take a step back from our busy lives and find time to support one another and value the time we have together.

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