6 Movies About Divorce That Are Funny And Sad
Break ups are never pretty but these 6 movies about divorce show the funny and sad sides of situation with wit and poignancy. Heartbreak may bring out the worst in people, but that very quality also creates a perfect recipe for movie moments. In these six films, characters must face the best and worst of their family lives in order to find something new and more satisfying. Sometimes, the story makes something old new again. In every case, the mixture of both light and dark moments creates the perfect recipe for a movie about divorce.
Kramer vs. Kramer.
This 1979 tearjerker won five Academy Awards, including Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep’s first trophies, for its pitch perfect portrait of a child custody battle. Workaholic Ted (Hoffman) gets dumped by emotionally confused wife, Joanna (Streep), and she leaves him to care for their 5-year cutie-pie kid. The Kleenex moments come from the battle between the parents over the son. Luckily, Dustin’s bumbling attempts at running the house, dating and parenting provide plenty of human comedy to balance the tears.
Crazy, Stupid, Love.
When Steve Carell and Julianne Moore break up after 20 years of marriage, heartbreak, romantic complications and bad pickup lines follow. Carell gets advice from ladies man Ryan Gosling, who finds his player status compromised by genuine feeling for Emma Stone, who happens to be Carell’s daughter. While Moore keeps company with Kevin bacon, Carell’s co-worker, their teenage son pursues his babysitter. This 2011 ensemble comedy looks at the many varieties of love, from puppy crushes to infatuation and the real thing with a top cast and fast-paced wit.
The Squid and the Whale.
Writer-director Noah Baumbach mined his own childhood for this 2005 dramedy about a 1980s Brooklyn divorce. Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney play the Berkmans, the perfect bohemian brownstone intellectuals—he’s a pretentious professor and she’s a frustrated writer. When they split, their sons Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) and Owen Kline (son of Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates) must deal with all the self-involved, emotionally needy aspects of their parents.
Alongside the rubber-faced antics of Jim Carrey struggling underneath the curse of having to tell the truth, this comedy also captures the casual lies and betrayals at the root of so many broken couples. Carrey plays an ambitious attorney representing gold digger Jennifer Tilley in a high stakes divorce. At the same time, his young son, frustrated with one too many broken promises, makes a birthday wish that helps reconnect his estranged parents.
The War of the Roses.
Danny DeVito may be better known for his feisty, furious and height-challenged persona that has been stealing scenes since 1975’s “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” In 1989, he brought those same qualities to his direction of this 1989 fight to the finish. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner play the warring Roses, who have poured all their yuppie ambition into the perfect house. When the marriage breaks up, neither can let go of the property and the escalating battle reaches both inane and insane levels.
In this 2008 family comedy, a divorce becomes the launching pad for single dad Ryan Reynolds to find true love. When his 10-year old daughter (Abigail Breslin) wants to hear about her parents love life before marriage and the eventual divorce, Will (Reynolds) has the chance to look back at his complicated romantic choices when he had to choose between three very different women. In this movie, the divorce is the happy ending because it frees him to finally make the right choice.