By Jonathan Decker (Clinical director, LMFT)
Hollywood favors “falling in love” stories rather than “staying in love” stories. Healthy, long-lasting marriages are far too often viewed by Tinseltown as dramatically stale, but there are exceptions to this rule. Below are 20 of my favorite cinematic depictions of what it takes to make love last. Click on the titles to buy the films, and enjoy!
A BEAUTIFUL MIND: This 2001 Best-Picture winner finds Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connely supporting each other through dangers and mental illness.
BIG FISH: Tim Burton’s eye-catching family drama, with one foot in reality and the other in fantasy, has a terrific portrayal of marital fidelity, with a couple entering their golden years with a life full of memories and an attitude of cherishing each other.
CINDERELLA MAN: Under-seen gem has Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger as a Depression-era couple trying to make ends meet. Very inspiring.
DRAGON- THE BRUCE LEE STORY: The life of the martial arts legend makes for a grand romantic drama, as Bruce and Linda Lee endure poverty, interracial prejudice, crippling injury, and the stresses of of fame together.
ENCHANTED: Okay, this is cheating a little bit, because this is a “falling in love” story, but worth including because of its emphasis on striking a balance between romance and realism, and for showing that new healthy relationships are attainable after a divorce.
FATHER OF THE BRIDE (PARTS ONE AND TWO): These winning Steve-Martin/Diane Keaton family comedies find the pair coping with the strains and joys of parenthood (and grand-parenthood) together.