TIL that newlywed couples who watched and discussed five movies about relationships over the period of a month reduced their three-year divorce or separation rate from 24% to 11%. That makes it as effective in reducing divorce rates as a 20-hour therapist-led early marriage counselling program

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Movies from the study (in alphabetical order): * A Star Is Born (1954) Judy Garland and James Mason * Adam’s Rib (1949) Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn * Anna Karenina (2012) Keira Knightley and Jude Law * As Good as it Gets (1997) Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt * Barefoot in the Park (1967) Robert Redford and Jane Fonda * Children of a Lesser God (1986) William Hurt and Marlee Matlin * Days of Wine and Roses (1962) Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick * Desk Set (1957) Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn * Dying Young (1991) Julia Roberts and Campbell Scott * Fools Rush In (1997) Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek * Forget Paris (1995) Billy Crystal and Debra Winger * French Twist (1995) Patrick Aubrée and Josiane Balasko * Funny Girl (1968) Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif * Gone With the Wind (1939) Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh * Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier * Hanover Street (1979) Harrison Ford and Lesley-Anne Down * Husbands and Wives (1992) Woody Allen and Mia Farrow * Indecent Proposal (1993) Robert Redford and Demi Moore * Jungle Fever (1991) Wesley Snipes and Anna Sciorra * Love Jones (1997) Larenz Tate and Nia Long * Love Story (1970) Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal * Made for Each Other (1939) Carole Lombard and James Stewart * Mississippi Masala (1991) Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury * Move Over, Darling (1963) Doris Day and James Garner * Mr. Blandings Builds his Dreamhouse (1948) Cary Grant and Myrna Loy * My Favorite Wife (1940) Irene Dunne and Cary Grant * Nina Takes a Lover (1994) Laura San Giacomo and Paul Rhys * Nine Months (1995) Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore * On Golden Pond (1981) Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda * Pat and Mike (1952) Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn * Penny Serenade (1941) Cary Grant and Irene Dunne * Phffft [Pfft!] (1954) Judy Holliday and Jack Lemmon * Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker (1994) Jing Ning and Gang Wu * She’s Having a Baby (1988) Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern * Steel Magnolias (1989) Shirley MacLaine and Olympia Dukakis * Terms of Endearment (1983) Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger * The Devil’s Advocate (1997) Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino * The Egg and I (1947) Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray * The Male Animal (1942) Henry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland * The Out of Towners (1999) Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn * The Thin Man (1934) William Powell and Myrna Loy * The Way We Were (1973) Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford * Untamed Heart (1993) Christian Slater and Marisa Tomei * When a Man Loves a Woman (1994) Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia * Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton * With Six You Get Eggroll (1968) Doris Day and Brian Keith * Yours, Mine and Ours (2005) Dennis Quaid and Renne Russo


Nice try Anna. I am still not watching Twilight.


I reduced my divorce rate by marrying someone I actually like


So… couples who engage in active communication with each other have reduced divorce rates? Weird.


For anyone who wants the gritty detail. The movie treatment was equally effective as the skills based programs Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) and Compassionate and Accepting Relationships Through Empathy (CARE). From the study that the article references: (Is Skills Training Necessary for the Primary Prevention of Marital Distress and Dissolution? A 3-Year Experimental Study of Three Interventions, by Rogge et al. 2013) “Of the 153 couples who provided follow-up data, 25 (16.3%) ended their relationships (e.g., separation, divorce) by the 3-year follow-up assessment: six CARE couples (13.3%), five PREP couples (13.5%), four RA couples (13.3%) and 10 NoTx couples (24.4%)” RA (relationship awareness) was the treatment that used the movies. It seems equally effective to the other two treatments (13.3-13.5% divorce rate) This is much better than the control group’s 24.4% divorce rate, but it is important to note that the control group (NoTx) was NOT randomly assigned, and that 66% of the control group couples actually refused treatment. They conclude that “there were no differences among couples in the PREP, CARE, and RA groups on rates of dissolution and on a global index of relationship satisfaction.” The 11% dissolution rate is for all the couples that completed any one of the 3 courses. Please correct me if I’m misrepresenting any of their findings.