Marriage is one the fundamental institutions because this is where lives are nurtured for the wider world. It is no wonder that it is played on the screen, being so pivotal. There are good and bad marriages, sad and happy marriages. We can all agree that no relationship and family is perfect, but marriages at the movies can be about acceptance and commitment. Serious films and family films may depict good marriages and shaky marriages that get saved.

Sometimes a good marriage is part of the furniture. The marriage is not a huge element of the plot, but is naturalized, such as with Pele (2016), a family film about the legendary soccer player from Brazil, and Zootopia (2016). A strong marriage may feature more prominently. Some of those films are Eddie the Eagle (2016), Sully (2016), The King’s Speech (2010), Deepwater Horizon (2016), When the Game Stands Tall (2014), and Still Mine (2012).

In My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016) marriage is the big subject. An elderly couple revisits their vows and a younger couple needing to rekindle the flames of their romance. In this film, it’s the strong bonds of family that keeps one feeling stoked for the long haul. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 had the most family-friendly message of the adult films last year. (though I thought the quality of the movie itself was a disappointment.).

Another category of marriages in film is when there are challenges and tests to the marriage. For example: In The Light Between Oceans (2016), a couple keep a secret, which is going to put a strain on their marriage. This is the most dramatic presentation of a marriage last year.

Pressure down

Or where there is pressure, something may happen to restore the marriage, or their relationship is strong enough to withstand the pressures. Or the couple may work on it so stay together.

Faith-based film Miracles from Heaven (2016) depicts a couple going through a hard time, but a miracle brings them back on track. This film is based on a true story.

In Hitchcock (2012), Alfred Hitchcock’s making of the film Psycho with actress Janet Leigh makes his wife wonder if he is more interested in the movie than in her. But a friend luring her to a tawdry affair just sounded too off. Through Alfred’s immersion in the project and later on, their marriage stays together, because they know each other well.

Abraham Lincoln’s wife finds living with the President challenging. His will to make nothing stand in his way of abolishing slavery puts pressure on their relationship, in Lincoln (2012). These are the strains of discontent in an otherwise good relationship. The bond between the couple is obviously present.

The Impossible (2012) is about a couple and their children on holiday when a tsunami strikes. As they survive they are drawn to each other in a closer way.

Shrek Forever After (2010) has Shrek and Fiona out on a limb as Shrek tries to sort out his responsibility and commitment issues. This ‘commitment-phobe’ issue was a big deal in comedies some time ago. Males never seemed to be able to make commitments. A Shrek movie can’t leave Shrek wallow in the fun of his bachelor days, though.

So, in these movies and others like them, marriage may be challenging, but a good place to be.

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