There is no shortage of films and shows about love and romance. The entertainment industry thrives on our insatiable appetite for narratives that leave us feeling excited, if not hopeful, for how our own “love stories” will unfold.
Yet, these narratives are not always sunshines and rainbows or the occasional meet-cute. Romance, most especially the aspect of marriage, encompasses a myriad of things. It’s the “perfect” blend of (hard) work and commitment, and everything in between.
So from a modern, celebrated classic to a divisive new release, here are five films and shows on Netflix that offer diverse perspectives on marriage.
If you want a film that’ll leave you pondering deeply about marriage, look no further than this Noah Baumbach classic—the hard-hitting, critically acclaimed drama Marriage Story. This film chronicles the marriage and eventual divorce of stage director Charlie (Adam Driver) and his actor wife Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), and draws inspiration from director Noah’s own experiences dealing with divorce. Marriage Story offers a vivid, sobering reminder of what marriages can look like once the rose-colored glasses are gone and the initial ‘relationship high’ has worn off. It weaves a raw, unfiltered narrative of marriage, rightfully earning its place as one of the most realistic film portrayals of divorce and of course, marriage.REMARRIAGE AND DESIRES (2022)
If you’re a fan of soap operas, this one’s for you. Remarriage and Desires is an 8-episode Netflix revenge K-drama that delves into the gritty world of the remarriage market, starring Kim Hee-Seon as Seo Hye-Seung. Filled to the brim with ingredients that make the perfect revenge story—drama and scandal—the show offers an intriguing exploration of a highly-regarded aspect of South Korean culture, with marriage holding a significant cultural and social importance in the country. The first episode perfectly sets what’s to come, inviting viewers to witness just how vicious high-class matchmaking can be, a realm only a few of us are really familiar with.PURPLE HEARTS (2022)
Marriages are a lot of work—even ‘fake marriages’. This is the central plot of Purple Hearts. The movie takes us on a journey into the lives of struggling musician Cassie (Sofia Carson) and marine Luke (Nicholas Galitzine), who, driven by their personal agenda and mounting financial troubles, enter a fraudulent marriage of convenience. The film presents the perfect recipe for a struggling yet triumphant romance and even begins with one of the most favored tropes out there: enemies to lovers.YOU ME HER (2017)
This groundbreaking series follows suburban couple Jack (Greg Poehler) and Emma (Rachel Blanchard) who want to spice things up in their marriage. They meet Izzy (Priscilla Faia), a student and part-time escort whom they both fall in love with and eventually take as their lover. Sounds complicated? Well, because it is. You Me Her spotlights the polarizing world of polyamory, and marriage, in a fresh and engaging way. Throughout the episodes, we not only witness how the trio navigates a world that views their union as taboo, but we’re also invited to see how they handle relationship highs and lows, just like conventional couples.WHAT IF (2023)
For many, marriage troubles usually start a few months or years after the wedding. But getting all that early on—in the middle of your honeymoon, no less—is probably not the most ideal. Yet, that’s exactly what happens in What If to Billie (Alessandra de Rossi) and Jecs (JM de Guzman), musician newlyweds who become stranded on a private, secluded island during a storm. The setting forces them to deal with their unresolved issues and their biggest “what ifs”. What follows is an honest portrayal of just how messy marriages can be no matter where you are on that journey and finally provides a glimpse into the harsh realities tied to commitment.
Stream, download, and enjoy films and series anytime, anywhere on Netflix.