The best films have a way of sticking with us and leaving an impact on our lives. They also have a way of broadening our minds and improving our relationships. Films that treat marriage as something to be sustained and cherished can bless your relationship, at any stage it’s in.

I recently watched eight films about marriage where couples faced a variety of trials and tribulations. From infidelity, anger, pridefulness, and worry, they struggled with what it meant to work together as a team. In the end, hope returned to each of the marriages. They rediscovered faith in each other and/or God. They also realized they could strengthen their relationships if they made the effort to do so.

Below is my list of four Christian and four secular films about marriage. Married couples wanting to find a good reason to curl up on the couch for a good movie night could consider choosing from this list:

1) Fireproof

Firefighter Caleb Holt is on the verge of a divorce from his wife who claims she doesn’t love him anymore. After meeting with his father, Caleb reluctantly agrees to commit to a 40-day journey called “The Love Dare” in an attempt to restore his crumbling marriage.

At first, nothing seems to be happening. His wife feels as distant as ever towards Caleb no matter how hard he tries to win her back. It isn’t until he meets Jesus Christ that his life and marriage truly start to turn around showing that “with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, NIV).

After watching Fireproof, I can understand why I’ve heard so many good things about this movie. Kirk Cameron (Caleb) and his on-screen wife, Catherine, played by Erin Bethea, gave a convincing portrayal of what a true struggling marriage looks like. “The Love Dare” also happens to be a highly successful book written by Stephen Kendrick as well as Alex Kendrick, who is the director of this film.

2) Sacred Vow


Doug and Amber have been in love since high school. Deciding to get married after college, they commit to each other with vows that are meant to last a lifetime. However, after 15 years of marriage, Doug strays into another woman’s arms. He is about to call it quits in his marriage, but his wife convinces him to wait for 30 days until after their daughter’s birthday.

Reluctantly, Doug agrees to his wife’s requests, including carrying her to the door every morning as he’s getting ready to leave for work. Over time, he starts to look forward to this new ritual and discovers the love he thought he lost for his wife had never truly left at all.

This was a real tear-jerker for me with a surprising twist at the end. Writer and Director, Rob Diamond, did a real credit to the direction of the story.  The music was touching in just the right places, and both Shawn Stevens (Doug) and Pam Eichner (Amber) played their parts perfectly.

3) The Song


Aspiring singer/songwriter, Jed King, follows in the footsteps of his late famous country-singer father. His makes a name for himself after he meets his wife and dedicates a special song to her. After being launched into fame and fortune, Jed faces temptations that lead him to wonder who he truly is as a husband and a man.

This is a story of a man who became lost in a lifestyle that kept leading him further away from his wife and son. However, he found hope in both the forgiveness of the Lord and his wife. Though Jed wandered away from right-living, grace led him home.

The Song was nominated for a Dove award for Inspirational Film of the Year (2015), which is no surprise to me. Not only did the director, Richard Ramsey, write a story that is totally believable, but Alan Powell (Jed King) pulled off a stellar performance with the help of his co-stars Ali Faulkner and Caitlin Nicol-Thomas.

4) War Room


Tony and Elizabeth Jordan are highly successful in all areas of their life except one, their marriage. Every time they interact with each other, it’s like a non-stop argument. To make matters worse, their daughter is caught in the middle.

Elizabeth meets an older woman by the name of Miss Clara, who teaches her the value of creating a prayer closet (the War Room) to take her problems in her marriage and life straight to the Lord. As Elizabeth’s prayers reach the ears of Jesus, not only does she start to change for the better, but Tony discovers the grace of the Lord and repents of his sinful ways. Jesus changes their family in a way that only His saving power can accomplish.

Karen Abercrombie (Miss Clara) and Priscilla Shirer (Elizabeth) impressed upon the audience the importance of prayer in marriage. So often when a couple faces adversity in life, they end up divorced.  However, if there is even a small spark of life left in the relationship, God can turn it into a burning flame again.

5) Sweet Home Alabama


Southern girl, Melanie Smooter (Reese Witherspoon), has made a big name for herself in the fashion industry. Being proposed to by the man of her dreams is the cherry on top of her already fabulous life. The problem is she must return home to Alabama to get the husband she left seven years ago to sign the divorce papers.

Returning home brings back memories Melanie thought she’d left behind. As her past catches up to her, she realizes she has to make a choice between her current fiancé or the husband who never really left her heart.

Composer, George Fenton, lent his talents to Sweet Home Alabama winning a BMI Film Music Award in 2003. In addition, the movie pulled in two other Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Comedy and Liplock. Add in six more nominations for various awards, according to IMDb, and you can start to understand why this movie was such a success.

6) The Notebook


Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) is a poor young man working in Seabrook in the late 1930’s when he spots seventeen-year old Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams). While Allie isn’t interested in Noah right away, they fall madly in love by the end of the summer. Allie’s rich parents are anything but accepting of their relationship, and they take Allie away to New York to separate the two.

Years later, Allie meets a soldier when she serves as a nurse in the army. The two end up engaged, and Allie is all set to marry her fiancé until she sees Noah in a newspaper and decides she has to see him. Sparks fly when they reunite, and Allie is left with one of the toughest decisions of her life. Which man will she choose?

I have heard about The Notebook and what an incredible, touching movie it is from various people over the years. I never quite understood their reaction to this film until I watched it myself recently. There is a reason it received 12 different awards and was nominated for 10 additional ones. This is by far one of the best romantic movies about marriage I’ve ever seen. Choosing a spouse is one of the most important things we’ll ever do. It’s evident in this movie why it’s important to take our time in making this decision.

(This movie is rated PG-13 for some sexuality according to IMDb).

7) 2 Years of Love


Radio psychologist, “Dr. Sam,” specializes in giving relationship advice. However, she and her husband, John, could use some advice of their own. Samantha is desperate to have a baby, but John doesn’t feel ready. Driving a wedge between her and her husband was never Samantha’s intention, but the more she pressures John to start a family, the more their marriage becomes strained.

With the help of their friends, family, and a caller on Samantha’s show, the couple comes to realize what’s really important in their marriage. True love, in its purest form, is the only way to restore the commitment John and Samantha made to one another.

While the acting could have been a bit better in this movie, it still had some valuable lessons about open communication in marriage. Too many times couples forget to really talk to each other in a meaningful way, and they start to grow apart because of it. I really liked the solution writer Lenny Mesi came up with. It lent a creative twist to the plot.

8) Did You Hear About the Morgans?


Paul and Meryl Morgan have separated after he commits adultery. After Paul convinces his wife to go to dinner with him in hopes of reconciliation, they leave the restaurant and witness a crime. Their only option is to go into hiding for their own protection. Leaving New York behind for a tiny town in Wyoming, they stay with the town sheriff and his deputy wife.

Paul desperately hopes for forgiveness for his transgression, but Meryl isn’t sure she can give him what he wants. Through hard work and a touch of humor, the couple slowly begins to re-build their marriage. But, how long will it last when a hit-man is out to get them?

Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker weren’t as convincing a couple as the actors in the other movies I watched. However, there are parts of this movie I enjoyed because of the charming humor and wit Hugh typically lends to his roles. While the plot is fairly predictable, it’s still a good representative of the work it takes to bring a couple back together after infidelity.

Final Thoughts

Each of these movies offered valuable lessons about marriage in a way that was both entertaining and real. The couples worked through some serious trials and temptations that might have broken their relationships if it hadn’t been for the willingness to forgive and move forward.

If you’re looking for films about marriage to watch that are encouraging and inspirational then look no further. These eight movies stress the value of working through relationships and making them stronger. Christian themes are evident in four of these films, yet even the four secular movies stress the importance of having a solid marriage, thus making them a good match for all types of couples.