It sounds unlikely, but it’s true. Sitting down in front of a romantic comedy with your loved one could save your marriage.
Seriously, this isn’t just a ploy to ensure women get control of the remote. We promise.
According to a study carried out by the University of Rochester in New York, watching and discussing five movies which feature romantic relationships over one month could cut divorce rate for newlyweds in half, reducing the separation rate from 24% to 11% after three years.
The study, which followed 174 couples, aimed to compare different types of “early marriage intervention programs” and concluded that watching rom coms, such as As Good As It Gets, Barefoot in the Park, The Break-Up and She’s Having a Baby, is just as effective as marriage counselling or therapy. Plus whole lot cheaper, and probably more fun.
The idea behind it is that watching and then discussing how couples interact in movies will help real life couples recognise and acknowledge their own behaviour, whether it’s constructive or destructive.
Ronald Rogge, author of the study and professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, said: “The results suggest that husbands and wives have a pretty good sense of what they might be doing right and wrong in their relationships. Thus, you might not need to teach them a whole lot of skills to cut the divorce rate. You might just need to get them to think about how they are currently behaving.”
“Taking time to sit down and take an objective look at your relationship with your partner is going to be helpful for any couple at any stage,” Rogge continued. “They can make it a yearly thing they do around their anniversary—watch a movie together and talk about it. That would be a fantastic thing to do and a great present to give themselves each year.”
Well, forget flowers, candle lit dinners and expensive jewellery, then. That’s Valentine’s Day sorted…
Ellie is an entertainment, TV and film journalist writing news and (hopefully incredibly witty) comment for RadioTimes.com. She loves light-hearted dramas and glossy US series - and is more than a little bit obsessed with Downton Abbey. Foodie, sun-seeker and aspiring novelist in her own time. Likes the fact that her name rhymes with telly.