“Up” Movies with Widowed/Divorced Guys

There are plenty of films out there that are weepy, tear-jerking sobbers that have divorce or death of a wife as plot backdrops.  Think “Kramer vs. Kramer” or “Love Story.”  These are certainly good movies but, frankly, they take a toll on your heart to watch.

For us, we find that we may, at times, need an ego-boost picture that can make us smile or outright cheer the guy that has had the kinds of life-upending experiences that we have.  With that in mind, here are a few easy-to-get (or download) movies that should be good for our emotions.  Just add some microwave popcorn and let yourself go with the flow.

“Starting Over” (1979) – In our opinion, Burt Reynolds should have been nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as a just-divorced guy.  Vulnerable, scared and trying to get out there in a new city, he captures the zeitgeist perfectly.  So many funny moments are in this, but Candace Bergen (his ex-wife in the film) takes the cake late in the film with her “visit.”

“The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” (1963) – If for no other reason than the fashion and style of the period, this one is worth watching.  Glenn Ford is recovering  from the untimely passing of his wife but Eddie, his seven-year-old son (Ron Howard), wants him to remarry the literal girl-next-door.  This film has great warmth to it and it gets close to sappy at times, but it pulls back at the brink!  The “bullet bras” of the period provide plenty of pulchritude that Stella Stevens flaunts to maximum effect!

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” (2011) – When Cal Weaver’s (Steve Carell) wife (Julianne Moore) says that she wants a divorce (and then reveals her affair!), his life is shattered.  But his rebound should serve as a blueprint for all of us.  Of course, he has Jacob (Ryan Gosling) taking pity on him and he becomes his path to salvation as he remakes the mostly clueless Cal in his image.  One of Jacob’s best lines to Cal, “She will rue the day she gave up on you,” is worth remembering. This film avoids the clichéd ending and more aptly veers to “possibilities” as its message.

“The Fugitive” (1993) – Even if you’ve seen it before (and who hasn’t?), it’s time for another dose!  This may be Harrison Ford’s best outing since Han Solo as wrongly convicted wife-killer Dr. Richard Kimble.  On the run following his escape from a prison transport bus (what a scene, right?), and being relentlessly pursued by Federal Marshall Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones).  Great action and nice treatment of Kimble’s ill-fated marriage in flashbacks.  Look for a very young Jane Lynch!

Any of these flicks will provide a dose of solace, self-confidence and healthy diversion while not being insulting to our intelligence or individual histories.  Depending on the individual woman, any of these might be a pretty good date movie as well.

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