Life After Divorce: Recommended Viewing

Published Monday, January 9, 2023

To put it mildly, divorce is rough. Particularly for women who are over 50, some of whom have been involved in the same relationship for a quarter century or more. And yet, while the overall rate of divorce has gradually declined over the past 20 years, the number of "silver splitters" has doubled.

That's why, beginning Tuesday, February 7 at 6:30 pm, the Edwardsville Public Library is hosting a new support group called "Life after Divorce." It will be geared specifically toward women who are 50-plus years of age, who have recently undergone divorce, and who are feeling overwhelmed by their new (and perhaps unexpected) single status. It will be led by life coach Kim Manoogian, who went through the messy, emotionally-taxing experience of divorce herself. She says her goal is to encourage women to come out stronger on the other side and begin living their best lives.

If you find yourself in the same boat, riding the wave of "gray divorce," we welcome you to join Kim each Tuesday evening in February at 6:30 pm at the library. And in the meantime, here's a brief list of comedies that show the funny side of the big D.

Gloria Bell
Rated R / Directed by Sebastián Lelio / Starring Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Sean Astin, and Jeanne Tripplehorn

Gloria (Moore) is a free-spirited divorcee who spends her days at a straight-laced office job and her nights on the dance floor, joyfully letting loose at clubs around Los Angeles. After meeting Arnold (Turturro) on a night out, she finds herself thrust into an unexpected new romance, filled with both the joys of budding love and the complications of dating, identity, and family.

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Enough Said
Rated PG-13 / Directed by Nicole Holofcener / Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, and Toni Collette

Divorced mom Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) may be falling for Albert (Gandolfini), a sweet, funny, like-minded divorcee. But as their relationship blossoms, Eva befriends Marianne (Keener), who's always complaining about her ex-husband. When Eva realizes that Albert is the target of Marianne's rants, she begins to question her own perceptions about first impressions and second chances.

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The Squid and the Whale
Rated R / Directed by Noah Baumbach / Starring Laura Linney, Jeff Daniels, Jesse Eisenberg, and Owen Kline

A pair of brothers living in Brooklyn are caught in the middle of, and deeply affected by, the divorce of their erudite parents, Bernard (Daniels) and Joan Berkman (Linney). Older sibling Walt (Eisenberg) sides with dad and acts out at school, while younger brother Frank (Kline) quietly backs up mom. The household tension rises further when Joan's writing career takes off and surpasses the failed ambitions of her professor ex-husband.

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Intolerable Cruelty
Rated PG-13 / Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen / Starring George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy Bob Thornton, Geoffrey Rush, and Cedric the Entertainer

Miles Massey (Clooney) is a high-powered Los Angeles divorce lawyer nearing a midlife crisis. While representing his wealthy client Rex Rexroth, Miles meets his match in Rex's gold-digging wife, Marilyn (Zeta-Jones). He's impressed by her similarly heartless ways of using marriage to fuel an expensive lifestyle, but he still manages to defeat her in court. With Marilyn looking to get her revenge and Miles finding himself attracted to her, the two engage in a ruthless romantic pursuit to out-swindle each other.

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People Places Things
Rated R / Directed by James C. Strouse / Starring Jemaine Clement, Regina Hall, Stephanie Allynne, and Michael Chernus

Will (Clement), a graphic novelist, is thrown for a loop when he walks in on his wife having an affair and she promptly informs him that she wants a divorce. Now the newly-single father of twins must learn to balance his job and his new love interest Diane (Hall) and move on with his life.

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Girls Trip
Rated R / Directed by Malcolm D. Lee / Starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Tiffany Haddish

Four best friends, known as the Flossy Posse, have grown apart over the years. Yet when one of the friends is offered an opportunity to be a keynote speaker at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, she decides to bring along her friends to turn her work vacation into a girls trip. Along the way, they rekindle their wild side by dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to excess.

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Under the Tuscan Sun
Rated PG-13 / Directed by Audrey Wells / Starring Diane Lane, Sandra Oh, Lindsay Duncan, and Raoul Bova

When Frances Mayes (Lane) learns her husband is cheating on her, her life is turned upside down. In an attempt to bring her out of a deep depression, her best friend, Patti (Oh), encourages Frances to take a tour of Italy. During the trip, the new divorcée impulsively decides to purchase a rural Tuscan villa and struggles to start her life anew amid colorful local characters, including the handsome Marcello (Bova).

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Celeste and Jesse Forever
Rated R / Directed by Lee Toland Krieger / Starring Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood, and Emma Roberts

Celeste and Jesse (Jones and Samberg) have been best friends as long as they can remember. High school sweethearts, they eventually got married--and now they're getting divorced. While their friends don't think the couple can stay friends after the divorce, Celeste and Jesse are determined to prove them wrong. But when Jesse begins dating again, Celeste finds it harder to move on than she thought it would be.

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About the Author

Michael's ideal reading environment is a noisy pub on karaoke night, his nose buried in a Stephen King novel, his elbows buried in a deep-dish pizza, and a drunk idiot belting Journey in his ear. Ahhh…so cozy.

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