Scenes From a Marriage Is Just The Latest Show to Focus on Unhappy Couples

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac's HBO limited series Scenes From a Marriage is the latest unflinching look at the reality of being married.

By Cydney Contreras Sep 13, 2021 12:00 AMTags
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Every so often, trends emerge in the entertainment-sphere. For a time, there were a handful of movies about space exploration, with filmmakers sending Matthew McConaugheyMatt Damon, Sandra Bullock and more stars into the great unknown. 

More recently, there was a spate of movies about musicians, including the remake of A Star Is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, Rami Malek's stint as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody and Taron Egerton's stellar role as Elton John a.k.a. the Rocketman

Now, it seems like filmmakers and TV producers are fixated on unhappy marriages and inevitable divorce, with A Most Violent Year's Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac reunited in HBO's Scenes From a Marriage, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 4. Originally made by Swedish writer and director Ingmar Bergman in 1973, the rebooted limited series focuses on the couple as they navigate trials and tribulations. 

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To take a look at other recent movies and TV shows about marriages, relationships and general family dynamics, continue reading below!

Marriage Story

Netflix's award-winning film details the breakdown of the union between Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) and Charlie (Adam Driver). The movie, which was written and directed by Greta Gerwig's husband Noah Baumbach, follows as Nicole becomes more and more successful, leaving her husband to reckon with his own foundering career.

The Crown

The Netflix series chronicles the lives of the British Royal Family, meaning no shortage of infidelity and heartbreak. While Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's shaky marriage was the focus of the series for the first few seasons, their problems take a back seat in season four, which centers on the unhappy union of Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) and Prince Charles (Joshua O'Connor). The upcoming season, starring Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West, is slated to show the contentious dissolution of their marriage.

The White Lotus

There are not one but two unhappy marriages in Mike White's dark comedy. There's Steve Zahn and Connie Britton's Mark and Nicole respectively, who are too preoccupied with jobs, kids and life, to truly focus on the health of their marriage. Then, there's Shane (Jake Lacy) and Rachel (Alexandra D'Addario), a pair of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed newlyweds—but not for long. That honeymoon glow quickly fades as Rachel realizes she gave up her independence and career when she married the wealthy and privileged Shane. 

The Undoing

On the face of it, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant are seemingly a happy, wealthy couple. But that charming façade is shattered when Hugh is accused of murdering the mother of one of their son's classmates. The HBO series questions if it's possible to truly know the person you're living with.

Big Little Lies

This HBO series, created by David E. Kelley and starring an ensemble cast, follows a group of mothers in the wealthy California coastal town of Carmel, who were all witnesses to a murder. While it's largely a crime drama, the show proves that there's no such thing as the perfect couple.


Adam Driver portrays crude comedian Henry McHenry, who surprises the world when he falls in love with opera singer Ann (Marion Cotillard). The couple gets married and eventually welcomes their first child together, but Henry is unable to cope with the fact that his career is faltering while Ann's continues to thrive. 

Scenes From a Marriage

A Most Violent Year's Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac reunite in this HBO limited series, which is a remake of the Swedish show by Ingmar Begman. Like the original, the show dissects a successful couple's marriage from beginning to end.

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