Hollywood has had a long love affair...with divorce. It's the topic du jour once again, thanks to Eat, Pray, Love, which paints the aftermath of the big split as "getting down with James Franco and Javier Bardem, copious amounts of gelato and pizza, and finding 'your truth' at the 'center' of your life," writes Jessica Grose for Slate. It's a classic film trope, she explains: Woman gets ditched. Woman is liberated!
But it wasn't an a la mode theme until the 1970s: Movies like Why Change Your Wife? (1920) and The Philadelphia Story (1940) followed sassy women who got divorced...then back with their man. But as divorce rates ballooned, divorce-liberation flicks started popping up, and haven't stopped. Hopeful filmmakers, take note: Grose runs down some standard steps that should be followed. No. 1: Destroy your ex's stuff (First Wives Club). No. 2: Smoke pot (It's Complicated). No. 3: Go to another country, meet hunk (Under the Tuscan Sun). Click here for a slideshow of classics.