Movies are a fun pastime for many. But they can be marriage-savers too! A latest study shows watching and discussing romantic movies can reduce the divorce rates among newlyweds by half.

Researchers at the University of Rochester found that discussions on movies could be as effective as regular therapist-led methods. It was found to lower the divorce rates from 24 to 11 percent in marriages of three years when most couple get out of the honeymoon phase.

"We thought the movie treatment would help but not nearly as much as the other programmes in which we were teaching all of these state-of-the-art skills," said lead author Ronald Rogge in a press release.

"It's incredibly portable. There are really great marriage intervention programs available now but most require trained therapists to administer them. If couples can do this on their own, it makes it so much easier to help them," he said.

For the study, the researchers studied 174 couples who were given a list of 47 movies with intimate relationships as a major plot focus. The participants were told to watch one movie a week for the next month that was followed by the same guided discussion for about 45 minutes.

The study results found that many couples already had relationship skills, but they just needed reminders to put these into practice, the authors 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. And for five movies to give us a benefit over three years - that is awesome," said Rogge.