Were aliens to arrive on this planet, visit America, learn English (including slang, colloquialisms and popular culture), become interested in melodramatic television and films and learn about gender nuance, they would probably ascertain that marriage is a real big bummer. Why? According to pop culture these days, when it comes to thoughtful, sexy, independent women, marriage isn't a bag of rainbows, honeysuckle and kitty posters.
Slate has a great piece on the phenomenon—and it's cyclical—of the "happy" divorce film.
If you have a television set and like watching anything other than the Military Channel, you're well aware that Julia Roberts is headlining a feature film version of the book Eat, Pray, Love. While I'm not familiar with the novel, and don't practice two out of the three verbs in its title, the trailer suggests that a mediocre to poor marriage is the only thing preventing women from having a good time, visiting India and getting railed by James Franco.
Naturally, Slate follows their short post with a slide show OF VIDEO CLIPS! that best exemplify this trope: "Um, Stella's on the phone, she sounds pissed, she wants her groove back." The underlying question is obvious: is this something that people actually feel? And if so, is art imitating art, or is the opposite occurring? Inquiring aliens want to know.
Have we become too convinced that the grass will be greener on the other side of whatever's bumming us out? Are movies like Eat, Pray, Love (And Never Feel Guilty About Not Enthusiastically Engaging In Fellatio)* a sort of porn for mildly unhappy married woman, in much the same way that box office sensation The Expendables is porn for bored, middle-aged dudes who work in offices? Calgon, take me away. Why I Celebrate My Divorce
Any reason why men throwing off the yoke of ho-hum marriage isn't a sub-genre (check out this from The Onion for that answer)?
*Note: The publisher begrudgingly removed this part from the title after it did poorly in test groups.