Segments in this Video

Newlywed Quest for Happily Ever After (01:55)


Why do so many continue to marry? The narrator has just married for the second time. Determined to succeed, she has a plan; Kate Schermerhorn and her husband are going to interview experts and married people to learn the secret to success.

What's the Secret to a Long-Lasting Marriage? (00:38)

Couples offer their individual formulas for marital success.

First Time Around (01:12)

Filmmaker Kate Schermerhorn offers a quick summary of her own first marriage--and its demise.

How Did You Meet? (01:40)

Married couples explain how they came to know one another. Their stories include love at first sight, an arranged marriage and "a room full of marijuana smoke." (Nudity)

Second Time Around (01:29)

Filmmaker Kate Schermerhorn tells how she met her second husband Matt, and what she loved about him.

Las Vegas Weddings (01:15)

Mrs. Bardslay says couples mistake sex and good times with love. Brendan Paul, Elvis impersonator and wedding chapel owner talks about weddings for which he officiated.

Outdated View of Marriage? (03:07)

Author Stephanie Coontz, explains that marriage has only become about the individual in the last 200 years. Economist Betsey Stevenson explains that the 1950s stereotypical marriage was an outlier, a social experiment that became the model. Author Stephanie Coontz says today's couples need to start a marriage with better negotiating skills and deeper friendship.

Gender Roles (01:50)

Women talk about their individual approach to food preparation--a stereotypical female role--within their marriages. (Nudity)

What is the Value of Marriage. (02:45)

Economist Betsey Stevenson explains the affect the market has had on what were formerly benefits to a couple when one worked outside the home and one worked inside the home. She references Gary Becker's research on the subject.

What is the Value of Marriage? (01:33)

Marriage expert John Gottman, PhD says there are enormous health and longevity benefits to long-term relationships. Divorce attorney Cary Goldstein, Brendan Paul, wedding chapel owner and married couples share their views. (Nudity)

Why Does Monogamy Happen? (00:51)

Evolutionary biologist David Barash says in the West marriage and monogamy are interchangeable, which is problematic because monogamy is unnatural for human beings.

The "Work" of Making a Marriage Work (02:44)

Filmmaker Kate Schermerhorn tried to ignore the creeping sense of claustrophobia in her marriage. Couples discuss the "work" of marriage. (Nudity)

We're Having a Baby (01:48)

Filmmaker Kate Schermerhorn discusses her pregnancy and the cracks that were beginning to show in her marriage to Matt, with whom she was making this film.

On Togetherness in Marriage (01:06)

Two couples explain their very different approaches to marital bliss.

Baby Saves Marriage--For the Moment (00:46)

Filmmaker Kate Schermerhorn says when baby Lila arrived, the family became a picture of marital bliss. For the first time, she felt she needed her husband and that they had weathered the storm of their rocky beginning.

What Successful Couples are Doing Differently (03:15)

Marriage expert John Gottman, PhD says perpetual problems make up 69% of a couple's concerns. Successful couples turn toward one another. He offers an example of a "sliding door moment."

What is Love? (03:25)

Filmmaker Kate Schermerhorn feels her marriage dissolving. Marriage expert John Gottman, PhD, Evolutionary biologist David Barash, and married couples offer descriptions of and perspectives on love. (Nudity)

Calling it Quits (01:57)

Filmmaker Kate Schermerhorn reflects on the beginnings of love with her husband Matt and the day, three years into their marriage, she asked him to move out.

Perspectives on Divorce (02:55)

Divorce attorney Cary Goldstein, Author Stephanie Coontz, and married couples talk about the modern view of divorce. (Nudity)

Is Marriage a Dying Institution? (04:26)

Marriage expert John Gottman, PhD, Psychiatrist Margo Leahy, Author Stephanie Coontz and divorce attorney Cary Goldstein talk about the current state of marriage.

Life After Marriage (02:34)

Filmmaker Kate Schermerhorn started to feel like herself again over time. She concluded that divorcing had been the right choice even though there were times when having a man around would have been convenient. She and her husband Matt continued to work together after they were separated.

Cupid's Checklist (01:52)

Marriage expert John Gottman, PhD says we don't teach children about marriage and friendship. Couples who pick the right person are more likely to stay together. Divorce attorney Cary Goldstein encourages couples to educate themselves. Couples discuss compatibility.

Reinventing Love and Marriage (01:38)

Author Stephanie Coontz points out that love and romance are historically phenomena that took place outside marriage--when marriage was practical and "mercenary."

Secret to Being Married Happily (03:11)

Married couples offer their secrets to success in marriage. (Nudity)

Prologue: No Guarantee of Happily Ever After (01:55)

Filmmaker Kate Schermerhorn reflects on what she has learned in the making of this film. She learned more about herself and her own flaws than she ever intended. She remains optimistic that she will have another relationship, if not marriage.

Credits and Prologue: After Happily Ever After (02:15)

Credits and Prologue: After Happily Ever After -Find out where the couples interviewed for this film are today. (Nudity)

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

After Happily Ever After

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



With half of American marriages ending in divorce, why does 90 percent of the nation still enter into matrimony? Is the Western notion of permanent, monogamous marriage entering a new phase, a more flexible and adaptable one, or is it becoming obsolete? Are there alternatives that make sense? This film presents an eclectic mix of couples (both male-female and same-sex) who discuss how and why their unions have succeeded, no matter how quirky, elusive, or poignant the reason. Featured experts include body-language analyst John Gottman, economist Betsey Stevenson, Beverly Hills divorce attorney Cary Goldstein, biologist David Barash, and marriage historian Stephanie Coontz. Along the way, the film’s director chronicles the joys and heartbreaks of her own marriage. Contains mature themes and nudity. (53 minutes)

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL43888

ISBN: 978-1-61733-945-5

Copyright date: ©2010

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Recommended by Psychology Today.


“[Filmmaker] Kate Schermerhorn has gathered a wonderfully broad variety of couples which more completely describes modern relationships than other documentaries encountered by this reviewer. After Happily Ever After would be a great addition to courses on family studies, the history of marriage, gender studies, and women's studies. Highly recommended.”  Educational Media Reviews Online


“Delightfully quirky.”  Scientific American


“An entertaining escapade.”  San Francisco Magazine


Featured screening at the 2012 American Psychological Association annual convention


2012 Media Award from Council for Contemporary Families—for broadcast coverage of family issues


“Intelligent, sensitive, funny, and tender.”  —Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman


“A quirky look at modern marriage. This is a great example of a documentary told from a personal point of view.”  Desktop Documentaries


Winner of the Council for Contemporary Families “2012 Media Award” for broadcast coverage of family issues


“A frequently sardonic, occasionally dead-serious survey of long-term relationship.”  —Michael Fox,


“A fantastic look at marriage in the 21st century…both whimsical and deep.”  —Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker, Newsweek magazine’s “One of the Women Shaping the 21st Century”

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.