On Thanksgiving 2008, Dana Adam Shapiro, a few years removed from his Oscar nomination for directing the documentary "Murderball," visited his childhood home in Boston to find that a good friend of his was divorcing. The friend had been married for three years and, like Shapiro, was in his mid-30s. (Shapiro is now 37.) This was the fourth divorce that Shapiro heard about just that month. In fact, after absorbing the news, he sat down to make a list of all the couples he knew, under the age of 40, whose marriages had already broken up. He came up with 14 names. That struck Shapiro as too many. "It was unbelievable," he says now. "I wanted to ask them all what went wrong, but you can't ask those kind of personal questions of people. Unless you're writing a book."