This study tested whether or not the tenets of Finkel and colleagues' (2014, 2015) suffocation model, a specific social psychological theory regarding marriage expectations for need fulfillment, were portrayed in romantic relationships depicted in widely-viewed films from the past 100 years. We examined the representation of Maslow's love, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs in the romantic relationships of films made during the companionate era (1850-1965) and films made during the self-expressive era (1965-present). It was hypothesized that the portrayal of esteem and self-actualization needs would be greater in films made during the self-expressive era than in films made during the companionate era, whereas there would be no difference in the portrayal of love and belonging needs across the two eras. Naive participants (N = 56) were brought in to view one of ten films from these eras and answer questionnaires about need fulfillment and expectations within the main romantic relationship of the film. The hypothesis regarding esteem and self-actualization needs was supported, suggesting that the portrayal of relationships in top-grossing films may follow the trends of the suffocation model. These findings have implications for the bidirectional influence of culture and film.