Marriage Story

I am going to assume that anyone reading this already knows that the film is about a couple going through the divorce process (if you didn’t know this you find out right at the beginning). Halfway through the film I asked myself why the film wasn’t called “Divorce Story” as the story is really about the difficulty that families face when a relationship falls apart.   After mulling this over for a day or so I think I realized the answer.  The film isn’t about divorce as much as it is about relationships.  In the film the couple doesn’t seem to have problems that couldn’t be worked out. In the opening sequence we see that there is actually a lot that they like about each other.  As the film plays on we see that there is a fair amount of baggage that each of them has.

And that’s where the heart of the film is.  Much of the baggage are things that the characters have carried around in silence and thus they were allowed to grow and mutate internally.  The film isn’t so much a cautionary tale about divorce as it is a cautionary tale about relationships.  The key to the film was said by Alan Alda’s character in the middle of the film:  after all of this is said and done you’re still going to have to work this out between the two of you.  So yes, the repressed feelings ended up being spoken by lawyers at the cost of hundreds of dollars an hour.  And yes, when it was all said and done they did have to learn how to get along.  But the real problem is that they had not learned to talk to each other years before and they were just starting to learn how to do it when the dust settled.   What if they had learned how to do so years before?

It is wonderful to see A-list hollywood actors doing adult dramas again.  Adam Driver has really been on a role with some fantastic films (including the criminally unseen Paterson).  This wasn’t the most entertaining Baumbach movie that I’ve seen but it may be the most intelligent (and in some ways, the most important).

IHATEBadMovies.com reviews Marriage Story
Poster for the movie "Marriage Story"

Movie title: Marriage Story

Movie description: A stage director and an actor struggle through a grueling, coast-to-coast divorce that pushes them to their personal extremes.

Date published: 2019-12-07

Director(s): Noah Baumbach

Actor(s): Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Julie Hagerty, Merritt Wever, Azhy Robertson, Wallace Shawn, Martha Kelly, Mark O'Brien, Matthew Shear, Brooke Bloom, Kyle Bornheimer, Mickey Sumner, Amir Talai, Rich Fulcher, McKinley Belcher III, Matthew Maher, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Gideon Glick

Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance

My Review

I am going to assume that anyone reading this already knows that the film is about a couple going through the divorce process (if you didn’t know this you find out right at the beginning). Halfway through the film I asked myself why the film wasn’t called “Divorce Story” as the story is really about the difficulty that families face when a relationship falls apart.   After mulling this over for a day or so I think I realized the answer.  The film isn’t about divorce as much as it is about relationships.  In the film the couple doesn’t seem to have problems that couldn’t be worked out. In the opening sequence we see that there is actually a lot that they like about each other.  As the film plays on we see that there is a fair amount of baggage that each of them has.

And that’s where the heart of the film is.  Much of the baggage are things that the characters have carried around in silence and thus they were allowed to grow and mutate internally.  The film isn’t so much a cautionary tale about divorce as it is a cautionary tale about relationships.  The key to the film was said by Alan Alda’s character in the middle of the film:  after all of this is said and done you’re still going to have to work this out between the two of you.  So yes, the repressed feelings ended up being spoken by lawyers at the cost of hundreds of dollars an hour.  And yes, when it was all said and done they did have to learn how to get along.  But the real problem is that they had not learned to talk to each other years before and they were just starting to learn how to do it when the dust settled.   What if they had learned how to do so years before?

It is wonderful to see A-list hollywood actors doing adult dramas again.  Adam Driver has really been on a role with some fantastic films (including the criminally unseen Paterson).  This wasn’t the most entertaining Baumbach movie that I’ve seen but it may be the most intelligent (and in some ways, the most important).

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