Netflix has come out with another great star-studded movie. Marriage Story stars Adam Driver who plays Charlie Barber and Scarlett Johansson who plays Nicole Barber, a couple who is separated. Directed by Noah Baumbach, this movie is a comedy/ drama, or a “dramedy.” This story follows the exes who try to stay friends despite their parting, and the movie opens with the relationship already being over. The story follows these two as they try to find a mediator for their situation, and that they want to separate amicably in order to least disrupt their sons life. There is an ease in the way the lines flow between actors who deliver it as two people would who’ve known each other forever. Camera angles also allow us to see their faces that show us more than what their words can say. These actors are exceptional in their ability to portray marriage and all of its quirks, while at the same time portraying the complexities of separation.
As we all know, divorce can get ugly. The exes were warned about how ruthless divorce can get when lawyers are involved, so they decide against it. As the movie progresses though, both Charlie and Nicole crave closure from the situation and end up succumbing divorce. Things escalate when we find out that Nicole, who is an actress, wants to move to Los Angeles in order to pursue her career. This story, however, is not about the tragedy of an ending relationship, but rather the long and treacherous road that is the legal system. We watch as the couple who had the noblest of intentions be poisoned by the legalities and system in which they succumbed to.
While going through the process, a star divorce lawyer Nora Fanshaw, played by Laura Dern, says to Nicole “This system rewards ugly behavior,” telling her of the ugly truth about this process. Charlie’s lawyer Jay Marotta, played by Ray Liotta, tells him “at the end of this process, you’re going to hate me.” As the divorce continues to unfold, we see a blowout argument happen between Charlie and Nicole that shifts the audience’s sympathies between the two characters. Their history and experiences with one another are being thrown at each other like daggers, some stinging more than others.
However, this movie is not all doom and gloom for the divorcing couple. It is witty and wry, containing funny jokes and inexplicable love that still remains. Supporting characters also offer some comic relief throughout the film as everyone tries to figure out their place and navigate their lives in lieu of the difficult divorce. All in all, Marriage Story is yet another Netflix “must-see,” with some incredibly talented actors showing off their best skills. We see comedy, tenderness, heartache, and everything in between. If you want to find out what happens in the Barber family, go check it out!