Marriage Story Review
Production Company: Heyday Films
Streaming Service: Netflix
Release Date: August 29, 2019
Description: Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson star in “Marriage Story” and play a couple that is going through a time of divorce. The movie starts off with a monologue from each character in therapy about why they love one another and gives a peek into their lives. This gives the film a good start with a powerful punch of love, however, I feel that the rest of the film is mundane.
If I wanted to see a straight couple fighting for 2 hours and 17 minutes I would just watch my parents. This film honestly made me feel nothing. The acting is perceived as award-winning, however I see it as the type of acting you learn on the first day of any 50 dollars LA acting class. The best part of this film is what Laura Dern brought to the film, when she stars as Scarlett Johansson’s boujee and caring divorce attorney which was the only source of excitement in this film when it comes to the characters. This film was absolutely raved about, but I do not understand this hype in any way at all. It just shows the relationship between a White couple facing divorce, which is relatable for about half of families, but there is no real exciting climax in the film that made it worth watching. There was nothing exciting about the characters except that they worked in the entertainment industry.
Maybe the reason why people enjoy this film though it because it is relatable. It is a white couple with a child that are going through a divorce. Many families and couples can relate to this situation. I feel though that the absolute lack of chemistry between Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson really takes away from the ‘cuter’ moments even though I know the point is that they have no chemistry with one another. It is clear that at one point, the two were actually in love but you don’t really feel that from the ways that Driver and Johansson interact with one another at any point. It does not even feel that there is hateful chemistry between the two actors, it just feels like nothingness between the two which really took away from the film. I feel like I needed more background behind their love. Johansson goes into detail about why she wanted a divorce with she speaks with Laura Dern in the law firm, however, I want to just know why she would let him treat her like that. Why absolutely beautiful Scarlett Johansson ever let the most mundane looking man in the world not let her live where she wants and not letting her live the life she deserves.
The film ends in Driver and Johansson’s son in the film finding her love note from therapy that she refused to read to Driver. He tries to read it because he is in the process of learning how to read. This was supposed to be an incredibly impactful, emotional moment, but I feel like there could have been another way and time for this moment. I don’t like how it was just ignored by all the characters too and it was at a weird moment when Johansson’s new boyfriend is there.
Then there is also the infamous fight scene that has been memed just about everywhere. The divorce is incredibly messy, however, this was the only fight scene in the entire film. And then of course, Johansson just ends up feeling bad for Driver at the end of the fight even after he says incredibly hurtful things. We need a film with a strong woman lead when telling stories such as these. Yes, Johansson is who initiated the divorce, however the whole film she just seems helpless. I just feel like I did not even know what was going on for most of the film because we know absolutely no background about the love story of the two. The son in the film also seems to have absolutely zero personality and we hardly see how this experience is impacting him in any way. Along with mundane acting, I just personally do not feel that this film deserved the recognition that it received. I feel like the perfect way to describe this film is: “If Laura Dern was not it in it, it would be absolutely nothing”.
Reviewer: Mike Chase
Review Date: 02/17/2020