In our culture, there are more than enough stories about falling in love. There are not enough stories what happens we fall out of love.
In the new movie, Marriage Story, Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) have been married for ten years and have a young son. The marriage is falling apart. Charlie is a theater director and Nicole is an actress in Charlie’s theater company.
Knowing that her marriage is at an end, Nicole accepts a job in Los Angeles. Charlie does his best to see their son and keep his life in New York intact, but that is evidently becoming more difficult. They promised that they would keep the divorce as simple and lawyer-less as possible.
Then Nicole hires Nora (Laura Dern). Charlie hires Jay (Ray Liotta) and Bert (Alan Alda). Bringing in the lawyers both helps and hurts the divorce proceedings. The question is, can this couple divorce peacefully (as much as that is possible) or will it become painful?
I have mixed feelings about this film. Based on the experience of writer/director Noah Baumbach, watching this film is almost excruciatingly painful at times. But, I suppose, that is the point. At best, the divorcing couple are mature and come out of it with an adult understanding of their relationship and their relationship with their child(ren). At worst, the divorce devolves into a shouting match and accusations that get worse by the day.
My problem with the film is that while is excruciating for the characters, it is the same for audience. Clocking in at a little over two hours, I feel like the narrative could have been scaled back. There were moments that felt like the end, but then the movie continued on. By the time the credits rolled, I was more than ready to leave this world behind.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
Marriage Story is presently in theaters.