Divorce Story

We saw Marriage Story last night over at SteelStacks. I’d heard a lot of good things about it, and it was really a good movie, but it was not a feel-good story. The basic gist is that it follows one couple through their divorce and custody battle, always a knee-slapper…

Basically a character study (of the couple as individuals, and as a couple), the movie had some really good acting, fueled by serious star power — Scarlet Johannson and Adam Driver, plus Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta and Wallace Shawn (that guy from The Princess Bride). Unfortunately, the movie tended to “showcase” the actors at times, almost as if it were a vehicle for a break-out star, or multiple ones.

The plot itself was a bit boring. Conflict is at least the precursor to drama, or should be, and conflict was baked into the story, but this thing moved like a sporting event you couldn’t care less about: sooner or later it will end, with some final score, and everyone will move on. And that’s what happened — the lawyers even advised their clients that this would be so.

In the end, I’m glad I saw this, but my final take-away is that its makers think it’s better than it really is.