Watching “Marriage Story” as a person whose parents are still married

I just saw “Marriage Story” and I have to talk about it. I HAVE to. It was incredible, easily the best movie I’ve seen this year. But it was without a doubt an uncomfortable viewing experience, and definitely a piece of art that tells of an experience I am detached from. But I still felt it.

My parents have been married for 21 years, with no signs of divorce in the near future. My family is as nuclear as it gets. Marital conflict is simply not a part of my life. My parents fight, as all couples do, but they are still together. But today they are the exception, not the rule. There’s that famous statistic that 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce. I’m not sure how accurate that statistic is; in all likelihood, that ratio now is even smaller.

But the events that ensue in “Marriage Story,” I imagine, are very, very real for many, many people. The process of divorce, which in the characters’ situation is further complicated by a custody battle, is often unpleasant, tedious, even vicious. I know because I have friends who’ve gone through it in their own families. So even though I may not be the target audience for this movie, even though I’m a stranger to divorce, I still connected to it, because the story it tells is one that my friends, people I love very much, are not strangers to.

One thought to “Watching “Marriage Story” as a person whose parents are still married”

  1. I haven’t seen this movie, but now I really want to! My parents got divorced when I was a year and a half old and I grew up with a lot of custody court battles and being in the middle of parents who hated each other and couldn’t agree even on the smallest of things. I think your point is right––even if you yourself do not have parents who are divorced, it is so common these days that you definitely know people who have had these experiences.

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