Disclaimer: Spoooooooilers! Proceed with all of the caution, brethren.
So, what is there to say, son? Real talk, Malcolm & Marie is some of the most toxic, aggravating and befuddling cinema that I’ve ever seen. The wild thing is, as fucked up as the relationship is between Malcolm Elliott and Marie Jones, I’ve witnessed a number of unions that have suffered from similar issues. All in all, the problems between Malcolm and Marie all come down to respect, or rather, a lack thereof.
Ok, where do I even start, man? Now, the film begins after Malcolm and Marie come home from a movie premiere. Malcolm, a screenwriter/film director, is celebrating the release of his soon-to-be critically-acclaimed project about a 20-year-old (recovering) drug addict and all of her shenanigans. In any case, the first problem arises after Malcolm fails to read the room. I mean, Marie is CLEARLY upset about something and this dude is completely oblivious. Look, I’ve known my wife for 14 years and I can always tell when something’s up. Hell, she even gets annoyed because I’ll keep asking her what’s wrong until she eventually tells me. I just can’t walk around with the obvious tension in the crib, fam.
Anyway, the first fight of the evening is caused by the fact that Malcolm neglected to thank Marie in his post-viewing speech. Now, this is notable for a variety of reasons. First, what kind of dickhead doesn’t thank his lady during such a monumental moment? Second, as we later learn, the main character of his movie is based on Marie. Third, despite Marie being an actress AND the fact that the plot mirrors her life, he never really considered her for the role. Fourth, he may or may not be fucking the lead actress. I mean, damn, bruh. All I can say is, it’s a shit-show and I haven’t even gotten to the crux of their problems, son.
Look, there are a variety of things that Malcolm does wrong in this movie. One of his most common mistakes is the fact that he doesn’t actually listen to what Marie is saying. Instead of empathizing with her feelings, he just immediately gets defensive and says something foul in retaliation. There’s no point in reminding her about how much of an addict she was. There’s no point in bringing up all of the previous women that he’s had sex with. Side bar, why does he gloat about messing with so many “broken” women? In my eyes, that’s a GLARING character flaw, man. On the real, I just think he enjoys having power and control over his significant other.
When it comes down to it, he completely takes Marie for granted. He doesn’t appreciate the perspective that she brings to his life. He’s comfortable with using her as a muse, but doesn’t care to see her as a person. Frankly, I don’t know why she stuck around that long. I would’ve bounced after the first argument, fam. No one talks to me like that, bruh. No one. In any case, her calling his work “mediocre” doesn’t warrant all of the vitriol that she receives. Shit, I don’t know what brand of “love” this is, but Malcolm can’t possibly love Marie and talk to her in that manner. All she wants is some acknowledgment, and instead, receives blatant disrespect. The truth is, I didn’t see any redeeming qualities about Malcolm in this film, son.
In the end, I’m going to wrap up Malcolm’s treatment of Marie in one quote. I mean, he really says to her “if you had a role that allowed you to be yourself, you’d be great.” Given the fact that his movie IS about her and the fact that she wanted the role shows how incredibly clueless he is. Ultimately, he takes her for granted, doesn’t acknowledge her contributions, says deliberately hurtful things and dismisses her emotions. At the end of the day, Marie needs to fucking run, man. I don’t care how successful he might be in the future. This dude is a Grade A Douchebag. That is all. LC out.