The Toxicity Of Our City
Malcolm & Marie is a film about toxic relationships. In particular, the toxicity between two people who really shouldn’t be together. Across 100 minutes, the movie depicts a back and forth argument that sees both characters verbally beat down the other.
If you’ve finished streaming this one and are looking for alternatives – fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top picks for alternate viewing.
So without further ado, we present 10 movies to check out when you’ve finished watching Malcolm & Marie.
Gone Girl is the perfect subversion of expectation film. Before that term was used to parody Game Of Thrones, Gone Girl perfectly flipped the script at the midway point to deliver a damning assessment of obsession, betrayal and addiction.
The story here revolves around a missing woman called Amy Dunne and her husband Nick who’s desperate to try and find her. With question marks surrounding her disappearance and Nick’s behaviour raising some eyebrows from the authorities, what begins as a hunt for the truth soon turns into a manhunt against Nick, as his true motives are revealed.
To give much more away would be a disservice to the movie but suffice to say, Gone Girl turns things upside down with a shocking twist. From here, the film completely derails everything we thought we knew, turning this into a psychological thriller of the best kind.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Ever had a break-up so bad you wish you could erase all the memories of your time together? Well, think no more. Arguably Jim Carrey’s best film, Eternal Sunshine is a non-linear, surreal trip into the dream world.
The setting here takes place in the near-future where a medical procedure allows one to erase all memories of another person. What begins as a decision made out of anger, soon turns to bitter regret as Joel Barish realizes that not all his relationship was based on misery.
As he struggles to hold onto the memories of the past, this heartbreaking dramedy plays out key scenes from Joel and Clementine’s relationship as Joel desperately clings to what he once had.
This cautionary tale is a wonderful example of how bad experiences shape who we are and erasing those will only destroy the very essence of what makes us…us. That much is especially true here in this movie, perfectly exemplifying how even the worst relationships can have some redeeming features.
If you want an example of toxic relationships with a bit more plot than 50 Shades, Twilight is a perfect character study showcasing just this. The story revolves around a teenage girl called Bella who finds herself wrapped up in a romance with an immortal vampire hiding out at a high school called Edward Cullen.
One thing leads to another and Bella abandons her friends, running off with Edward and getting wrapped up in the vampire world.
Aside from the obvious mortal/immortal difference and the ensuing love triangle that follows in the messy and questionable sequels, the first film is a great example of that thin line between love and obsession being crossed and bringing big consequences. And vampire baseball, because why not?
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Powerful, harrowing and absolutely captivating, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf is an acting tour-de-force and probably the one movie on this list with the biggest similarities to Malcolm & Marie. Much like that film, here we follow middle-aged couple George and Martha across one distressing night together. However, the intriguing inclusion of young couple Honey and Nick, is where the film really gets interesting.
As the evening progresses, and alcohol takes hold, both couples get caught up in the anguish and emotional pain that’s encapsulated the evening, leading to some very messy and dramatic scenes.
Well-acted and with some surprisingly well-rounded characters, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? is a great examination of marriage and a thought provoking movie worth checking out.
Marriage Story features some amazing performances from Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, centering on a crumbling marriage at breaking point. With an equal amount of laughs and tears, this tonally pitch-perfect film does a great job showing a family struggling with their own feelings while trying to keep things together.
Divorce can be messy but it can also be amicable. The film see-saws between emotions, with bursts of rage-fueled fights equaled by moments of quiet tranquility, reflecting on the good times together. For some, this movie may not resonate but for those who have been through a messy break-up or divorce, Marriage Story is certainly going to hit hard.
On the surface, Certified Copy is a pretty simple film armed with a very basic premise. James Miller is a British author on a tour of Tuscany where his art work has been better received than in his homeland. Binoche arrives to hear his talk, leading to the pair being drawn into a discussion about his work.
The movie takes place across a single afternoon, as the camera takes in the quaint Italian countryside while the pair engage with a number of characters along the way. There’s a moment midway through that changes everything but for spoiler purposes we won’t divulge that here.
Suffice to say, Certified Copy does a great job splitting its screen-play in half and seeing these two actors bounce and vibe off each other is partly why the movie works as well as it does.
Blue Valentine is a movie about the relationship of a contemporary married couple, slowly chipping away at the throngs of love until all that’s left is a shell of what once was. In that respect, the story here showcases how even the most loving of couples can come undone, played out perfectly through the eyes of Dean and Cindy.
As their relationship turns sour, the film is at its strongest when it shows the pair bickering and arguing, propped up by a heady dose of alcohol (for Dean at least) to keep these ill feelings potent and flowing.
Spread across the first 6 years of their marriage, Blue Valentine jumps back and forth between time periods, trying to center on what made their relationship go wrong to begin with. It’s a wonderful drama and certainly worth checking out.
The Cable guy
Although Cable Guy is predominantly a comedy, it’s also a very dark, cautionary tale about toxic relationships. While the film peppers in some classic Carrey slapstick, it’s the core storyline here that bears the most similarities to Malcolm & Marie.
The story centers on a simple man named Steven Kovacs whose decision to install cable in his house changes his life forever. Unfortunately the man chosen to fit this is Jim Carrey himself, playing up the role of a mentally disturbed cable guy who just wants a new friend. Only, that friendship soon turns toxic when he sabotages Steven’s life and tries to spend every waking moment with him.
Despite its comedic roots, Cable Guy is a great example of obsession at its absolute worst.
Sid and Nancy
Part biography/ part self destructive relationship tale, Sid and Nancy is a movie about the real-life pairing of Sid Vicious, bassist for British punk group the Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. Set deep in the heart of the 70’s amidst a mixture of drugs and alcohol, Gary Oldman puts on another show-stopping performance as this punk rocker.
Seeing this pair’s self destructive and volatile relationship unfold over time is part of the allure here and knowing it’s based on a real couple makes it all the more powerful. This one is definitely worth a watch.
Set in 1955, Frank and April Wheeler are seven years into the marriage and clearly not happy. April has given up her dream of becoming an actress while Frank is increasingly becoming disillusioned with his job. One day, April suggests they move to Paris as a last ditch effort to try and rejuvenate their life and marriage.
What’s particularly brilliant about Revolutionary Road though is just how true to life it is. These two unhappy characters just live out their suburban marriage, letting the gentle rhythm of life’s mundanity rock them to sleep. In doing so though, it also lets their insecurities and worries eke away until it all becomes too much.
Sad, depressing and full of some really thought provoking moments, Revolutionary Road is another great choice to check out.
So there we have it, our 10 Movie picks to keep you busy after watching Malcolm & Marie on Netflix.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!