Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” is less
about marriage than it is about divorce, depicting the souring of what started as
an amicable split between an actress and her theater-directing husband. Like 69%
of divorces in the United States, the wife initiated the separation. We learned
that she felt oppressed in her marriage, believing that her career and ambitions
were consumed by those of her husband. But the marriage was fairly egalitarian
by modern sensibilities, with both husband and wife working and sharing
domestic responsibilities. This gets at what is one of the most important social
issues shown in the film, though likely not Baumbach’s intention. Studies show
that women on the whole seem to have lower satisfaction rates with their
marriages than men. Even after decades of men doing more housework and more
childcare, and women spending more time on their careers,
many women seem no happier than a half-century ago, and maybe even less so.
Maybe it’s that society has created unrealistic expectations for women.
Marriage not only means finding a soul mate and a helpful father and a breadwinner, it is also an exercise in self-fulfillment. Did you think the movie “Marriage Story” was
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