Entertainment Movies Marriage Story memes are making the harrowing hilarious

Marriage Story memes are making the harrowing hilarious

Scarlett Johansson Adam Driver
Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver head to Memetown in Marriage Story. Photo: Netflix
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As many people know by now, Marriage Story is about divorce. It’s not a fun movie. Its nuances and insights into how divorce happens are gut-wrenching.

Yet somehow it’s spawned a world of hilarious memes and become a viral moment since it dropped on Netflix on December 6.

It’s not the first Netflix hit movie to have this fate befall it. Last year it was sci-fi thriller Bird Box, then last month Martin Scorsese’s mobster marathon The Irishman (“It is what it is”) which racked up over 17 million views in its first week.

Now it’s Marriage Story’s turn, and while viewing figures haven’t been released by the platform, Netflix has another win on the board if social media reaction is anything to go by.

Side note: While it’s an odd thing for people to find amusement in the death throes of a relationship, the creativity surrounding its gut-wrenching themes also oddly entertaining.

Without giving too much away, one harrowing scene in Marriage Story – which has a stack of Golden Globe and SAG nominations – sees Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) and Charlie Barber (Adam Driver) go hammer and tongs at each other in a depressing rental flat.

The couple gets everything off their chests during the fight, and a flailing, frustrated Charlie even punches a hole in a wall.

Sad, right?. Or, not.

The meme that has almost overshadowed the movie itself is like a prompt in a high school test: In these four panels what are the characters saying to each other?

In most memes, the author pretends to be Nicole, railing at Charlie while he fights back:

You can also debate pressing issues – favourite TV shows, laundry habits – with yourself.

Or, just riff off the memes:

There’s also variations where Driver’s Charlie is the main player:

Of course, the leading man’s turn as Kylo Ren in the Star Wars franchise is also meme fodder. The Mandalorian breakout star Baby Yoda even got dragged into it:

Fight memes aside, Marriage Story has facilitated debate on the Pandora’s Box that has become known online as ‘the Adam Driver discourse’, as W magazine put it.

Basically, is he ‘hot’, what’s up with his voice, and is he supernaturally tall.

Other Marriage Story issues the internet is wrestling with: are you Team Charlie or Team Nicole, does Laura Dern push NSFW lawyer clothes better than anyone and is New York a better city than Los Angeles?

The bottom line is broader, as Oprah magazine put it: “Netflix is apparently now a meme factory.”

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