Malcolm & Marie, written and directed by Sam Levinson, is a hurtful and very genuine, long conversation between two deeply toxic people. Malcolm (John David Washington) is an up-and-coming filmmaker that just got rave reviews for his new film. We first see him arriving from the premiere and he’s excited, he’s dancing to a James Brown song, he’s hyped. Marie (Zendaya) on the other hand, seems to just be going through the motions. She’s tired and not interested. In his hyped state, Malcolm goes on his first of many rants about his frustrations with film criticisim, which is a common theme in the movie. Marie just listens and fills in the silence in a monotone manner. We get the sense that she’s been here before.
As Malcolm goes on and on, Marie casually prepares some Mac and cheese. Malcolm starts kissing her entire body, and Marie barely manages to say, “Aww, that’s so sweet,” in the less sincere way you can imagine. By now, I’m so hooked. I need to know their dynamic. Why is she like this? Why is he not noticing? When Malcolm finally realizes her “fake-ass smile”, the argument begins. The question “Marie, why are you angry?” is not only a question Malcolm wants to know, but now, I desperately want to know too.