Stream or skip?


Stream or skip? +2023

If it seems so Everything in life is gamified Today you are not wrong. Netflix Original The Marriage App takes this concept to a new extreme and asks what would happen if a bickering couple could turn their marriage around by turning it into a game. This twist on the rom-com feels like a painfully contemporary take on the genre, as it introduces literal competition in their quest for wedding satisfaction.

The essentials: The Marriage App begins with a darn sweet meeting – Federico (Juan Minujín) plows his car right into Belén’s (Luisana Lopilato) open door while she loads her car with presents from Christmas shopping. He uses the window to ask her out, and then a few years later when they’re married and have kids… and the spark from the forces of life has all but died on their first date. When they meet up with a couple who seems hotter than ever, Fede and Belén are forced to ask their secret.

What they find is a company called Equilibrium that runs a program called “Marriage Miles” (the English translation of the title is a bit misleading as there isn’t really any kind of “application”). Using cutting-edge Japanese technology, the company assigns a point value to the couple’s actions, which are tracked by a clock. They lose miles on selfishness and gain them when they do something to put their partner’s interests first. They see themselves first and foremost as team players who work towards the big picture. But the potential to “bank” miles to pay off for their own personal interests becomes too irresistible, and the old fault lines in their relationship surface as they go miles to outmaneuver each other.

Which movies will it remind you of?: Imagine a black mirror episode (special dive, where Bryce Dallas Howard’s Lacie becomes obsessed with her “star” status) crossed with a Hallmark rom-com. The mood could also be described as competitive How to lose a man in 10 days with the material process of Retreat for couples.

Notable performance: There is no clear standout performance between leads Juan Minujín and Luisana Lopilato. Unlike their characters, the two work beautifully together to get just the right level for what The Marriage App needs of them. They can be a little cheesy when needed and can also be sincere when needed.

Memorable dialogue: There’s a lot of fun discussion going on about the arbitrariness of the scoring system in The Marriage App, but perhaps none as great as Fede, who describes how asking about his wife opens Pandora’s box. “I have to ask meaningful follow-up questions,” he complains, “or I’ll lose miles.”

gender and skin: The movie stays pretty much PG-13, even if it comes down to a three-way scenario later in the story. Sensual kissing during a couple’s getaway shows nothing below bare shoulders, and an orgasmic scene (or lack thereof) is conveyed with hands clasped and clocks activated. The most tantric sight in the film is that Fede and Belén exchange words of affirmation at the dinner table in front of both of them very confused children.

Our opinion: The Marriage App Trading in broad strokes, skimming the surface of potential to explore Equilibrium’s marriage mile program as well as the contours of Fede and Belén’s relationship. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing – there’s always a place for comedy that doesn’t require a lot of brain power. Rocio Blanco’s screenplay has the clever concept to be a great film, but director Sebastián De Caro is content with making it a fun film in the first place. It gets a bit clever at the end as it increases the importance of her children who are usually relegated to decorative candies in this type of romance, but that’s about it in terms of development beyond the original idea. They could push things a bit further than niceties, but it’s fine the way it is.

Our appeal: STREAM IT! The Marriage App bridges the mindless/mindless divide well. It’s a rom-com with a novel concept but familiar execution, offering a reassuring watch that plays just outside the genre’s comfort zone. Set your expectations for easy rather than stimulating and it’s a fun time.

Marshall Shaffer is a New York-based freelance film journalist. Besides Decider, his work has also appeared on Slashfilm, Slant, Little White Lies and many other media. One day everyone will realize how right they are Spring breakers.

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