Marriage Story

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Marriage Story is a 2019 film about a married couple going through a coast-to-coast divorce.

Directed and written by Noah Baumbach.
Where there's a love, there's a way.

Nicole Barber[edit]

  • I never really came alive for myself; I was only feeding his aliveness.

Charlie Barber[edit]

  • But you don't want a voice, you just wanna fucking complain about not having a voice!
  • [Reading Nicole's letter to Henry] I fell in love with him two seconds after I saw him. And I'll never stop loving him, even though it doesn't make sense anymore.

Nora Fanshaw[edit]

  • People don't accept mothers who drink too much wine and yell at their child and call him an asshole. I get it. I do it too. We can accept an imperfect dad. Let's face it, the idea of a good father was only invented like 30 years ago. Before that, fathers were expected to be silent and absent and unreliable and selfish, and can all say we want them to be different. But on some basic level, we accept them. We love them for their fallibilities, but people absolutely don't accept those same failings in mothers. We don't accept it structurally and we don't accept it spiritually. Because the basis of our Judeo-Christian whatever is Mary, Mother of Jesus, and she's perfect. She's a virgin who gives birth, unwaveringly supports her child and holds his dead body when he's gone. And the dad isn't there. He didn't even do the fucking. God is in heaven. God is the father and God didn't show up. So, you have to be perfect, and Charlie can be a fuck up and it doesn't matter. You will always be held to a different, higher standard. And it's fucked up, but that is the way it is.

Bert Spitz[edit]

  • Getting divorced with a kid is one of the hardest things to do. It's like a death without a body.
  • I want you to know that eventually this'll all be over and whatever we win or lose, it'll be the two of you having to figure this out together.
  • And keep in mind, you'll have to pay for her lawyer. [...] Well, at least part of her. It doesn't make sense, does it? I mean, you're doing this because you love your kid. And in doing so, you're draining money from your kid's education.


  • Ted: Criminal lawyers see bad people at their best, divorce lawyers see good people at their worst.
  • Frank: Charlie, what you're going through now is going to be horrible, but it will be over. Fuck as many people as you can right now. Women, men. Take what I said seriously.
  • Sandra: Even though I am 64 and have a dead gay husband, I manage to get up every day, live my life, and feel pretty good about it.


Charlie Barber: Will we go to court?
Bert Spitz: No. No, we don't want to go to court. Courts in California are a disaster, and that's just how we have to think about it. I'm not sure these are my glasses. Where are you living while you're out here?
Charlie Barber: I'm in a hotel right now.
Bert Spitz: A hotel doesn't look good.
Charlie Barber: To who?
Bert Spitz: The court.
Charlie Barber: [confused] Y-You just said we weren't going to go to court.
Bert Spitz: [explaining it better] No, of course. Of course. We have to prepare to go to court hoping we don't go to court.

Bert Spitz: You know what this is like? This is like that joke about the woman at the hairdresser, she's going to Rome. You know this?
Charlie Barber: I don't.
Bert Spitz: This woman is at her hairdresser, and she says, "I'm going to Rome on Holiday." And he says, "Oh, really? What airline are you taking?" She says, "Alitalia." He says, "Alitalia? Are you crazy? That's the worst – that's terrible. Don't take that. Where you gonna stay?" She says, "I'm gonna stay at the Hassler." "The Hassler? What, are you kidding? They're renovating the Hassler. You'll hear hammering all night long. You won't sleep. What are you gonna see?" She says, "I think I'm gonna try to go the Vatican." "The Vatican? You'll be standing in line all day long. You'll never get to see anything."
Charlie Barber: [annoyed] I'm sorry, Bert, am I paying for this joke?

Nicole Barber: [while arguing with Charlie] You're being so much like your father.
Charlie Barber: [angered and hurt by the remark] DO NOT COMPARE ME TO MY FATHER!!!
Nicole Barber: [getting smart with him] I didn't compare you to him. I said you were acting like him.
Charlie Barber: You're exactly like your mother. Everything you were complaining about her, you're doing. You're suffocating Henry.
Nicole Barber: [offended] First of all, I-I love my mother. She was a wonderful mother.
Charlie Barber: I'm just repeating what you told me.
Nicole Barber: Secondly, how dare you compare my mothering to my mother! I may be like my father, but I am not like my mother!
Charlie Barber: [trying to get it through her head] 'YOU ARE!!!' And you're like my father! You're also like my mother! 'YOU'RE ALL THE BAD THINGS ABOUT ALL OF THESE PEOPLE!!!' But mostly your mother. When we would lie in bed together, sometimes I would look at you and see her and just feel so gross!

Nicole Barber: [disgusted] I felt repulsed when you touched me!

Charlie Barber: [annoyed while going through the pantrys] You're a slob. I made all the beds, closed all the cabinets, picked up after you like an infant!

Nicole Barber: The thought of having sex with you makes me wanna peel my skin off.

Charlie Barber: I didn't even want to get married. And....'FUCK IT!!!!' There's so much I didn't do.
Nicole Barber: [chuckles sarcastically] Thanks for that!
Charlie Barber: [also sarcastically] YOU'RE WELCOME!!
Nicole Barber: [hurt by his statement and jumping like a maniac] I can't believe I have to know you FOREVER!!!!
Charlie Barber: [losing his patience with her] You're fucking insane! [punches wall] AND YOU'RE FUCKING WINNING!!!!

Nicole Barber: [stunned by his attitude] You're so merged with your own selfishness, you don't even identify it as selfishness anymore! YOU'RE SUCH A DICK!!!
[He begins weeping, and then falls to his knees as Nicole hugs him]
Charlie Barber: [Through tears] I'm sorry.
Nicole Barber: [Comforting him] Me too.

Nora Fanshaw: Where do you want to live now, doll?
Nicole Barber: Well, I'm here now, obviously. I don't know if the show will get picked up. It feels like home. It is home. It's the only home I've ever known without Charlie.
Nora Fanshaw: You want to stay here?
Nicole: Charlie's not going to want that. He hates LA.
Nora Fanshaw: We're interested in what you want to do. What you're doing is an act of hope. You understand that?
Nicole: Yeah.

Charlie Barber: We didn't have a deal; it was something we discussed.
Nora Fanshaw: So it's a deal when it's something you want. And a discussion when Nicole wants it?

Nicole Barber: Anyway, shall we try this?
Charlie Barber: OK. [pause] I don't know how to start.
Nicole Barber: Do you understand why I want to stay in LA?
Charlie Barber: No.
Nicole Barber: Well, that's not-Charlie, that's not a useful way for us to start...
Charlie Barber: I don't understand it.
Nicole Barber: You don't remember promising that we could do time out there?
Charlie Barber: We discussed things. We were married, we said things. We talked about moving to Europe, about getting a sideboard or what do you call it, a credenza, to fill that empty space behind the couch. We never did any of it.

Nicole Barber: You should've considered my happiness too.
Charlie Barber: Come on, you were happy. You've just decided that you weren't now.

Nicole Barber: You shouldn't have fired Bert!
Charlie Barber: [smugly] I needed my own asshole.

Henry Barber: [not noticing the blood] Dad, are you OK?
Charlie Barber: [lying] Yeah, I'm just tired.
Henry Barber: Dad, did she like us?
Charlie Barber: [exhausted] Yeah, she thought we were great.


External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about:

Marriage Story