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Waiting for Malcolm & Marie? Watch these dramas on Netflix

Malcom & Marie on Netflix
John David Washington and Zendaya star in Malcolm & Marie. Pic credit: Netflix

Next week, the highly-anticipated movie Malcolm & Marie will be added to Netflix. This upcoming movie stars John David Washington and Zendaya as the titular characters. 

Malcolm & Marie is described as: 

When filmmaker Malcolm (John David Washington) and his girlfriend Marie (Zendaya), return home from a movie premiere and await his film’s critical response, the evening takes a turn as revelations about their relationship surface, testing the couple’s love.

Malcolm & Marie / Netflix

This romantic-drama is destined to stand out from the crowd. The movie is shown entirely in black-and-white and was the first Covid-19 major movie production since the industry’s initial shutdown. 

It was shot in just a little over three weeks by a small, limited crew. Washington and Zendaya were also responsible for handling their own make-up and wardrobe. 

Malcolm & Marie will make its Netflix premiere on February 5. But while you’re waiting, here are five dramas to stream on Netflix. 

Walk Away From Love

Walk Away From Love is a heartfelt and down-to-Earth drama about a young professional named Micha, and her troubles in the “love department.” 

Micha is played by Noree Victoria (American Crime Story) and her two love interests are played by Brad James (A House Divided) and Robert Christopher Riley (Dynasty). The trio finds themselves in an emotional love triangle as Micha is forced to reevaluate her approach to her own love life. 

This movie avoids going down the common tropes that rom-dramas tend to favor — there is not a huge, dramatic fight at the end and the men don’t pettily challenge one another. Most of the drama comes from Micha questioning her own decisions and morals. 

It is a mature and intimate movie, just like Malcolm & Marie is advertised to be. However, there is still the sprinkle of quirky fun that comes from the interactions between Micha and her gal pals.

Elisa and Marcela

Elisa and Marcela is a slow-paced and intimate biographical movie that follows the story of the first documented same-sex marriage in Spain. It tells the real-life story of Elisa Sanchez Loriga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas.

While the movie has mixed critic scores and garnered a 43% from Rotten Tomatoes, its IMDb user rating is much higher at 6.5 and it has a 4.7 out of 5 stars on Google reviews, calculated with 129 ratings. 

Netflix described Elisa and Marcela as: 

A forbidden love story, based on true events. In 1901, set in Galicia, Spain, Elisa Sánchez Loriga adopted a male identity to marry another woman, Marcela Gracia Ibeas, making this the first same-sex marriage in Spain.

Elisa and Marcela / Netflix

The movie was directed by award-winning Spanish filmmaker Isabel Coixet. She has received accolades for her work on the movies The Bookshop, The Secret Life of Words, and My Life Without Me.

Starring in the movie is Natalia de Molina as Elisa and Greta Fernandez as Marcela.

Elisa and Marcela is perhaps one of the best matches for Malcolm & Marie. Like the aforementioned movie, Elisa and Marcela was shot in black-and-white. It is a slow-burn that unravels a dramatic and enticing story. 

Irreplaceable You

Get out your tissues for this one, it’s a tearjerker. Irreplaceable You is slightly more comedic than the two movies mentioned above but only to disguise the inevitable ending: Indeed, the main character has cancer. 

Directed by Stephanie Laing (Veep, Mixed-ish), this movie follows two childhood friends and lovers, Abbie and Sam. After going to a doctor’s appointment, it is quickly revealed that Abbie has a terminal illness and has limited time left. 

Abbie is played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw who is best known for her work in Doctor Who and Black Mirror. She has also been in the movies Misbehaviour and A Wrinkle in Time and will be seen in the upcoming Loki series on Disney+.

Dutch actor Michiel Huisman wins over hearts as Sam. Huisman is known for his work as the self-assured commander Daario Naharis in HBO’s Game of Thrones and has also been in the movies World War Z and The Invitation. 

Actors Kate McKinnon and Christopher Walken also have short roles in this sweet movie. 

While the story feels quite familiar, it is a simple watch. It never tries to be something that it isn’t. The movie follows Abbie through her difficulty accepting her diagnosis as she channels her fear into completing one last mission — to find a new romantic partner for her fiance Sam. 

Marriage Story

Headlined by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, Marriage Story is a well-watched Netflix drama. The movie follows the Barber family as they recount their distressful marriage while going through a messy divorce.

This movie is emotional and raw, losing itself in the dramatic arguments and court cases between Nicole and Charlie Barber. It softens up a little bit with the couple’s brief interactions with their son who they both care for, just in different ways. 

Similar to what is being expected in Malcolm & Marie, Marriage Story disintegrates into a quiet playbook of everything that’s gone wrong in the Barbers relationship. It addresses the pent up anger that Nicole has been harboring through Charlie’s directing career. 

In Malcolm & Marie, just like Nicole, Marie finds herself less-than jovial about her partner’s success. Mentioned in a review by Screen Rant “Marie doesn’t share Malcolm’s celebratory mood” when the couple returns home from Malcolm’s latest movie release.

The female leads of these two movies appear to be in the same pod. Marriage Story is certain to be an excellent preemptive watch ahead of the Malcolm & Marie premiere. 

First Love

First Love is a Philippine movie directed by Paul Soriano about a carefree photographer named Ali (Bea Alonzo) who meets and falls in love with a finance worker, Nick (Aga Muhlach).

The movie’s audio is in the Filipino language but Netflix offers English subtitles. 

While subtitles may be an instant turn-off for some, be well-assured that the movie focuses on an intense and ever-moving relationship. The subtitles are hardly a distraction and never feel like a chore. 

Netflix description for First Love:

A chance encounter soon intertwined the lives of a reserved businessman and a vibrant photographer who is living with a grave heart condition. 

First Love / Netflix

First Love is an emotional and incredibly moving watch. While Ali’s character is carefully-constructed and full of nuances, at the surface she appears as a simple woman. 

It’s part of the beauty of the movie. First Love is unembellished and smooth; the story of Ali and Nick is told through stunning scenes at bookshops, parks, and walks down the street.

It’s a dreamy story, fit for lovestruck and idealistic millennials. 

Malcolm & Marie begins streaming on Netflix on February 5.

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