The emotionally-gripping Netflix trailer that debuted Friday afternoon makes one thing clear about "Malcolm & Marie": "This is not a love story. This is a story about love."
First announced last July, the movie from "Euphoria" director Sam Levinson made waves because of the cast (Zendaya and John David Washington? Yes, please. I'm a simple person; I see Zendaya and I click) and the fact that it was one of the first movies to be written and filmed during quarantine. It was shot in one location, and the cast and crew notably took strict COVID-19 precautions, including stringent testing, sanitation and quarantining.
For both actors, the movie is a chance to reveal the depth of their acting chops in more vulnerable performances -- Zendaya is coming off her Emmy win for Best Actress in "Euphoria," while Washington most recently starred in Christopher Nolan's mind-bending summer flick, "Tenet." The romantic drama is the perfect opportunity for the actress to showcase her prowess in a more mature role, whereas for Washington, "Malcolm & Marie" features him as a romantic lead after "Tenet" established the actor as an action star.
"Malcolm & Marie," shot in black and white on 35 mm, depicts one turbulent evening in the relationship of the titular couple. The mood of the trailer switches seamlessly from romantic to volatile; the film seems poised to encapsulate the highs and lows of a complicated, passionate relationship, seen in the tender and affectionate declarations and bitter shouting matches: "You are, by far, the most excruciating, difficult, stubbornly obnoxious woman that I've ever met in my entire life. I f*cking love you," Malcolm proclaims at the beginning of the trailer.
One minute, Marie's making him boxed mac and cheese. The next, she responds to him asking her what she wants with a loaded, "Really? You want to go there?" It's clear that the relationship is equal parts passionate and dysfunctional, and frankly, we're excited to see the the on-screen couple portray the different aspects of being in love (all while in black-tie attire. Just LOOK at what Zendaya is wearing here).
Surprise, surprise: Comparisons are already being made to the streaming platform's previous Oscar-winning romantic drama, "A Marriage Story," and with good reason -- the movie is set to release in theaters on Jan. 22 and on Netflix Feb. 9, which puts it in the running for awards season.
Whether they get a happy ending is anyone's guess, but we're already buckled up. We'd take one night with Malcolm and Marie any day.