The Marriage App parents guide

The Marriage App Parent Guide

There's a distinct lack of romance in this rom-com, and precious little comedy either.

Overall D

Netflix: A couple in a troubled marriage decide to try out an app that adds or subtracts points based on their behavior. It works well at first, until their competitive natures start to take over.

Release date December 7, 2022

Violence B
Sexual Content C
Profanity D
Substance Use C

Why is The Marriage App rated TV-MA? The MPAA rated The Marriage App TV-MA for language.

Run Time: 101 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Belen (Luisana Lopilato) and Federico (Juan Minujin) are starting to feel the wear on their marriage caused by two kids and many years spent together. Looking for a way to reconnect, they decide to try out a new product that promises to rekindle even the stalest of marriages. The Equilibrium Watch uses cutting edge technology to interpret words and actions and turn them into “miles”. Good deeds and kind words toward your partner earn you miles, while insults and unhelpfulness take them away. Those miles can then be redeemed for rewards, such as a guilt-free trip with friends. At first, the watches work well for Belen and Federico, until some ulterior motives come to light and the two race to see who can get the most points the fastest.

The entire premise of this story is toxic. If you need an external reward to be kind to your partner, you’re not a good partner. My other gripe with the premise is that the watch doesn’t just give points for things like compliments or gifts, but also for doing basic household chores like taking out the trash. Again, if you’re an adult and you need an external motivation just to pull your weight around the house, you’re not a good partner. Or a good adult.

On top of the toxic premise, the film leans into some problematic stereotypes, especially around women. At some points in the story, Belen is depicted as a shrew who doesn’t want her husband to do anything fun or follow his dreams. Their teenage daughter, Mica (Aylen Malisani) is given no personality traits outside of being shallow and wanting attention. It’s uncomfortable to watch and reinforces worn-out negative stereotypes about women.

Thanks to the problematic nature of the story, there’s a distinct lack of romance in this rom-com – and not a lot of comedy either. Yes, Belen and Federico say and do a lot of nice things and enjoy a lot of physical affection, but their motivations make all those gestures feel hollow. As the competition ramps up, they start to do unforgivably horrible things to each other. Yet the story somehow expects us to root for them.

I would not recommend The Marriage App even if content concerns weren’t an issue. But they are, and sexual topics are discussed in some detail (without explicit on-screen activity). A fair amount of drinking and swearing makes this unsuitable for most audiences. Perhaps some scenes of this film could be used as training material for therapists. I don’t see much use for it otherwise.

Directed by Sebastián de Caro. Starring Luisana Lopilato, Cristina Castaño, Juan Minujin. Running time: 101 minutes. Theatrical release December 7, 2022. Updated

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The Marriage App
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Marriage App rated TV-MA? The Marriage App is rated TV-MA by the MPAA for language.

Violence: A woman is mugged at gunpoint. The audience knows that this is a fake mugging, but she does not. She then uses pepper spray on the mugger.
Sexual Content: Sexual topics are discussed in explicit terms. There is sexual innuendo throughout the film. A plot point involves a threesome; nothing is shown but it is discussed.
Profanity: There are over 10 sexual expletives in the script as well as over 10 mild and moderate profanities, and two uses of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink socially in many scenes. A plot point about a man being given sleeping pills in his drink without his knowledge.

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The Marriage App Parents' Guide

What is getting in the way of Federico and Belen’s marriage? What do they both need to work on to be better partners?

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