Sick of ‘Malcolm & Marie’ bickering? So is their neighbor in this funny parody

John David Washington and Zendaya
John David Washington and Zendaya in the kitchen in Netflix’s “Malcolm & Marie.”
(Dominic Miller / Netflix)

If you thought watching the titular characters of “Malcolm & Marie” argue with each other on Netflix through your TV or computer screen was exhausting, imagine being their next-door neighbor.

That’s exactly what comedian Ryan Ken did for his latest parody video, filmed from the perspective of a neighbor eavesdropping on the couple’s shouting match in real time. The hilarious clip, captioned “Malcolm and Marie’s neighbors have had enough,” has amassed more than a million views on Twitter and TikTok combined.

Even Zendaya, who stars in the movie as Marie opposite John David Washington’s Malcolm, couldn’t help but “like” the viral video on Twitter, while Netflix retweeted it.


“He is still out there hollering about Barry Jenkins,” a bathrobe-clad Ken says in the comedy bit while peering out his window. “All night! He did it all night. I already sent Marie a text and told her she can come over here. And I’m not trying to tell her what to do, but she don’t need to go back over there.”

“I just — I don’t know what to do at this point,” Ken continues in his video. “I’m not trying to call the police. But he really needs to pull it together. Or I’ma have to solipsistically, metaphorically, ontologically whoop his a—. You have neighbors, Malcolm! Barry’s probably in bed. Try that! Lord Jesus!”

Written and directed during the pandemic by “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson, “Malcolm & Marie” sees Zendaya and Washington’s characters verbally duke it out during the course of two hours upon returning home from the premiere of director Malcolm’s latest film.

While the actors have received praise for their dueling turns in the Netflix drama, Levinson’s marathon screenplay — full of SAT-level vocabulary and meta-commentary on the entertainment industry — drew mixed reviews from fans and critics alike.

Since debuting Friday, “Malcolm & Marie” has inspired a number of memes and in-depth analyses from film critics, including The Times’ Justin Chang, who called Malcolm’s lengthy rants “an intellectual exercise that exists for no purpose other than its own justification.”

John David Washington and Zendaya star in Sam Levinson’s self-defeating two-hander about a relationship on the rocks.

Jan. 22, 2021

“Levinson’s screenplay, with its carefully engineered pivots from Defensive Monologue A to Overlong Diatribe B, has none of [John] Cassavetes’ ragged spontaneity,” Chang wrote in his review. “Nor, despite Zendaya’s lip-quivering intensity and Washington’s impressive lung power, does their study of a tempestuous relationship approach equivalent depths of searching, searing emotional honesty.”

While Netflix’s awards campaign for the dialogue-heavy character study proved unsuccessful at last week’s Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations, Zendaya did score a Critics Choice Award nomination Monday for lead actress.


See more reactions to and parodies of Levinson’s quarantine production below.