On The Couch 2011 #26: Blue Valentine Nov19


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On The Couch 2011 #26: Blue Valentine

I said in my review of 50/50 that I didn’t think 50/50 was a depressing movie. Blue Valentine is a depressing movie. It’s half young love story and half fallen out of love story. I now understand why they don’t make sequels to romantic comedies. A good romantic comedy will make you believe in the power and goodness of love, but the movie always ends at that perfect spot when the two new lovers are ready to face the world hand in hand, their lives full of potential. Half of Blue Valentine is the story of what happens after that, when they’re no longer smiling and world has taken a massive dump on them.

Ryan Gosling shows again in this movie why he seems to be universally thought of as a great actor. Can we please get him and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the same movie? Michelle Williams is perfect here too. The way they each portray their characters at different points in their lives is fantastic.

I love this jacket.

It’s hinted at, but never really explained what caused Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) to fall mostly out of love with each other, they just are. Cindy thinks Dean drinks too much and never realized his potential, but any time she broaches the subject with him he goes off a loud philosophical rant about what’s the meaning of potential anyway. Having a child together very early on in their relationship definitely is one of the causes of strain in their relationship. Dean says as much late in the movie, and it’s evident that’s the reason Cindy is medical tech instead of a doctor.

Anytime Blue Valentine’s story was in the present, I kept waiting for the shift back to the past. It was so much nicer there. Dean and Cindy were cute together and they both had their whole lives in front of them. Even when Dean gets his ass kicked by Cindy’s jealous ex-boyfriend, you knew things were going to be alright. Except they weren’t. But maybe that’s the warning of Blue Valentine for its viewers: You can’t go back to the past, so instead of wallowing there, make today as good as you can. Unfortunately, it’s a message lost on Dean.

I recommend seeing Blue Valentine.