The subtitle to the movie
Blue Valentine – which is simply “A Love Story” – might seem rather
cynical on first glance. However, when you really think about it, Blue
Valentine is how most love stories go in the real world. Perhaps, in
their sugary-sweet romantic platitudes, it is the normal Hollywood romantic
films which are actually the cynical ones.
This gritty little drama
surveys the relationship of a young couple who married too young when she
became pregnant. Through a series of complications including violent
ex-lovers, dead end jobs, the pressures of parenthood, differing educational
levels, varying interests and simply time marching on, their passion has
cooled. Now they are casually hurtful to each other, sort of trying to hold
on to a relationship they no longer feel, mostly for the sake of their
To make it even more
tragic, Blue Valentine keeps flashing back about a decade to when
they first met and their relationship was fresh and full of promise.
It’s not necessarily easy
viewing, but it certainly is arresting.
This is mostly due to two
stunningly exposed (emotionally and physically) performances by Ryan Gosling
and Michelle Williams as the couple in question. Dean and Cindy meet cute
in typical Hollywood fashion, but they fracture in a way that is exceedingly
There is a squalid
desperation to their lives – which even extends to fact that the movie
borrowed its title from a Tom Waits album and the tragic love song which
sort of shares the album title (the song title is
actually pluralized as “Blue Valentines.”)
Even when you don’t like
the characters – and both of them do some horrible things during the story –
you can’t help but feel for their plight and desperation.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2011 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: May 10, 2011.