Blue Valentine

There’s nothing like falling in love and nothing worse than falling out of it.  The theme of love in all its aspects has been a part of cinema since its inception.  In the 100+ years of movie making there have been plenty of bad love stories told; but, thankfully, there have been plenty of powerful ones too.  Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling’s new movie, “Blue Valentine” falls into the latter category.

The movie centers on a young couple, Dean and Cindy (Gosling and Williams).  The two are parents to a little girl, Frankie (Faith Wladyka) and have been married for a number of years.  The two are just going through the motions of marriage and it is apparent they are no longer in love with each other.  The movie also cuts back to the beginning of their relationship where they first meet and eventually fall in love giving the audience the full spectrum of their relationship.

This is one of those movies that is hard to watch because you can see how much these two are meant for each other when they first meet and how they are no longer that way at the end, yet you cannot look away.  The story is told in a very realistic matter and is no way “Hollywoodized” (which is what we usually get these days at the movies).  It shows the side of marriage people don’t usually talk about which is MANY marriages go through this stage.  The marriages that work are the ones where the two can remember why they fell in love and rebuild on that.  The ones that end in divorce are the ones unable to do so.

This has been a passion project for the two stars for a very long time (they are both listed as Executive Producers) and it is easy to see why.  The two let everything go in this movie.  They approach the characters they play with no fear.  Many of the scenes in the movie were completely improvised including the scene of their first date where director Derek Cianfrance filmed his two young actors all night long without stopping or giving them any direction besides, “It’s the night of your first date.  Go!”

Dramas like this are not for everyone.  Those who prefer not to think during their movies and rather watch a quickly edited, rock ‘em and sock ‘em type of movie will probably be board to tears.  Those who like to see a solid story with great acting will probably get much more out of it.

The movie is rated R for mild violence, language and strong sexual content.  It had originally received the dreaded NC-17 for the sexual content, but it was overturned.