So it’s no secret that I’m a romantic. That being said, I have skeptical views on traditional marriage. More so, I don’t think the majority of our country really values marriage anymore. Our divorce rate is startling. I worry it is because we no longer want to work hard for our relationships. Our culture is sort of entitled when it comes to getting what we want quickly and with ease. While I’m not sure if I ever will get married (I know I don’t want a big white wedding) I do love the idea of committing myself to one person forever, and making babies and wrinkles together. Just like in the movies. Ohhh! The movies.
Have you ever seen a movie that traumatized you so much you think about it days, weeks and months later? For me, that movie was Blue Valentine. Screw you, Derek Cianfrance. May you rot in love-murdering hell.
I am about to completely spoil the plot of this movie, so if you want to watch it yourself and be surprised, don’t read this.
Blue Valentine follows the evolution of the relationship between Cindy (Michelle Williams) and Dean (Ryan G-G-G-Gosling). It crosscuts between their present messy marriage, and the past, when they meet as teens in an old age home. The old age home scenario made me fall in equal love with both characters. Typical to Gosling’s usual scruffy character, Cindy is skeptical of Dean, but he woos her in adorable ways, including this heart melting scene with an ukelele. I know, I know, the Notebook revisited, right? Wrong.
The movie cuts to Cindy, pre-Dean, with her douchey boyfriend. You see her being sexually reckless, with a raw scene of her boyfriend doing her from behind as she looks unenthused. SO later when tender sex scenes between Cindy and Dean come up–specifically one of Dean going down on Cindy–I got all gooey. Admittedly, watching Ryan Gosling go down on nearly anyone would probably be exciting, but this was especially swoonworthy. Seeing Cindy in the two parallel sexual situations made you really feel like the new relationship was something extremely good for her.
You soon learn that just a few weeks after the pair have fallen in love, Cindy finds out she is preggers with her douchey ex’s baby. She considers aborting, but Dean wants to be her baby daddy, even though he knows he isn’t her baby daddy. Do you just love him yet, or what?
This is what makes the movie so soul crushing. It isn’t just the downfall of their whirlwind romance. It’s the fact that it happens in such a short period of time. During the shots of the present, their daughter, Frankie, is still very young. And Dean is balding! I’m just NOT ready for a bald Gosling. Give me a few more years, Hollywood, please!?
It reminds me of the ridiculous Tom Cruise Katie Holmes divorce drama going on right now. Five years ago, Tom was jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch screaming her name. Now she is hiring secret lawyers and being stalked by scientologists. Where does the good go, people? Can’t we just stay in couch jumping la-la land forever?
While Cindy is working as a nurse, Dean has a problem with drinking and holding down a job. So you can see why Cindy would want out of there, right? And yet Dean is hopelessly devoted to both Cindy and Frankie, heartbreakingly saying all he ever wanted to do is be Frankie’s daddy. He wants to know why that isn’t enough. I mean, he is sort of a balding bumbley boozehound, so I can see why it wouldn’t be enough. But it still slaughtered my soul.
The present day couple go on a weekend getaway to a weird shady hotel, and stay in a room decorated all futuristic and ironically called “the Future Room.” There, Dean tries to rekindle things but instead they fight and have a horrifying sex scene that is completely opposite to the ones previous…you know, the ones where Gosling makes out with Williams’ crotch. The relationship is clearly no longer a healthy thing for either of them.
ImDb calls the Williams/Gosling duo a “contemporary married couple.” Hmmm, what is meant by that? The fact that their marriage falls apart and they seemingly do little to fix it? It can surely be argued they rushed into their marriage, but that is not necessarily a recipe for failure. My own adorable grandparents knew each other a startlingly short time before their engagement and they stuck it out their entire lives.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type to vie for a Hollywood ending all the time, and most saccharin soaked chick flicks make me want to gag. But this movie highlighted the harsh reality that people change, and unless you’re willing to work hard, things will most likely fall apart.
Michelle Williams really needs an Oscar by now, and the movie was well done, but it made me so miserable that I wanted to spoon out my eyeballs.
Did you see this movie? Was it soul crushing?