Blue Valentine (2010) Movie Review

As I went to sit and watch Blue Valentine, I had somewhat high expectations. I had already seen The Place Beyond The Pines, which is done by the same director (Derek Cianfrance). I found The Place Beyond The Pines to be unique, interesting, and had ambition that paid off in the end. I can’t totally say the same about Blue Valentine. The movie follows Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) through their marriage as well as flashbacks to when they first met and their young love. This isn’t your typical happy romantic comedy, it’s very serious and isn’t all about how great love is all the time rather it shows both sides. It shows the turmoil of their relationship as well as how pure it was at first. And I really appreciate that. Most films that are solely about romance and love will be unrealistic and rarely have actual realism in anyway. But, this film didn’t implement everything perfectly.

The performances by Gosling and Williams are fantastic. Every single conversation in this film feels real and could easily be something that happened in real life. None of it feels like a movie, rather real life. From the beautiful purity of the early relationship to the argumentative years of their marriage, it never feels fake. The flashbacks to their early relationship are used as a fantastic contrast while also fleshing out the story more. That doesn’t mean the story never feels thin. The pacing and plot itself were off. The movie moves much too slow for it’s own good and it needed more details. I felt like it showed the beginnings and ends of their relationship fairly well (although, pieces could have been cut out to make the movie move better) but the middle essentially being left out leaves both characters to go from a pure relationship and then to…well a not so pure relationship without much context. There was plenty of details in the plot that only scratched the surface and needed to be explained further to allow the characters to have more depth. As I said, the characters do indeed feel real but that doesn’t mean they didn’t still fall into stereotypes.

They could still fall into typical categories of characters used in any narrative and that’s a problem. I needed more depth for this character and it’s unfortunate that the film runs for nearly two hours and doesn’t provide me with quite enough for these characters to feel more significant. They don’t resonate enough, the movie needed to be more specific with them rather than only scratching the surface as I mentioned early about the plot, it applies here as well. Don’t get me wrong, the film is still worth a watch and I’m glad to see a film not hold back with showing a failed relationship while using a great contrast of their early love. But, the bigger issue here, is that it’s already been done better. 500 Days of Summer provides a much more interesting experience and had more depth as well as at the same time, at least has some comic relief. Now, I don’t care if a film doesn’t have comic relief, that doesn’t bother me in anyway, it’s just that 500 Days of Summer does pretty much everything better (I know comparisons are a waste of time, but I couldn’t help myself.)

The film is good and certainly worth a watch, especially if you hate the typical romance films that come out of Hollywood which seem to paint the world as a perfect place where everything is okay (not to say escapism is bad, but, I think it’s easy to say films like those definitely distort reality for some people). Ultimately, I’d say the performances carry the film and the fact that the film doesn’t hold any punches back, Gosling and Williams are great in it, it’s worth it just to see their performances.

3.5/5 stars.


One thought on “Blue Valentine (2010) Movie Review

  1. Pingback: R y a n G o s l i n g | carolinarouco

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s