The story begins with the couples’ daughter Frankie (Faith Wladyka) looking for her dog, Megan, who has gotten out of the yard. After not finding her, she wakes up her father, Dean (Ryan Gosling) who playfully disturbs the slumber of his wife, Cindy (Michelle Williams). The audience is then introduced to the occupation of both; Cindy is a nurse while Dean is a painter. Like every other married couple, they go through their trials and tribulations as we are taken through a routine day in their life. The story is filmed in such a way that shows the two as they are in the present while flashing back to tell the origin of how they came to be.
The road that they traveled on to come to be together was not an easy one. From the time that they met they were tested by serious occurrences and major life decisions. One coming in the form of an unexpected pregnancy after a bad break-up between Cindy and a former boyfriend right before she met Dean. A chance encounter between Cindy and that same ex-boyfriend in the present brings up some bad memories and adds to an already seemingly growing rift between her and Dean. Now as the past is revisited, they must make more tough choices about their relationship, little girl and future together.
The script for this film was actually written back in 2006 and won the Chrysler Film Project award. Co-written by Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne and Joey Curtis, the story begins sort of slow but aids the growth of intrigue from the audience as it flows along. I actually think the slow and usually steady pace adds to the realness of the film. It relates to real life issues and problems encountered by everyday couples, not just those who are married.
The performances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams went along with the intentions of the story very well. Intentions which seemed to be meant for the audience to feel as if they were the characters in the film going through their drama. The pair of actors actually rented a home, brought their own belongings and staged out arguments in order to prepare for their roles. It seemed to have worked because they were pretty believable as two people who have been married for quite some time.
Blue Valentine was released in Australia before making its American debut in December of 2010. Not knowing quite much about this film, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it but am glad that I spent the time to watch it. The only real grievance that I might have with it is that it seems to have an inconclusiveness to it on some aspects. But I won’t dive into that area not wanting to give anything away. I’m sure it can be assumed that it was shot that way purposely to add even more to the authenticity of the movie. Another detail I can attest to is that it definitely earns its R rating, but in a romantic way, if you know what I mean. I give Blue Valentine “4 love & marriage-induced arguments out of 5”.
“In my experience, the prettier a girl is, the more nuts she is, which makes you insane.”