‘Blue Valentine’: Why Does Love Got to be So Ugly and Sad? (Review)

Blue Valentine
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in happier times. (The Weinstein Co.)

By effectively (and affectingly) contrasting the beguiling, endearing beginning and the rancorous, soul-crushing end of a romantic relationship — and leaving out the tricky, complicated path that led the couple from A to Z — ‘Blue Valentine’ paints itself into a corner.

The highs and lows of the love affair between Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) are obvious  and devastating to contemplate. How could such a sweet couple descend into the depths of emotional pain that they eventually inflict upon one another? Yet without much insight or understanding of what, exactly, went wrong between the two, it’s difficult to muster up continued empathy for their situation, once the contrasting differences have been convincingly established through the use of extended flashbacks.

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Weekend in D/FW: ‘Carlos,’ ‘Blue Valentine,’ ‘Somewhere,’ ‘Country Witch’

Only in movie-land, where we decide the best of the year long before the year itself is over, can we declare that the weekend begins on Thursday morning. But we all must plan ahead to squeeze in as much cinematic goodness as possible. Herewith my top 5 picks: ‘Carlos.’ Five hours? Made for television? Bah! It’s still one of the year’s best, according to those … Continue reading Weekend in D/FW: ‘Carlos,’ ‘Blue Valentine,’ ‘Somewhere,’ ‘Country Witch’