Starring: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Faith Wladyka, Mike Vogel
Written by: Derek Cianfrance/Cami DeLavigne/Joey Curtis
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance
Since we no longer live in the “good ol’ days” of the 1950’s, our society’s ability to accept hard truths has slowly gotten better. This is especially true when it pertains to the institution of marriage. Most entertainment in the old days gave off the impression that getting married and starting a family was as easy as pie; you meet someone, fall in love, pop a couple squirts out, and everyone lives happily ever after. Even when there were problems introduced, they were of the comedic variety or ones that required a simple solution that had no further consequences down the road. But nowadays, we’re a much more cynical bunch who have come to accept the fact that marriage ranges from “pleasant” to “difficult” to “downright painful”. Many of us have watched as our parents had a nasty divorce, and others have realized that while their parents did stay together, they weren’t very happy about it (some were lucky enough to avoid either, and good on them for it). Entertainment is a mirror to society, and now we’re getting more stories that don’t end happily or don’t have simple to solve problems (mostly).
Blue Valentine, the first narrative feature from Derek Cianfrance, doesn’t pull any punches. A character study that follows a couple from happiness to utter despair and loathing, it isn’t afraid to show you the nasty side of relationships and marriage. This results in a movie that not only feels raw and realistic, but also leaves you a bit disheartened. If that’s how love can end up, why the hell would anyone want to pursue it?