Blue Valentine

To send me blue valentines
Like half forgotten dreams
Like a pebble in my shoe
As I walk these streets
And the ghost of your memory
Is the thistle in the kiss
~Tom Waits, Blue Valentines

I went to see Blue Valentine with J and a bunch of friends last night.

I really expected to be more emotionally upset by the movie, I suppose because I’ve gone through a divorce and have a sense of what to expect of a realistic portrayal of an important ending.  I really expected to walk out of that movie feeling like life shits on love, no matter how great the love, that all good things, over time, are destined to become shitty things.  
Thankfully, the movie wasn’t as cliche as my imagination.  I really recommend seeing the movie, as it is incredibly well-made and impeccably acted.  The characters were real and flawed and brilliant in their vulnerability, need and apathy.  Both Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling deserve Oscar nods.

For me, the most moving and deftly handled factor in the movie was this:  the characters were, in my estimation, not an ideal match, nor did they have any particularly amazing qualities that might hold a struggling relationship together.  Motivated, from the beginning, by extreme need, naive idealization of love and happenstance, these characters were eerily similar to the couples we all know, that we’ve all been party to: the ones that aren’t sure how they got into this mess in the first place.  The heartbreak was made more poignant by how easily the viewers could hear the death rattle of the relationship, even in the scenes of happiness.  It was easy to play Dr. Phil, looking back, looking forward, seeing the progression of problems that whispered at the characters from the outset.  When I stopped analyzing them, I just felt sad- sad for the blind spots.
So yes, it was a great movie.  I don’t think I’ll be watching it anytime soon, though.  But you should 🙂