That's the case with “Blue Valentine” starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.
“Blue Valentine” (2012) tells the story of Dean and Cindy and the dissolution of their marriage and, through flashbacks, their early promising courtship.
Dean and Cindy's marriage seems to be falling apart because Cindy can't take Dean's drinking and his lack of motivation to capitalize on his artistic talents.
Dean derives his happiness from being with Cindy and their daughter Frankie.
Dean wishes to spice up his marriage, by taking Cindy to a romantically-themed hotel. Cindy is not a fan of this idea, but she goes along anyway.
On the way to the hotel and during a stop at a liquor store, Cindy runs into her previous boyfriend, Bobby.
During their brief conversation, Bobby asks Cindy if she's ever cheated on her husband.
She is flustered by the question but tells Bobby no.
The significance of Bobby's question and Dean's reaction are revealed later in the film.
The seemingly innocuous moment reveals Cindy might have ulterior motives as well as a mean streak.
The movie is very well acted by Gosling and Williams, who received an Oscar nomination for her performance.
The part of “Blue Valentine” that hung with me during parts of the film was the attitude the filmmakers seemed to have toward the lead characters.
Dean and Cindy are working class and possibly not too clever, but they are not dumb.
I can't get past the idea, by parts of the set design and Dean's wardrobe (his eyeglasses, a sweatshirt with a giant bald eagle decal and an ugly wedding suit), the filmmakers are casting Dean and Cindy, in a condescending way, as white-trash idiots. They may very well be, but it comes off as white trash as perceived as by Brooklyn hipster jacklegs being “ironic.”
The general theme of “Blue Valentine” — spark of new love and a disintegrating marriage — did remind me of William's work in “Take This Waltz” (2012), but both films' approaches were different enough to not be redundant.
Williams doesn't shy away from roles that paint her as … well, let's say not always nice and maybe a bit selfish.
“Blue Valentine” is worth the effort, but it's not a peppy film so don't blame me if you're bummed out for the rest of the day after watching it. I mean blue is in the title.
“Lost & Found” is a weekly column and review of films Staff Writer Seames O'Grady, self-professed movie expert, has in his DVD collection or on his Netflix queue but just hasn't got around to watching until now.