“In my experience, the prettier a girl is, the more nuts she is, which makes you insane. You’re probably nutty, coo-coo crazy. It’s not your fault, you know? Just like, everybody treats you different, you know? Like, you make jokes and they’re not funny, but people laugh anyway. That’s gotta make you nuts.” – Dean
Number of Times Seen – Twice (19 Jan 2011 and 6 Aug 2019)
Brief Synopsis – A look at how love begins and can break down for a young couple.
My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing not long after it came out and didn’t like it at all.
When deciding to revisit it, I didn’t remember much about the film besides the fact that I didn’t like it, but couldn’t remember why I didn’t enjoy it.
The overall premise of this film is actually quite fascinating to watch, but the fact that they fail at presenting this film well is what hurts things the most.
I must admit that I do understand the idea of what they were trying to accomplish here, but they mess things up too much along the way to make it much more impactful.
The non-linear way that the film is presented just doesn’t work here and makes the story much more confusing and convoluted instead of poignant.
Both Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are great actors but this film unfortunately doesn’t give either of them enough range with their characters to shine.
They feel too superficial in the way they are developed and it doesn’t feel inviting enough to the viewer to want to really care about what will happen to them.
Williams somehow received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her performance in this film, but since she doesn’t feel developed enough, it seems like a wasted nomination.
I think this film would be much better of they had chosen to just focus on the build up of their relationship instead of trying to look at both ends all at once like they contemplated doing while making this movie. (see Trivia #2 below)
Bottom Line – Interesting idea that isn’t presented well at all. I understand what they were trying to do here, but the way that the story moves in a very non-linear fashion really hurts things a lot because it makes things much more convoluted and confusing. Gosling and Williams are both great actors, but the story doesn’t give either of them enough range to really shine. Williams did receive an Oscar nomination for her performance here, but I think that her character could have been developed much better. The story would have been much better of they chosen to just show the build up of their relationship as was suggested during production. (see Trivia #2)
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia #1 – When filming the argument scenes, director Derek Cianfrance gave instructions to Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling individually, without the knowledge of the other, in order to create more tension between Dean and Cindy. For Williams, Cianfrance would instruct her to try to leave the room, use any way to break out of the argument with Gosling, etc. For Gosling, Cianfrance would tell him to use any means to persuade, get Williams attention, etc. Gosling stated it was a new and interesting process as it became a tug game on set.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia #2 – According to director Derek Cianfrance, after shooting the first part of the love story, there were serious discussions about not doing the second part, retitling the movie simply “Valentine,” and make it a depiction of falling in love. (From IMDB)
Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)
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