Movie of the Month

“I feel like men are more romantic than women. When we get married we marry, like, one girl, ’cause we’re resistant the whole way until we meet one girl and we think, ‘I’d be an idiot if I didn’t marry this girl, she’s so great.’ But it seems like girls get to a place where they just kinda pick the best option… ‘Oh, he’s got a good job.’ I mean they spend their whole life looking for Prince Charming and then they marry the guy who’s got a good job and is gonna stick around.”

(Warning: spoilers ahead.)

Blue Valentine is about the dissolution of a marriage from a couple falling out of love, juxtaposed by flashbacks of when they were young and falling in love. The majority of reviews I’ve read on the Internet are negative. Negative, I suppose, towards the immediately depressing façade of the movie. It’s not easy to watch a train-wreck right before your eyes and feel like a helpless bystander. It’s frustrating watching a relationship unfold, being voyeurs to a fight that’s not Hollywood poetic. I’ve been in that position, an unwilling exhibitionist in a suddenly-foreign relationship that was strangely still my own (and let me tell you, it feels like your capillaries are about to burst from sudden cardiac arrest, with no defibrillator to save you from the aftermath). But such is life, and that is a story for another time and place.

Why did I enjoy it so much then? For reasons not self-inflicting, I promise.

There was a time when I opted for prepackaged, happily-ever-after movies – ones with guaranteed happy endings. Now I find myself gravitating towards Indie movies with ambiguous endings. Its beauty lies in its ambiguity, and it’s how you interpret the ending that makes it so beautiful. Blue Valentine ends with the couple erupting in a fight, the wife demanding a divorce, and the husband walking away. You can either interpret it to be the ending of a tumultuous marriage with nothing left but irreconcilable differences, or just one trying day in an otherwise enduring marriage worth fighting for. When it seems like there is nothing left to hold on to, hold on to that intangible but perceivable “something special.” Because that is always worth fighting for.

That and I want a guy like Ryan Gosling’s character in Blue Valentine, not The Notebook.

Best,
Phoebe

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