From reviews to award nominations, Blue Valentine's been praised for its nitty-gritty look at love. And, yes, I agree; it manages to show a relationship unravel without making you hate or blame either character. But it does rely on a few starry-eyed tricks to get the pair together in their younger days.
Tricks best saved for movies like The Notebook and rom-coms than a movie making millions off realism. Given the title, I don't think I am spoiling anything by saying it's a sad love story, but there are definite spoilers below.
Three things you likely won't see in real life:
- Serendipitous bus meeting: The fact that Dean, Ryan Gosling's character, travels three hours to find a girl he saw once (that could really be its own bullet point) and then runs into her on the bus is not something that happens in real life.
- Ukulele serenade: This scene is very sweet, but have you ever been serenaded by a guy you just met? In public? And who carries around a ukulele?
- Dean's unconditional love: He meets a girl pregnant with another guy's baby, the other man travels all the way to Brooklyn to beat him up (also wouldn't happen), and all he has to say is "Let's be a family." That's a lot, even for a hopeless romantic.
Don't get me wrong, I liked Blue Valentine and would recommend it. The end of the characters' relationship is depressing enough, so perhaps these moments are just reminders that falling in love is itself unreal. But — as the title once again implies — it's a little romantic.