Blue Valentine: move over bible.
Move over bible, because i’ve found a new spiritual connection. Yep, something that i’ve got more in common with than a Jeffrey Campbell-obsessed, gay 20-something boy with a mountain-sized crush on Ryan Reynolds. And there’s just no room for you anymore.
Now I always like to think I’ve been a glass-half-full-kind-of-a-gal, but what watching this epic tale has taught me is that, when it comes to love and relationships, I’m quite the pessimist – and with good reason.
Ever since I started this blog, i’ve been criticised by people, who say things like ‘You can’t write a relationship blog when you have such fucked up views on love and relationships!” I’d retort with something along the lines of “Woah [insert opinionated friend’s name here], steady on. Firstly, there’s no need for the language, we’re all friends here, and secondly, I don’t entertain the thought of being someone I’m not. A happy-go-lucky girl blogger covered in sickly sweet fairy floss, spilling complete and utter rubbish to loved-up teenagers who want to be told everything is going to be okay. That they’ll marry that freckly 16 year old they love so much and have three bouncing bubs with big green eyes and matching blonde angelic ringlets.” I tell it how i see it – no, not necessarily how it is, but how i see it, through my eyes. Sue Sylvester-styles, yadig?
So, when watching Blue Valentine the other night, i couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling of ‘I’m not alone,’ and let me tell you, the feeling was both brilliant and petrifying at the same time. Let me break it down.
This movie is no walk in the park, there’s no boy meets girl, boy loves girl, boy and girl live happily ever after, it’s real, it’s raw and it’s no-bullshit. Without giving too much away, it documents two stages in the lives of a couple (Williams and Gosling). The first stage is when they first meet, the second stage is five or six years later, or the present. Seeing the difference in their relationship is a really confronting realisation. I think the most frustrating part is that you don’t get to see the middle portion, so you have no idea how their relationship got to how it is now. You can’t identify the breaking point and in turn can’t determine how to fix it, which I think is the same problem for the audience and the characters alike.
I think what i identified with most is the thought that, yeah, sometimes it does go tits up. No matter how much you love someone at this very moment, and how much you promise that it’s forever – very few things actually last forever. Sad but oh-so true. Relationships take work – not to mention patience, and a little bit of sacrifice to boot. Now i’m not the love guru – i don’t pretend to be, and i know that every relationship is different. But just as every union has the ability to be great, it also has the ability to become the opposite – with devastating results.
Throughout the movie, i sympathised a lot with Gosling’s character, who’s only fault was being a bit of a big kid (mixed with a pinch of alcoholism) and i instantly came to dislike William’s character in her present form for being so unwilling to work at the relationship. But as pointed out by my Editor who was perched next to me – i’ve had to live with Gosling’s character in my life for about an hour, not five or six years. It’s impossible to know if you’ll still feel the same about someone after all that time, unless you are one half of the union – you can make as many promises as your breath allows you. You just can’t pinpoint how you’re going to feel in the future. It’s the sad truth of it all.
I left the cinema feeling strangely hollow – and a little numb. I mean, i’ve been a realist when it comes to relationships and love for as long as i remember, why was I so fussed about something that so supported my beliefs? I guess it was because i’ve always secretly wanted to be proven wrong. I like people responding to my cynical relationship banter with quips like “Oh right Olivia, you say that until someone comes and sweeps you off your feet – then you’ll be singing a different tune.” It gives me a comforting sense of hope, that maybe I am wrong and that perhaps love does conquer all. And then that old way of thinking comes back into play and as much as I’d love to believe the contrary, I know that it’s just never that simple.
Do you plan to see Blue Valentine?
Are you guilty of being a little pessimistic when it comes to love and relationships?
I apologise to everyone currently in happy and fulfilling relationships!