Take This Waltz, starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogan. It's a beautiful movie, like I've come to expect from writer/director Sarah Polley.
I went alone. My husband generally likes comedies or action – not such a fan of "real-life" stuff. And I didn't trust myself to go with a friend.
Why? The storyline follows a twenty-something married woman who meets a man and falls head over heels. Of course, it's not as simple as that – Polley is gifted at giving us the complications of life and of people. What appears to be a case of a stale marriage, an exciting, attentive new man, and the pain of leaving the old for the new is really a hard look at long-term relationships, compromise, loyalty and love.
The woman, toward the end, comes to perhaps not outright regret leaving her husband but certainly revisit her decision in light of what she's come to know, which is that all relationships become...comfortable. All relationships require compromise. Or, put simply, people let us down. Life lets us down.
It can be hard to watch this stuff sometimes, which is why I went alone. I'm never sure what's going to trigger me and launch tears. I occasionally seek out opportunities to revisit that still-scared place in my heart, to remind myself that nothing is guaranteed and that pain is as much a part of living as joy. Maybe even a bigger part.
I didn't cry, except from laughter. (There's a pool scene that aroused my childish sense of humor. And the cutesy names and goofy behavior of the married couple is humorous as much as uncomfortable. I suspect a few of us will recognize ourselves in their "universe-of-two" actions.) But, a day later, I'm still thinking about the characters and their stories.
And that's I think the best that can be said about any movie. It has me wondering about life in general and my own in particular. It reminded me that things aren't always what they seem. And it confirmed that our stories, our messy, mistake-ridden stories, don't always have a clear villain or hero. Those of us expecting a waltz are likely to be disappointed.
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