Blue Valentine is one of those emotionally disturbing movies that are almost too painful to watch.
It’s like an adult version of 500 Days of Summer. It’s a love at first sight kind of thing where the guy has this romanticized definition of love and the girl has this childhood trauma hailing from her family’s distorted representation of gender roles. But from that plot formula in chick flicks, it spirals down into a catastrophic depiction of falling in and out of love. The film also has cunniligus and an almost unwanted lovechild. And the guy gets the girl and then loses her in the marriage-falling-apart-and-the-inevitable-divorce-kicks-in kind of context.
If you thrive on dysfunction, though, then maybe this film is for you. It reeks of misogyny and by the end of the film, I massively abhorred Cindy’s damsel-in-distress character. I hated that she glorified her tragedies and let them define her as an individual. I hated that she did not empower herself to appreciate family life differently. I hated that she lit up when she saw Bobby at the liquor store. I hated that she projected her frustrations of not being able to become a doctor onto her husband. And above all, I hated that she chose to see Dean as a slacker rather than as the guy who stepped up to take care of Frankie who, by the way, was not even his.
Think of it as a variant of Robin’s “what’s my ‘but'” scene in HIMYM’s Little Boys episode. Dean was nice but he was a loser with no dreams of living up to his potential. Bobby had a brighter future, though, but he was also the quintessential epitome of the alpha-male-slash-asshole stereotype. Cindy got what she needed, but as the film draw to its conclusion, it seems like what she really wanted was entirely different.
But that’s the drill. At one point in time, we will blow the deal breaker quality of our future partner out of proportion. Maybe, an argument would trigger our “childhood issues” goggles and make it seem bigger than it actually is. Maybe, a heated debacle will make us want an out and not knowing how to casually express the need for space could be the marker for doom. I believe that Dean was a perfect fit to Cindy’s life. But she had not been able to let her husband in because she didn’t even love herself. So, it’s probably not about the premise of the “but” but the hamartia itself that we should be wary of.
Well, it’s either that or we could totally rock on the same wavelength as Rosa Diaz’s as our ticket to happiness.