Take This Waltz
Director: Sarah Polley
Writer: Sarah Polley
Cast: Michelle Williams, Luke Kirby, Seth Rogen, Sarah Silverman
Margot (Michelle Williams) and Lou (Seth Rogen) have been married for a few years now and seem happy. But then Margot meets Daniel (Luke Kirby) on a business trip and then it turns out that they’re neighbors. Daniel and Margot flirt, but there’s more to it – both of them feel a very strong connection. And it’s up to Margot to decide what she wants.
I was really looking forward to this film. I adore Michelle Williams and I really loved Away From Her. But unfortunately this seems like the epitome of a hipster movie and that is just not something I can even pretend to actually be interested in.
There are scenes in this movie that are really strong and that show Polley’s talent – the scene with the water aerobics, for example. Or the scene at the carneval ride (even though the abrupt ending sucked the life out of it a bit).
But the script is incredibly weak. The dialogues are pathetic and the attempted quirkiness in the relationship between Lou and Margot (and also Margot and Daniel) just rings untrue. It’s trying too hard and ends up being weird. Strange little rituals only work to portray the intimacy of a couple when there’s actual intimacy to go with it. But that’s not the case here.
The fact of the matter is that I didn’t like any of these people, except maybe Sarah Silverman’s Geri and she seemed like she belonged in another movie.
I sat in the film and my excitement and expectations gradually decreased until after about an hour I couldn’t wait for it to be over. And then the entire thing seemingly ends, only to start up again. And again. Seriously, the movie has about as many endings as Lord of the Rings, but none of the additional ones are necessary for any kind of closure. Instead they’re completely annoying – almost as much as the rest of the film.
Summarising: this film didn’t work for me. At all.
I dunno, I really thought that it was a terrific view on relationships and our (misguided?) strain for the idealistic kind of love that’s usually shoved down our throat in movies. I actually could very much relate to the movie; though possibly more with Lou than with Margot. I also have lost someone after a long relationship because of problems relating to the dullness of everyday life (that I strongly believe you can’t avoid forever and all the time), so in many ways, this really hit home with me. I also think that Sarah Polley and Michelle Williams were great in showing that, ultimately, everything new will get old, thus running away isn’t a viable solution; it only postpones the problem. The “Take This Waltz”-scene was especially great in that regard. My only complaint is that it probably didn’t need everything that came afterwards. Especially the scene in the end with the rollercoaster probably was too much and too on the nose. However, overall I think that’s a small complaint.
I didn’t think it was such a great view on relationships. For me, it felt about as mature as a teenager reflecting on life and love and thinking that they have just uncovered some deep truth when in fact they’re just regurgitating bits and pieces of wisdoms that have barely anything to do with reality.
But maybe that’s only what it felt like to me because both Margot’s relationship with Lou and her relationship with Daniel felt completely artificial to me. I didn’t believe either for a second. I saw no relationships, I saw a director, screen writer and actors trying their hardest to make me believe that there was a relationship and failing.
And this is the kind of film that it is impossible to work without belief in the characters and their relationships.
But I guess if you could relate it to your own experiences so much, there must be some truth to it that I’m not seeing. ;)