*SPOILER ALERT* DO NOT READ THIS if you haven’t seen Blue Valentine yet.

Posted on February 4, 2011


I keep thinking about a particular aspect of Blue Valentine. There’s a moment at the motel (that’s like “the inside of a robot’s vagina”) when Cindy more or less asks Dean why he isn’t as professionally successful as he should be. She says he can draw, sing, perform–that he’s multi-talented in so many different areas and that he isn’t taking advantage of it. It comes off sounding somewhat accusing, and Dean answers her a little bit defensively. He explains that raising a family became his priority, saying something along the lines of how it wasn’t exactly what he wanted, but at some point family life ultimately meant more to him so he made his peace “settling” with it. It’s implied that he fell in love with her and few things in life were as meaningful.

It’s shortly afterward when their relationship totally spirals downward.

I get the sense Cindy is pissed at Dean for her own shortcomings–projecting something she dislikes about herself onto him. That idea is further confirmed for me when we see the flashback of her dancing while Dean sings and plays the ukelele. She’s not a particularly graceful dancer, and she tells Dean how well he plays with awe.

I think about that and I wonder if we as people are capable of such self-awareness of our strengths and weaknesses that we can roll with whatever punches life brings and accept one another enough to make lasting relationships. That requires an enormous amount of consciousness on both parts. I’m not a cynic, so I’m not blurting out a “Ha!” at that idea and dismissing its existence. But fuck me if I’ve found such a thing with another person.

I think the point of Blue Valentine is that all we can do is try our best.

Posted in: Film