“Essentially, we’re hard-wired to root for love. We want relationships to work out, both onscreen and off. We want to believe couples make it, because we want to make it, too.
We want to meet cute. We want to fall, head over heels. We want to write songs and have songs written about us.
We want things to work out. We want to love and be loved. We want happily ever after, or at least a chance to believe that exists.
Which is exactly why a film like Blue Valentine is so very hard to watch. Hollywood, so long complicit in the perpetual fueling of our happily-ever-after fantasies, here turns around and slaps us in our face by giving us the whole story. The beginning and the end (with all the various highs and lows in between). It’s draining. It’s painful. It’s heartbreaking. And it’s also one of the finest relationship movies I’ve ever seen. Not because all relationships are awful—some are, some aren’t—but rather because they are, so often, such hard work.”
—Chad Perman, “You & Me” (Issue #9, Feb. 2014)