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"BLUE VALENTINE"
(2010) (Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams) (R)


Alcohol/Drugs Heavy
Blood/Gross Stuff Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Heavy
Frightening/Tense Scenes Mild
Gun/Weapons None
Imitative Behavior Moderate
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense) None
Music (Inappropriate) None
Profanity Extreme
Sex/Nudity Extreme
Smoking Extreme
Tense Family Scenes Extreme
Topics to Talk About Extreme
Violence Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A couple's marriage continues to erode, all while happier times are seen from their past.
PLOT:
Dean (RYAN GOSLING) and Cindy (MICHELLE WILLIAMS) were once madly in love, but now their marriage is on the rocks. She once aspired to be a doctor, but an unexpected pregnancy back in college -- courtesy of classmate Bobby (MIKE VOGEL) -- derailed those plans, what with the arrival of daughter Frankie (FAITH WLADYKA) and marriage to Dean who worked as a mover for a moving company at the time.

Cindy now works in a doctor's office while Dean drinks in order to cope with his job. Still, he's a good dad to Frankie, but his behavior and never amounting to anything in his life means the past spark between them is now gone. Of course, with his mom out of the picture when he was ten and her dad, Jerry (JOHN DOMAN), treating her mom badly left them with no good role models for how to make a relationship work.

As theirs continues to erode, Dean tries to rekindle that spark with a stay at a cheesy romantically themed hotel, but it might be too late. As their woes mount, however, we also see flashbacks to their happier times together along with pivotal moments that would eventually lead them to their current state.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, or have heard about the originally rated NC-17 sexual material and are curious about that, it doesn't seem likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
On appeal for strong graphic sexual content, language, and a beating; originally rated NC-17 for a scene of explicit sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RYAN GOSLING plays a father and husband whose life never amounted to much in terms of a vocation and who's upset that his marriage has fallen into disarray. Generally a good and caring guy, he hasn't done anything to counter the diminishment of his roguish charm from his earlier days (which was about the only thing he had going for him) and thus doesn't attract his wife's interest anymore. He uses strong profanity, smokes a great deal, drinks (including to the point of intoxication) and briefly gets violent with another man.
  • MICHELLE WILLIAMS plays his wife who works in a doctor's office, a bitter reminder of what her future could have been had she made different choices in her younger years. She's no longer in love with Dean but initially continues to go through the motions, although her irritation from that eventually comes to a head. She uses strong profanity, drinks to the point of intoxication (in one scene), briefly smokes, and is noted as having a sexually promiscuous past.
  • FAITH WLADYKA plays their daughter who's too young to realize what's happening between her parents, although she obviously favors her father over her mother.
  • JOHN DOMAN plays Cindy's father, now an older grandfather, but a mean and belligerent husband to her mom in the past when she was living at home.
  • MIKE VOGEL plays Cindy's former classmate and sexual partner who got her pregnant in the past and then wasn't pleased when she shunned him from her life. He uses strong profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 51 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, as are various explicit sexual encounters (with movement, nudity and related sounds).

    Violence consists of a beating (with mild bloody results) and another brief instance of a person hitting another. A great deal of tense family material occurs, as do thematic elements (including abortion related material), while bad attitudes are also present.

    Smoking is present, as is drinking and related intoxication. Other potentially imitative behavior occurs, while some material (including the death of a family dog) could be unsettling for viewers.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's camera movement from time to time (including one scene that's very bouncy) in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Dean drinks from a can in a sleeve while driving (but we couldn't tell if it was beer or not).
  • Dean has a beer.
  • Cindy shops for booze in a liquor store where we see many related bottles on the shelves.
  • Having arrived at their motel, Cindy says she needs a drink. She later asks Dean if he wants one, and he does, and we also see them have wine with dinner and then drinking shots. We then later see both as they're quite intoxicated.
  • Cindy tells Dean she wants him to have a job where he doesn't have to drink at 8 o'clock to do it, while he says he has a job where he can drink at that time. She then complains that he always twists what she means.
  • Dean drinks booze straight from the bottle and then goes to Cindy's workplace to confront her about leaving him alone in a motel. The receptionist at the office notes that he's been drinking, and he ends up striking her male boss in that state.
  • BLOOD/GROSS STUFF
  • Cindy spots the family's dead dog on the road (seen from a distance -- no blood).
  • We see Dean carrying the family's dead dog (wrapped in opaque plastic) to its burial spot.
  • Dean is upset when Cindy tells him she ran into Bobby in a liquor store and pulls his hand away from hers in the car. She then stops the car and says she has to pee, but is saying that just to get out and away from Dean.
  • Cindy urinates after having sex with Bobby (nothing seen, but we hear it).
  • On the phone with Frankie, Cindy reminds her to go potty before getting into bed, while Dean playfully asks Frankie, "Is that you tooting?" (also on the phone, but we don't hear anything).
  • We see a flashback to Cindy urinating on a pregnancy test stick (we hear the sound).
  • In the past, Bobby has left Cindy profane phone messages. We then see him and his buddies confront Dean in a warehouse where Bobby punches Dean twice and then pummels him on the floor, leaving him with a bloody nose (and later dried blood there along with a black eye).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Cindy and Dean's disintegrating marriage results in moments of bad attitudes between them.
  • Cindy runs into Bobby in a liquor store (they haven't seen each other in a long time) and he asks if she's been faithful to Dean (she replies that she has).
  • We see a flashback to Cindy's mom saying her dad never treated her (the mom) nicely, and then see him yell out (about dinner), "We're supposed to eat this garbage?"
  • Having noticed that Cindy saw him take money off a nursing home resident's desk in another room (in the past, and it's his share of payment for moving the man), Dean finds her and says he's stolen money before and knows what it feels like to be busted, but adds that's not the case here.
  • We see a flashback to Bobby telling Cindy, "You're acting like a total bitch" (about her shunning him -- due to being pregnant by him).
  • In the past, Cindy tells Dean a joke about a boy and child molester who go into the woods together. She adds that when the boy says he's frightened, the child molester states, "You think you're scared, kid? I gotta walk out of her alone."
  • For those opposed to abortion, we see a flashback to Cindy going to have one, but she changes her mind at the very last minute (while on the table).
  • Dean drinks booze straight from the bottle and then goes to Cindy's workplace to confront her about leaving him alone in a motel. The receptionist at the office notes that he's been drinking, and he ends up striking her male boss in that state.
  • In the past, Bobby has left Cindy profane phone messages. We then see him and his buddies confront Dean in a warehouse where Bobby punches Dean twice and then pummels him on the floor, leaving him with a bloody nose (and later dried blood there along with a black eye).
  • About her taking a job with him elsewhere, Cindy's male doctor boss says she could get an apartment there and that the two of them could hang out together.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Cindy spots the family's dead dog on the road (seen from a distance -- no blood). This isn't unsettling in general, but could be for those who've recently lost a pet.
  • We see Dean carrying the family's dead dog (wrapped in opaque plastic) to its burial spot, and he cries after that (ditto the above).
  • Dean hears from Cindy that the elderly man he helped move into a nursing home died (that could be unsettling for those who've lost an elderly family member or friend recently).
  • Dean starts to climb over a fence on a bridge to make Cindy tell him what's bothering her.
  • In the past, Bobby has left Cindy profane phone messages. We then see him and his buddies confront Dean in a warehouse where Bobby punches Dean twice and then pummels him on the floor, leaving him with a bloody nose (and later dried blood there along with a black eye).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck you," "Motherf*cker," "F*cking asshole," "Oh f*ck," "I'm just f*cking tired," "What the f*ck /do I care/are you doing?" "F*ck me?" (nonsexual), "I can't f*cking do it like this," "This f*cking 'like you can have my body' bullsh*t," "F*cking stop it," "I'm not gonna f*cking do it," "I'm gonna f*cking kill you" (said to a ringing telephone)," "I know everything got f*cked up last night," "Those f*cking people don't give a sh*t about you," "You f*cking asshole," "You f*cking asked for it," "You f*cking son of a bitch," "I f*cking want a divorce," "Don't give me this sh*t," "I don't give a sh*t," "What kind of bullsh*t is that?" "I can't take this sh*t anymore," "What is that sh*t?" "Let's get drunk and make love," "We're inside a robot's vagina," "Jackass," "He's a loser," "You're acting like a total bitch," "Suckers," "Nuts" (crazy), "Nutty cuckoo crazy," "That was rav," "Shut your beautiful mouth," "Bitch" (man), "I was so G*ddamn worried," "I didn't know what the hell happened" and "Get the hell out of here."
  • Frankie crawls through the doggie door.
  • Dean blows a raspberry on Cindy in bed.
  • Dean has young Frankie join him in eating raisins (picked from her oatmeal) off the table. He then presses one onto her face.
  • Dean greatly exaggerates the last word in the phrase "I love you like crazy."
  • Cindy drives off without wearing her seatbelt (not seen, Dean just comments on that).
  • Dean has various tattoos, while Cindy has a small one on her upper back/shoulder.
  • Dean does an exaggerated laugh.
  • Dean starts to climb over a fence on a bridge to make Cindy tell him what's bothering her.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 51 "f" words (1 mouthed, 3 used with "mother"), 13 "s" words, 3 slang terms using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 2 slang terms for sex ("nailing"), 11 asses (all used with "hole"), 3 S.O.B.s, 2 hells, 5 uses of "G-damn," 3 of "God," 2 of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "Jesus" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Dean asks Cindy if she wants the "Cupid's Cove" room at a romantically themed motel, with her replying she's not going to some cheesy sex motel. Dean says they should get drunk and make love, and then tells the operator on the phone that they'll take the "future" room. Later, when they get there, Dean jokes that it's like being inside a robot's vagina (it doesn't look like that, but is futuristically themed, and has a bed that slowly spins around).
  • Cindy runs into Bobby in a liquor store (they haven't seen each other in a long time) and he asks if she's been faithful to Dean (she replies that she has).
  • We see a flashback to Bobby kissing Cindy and playfully saying "you want it," but she stops him as she has to leave. Later, however, we see them having standing rear entry sex. We hear related sounds and see movement, the top of his bare butt (his pants are partially down while he's shirtless) and the side of her bare butt. He then climaxes and she's upset about that and gets up and walks out (we see the lower part of her bare butt as she's wearing a shirt). She then goes into the bathroom and cups water in her hand to her crotch (nothing explicit seen) and then urinates (nothing explicit seen).
  • We see a head and shoulders view of Cindy in a motel shower, with Dean entering the bathroom and asking what she's doing. She asks what it looks like she's doing, and he playfully replies "getting all wet and naked." We then see a waist and up view of her (bare breasts), while he removes his clothes (full rear nudity) and joins her. He tries kissing her and then kneels in front of her crotch and lathers her bare butt, but she isn't into any of that.
  • In the past, one of Dean's male coworkers tells him that if he (Dean) gets a little "p*ssy," things will be better.
  • While both are intoxicated, Dean asks Cindy if she wants to have (and make) another baby with him. We then see him on top of her on the floor, kissing her, but she's not into that. He then opens her shirt and puts his mouth to her bare breast and then the other, but she has a pained look on her face. He's upset over her rejection and asks why she's acting that way as he's good to her. She then removes her panties (nothing seen) and he asks, "This is how you want it?" We then see them having missionary position sex (shot from the tops of their heads looking down their bodies, so we see bare breasts and him thrusting between her legs, and we hear related sounds), but he then stops, saying he can't do it like this (as she's still not into it). He's mad about "this f*cking "like you can have my body" bullsh*t," and angrily asks if she wants him to rape or hit her, adding that he won't do either. She then gets up and goes into another room.
  • We see a flashback to Dean playfully starting to unbutton Cindy's shirt (nothing seen) as both are on the floor. We next see them fooling around in the cab, with the male driver telling them to stop and that there will be no sex in his taxi. We then next see them in a room with him on top of her on a bed. We then see him standing and removing first her boot and then her panties before performing oral sex on her (we don't see the actual contact, but do see his head between her legs and see her related movement and hear her sounds).
  • Cindy tells Dean she's pregnant. He asks if it's his and she replies that she doesn't know, adds maybe, but then says probably not.
  • We see a flashback to Cindy going to have an abortion, and the female nurse asks her when she first had sex (at 13) and how many sexual partners she's had (20 to 25). We then see the male doctor between Cindy's legs on the procedure table (nothing explicit seen), but she changes her mind at the last minute.
  • While intoxicated, Dean shows up at Cindy's workplace, and then confronts her doctor boss when that man enters the room. He twice asks if he's "nailing" Cindy and then strikes the man.
  • In a flashback, Dean kisses Cindy on her bed (both clothed) and grabs his butt while he's between her legs. His shirt is then off and he's on top of her, but the scene ends there.
  • We see a flashback to Cindy and Dean passionately kissing (clothed) on their wedding day.
  • SMOKING
  • Dean smokes more than 10 times and gets a reluctant Cindy to share one with him (she takes one puff).
  • Cindy's grandmother says she wants a cigarette and then adds that she needs one. Cindy gets her one, but we don't see any smoking.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Dean is upset with Cindy (upon learning of their dog's demise) for leaving its pen gate open.
  • Cindy's father asks if she and Dean are fighting again.
  • Dean is upset when Cindy tells him she ran into Bobby in a liquor store and pulls his hand away from hers in the car. She then stops the car and says she has to pee, but is saying that just to get out and away from Dean.
  • We see a flashback to Cindy's mom saying her dad never treated her (the mom) nicely, and then see him yell out (about dinner), "We're supposed to eat this garbage?"
  • We see a head and shoulders view of Cindy in a motel shower, with Dean entering the bathroom and asking what she's doing. She asks what it looks like she's doing, and he playfully replies "getting all wet and naked." We then see a waist and up view of her (bare breasts), while he removes his clothes (full rear nudity) and joins her. He tries kissing her and then kneels in front of her crotch and lathers her bare butt, but she isn't into any of that.
  • Cindy tells Dean she wants him to have a job where he doesn't have to drink at 8 o'clock to do it, while he says he has a job where he can drink at that time. She then complains that he always twists what she means.
  • While both are intoxicated, Dean asks Cindy if she wants to have (and make) another baby with him. We then see him on top of her on the floor, kissing her, but she's not into that. He then opens her shirt and puts his mouth to her bare breast and then the other, but she has a pained look on her face. He's upset over her rejection and asks why she's acting that way as he's good to her. She then removes her panties (nothing seen) and he asks, "This is how you want it?" We then see them having missionary position sex, but he then stops, saying he can't do it like this (as she's still not into it). He's mad about "this f*cking "like you can have my body" bullsh*t," and angrily asks if she wants him to rape or hit her, adding that he won't do either. She then gets up and goes into another room.
  • While intoxicated, Dean shows up at Cindy's workplace, saying he was worried after she unexpectedly left him in a motel, and that he didn't know if something had happened to Frankie. She doesn't want him there, which only makes him madder, with her then saying "I'm done with this" and "I'm so out of love with you." To "prove" he's a man like she apparently wants, he starts pushing papers off desks and such, and then confronts her doctor boss when that man enters the room. He twice asks if he's "nailing" Cindy and then strikes the man, pushes him back against a glass door or window by the throat and then struggles with him before being separated. He then punches that man in the face, flooring him. In response, an upset Cindy exits with Dean, telling him, "I f*cking want a divorce." He then removes his wedding ring and throws it aside, but then goes looking for it, eventually joined by her.
  • In a flashback, Dean tells Cindy's parents that he doesn't know much about his mother as she left him and his dad when Dean was 10.
  • Dean tells Cindy they can't split up because of Frankie, and that part of her wedding vow was "for better or worse," but Cindy is now steadfast in her belief that the marriage must end. We then see Dean leaving the house and walking away, with young Frankie chasing after him. He eventually gets her to return to her mother as he turns and walks off.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Romantic relationships and how they can and usually do change in one way or another over time.
  • In the past, Dean helps move an elderly man from his house to a nursing home.
  • We see a flashback to Cindy going to have an abortion, and the female nurse asks her when she first had sex (at 13) and how many sexual partners she's had (20 to 25). We then see the male doctor between Cindy's legs on the procedure table (nothing explicit seen), but she changes her mind at the last minute.
  • In a flashback, Dean tells Cindy's parents that he doesn't know much about his mother as she left him and his dad when Dean was 10.
  • In a flashback, we hear that Dean didn't graduate from high school.
  • VIOLENCE
  • In the past, Bobby has left Cindy profane phone messages. We then see him and his buddies confront Dean in a warehouse where Bobby punches Dean twice and then pummels him on the floor, leaving him with a bloody nose (and later dried blood there along with a black eye).
  • While intoxicated, Dean shows up at Cindy's workplace, saying he was worried after she unexpectedly left him in a motel, and that he didn't know if something had happened to Frankie. She doesn't want him there, which only makes him madder, with her then saying "I'm done with this" and "I'm so out of love with you." To "prove" he's a man like she apparently wants, he starts pushing papers off desks and such, and then confronts her doctor boss when that man enters the room. He twice asks if he's "nailing" Cindy and then strikes the man, pushes him back against a glass door or window by the throat and then struggles with him before being separated. He then punches that man in the face, flooring him, followed by Cindy slapping Dean.



  • Reviewed January 3, 2010 / Posted January 7, 2010

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