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STUDIO Magnolia Home Entertainment
RUNNING TIME 116 minutes
- Making of (with movie title spelled as Taking This Waltz)
- AXS TV look at the movie
Sweaty hipsters teach you the real meaning of love.
Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman
A heartfelt examination of what long-term relationships are really like and whether they thrive based on the perfect match or each individual’s mindset.
I’m a sucker for a movie that looks at how tragic and disappointing long-term relationships can be. Put a bunch of cool kids in the movie and make them wear bright colors, and I’m in love. Take This Waltz mixes up a surprising group of actors in a surprisingly realistic portrayal of love. Adding to the realistic element, the characters are always sweaty and flushed. They’re wearing lots of thrift store outfits and clashing colors. Plus, their Toronto neighborhood features lots of bright, clashing colors with flashes of bright light.
Everything starts when Margot (Michelle Williams) meets Daniel (Luke Kirby) at Canada’s Fortress of Louisbourg, a Colonial Williamsburg-esque place. And he taunts her at a mock public thrashing (obviously the start of a great romance). Then they end up sitting next to each other on the flight home and sharing a taxi from the airport.
Margot laughs quickly and flirts easily with Daniel. Soon you’ll see she does this more with Daniel than with her husband, Lou (Seth Rogen). She feels comfortable admitting her fear of connecting flights to this stranger. It probably helps that Daniel is a sexy, calm man with a piercing gaze — straight out of a romance novel. And he asks questions that throw Margot off her guard. This is exactly what girls dream of — the perfect combination of passion and intimacy. But isn’t every guy like that in the beginning?
You find out that Margot’s husband is the teddy-bear, giggly person you tease and poke at, like a little brother (which is exactly what he does with his sister, Sarah Silverman, later on). But he’s not the typical ha-ha all-the-time Seth Rogen character. Warning: he still has the same annoying laugh. You really feel for him when he finds out about his wife’s crush — it’s a great performance showing what heartbreak really feels like.
My favorite character is definitely Geraldine (Sarah Silverman). She’s a recovering alcoholic who is cynical-funny, but not vulgar in the way Silverman usually is. I actually like her in this movie. I looked forward to each scene she’s in. There’s a hilarious water aerobics scene with a beanpole, flamboyant male instructor. You’ll find yourself repeating: “epaulets, deaf clapping, epaulets, deaf clapping” after you watch it. You’ll get to see Sarah Silverman and Michelle Williams fully nude after the swimming scene — if you’re interested in that. You’ll also see some heavy, older women fully naked — big bellies, saggy boobs and all.
It turns out Margot and Lou have a dysfunctional sex life (big surprise). When she wants sex, he plays thumb war. When they start having sex in the kitchen, she is upset about the baby talk creeping in (which seems to be a consistent way they communicate with each other). Their one sex scene is a sad agreement in bed where they each take off their own clothes — just to get it over with. So she’s definitely craving the passion and excitement of someone new. Who’s more at fault for this dynamic? Is Lou the one who’s not suited for an adult relationship, with his inability to talk about having kids and the brother/sister-like taunting and poking? Or is Margot not fully being herself in this relationship?
Williams plays a fairly genuine character and you feel her dissatisfaction with her life and how she’s just putting up with it. Except for a really horrible monologue she gives early on in the film about not giving in to the melancholy of being an adult. It’s very stilted and words are used that a normal person wouldn’t say in conversation, and there are no pauses or filler words included like someone would do when talking about herself for a full minute.
There’s lots of sexual tension as you wait to find out what Margot will do. Overall, a thoughtful analysis of what makes relationships satisfying and whether it has more to do with the perfect match or an individual’s behavior and habits. Wow, my therapist would be so proud of me talking about relationships in such a grown-up way.
I like watching Sarah Polley talk, so the making of the movie feature was interesting. Nothing new to learn from the AXS TV feature.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars