I finally watched Blue Valentine the other day, after seemingly avoiding it all this time. It was like a virus that had not yet found its way into my system and taken hold. I’d wanted to watch it, the film had long been on my must-see list, but somehow it had just never happened.
So I sat myself down last week and took it in, and boy was I glad I did. What a brilliant, heartbreaking, and most of all genuine cinematic experience. Never before have I seen a relationship so honestly represented on film. It was hard to watch at times. Why is that? Is it because I see a bit of myself in Ryan Gosling’s character, the free-spirited slacker type with a ukulele? Maybe. He had no other ambition than to spend time with his family. His career aspirations were modest at best, and he liked to start his day with Budweiser instead of espresso.
Michelle’s Williams’ character kind of annoyed me. At first she seemed very taken by Gosling and his devil-may-care take on the world. She was in the throes of splitting from her jock wrestler d-bag of a boyfriend, a man whom she later ran into at a liquor store and had an awkward encounter. When the ex-boyfriend propositions her, you get the sense that Williams was at least intrigued by the idea. By this time, her husband was a balding loser, seemingly devoid of motivation and verve of any discernible amount.
But it’s this that really irks me. When the two first met and fell in love/lust, Gosling had himself a full, thick head of lustrous locks atop his dome. He was lazy and unmotivated then too, lest she forgets. He was earning a modest living as a furniture removalist. As the film cuts to the present day, we can see that Gosling has started to thin at the temples, and found himself the proud new owner of a receding hairline. Same issue with his laziness and lack of pep.
You could argue that the excessive drinking certainly didn’t help the state of their romantic union, but I can’t help but wonder if he drank with a full head of hair, would she still love him? I hate to think of her as so shallow, but the evidence is pretty damning…
Therefore, the lesson here is simple: it’s okay to be a bastard, as long as you’re not bald whilst doing so.
Hair equals love.