Take This Waltz 3/4

June 29, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Michelle Williams must have an affinity for appearing in movies about melancholy relationships…writes James Berardinelli.

Although Take This Waltz is by no means as big a downer as Blue Valentine, neither does it adhere to Hollywood formulas about how romantic dramas should advance. And, while the narrative suffers from instances of contrived plotting, there’s never anything remotely artificial about the three all-too-human protagonists, who are trapped in a love triangle none of them wants and which causes nothing but sadness and hurt. Take This Waltz takes a wrong turn late in the proceedings as it hammers home a central theme in a hurried and awkward manner, but the film’s emotional truth and honesty allows us to forgive a great many flaws.
A number of years ago, I knew a girl who was addicted to the so-called “Honeymoon phase” of relationships. She relished the heady early days with a new boyfriend, filled as they were with passion, sexual discovery, and excitement. Over time, however, no matter how devoted and loving the guy, she became bored and started looking elsewhere. She would eventually move on and the cycle would repeat itself. Take This Waltz is a commentary on the universality of this behavior. We as human beings yearn for new, shiny things. Once we have them, however, and have played with them, they become old and familiar and the desire for something new asserts itself. The movie is about the pain of resisting temptation and the perhaps greater sorrow of yielding to it.

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