Anthony Lane reflects on the truths in Blue Valentine:
“Blue Valentine” is that rare creation: a love story that doesn’t shy away from sex, ignore its consequences, or droop into pointless fantasy. The result is adult entertainment as it should be, in other words, right down to the laugh that Cindy lets out, in her leaping delight, when Dean goes down on her. Needless to say, the M.P.A.A., which cannot bear very much reality, took fright at all this and hobbled the movie with an NC-17 rating, which was overturned only after a concerted challenge. It is now an R-rated picture, and rightly so, although you have to ask: In what circumstances would you take a teen-ager, let alone a child, to see it? Who, on the verge of growing up, would wish to learn that the first heady bloom of rapture is doomed to rot and fall, and that even someone as devoted as Dean will wind up pleading to his paramour, with a kind of bullish grovel, “Tell me how I should be”?
… “Blue Valentine,” true to its title, is overwhelming proof that hurt is the bedfellow of love. For anybody who already knows that, or has been the cause of it, the film may be very hard to take. I saw it months ago, and I can’t forget it, but I’m not sure that I’ll be seeing it again.
Happy Valentine’s Day, folks.