Saturday, 18 August 2012

Take This Waltz - review

Seth instantly regretted that "waking up at the crack of Dawson" joke."

The old saying "two's company but three's a crowd" rears it's head in Take The Waltz.
Margot, a struggling writer (is there any other type in the movies?), finds the temptation to act on an attraction to neighbour Daniel (Luke Kirby) brings her marriage to Lou (Seth Rogen) into question.
This film has been heralded by some critics as the best movie about relationships starring Michelle Williams since, well, the last great movie about relationships starring Michelle Williams Blue Valentine.
The secret to any great dance, like a waltz, is having trust and chemistry with your partner. Many may have a viewing that Craig Revel-Horwood would describe as "Fab-U-Lous" but unfortunately some will find the experience more akin to trying to tango with a partner with two left feet.
The main stumbling block is rather surprisingly Michelle Williams and her character of Margot. Perhaps it is the overly-cutesy babyish way she says "I wuv you" or apparent immaturity of the character (witness the "gaylord" putdown she uses to try and win an argument) made it impossible to like the character and therefore develop any empathy with her and care about the outcome of her relationship crisis.
Which is a shame because the film does have some really beautiful moments.
A scene on a fairground Waltzer (see what they're doing there) set to The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star is a highlight where the growing attraction threatens to boil over until an abrupt end to the ride interrupts the moment and a silent shot of the two looking at each other tells the audience everything about their relationship. The best moments do come when they, as Ronan Keating eloquently put, "say nothing at all". Writer/director Sarah Polley should have possibly heeded this rule when writing the sequence where Daniel describes what he would do to Margot in bed as it comes across like he's reading from a chapter of Fifty Shades Of Grey.
However the biggest misstep in the film comes with a stylistic montage sequence that, after Watchmen, offers further proof that Leonard Cohen songs should not be used to soundtrack sex scenes in the movies.
The end result is unlikely to provoke a Last Tango In Paris instead create the desire for Murder On The Dancefloor.

2 stars

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