Film / Blue Valentine
Yeah sure, "A Love Story".

Blue Valentine is a 2010 independent drama film directed by Derek Cianfrance.

The film is about the doomed marriage of Dean (Ryan Gosling), a uneducated man working for a moving company, and Cindy (Michelle Williams), a medical student. The film cuts between their early relationship and a weekend several years later, after they are married and presumably near the end of their relationship.

The film features a score composed by the indie rock band Grizzly Bear. Michelle Williams was nominated for a 2011 Best Actress Oscar for her role as Cindy.

Blue Valentine has examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Hinted at with Dean.
  • Anachronic Order: The story is told with scenes switching from their failing marriage to when they first fell in love.
  • Contrast Montage: Takes this one to the logical extreme - the entire movie is basically a contrast montage.
  • Covers Always Lie: The tagline simply says, "A Love Story". It does not claim to be a *happy* love story, or a story about *lasting* love.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Dean's mother walked out on him and his father when he was a child, while Cindy has an abusive father.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Dean's the poster child for this trope in the flashbacks.
  • Dark Reprise: Played with: early in the movie during the present storyline Dean puts on a song that he and Cindy slow dance to shortly after fighting in the hotel room. Later on in a flashback Dean plays it and declares to be their song, this actually makes the earlier scene sadder despite its reprise occurring during a happy scene.
  • Dead Sparks: The film starts out at this stage of the relationship, and it's contrasted with flashback scenes of Dean and Cindy first falling in love showing how they've deteriorated over time.
  • Downer Ending
  • Foregone Conclusion: The doomed marriage of Dean and Cindy.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Looks like it's going to be averted, but then played straight at the last possible minute.
  • Idealized Sex: Averted in one of the saddest, most depressing consensual sex scenes of the past decade.
  • Jerkass: Bobby, as well as Cindy's father.
  • Manchild: Dean, to a certain extent. This is shown to be one of the main factors that's worn away at their marriage, with Cindy getting tired of Dean's immature, impulsive and emotional behavior, which makes it difficult for them to communicate or for her feelings to be taken into consideration.
  • Pet the Dog: While Dean has many flaws, his interactions with Frankie show that he does genuinely love her and is a very affectionate father. In the flashbacks, his behavior towards Walter also counts.
  • Product Placement: The script for the movie won a $1 million prize from Chrysler, and the lead characters drive a Chrysler minivan in the final product.
  • Titled After the Album: by Tom Waits.