Take This Waltz

Directed By: Sarah Polley

Starring: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Sarah Silverman, and Luke Kirby

It is incredibly difficult to tell an original story about love and marriage.  Let’s face it, romance has been stirred, beaten and cooked to death by books, television and movies.  But with Take This Waltz, Director Sarah Polley offers a fresh and real perspective on marriage and relationships between men and women.

Margot (Michelle Williams) is a young married writer who writes copy for brochures.  While on assignment observing a historical reenactment of the flogging of an adulterer, Margot encounters Daniel (Luke Kirby).  They engage in some playful banter at the tourist site and while on the plane ride back to Toronto.  As they share a cab ride, they realize that they are neighbors as Daniel has just moved in right across the street from Margot.  They part ways as Margot explains that she is married, but the chemistry and connection between the two is intense and immediate.

Margot struggles to suppress her feelings because she loves her husband Lou (Seth Rogen).  Lou and Margot have been married for five years and have fallen into a comfortable, playful stage in their marriage.  They joke and play around, but oftentimes have difficulty with intimacy and mature affection.  In addition, Lou is in the midst of finishing a cookbook on chicken and his work is absorbing all of his time.  Margot keeps trying to spice up the marriage with short shorts, and seduction in the kitchen.  Lou, however, is content to sit in comfortable silence, enjoy their playful banter and maintain the status quo.

With her marriage in the “use the bathroom in front of the spouse” comfort zone, Margot looks at Daniel as the green grass on the other side of the fence.  He’s a starving artist/rickshaw driver.  He’s intense and he is completely into anything and everything about Margot.  Daniel unnerves, excites, and totally captivates Margot.  Take this Waltz follows Margot as she navigates through a love triangle between her husband and the hot neighbor across the street.

Take this Waltz is an interesting and realistic depiction of marriage, relationships and the search for something more.  I think everyone believes that when they fall in love, get married, and buy a white house with the picket fence, they will achieve true happiness.  But life isn’t perfect, and Margot’s struggle for something more is real.  I’m fairly certain that both men and women can relate to both Margot and Lou.  Margot is looking to communicate, she’s looking for passion and an emotional and physical connection.  Lou, is just trying to work.  He doesn’t think they have any major issues and he has no idea why Margot suddenly wants to change the dynamic.  In one of the funniest moments in the film, Margot pours her heart out in a semi incoherent fashion after Lou rejects her sexual advances because he is cooking chicken.  After she expresses her feelings, Lou looks at her and says “What the f*ck are you talking about?”  I laughed hysterically at that scene because I’m fairly certain my husband has looked at me and thought the same thing.

All of the actors turn in stellar performances as well.  Fresh off her Oscar-nominated turn in My Week With Marilyn, Michelle Williams turns in another fine performance as the tempted wife.  She is quirky, innocent, flirtatious and torn all at once.  She is an incredibly expressive actress who really captivates while onscreen.  Seth Rogen is perfect as the clueless husband. 

My main bone to pick with the film is that it ran a little too long, so it dragged a little at times.  Overall, however, the film was intriguing—funny, provocative and witty. Take this Waltz earns a 0.03% rating.  Enjoy an ice cold Smirnoff Ice with this one.