So, my friend had watched this Canadian film, and asked for my opinion. We had a “date night” together, both of us with our significant others watching it after homemade hamburgers and another film about Carl Jung that I’d like to watch again…
But about “Take This Waltz”. It stars Michelle Williams in an interesting role as a conflicted and possibly bipolar young woman named Margot, who is married to the everyday man, Lou (Seth Rogen), a fellow who is writing a cookbook all about the various ways to serve chicken. I suspect that chicken is supposed to be a metaphor for the mundane, as there is a lot of it in their home life; at one point his alcoholic sister Geraldine (Sarah Silverman) even drives up with a box of biddies for her daughter.
This story is not about Margot and Lou, really. It is all about Margot, and how she is, as her neighbor describes her, “restless, in a kind of permanent way.” Oh, that neighbor. His name is Daniel, and she meets him on a plane; after some dancing around and a shared taxi they realize they are neighbors. There is a strong attraction between them, a lot of push-me pull-you tension, awkward nobility and frankly, the sort of edgy stuff that you know is adultery foreplay.
I won’t spoil the film by telling you how it ends, but I will say that Margot is stuck in a loop, and the only way out that I can see is a nice clean, fresh break of self-exploration, probably on her own, maybe in Europe, since the film felt very French in the first place. I’m sure you know what I mean… there’s an artist, a chef, a disaffected wife, strange breaks in the action and dialogue, lots of close-ups and focusing on the mundane and ridiculous.
If I had to say what my favorite parts of the film were, it would be when Margot laughs so hard she wets herself in the water aerobics pool, setting off the dye trigger, and the strange play Margot and Lou indulge in, threatening each other with various forms of murder and evisceration (in the most loving way possible). Love is not simple, and it comes in many forms; I found this film sad because of the many lost opportunities for real maturity and growth, and a bit of a dig at finding happiness in what we have, as if it is more noble to keep tearing up the garden looking for diamonds.
I give this film three crows out of five, and that’s mostly for the eclectic Toronto scenery, truly fine acting by Seth Rogen, who had a difficult straight role to play, and also by Michelle WIlliams, despite, or perhaps because, I really didn’t like Margot that much. It would be a good talking point film to watch with your significant other… we discussed it all the way home.