Published on February 13th, 2014 | by MacKenzie Warner0
Five ‘Blue’ Valentine Movies for Valentine’s Day
Bust out the pinks and reds, it’s Valentine’s Day! Sure, we all know that V-Day is about selling cards, chocolates, and over-priced roses, but I still like it. I don’t know why. I just do. This is the first year in a long time that I’m celebrating the day of love as a single person. While I’m not bummed out about it, I know a lot of people chastise Valentine’s Day for its fixation on ooey-gooey couples’ romance, sex, love, and sweets. If you ain’t gettin’ any, it ain’t fun! It’s easy to get the blues. So, here’s a ‘blue’ list of movies you could watch alone and ugly cry to or suggest to your annoying couple friends in the hopes of sabotaging their Valentine’s Day date night.
Blue Valentine (2010)
It’s got ‘Valentine’ right in the title, so it’s bound to be romantic and sweet. And it’s got Ryan Gosling, so it’ll be steamy. Ha! Not true — Derek Cianfrance’s heartbreaking film, dabbles with sweetness but turns cold and loveless faster than you can send a Valentine e-card. The story follows the marriage of Cindy (Michelle Williams) and Dean (Ryan Gosling). At first, like all relationships, their burgeoning love feels all too familiar yet special. But these beautiful moments are contrasted with scenes that depict a marriage gone sour. Cindy’s frustration is palpable as she tries to figure out where on the timeline things went bad in her marriage and her life. You pity Dean as he tries to salvage a broken relationship by taking his distant wife to a futuristic-themed hotel room. You’ll cringe as you watch them try to make love in a room as sterile as their marriage. Yet, you’ll be amazed by how well Gosling and Williams carry a film as bleak as Blue Valentine. It’s a true blue disaster. In the best way possible.
Blue Jasmine (2013)
Some people fall madly in love. For others, love inspires the madness. This is the case in Woody Allen’s latest film, Blue Jasmine. Cate Blanchett plays Jasmine, a waspy former socialite, whose life of luxury abruptly ends after the imprisonment of her husband (Alec Baldwin). Distraught and in denial, Jasmine flees to San Francisco, to stay with her estranged sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Though she tries to pick up the pieces, Jasmine is clearly suffering a midlife crisis so catastrophic that no amount of Stoli martinis (with a twist of lemon) can cure her problems. When she’s not flittering about like a nervous wreck, she’s suffering delusions of her previous perfect life with her seemingly perfect husband. She’s gone mad. And deep down, she knows it. Watch this movie for the outstanding performances by Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins.
Blue (a.k.a. Trois Couleurs: Bleu) (1993)
Juliet Binoche hands in a powerhouse performance as Julie, a Parisian woman who has lost the loves of her life to a car accident — her husband and her daughter. Krysztof Kieslowski’s first entry in the Three Colors Trilogy is a meditation on emotional liberty. She tries to free herself through suicide, but when she can’t she abandons her life, leaving behind all her worldly possessions. Blue is not as traumatic as it sounds — it is beautiful film. And it’s a movie that will show you there are bigger griefs in life than some douchebag that won’t return your texts.
Blue Velvet (1986)
Yeah, I know, it’s not really a Valentine’s movie, but it has ‘blue’ in the title and we’re lazy (plus there’s some naughty sex bits in there, so it’s not a total psychout). Either way, leave it to David Lynch to really kill the mood. Blue Velvet is a cult classic that struggled to receive positive reviews at the time of its release. Though now it is considered one of Lynch’s best, it’s definitely not a film to take home to ma and pa. Mel Brooks once described the director as “Jimmy Stewart from Mars.” He’s also been called a “psychopathic Norman Rockwell.” You know, wholesome apple-pie patriotism gone wrong. This makes sense when you apply it to Blue Velvet. Basically, wholesome American kids, Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachlan) and Sandy (Laura Dern) get mixed up in the seedy and shadowy world of fragile chanteuse, Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini), and insane thug, Frank (Dennis Hopper). This all starts when Jeffrey takes a stroll in a meadow and discovers a severed, decaying ear. Instead of running back to his regular sunny life, he decides to become an amateur investigator. In his snooping, he straddles the line between voyeur and hero. One minute, he’s a creepy dude watching from inside Dorothy’s closet as she undresses; the next, he’s a crusader looking to stop Frank and his nasty friends. Like all of us, Jeffrey is weird. Sandy says it best when she tells him that she “can’t figure out if [he’s] a detective or pervert.” He responds, “Well, that’s for me to know and you to find out.” So next time your sweetheart wonders if you’re a pervert, leave a little mystery and respond like Jeffrey.
Blue is the Warmest Color (a.k.a. – La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2) (2013)
For a more recent depiction of love going south, watch Blue is the Warmest Color. Since the film hit the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, it has become widely known that leading ladies, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux, felt abused and pressured by director, Abdellatif Kechiche during filming. While this is rather unfortunate, it is perhaps fitting for a story that unravels at the seams — particularly for young sexually confused protagonist, Adele (Exarchopoulos). While she is shown experimenting in heterosexual behaviour, she ultimately falls for a blue-haired artist named Emma (Seydoux). The two have an intense sexual and emotional bond but as Emma’s blue hair grows out, so does their romance. Adele continues to lust after Emma but the connection is lost. Emma moves on and Adele is alone. Watch it for the intense sex scenes (it may get weird with your date). Choke down the lump of sadness in your throat at the end.
This Valentine’s Day, trade in your cinnamon hearts for a kick in the heart with these ‘blue’ movies. They’ll make you appreciate the love you do have. They’ll make you appreciate the love you don’t have. They’ll probably inspire you to have a drink or call someone special. Hopefully both. Happy Valentine’s Day!