If you go to the cinema to escape from reality and watch uplifting, fantastical films, then you probably shouldn't watch Blue Valentine.
On the other hand, if you want to see some superb acting and a tragic, very human love story, then this is the film for you.
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams both give heart-wrenching performances and as the narrative of the movie switches between their life today and when they first met, it's amazing to see them portray both their older and younger selves so convincingly.
I have to say, the little girl in the movie is also adorable and she helps alleviate some of the emotional trauma these characters are suffering.
Sadly the movie is a very honest account of a modern day relationship and even though the movie is endearing at times it's quite heavy going, with no real happy ending. I did also find myself wondering when the end was coming as the movie started to drag.
It's refreshing that the movie didn't conform to Hollywood's desire to wrap things up neatly, but that does mean that Blue Valentine is not a particularly uplifting film to watch, no matter how well acted.
I give Blue Valentine three *** stars, but won't be rushing to see the film again in the future.
Next time something a bit more feel-good I think...