Take This Waltz Review

Sarah Polley’s sophomore film, Take This Waltz, is a far cry from the weighty and affecting movie I had expected after reading early reviews.  In fact, for much of the movie I found myself at a loss for words, as I tried without success to find anything to justify watching this film.  By the end of the movie I had exactly two positive things to say.  The film had a strong cast, and it contains one memorable and mildly amusing practical joke.

Strangers Margot (Michelle Williams) and Daniel (Luke Kirby) find an immediate connection with each other after meeting on a plane, only to discover they’re actually neighbors.  This budding romance proves to be an issue for Margot as she begins to reconsider her marriage to Lou (Seth Rogan).  The fundamental problem with this movie is the story telling is too weak to actually make you sympathize with Margot and her conflicted emotions, and instead, I ended up feeling sorry for Seth Rogan whose wife has just started treating him like dirt for no apparent reason.  The characters are poorly realized, making nearly all the emotional payoffs for this movie fall flat.

Take This Waltz exemplifies everything that is wrong with indie films. Of course it feels obligated to fill itself with obnoxious moments that serve little purpose other than making the movie apear “cutesy” and instead come off as intensely annoying.  Rather then constructing the relationship between Margot and her husband, Polley instead gives us a plethora of scenes consisting of the two playing cute little games, and I would argue the two don’t have one real conversation during the entire movie.  While directors like Wes Anderson effectively use color schemes to add a tone to their movies, Polley drowns this film in an awful rainbow of color, most likely to distract the reader from the terrible writing and ridiculously unrealistic characters.

While the actually writing is not always dreadful, it clashs with the tone of the film so drastically that it cannot possibly be overlooked.  The dialogue is fantastical and extremely unrealistic, which wouldn’t be inherently bad if it weren’t for that fact that Take This Waltz tries to present itself as an emotionally realistic relationship drama.  The movie fails on both levels, as it is neither realistic nor particularly thought provoking, although the film clearly believes it is both.

This movie is technically listed as a drama/comedy, but it’s a horrible drama, and could only be considered funny if the entire film was a big practical joke Polley was playing on the audience.  The attempts at humor throughout the film fall flat, and most of the “jokes” consist of Williams and Rogan graphically describing how they would kill each other, you know, like real couples do.  If you can’t tell by now, I would recommendation you don’t see this movie, and to paraphrase a line from the movie, by the end of this film I wanted to gouge my eyes out with a melonballer.

Rating: 1 out of 5

26 thoughts on “Take This Waltz Review

  1. Film Jive July 31, 2012 / 2:34 am

    I think a lot of the film’s enjoyment is dependent upon if you emotionally resonant with the material and if you find you relationship experience personified on-screen. I would disagree and say Margot and Lou and very well realized, but Daniel is not, which isn’t the main problem. I didn’t dislike it, but didn’t love it. My podcast, “Film Jive” recently reviewed it. You can check it out here: http://filmjive.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/film-jive-episode-28-take-this-waltz/

    • Andrew King July 31, 2012 / 2:38 am

      All of the people I was it with seemed to have similar opinions to mine. I feel like my entire opinion of this film is summed up in a line Seth Rogan’s character delivers while Margot is yelling at him. “What the f**k are you talking about… I am just making chicken.” I will definitely look into your podcast, although I may skip this particular episode as I have been arguing about this movie quite a bit lately and I am getting pretty tired of this film.

  2. alua August 5, 2012 / 4:12 am

    The Guardian had an interview with Michelle Williams about this film this morning. Now that I read your review I’m reminded I watched a trailer a while back and wasn’t taken by what I saw – I’m not a fan of these kind of story lines in any case (I just can’t sympathise with these kind of situations and characters), and from your resume it seems that Polley unfortunately drives it to the extreme. I wonder why Michelle Williams chose this film project?

    • Andrew King August 5, 2012 / 12:50 pm

      It was probably because Sarah Polley’s first film, Away From Her, was such a big film festival hit. I believe it even won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Sad to see her new one doesn’t live up at all.

      • alua August 5, 2012 / 1:48 pm

        No, I meant I saw the trailer for this one – although I did watch Away from Her also (the film) and that one I did enjoy.

  3. Gregoryno6 August 5, 2012 / 6:46 am

    So my reflexive autocomplete – “Take this waltz… and shove it!” – holds true.
    Pity. I thought Sarah Polley was in great front of the camera.
    Michelle Williams too. Meek’s Cutoff is worth a view sometime.

    • Andrew King August 6, 2012 / 3:07 pm

      Meek’s Cutoff is something I look forward to watching. Although I heard Away From Her is quiet good, I was a bit miffed by this movie in general, and don’t understand the praise that is being lavished on this film.

  4. riatarded August 8, 2012 / 1:50 am

    Bingo! You have hit the nail with this one. What an utter waste of time and money. And I am expected to write a review for this for work and all I can think is., ‘THIS IS SHIT!’

  5. riatarded August 8, 2012 / 1:52 am

    LOL by the way I love your review. I think your review, that took me a minute to read, is funnier than the 1 hour 40 minutes of torture that I had to sit through! Gaaaaah!

    • Andrew King August 8, 2012 / 2:06 am

      Haha thank you so much for your kind words. I saw this with two of my friends, one of whom is a co-writer, and another who had never heard of this movie, but I assured her it would be good. Instead, I spent nearly the whole film apologizing for how bad it is, and what a waste of my time it was.

      • riatarded August 8, 2012 / 2:17 am

        LOL are you guys from Toronto by any chance?

      • Andrew King August 8, 2012 / 2:45 am

        The states. Always wanted to go to Toronto though if that counts haha.

      • riatarded August 8, 2012 / 2:50 am

        haha come on over! You guys should so be here for TIFF! Also, tell me when you are in town and we can catch a movie together! LOL

      • Andrew King August 8, 2012 / 2:52 am

        One of these days I will make it up there for TIFF, but in all likelihood it won’t be for at least a few years.

      • riatarded August 8, 2012 / 2:58 am

        😦 le sigh!

      • riatarded August 8, 2012 / 3:04 am

        In any case! I am glad I found your blog! I will be coming back for more! Followed! 😀

      • Andrew King August 8, 2012 / 3:16 pm

        Haha thanks! You said you have to review this for work? If you don’t mind me asking what kind of work do you do?

      • riatarded August 8, 2012 / 5:10 pm

        oh absolutely not! I am a writer for http://www.boldmagazine.ca ! You should check them out! 🙂 Are you on twitter?

      • Andrew King August 8, 2012 / 5:59 pm

        Not currently, but I plan to be as soon as I can come up with an extremely clever twitter handle. We do have a twitter for the blog though if you have any interest in that. Well I am glad you stumbled upon our humble movie blog, we hope to keep growing and it is people like you who actually follow the blog and comment who make that possible.

      • riatarded August 8, 2012 / 6:06 pm

        🙂 what’s the blog twitter? Mine is @RoastedKeyboard

        P.S: I’ll be waiting for you to set up one!

      • riatarded August 8, 2012 / 6:14 pm

        all righty! Following you guys now! You guys just might become my go to source for movie reviews 😉

      • Andrew King August 8, 2012 / 6:23 pm

        Haha very flattering, and thanks for the twitter shout out, we really appreciate it.

  6. The Illbomb August 17, 2012 / 6:35 pm

    i was actually going to see this film today as it had a lot of admirers, but you actually made me decide not to. that is how easily influenced i am, or maybe how convincing your review was. prob will see it later to make my own mind up but for now you made me lose the mood. good review andrew

    • Andrew King August 18, 2012 / 1:12 am

      Some people really seemed to love this movie, but I found it to be so ridiculous and poorly put together and written I found it impossible to enjoy.

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