Film Review: Take This Waltz

This is arguably the strangest film I have seen in a long time. In fact, I’d go as far to say I’m not exactly sure exactly which genre this film fits into. Watching the trailer, looking at the cast, the principles behind the plot and you instantly think light hearted Rom Com. Nothing too serious, nothing too heavy. One of those non-offensive movies that you can use to simply pass the time and whittle away an evening.

Then you press play on the remote control and a totally different film waltz into your life and leaves you bemused, confused and slightly disturbed. I can honestly, hand on heart say, this movie just astounded me, sadly though, in a very, very bad way.

Nothing in this movie seems to work, or fit together. In my view 90% of the problems in this film stem from Michelle Williams. Which surprised me, because after her back to back Oscar nominations in 2011 and 2012 she’s now a Hollywood “face” – she’s a name. My brain said she was a safe bet. However, looking at the list of films she’s starred in and suddenly the picture becomes a little clearer, firstly she’s never won on the back of her now 3 Oscar nominations or equal number of BAFTA nominations and doesn’t have a real stand out film in her back catalogue.

And what she’s bringing to Take This Waltz is a weight that serves to drag the film down around her. She feels poorly cast, for instance, she is supposedly married to Seth Rogan, however the on screen chemistry just doesn’t exist. He’s the likeable jack the lad and she’s the nightmare ice queen. You look at these two people who are meant to have been happily married for 5 years and wonder simply how they got past the first date, let alone down the aisle, past “I do” and onto this.

Then there is her relationship with Luke Kirby: “the other man” the artist across the road, a man who for some reason gets entangled into her web in bizarre fashion. She meets him an entire plan trip from her married life, through a situation that makes no sense to the plot creating more questions than it answers – namely, what the hell was he doing there anyway and if he lives across the road surely she must have seen him before then?

But none of that matters because this is a light hearted Rom Com and you are allowed massive gaping chasm with Rom Coms. As long as the jokes raise a smile and you feel all warm inside nothing else matters. And with that rule in mind and obviously realising that the film was more cold and confusing that polished Rom Com we cast the apparently always funny “sister-in-law” Sarah Silverman. Sadly though, that’s like saying “the BBQ won’t let so let’s poor petrol on it and try again”. She comes charging in like a bull in a china shop bringing nothing but destruction in her wake. She tries to be serious and it fails. Like everything else in this film.

And then just when you couldn’t expect this film to walk wide eyed and bushy tailed into anything else out of place and shockingly unnecessary you reach “the shower scene”. Now I’m not a prude, I accept the human form in all its nakedness but in what I was expecting to be a light hearted Rom Com I could happily pass an evening away with, to be greeted by a full frontal, middle aged, female nudity was a little unexpected. Especially as it’s only a 15.

Taking everything into account, when you do the maths and create the sum of it’s parts Take This Waltz adds up to be a complete failure of a film. It’s central character is so unlikeable and so needy that any man with half a brain would have kicked her to the curb many, many times over before they ever developed a lasting relationship; combined with a shower scene that will only serve to become the stuff of legend for pre-pubescent boys and playground gossip and the result is a film that I cannot urge you enough to keep well and truly out of your life.

Honestly, just don’t take this waltz.

6 out of 10 stars (6 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

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