A glance at the title might make you think “Take This Waltz” is a light-hearted romantic comedy.  Premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, this Canadian film illustrates the 28-year-old Margot (Michelle Williams) struggling between her 5-year marriage with her husband Lou (Seth Rogen), and her new affection for an artist and rickshaw driver Daniel (Luke Kirby).   

A glance at the title might make you think “Take This Waltz” is a light-hearted romantic comedy.  Premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, this Canadian film illustrates the 28-year-old Margot (Michelle Williams) struggling between her 5-year marriage with her husband Lou (Seth Rogen), and her new affection for an artist and rickshaw driver Daniel (Luke Kirby).    

The storyline is a common theme in life. However, the lack of other elements that delight the heavy relationship and emotional plots makes the film less engaging. Written and directed by Academy Award nominee, Sarah Polley, the film exclusively orbit around the relationship struggle. If this is the focus of the film, the expectable ending could be more surprising or inspirational for those introspective audience who might expect some take-away.   

Williams’ expression of Margot’s emotion is undoubtedly impressive, especially when she reins her feelings for Daniel during all their interactions. As in My Week With Marilyn and Brokeback Mountain, Williams properly emotionalizes her role as if the struggles and outbursts are personal to herself.

Not until the end of the film can you realize how “waltz” come into play, when Margot and Daniel frolic in a beach house, exhaust their erotic or romantic desire for each other, and danced to the theme music of the movie.

Not as sensational as the typical Hollywood style Western films, “Take This Waltz” might attract audience who would like to have a Toronto taste of romance. As envisioned by Polley, Margot and Lou’s house in Toronto’s Little Portugal is an example of real estate as biography, embodying the spirit of Queen West: “a liberal, independent middle class couple would have bought the place when the market took a downturn and then began extensive renovations.”   

All in all, I would not be surprised if you find the film unsatisfying. With an ordinary theme and direct approach to relationships, you can expect what would happen as sparks fly and finally ignite. Without much entertaining scenes, the film is selective in terms of who would find it enjoyable. Still, you might walk into the theater and give it a try. After all, it is a non-traditional approach to a mainstream theme.

Rating:R
Running time: 106min




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