Customer Review

51 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Everything old stays old, June 23, 2012
This review is from: Take This Waltz (Amazon Instant Video)
Margo (Michelle WIlliams) meets Daniel (Luke Kirby) on a Colonial tour, in which actors are put in stocks and whipped for committing adultery. This bit of foreshadowing (Daniel goads her into administering the lashing) is a clue as to the moral dilemma that involves Margo, Daniel, and ultimately Margo's husband, Lou (Seth Rogan).

The theme of marriage, temptation, boredom and adultery is hardly new fodder for exploration, but it does have an endless fascination. This tale of hipster attraction, lust and flirtation does not add anything particularly intriguing to the mix. Michelle Williams does a good job with the complicated character of Margo, who seems literally lost in her own neuroses and insecurities. She swings from childlike timidity to really bold flirting without much in between, and the instant hot attraction between she and Daniel leaves her understandably emotional and highly charged. Daniel, it turns out, lives right across the street from Margo and Luke (how did they not know this?) and he also veers from boldness - he literally stalks her 24/7 -- to suddenly turning morally righteous just as he's about to get what he wants. These two tease each other in a way that I found infuriating. Of course, they say and do things that real people operating under the conventions of civility would never say or do, but when it comes to pulling the trigger, they both back off.

Most puzzling to me was the character of Luke (Seth Rogan), Margo's husband. A writer of cookbooks involving chicken, he is a charming manchild with a strange distaste for touching his pretty wife. She, clearly in love with him, tries on countless occasions to "seduce" him (her words), only to be spurned with no explanation each and every time. They behave towards each other like kindergarten children with a crush. They "play" with each, tickle each other, he dumps cold water on her in her shower (why???) but he will not sleep with her. Is he gay? Asexual? At one point he mutters something about "not deserving her" which does nothing to clarify the situation.

My favorite performance in the movie was that of Sarah Silverman. She seems natural, is her usual bold, profane self, and adds a dimension of reality to a movie which is so subtle and nuanced it gets in its own way. "Everything new gets old" is hardly a startling new revelation, and unfortunately, this treatment of that theme ultimately fails to satisfy.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 6, 2012 8:55:59 PM PDT
J. A Bowen--Overall I liked the movie, and was perplexed by it also. I certainly agree with several of the points of interest that you have made here: the character of Rogen, the intensity of Margot and Daniel, then the seemingly "morally righteous" behavior added and of course, Sarah Silverman (she was great in her small role, I would have liked to see more of her). Very interesting review. Sheryl

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2012 4:46:55 AM PDT
J. A Bowen says:
Thank you for reading and commenting on my review! I agree, Sarah Silverman is terrific in this small role.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 5:46:10 AM PDT
big nick says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 8:31:34 AM PDT
@big nick--I hope you do not mind me jumping in here as I forgot to turn off my tracking of this review and caught your comment. I enjoy learning from other writers and their critiques. I cannot locate the quoted, "between Daniel and he": are you alluding to what's written in the second paragraph, "between she and Daniel"? Just a question here for my own personal interest. Thanks, Sheryl

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 1:12:01 PM PDT
J. A Bowen says:
Wow, I love it when people nitpick my reviews. I learn from them. I did not find the exact phrase you reference; I assume you mean the phrase "between she and Daniel." Actually that was an awkward phrasing, and if I had had my editing pen out I would have written it differently. I was an English major and that doesn't necessarily mean we are always picture-perfect grammarians, only that we like to read and write. I'm assuming you knew what I meant by the sentence, so I assert it wasn't a terrible error. Thanks, though!

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 1:38:56 PM PDT
J. A Bowen--I am so very sorry to have offended you, that certainly was not my intention in asking that question. If you notice, I like your review, voted positive on it and agreed with you on several points. I thought it one of the better reviews of this movie in the first place. Maybe I was presenting the question for his nitpicking toward you!

I am far from being in a place to nitpick other people, if anything the question would have come acrossed as defending if it were to continue. Yes, I really do learn a lot from other writers, that is not a false statement, although trying to find any fault in your review was not what I was trying to do whatsoever. Looking down on this commenting, I was the first to comment--not tear your writing up, after all, it is your opinion. I don't down vote for another's opinion. I just like to write and enjoy other's writing also. I am once again very sorry for the misunderstanding, clearly I must have said something very wrong to have offended you so. Sheryl

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 3:21:44 PM PDT
big nick says:
Call it nitpicking if it makes you feel better but I was surprised that someone who could write well for the most part could make such an obvious error. Now I am bothered more to learn that you were an English major. My degree was in engineering and we are not supposed to be good with grammar. Yet, your error was so glaring to me that I felt compelled to correct you. Why should you even need an "editing pen." The error is so obvious it almost jumps off the page. Too bad because as I mentioned previously, it was a good review.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 3:29:14 PM PDT
big nick says:
Sheryl: I might have misquoted. In any case, it was an obvious grammatical error which I have seen often. "Between she and Daniel" might have been the correct phrasing. My God it sounds so wrong I don't understand how people continue to do it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 6:23:30 PM PDT
J. A Bowen says:
Sorry, my comment was meant to come after "big nick's", not yours! Amazon sometimes does freaky things with their comments and where they are placed. I was not addressing you with the nitpicking comment. No worries.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 7:45:47 PM PDT
J. A Bowen--Yep, I can agree with your Amazon statement as that sure has happened before. And Hakuna Matata to you too...OK, I swiped that from the Lion King, I'm not that witty. Sheryl
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