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Aspirational Romance

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"Aspirational Romance"

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I’ve already voiced my discomfort with the theoretical meet-cute between Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine. But I wonder if my real problem with the damn movie is that I have no idea why I’m supposed to care about the tsuris between these two other than that they’re quirky, a fact illustrated by the fact that he wants her to dance for his amusement in a foyer:

Most romantic comedies want us to care about the people involved because they are much better-looking avatars of ourselves and our problems, and those good looks give us dreams that perhaps things will turn out all right, if not perfectly, for our average selves. I suppose movies with quirky indie heroes and heroines are meant to give us hope that our lives will turn out a bit more interestingly, if you average us with people who sing “You Always Hurt the One You Love” in goofy inflections?

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