I’m inspired to write today about a movie I watched this weekend. Written and directed by Sarah Polley, a (brilliant) young filmmaker, it’s called “Take This Waltz.” The movie caught me by surprise. I wasn’t looking to settle into a movie on a lazy Saturday afternoon; in fact, I was trying to leave the house and get out and feel the sun on my face. And yet, I couldn’t stop watching. This movie was so artfully done with tremendous attention the smallest of details.
The Comfort of Intimacy Versus the Passion of Intrigue
The film is about a young married couple, played beautifully by Michelle Williams (Margot) and Seth Rogan (Lou), who seem to have a simple, happy and loving relationship. It’s clear they have love for one another, as well as a strong friendship. Lou writes chicken cook books and is the sweet and doting husband who’s perfectly content in his relationship with Margot. They’re actually quite cute together and each scene shows us an intimate look at what most people in the world crave: an honest, loving relationship with an adoring partner who they feel completely safe with.
On a business trip Margot meets Daniel, the sexy neighbor who quickly inspires a new feeling in her and seems to offer an excitement and passion that now appears to be missing from her solid, yet mundane, marriage. There’s a sharp contrast between the scenes with husband Lou (brushing their teeth together, using the bathroom in front of one another, and hanging out in the kitchen while he cooks his chicken recipes), and the mysterious, sexy moments with Daniel.
It’s not long after that Daniel and Margo fall in love (or lust), and the only thing she can do is leave her marriage. Margot seems to be having the time of her life (especially sexually) with her new boyfriend. She’s left her family and husband behind for this new life, only to realize after some time that they too, had settled into the every day routine that marriages become after time spent with the same person.
Does Life Have a Gap?
During a return home for a family crisis, Margot starts to realize the huge mistake she’s made and yearns for her marriage.
Sarah Silverman plays her sister-in-law and gives a great line in the film: “Life has a gap in it. It just does. You don’t go crazy trying to fill it.”
It got me thinking. Whether you’ve been married for several years or you’ve been in a long term relationship, what is it about contentment that makes us so restless? We spend our lives searching for it and when it’s found, I see too many people dumping the lovely comfortable relationship for the possibility of something more exciting, dangerous or just out of reach. Relationships and marriages are supposed to be comfortable. We leave the exciting new days behind us to opt for something more real and permanent, and what grows from this is usually a partnership with your lover and best friend.
Take a look at “Take This Waltz” when you have a chance. It stayed with me and thought I’d share it with you.