“I’d like to propose a toast to Harry and Sally. To Harry and Sally . . . If Marie or I had found either of them remotely attractive, we would not be here today.”
~ from Nora Ephron’s and Rob Reiner’s “When Harry Met Sally”
Tonight I’m watching writer and director Sarah Polley’s film “Take This Waltz” this evening.
This post is not a review of the film.
To understand this post, you probably should know I fell in love with Sarah Polley the first time I saw her act. I fall in love far too easy – like I fell in love with Michelle Williams, Sarah Silverman, Martha Plimpton, Uma Thurman, Susan Sarandon, and so many other smart, strong women.
Sarah Silverman – so smart. So violently funny. She has so many expressions and speech patterns in common with the last woman who could not find me even “remotely attractive.” Silverman, so unrestrained, like a lazer burning – so able to go where she wants to go.
In 2011’s “Take This Waltz,” Sarah Polley directed and wrote a story about a woman unhappy in her marriage, entranced with the belief a greater love could be found with someone other than her husband. Polley had divorced in 2008.
In “Take This Waltz” some characters have attracting chemistries, some make connections. Other characters don’t connect well, don’t connect fluidly . . . can’t find common rhythms or melodies. No matter how hard they try to connect and create chemistry – some characters never find a way.
Truth be told, we never see if “Margot,” the lead character played by Michelle Williams, ever happily connects with any man for a long period of time. The same is true of Sarah Silverman’s character “Geraldine.” Both are more familiar with being discontented and unfulfilled in the many details and realities of their long-term romantic relationships. They are possibly more attracted to parts of their relationships or parts of their imaginings of relationships – more than they may ever be with the whole of any one relationship. In the last scene of the film, “Margot” is shown by herself, whirling alone where she once was together. The scene is intentionally ambiguous and open to broad and disparate interpretations.
Writing a story about people who don’t communicate well, don’t connect smoothly, and don’t meet each other’s interests is not an easy endeavor, but the dialogue is easier to write than dialogue between two people who communicate well, connect smoothly, and meet each other’s spoken and unspoken interests.
It is easier to write a story about finding interesting things to discuss, discover, and do on a first night out than it is to write a story about finding things to discuss, discover, and do on the 100th night out.
I loved watching “Take This Waltz.” It is an outstanding film. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it.
Oh, and I guess this means I’m still in love with Sarah Polley. Figures. As the lead male character says in the film: “Some things you do in life . . . they stick.”