In Blue Valentine, there is a scene where Cindy has invited Dean over to her house to make him meet her parents as the two are planning marriage. Cindy’s father quizzes Dean on his education. Dean hasn’t passed high school while Cindy is studying to be a doctor. When the parents bring this up, Dean says the following: “I know, she is about the smartest person I know. I would want to have a doctor like her. I would trust myself with her, my kids with her”. He says all this with the langorous pace that comes with speaking on the spot and that arises from genuine love. It is a masterful scene.
The movie is about a couple who, a few years into their marriage, are not on the same page anymore. Dean, played by Ryan Gosling, paints people’s homes for a living, while Cindy, Michelle Williams, is a nurse. Cindy expects Dean to realize his true potential, but Dean is quite happy with the life that he has. He loves his wife and daughter and does not understand why this much is not enough for them as a family. In another scene that burns on the memory, Dean wants to get intimate with Cindy who instead offers herself to him for fucking. Dean pleads: “Be good to me, I am good to you.” Cindy walks away and locks herself in the bathroom, weeping. She cannot locate the love anymore, while he is bursting to share it.