TAKE THIS WALTZ – The Review
Review by Jerry Cavallaro
This review was originally posted in April when TAKE THIS WALTZ played at the Tribeca Film Festival
TAKE THIS WALTZ opens with a fun little meet-cute between Margot (Michelle Williams) and Daniel (Luke Kirby) who soon find out they are actually neighbors. This is unfortunate because Margot is (un)happily married to a chicken cookbook author played by Seth Rogen. I write it that way because although she doesn’t seem happy most of the time, none of her reasons seem solid enough to justify why she is so upset with her life. At one point she goes into a rant to which Seth Rogen asks what the f— she is talking about, as if speaking for the entire audience. Perhaps it is my slight man-crush on Seth Rogen but he seems like a pretty good husband to the often childish Margot. She is simply just bored of her everyday routine, which is what leads to a growing fascination with the shiny new toy that is Daniel.
But all new things get old eventually. That isn’t spoiling anything by the way. It is pretty much the running theme of the film since it constantly beats you over the head with this message throughout the bloated running time. This grows increasingly more frustrating leading up to an ending that feels more like a series of alternate endings played in succession. Repetition is apparently the name of the game. This may have been a stylistic choice by writer / director Sarah Polley since the film plays out in a steady stream of highs & lows and reoccurring themes much like Margot’s life. However, if that is the case, it just didn’t work for me. It is too bad though because there are some truly great aspects to the film.
Visually the film is stunning in terms of direction, cinematography, locations and even the color palette. This film just looks fantastic and it is often paired with a wonderful soundtrack that adds greatly to the feel. Everything really comes together perfectly for a scene in which Margot & Daniel go on the spinning Scrambler ride while Video Killed The Radio StarÂ blasts on the radio. It is a fantastic sequence that says so much without any dialogue. It just works on so many levels, which is part of what makes the film so frustrating. There are moments like this that work so well but they are thrown off by so many other scenes that don’t. One other scene worth noting is an absolutely hysterical segment that has Margot and her sister-in-law (Sarah Silverman) attending a seniors water aerobics class, which was probably one of the funniest moments of any film playing at Tribeca this year. Speaking of Sarah Silverman, she and Seth Rogen really step up to show they have serious dramatic chops in addition to perfect comedic sensibility.
In the end, there is enough good in the film that I wouldn’t tell anyone to avoid it but I wish they found a way to say more with less.
TAKE THIS WALTZ opens in St. Louis today at Landmark’s Tivoli Theater