We rented Blue Valentine this weekend, starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling. I have a soft spot in my heart for Michelle Williams as that wrong-side-of-the-tracks teenage love interest of Dawson on Dawson's Creek. I mean, I always wanted Dawson to get together with the Katie Holmes character (this was way before KH signed the 10 year, one baby marriage and publicity contract with Tom Cruise), but I liked Michelle Williams, and liked her again in Brokeback Mountain ("I can't quit you, Ennis!"--said by one of the gay cowboys in that movie). She was great in Blue Valentine; she can still look like a sixteen year old girl and then like a jaded, twenty-five year old woman. I didn't mind Ryan Gosling either, thought was more aware of him acting older in the present day parts of the movie, where they tried to ick him up by giving him a receding hair line and a beer belly and a penchant for chain smoking Marlboro Reds. If you haven't seen the movie, don't go if you're thinking of getting married or if you're thinking of getting a divorce, because the story is really about the end of a relationship, and there's also the worst part of the movie, which is where a Labrador retriever is found dead on the side of the round (hint: foreshadowing of where their love is headed). I thought they could've done a better job of presenting evidence as to why she wanted so bad to get out of the relationship. Yes, he's immature and teaches her little girl to eat oatmeal off the kitchen table,  and yes, he paints houses for living, and yes, he drinks beer at 8 AM while driving his truck to work, but he was also loving and committed and funny and talented. Dan and my favorite, favorite part of the movie was  a joke Michelle Williams character told to him after they first met on the bus. If you want, I'll tell it to you. I've been practicing. I now want to see My Weekend with Marilyn, because I heard she's great in that too.

Just found an interesting blog post about this movie and its possible gender stereotypes and misogyny. Of course, I've only scanned it briefly, but I feel like I;m ready to agree with it already.

Oh, but this reminds me of something from my feminist theater class last week. Our teacher was talking about Uta Hagen (a famous acting coach) talking about how she received her training--how she was taught that brave acting for women involved the actress showing vulnerability by being able to either (1). cry onstage; or (2). take her shirt off onstage and (3). preferably doing both at the same time. And how they were taught method-acting for scene study to get to these places, which basically asked them to channel times in their lives where they felt victimized in some way. I just thought that was interesting--that method acting for women could be read as this extra reinforcement of gender stereotypes. Someday, I'd like to write a story about my time as a theater major at Florida State or my time doing community theater after that and how much I hated feeling like I was auditioning all the time, even when I was just standing around at a theater party, holding  a plastic cup of warm beer.