The Nietzschean Rom-Com

Jul 7 2012 @ 3:09pm

Richard Brody thinks Sarah Polley's latest, Take This Waltz, is a film just as doctrinaire as Atlas Shrugged in portraying the power of beautiful people:

After a water-aerobics class, Williams; her character’s sister-in-law (played by Sarah Silverman); and a host of other women, many older, many portlier, shower and talk. Polley displays, with a refreshing frankness, a wide variety of women’s bodies, from the modern ideal of slender shapeliness to a pudgy corpulence. Of course, all are beautiful; there is indeed an inherent beauty to the body, and Polley seems to suggest that the lightning bolt of irrepressible lust that joins Williams’s character with Kirby’s—that joins two beauties of the most conventional sort—could just as easily strike any of these women. But the underlying theme is that, though everyone is beautiful, some are more beautiful than others—stick with your own kind, because nature (physical nature) will triumph, and you’ll always be in competition with the people who resemble Michelle Williams, who will have their choice. The movie’s stark sexual Realpolitik is in the image of the cold calculus of high-stakes movie life itself.

Dana Stevens pans out:

Take This Waltz also takes a wider perspective on the human experience of love than most movies of its kind: The question driving the narrative isn’t only "Which of these two guys will she end up with?" but "In the end, will it matter?" In addition to being a snapshot of three very specific people’s interactions at a specific moment in time, the film is a meditation on time and how its passing alters the nature of romantic relationships and everything else.

Scott McConnell focuses on the lack of children in the film.