Dean Pereira and Cindy Heller Pereira are a young, working class married couple - Dean currently working as a painter, and Cindy working as a nurse in a medical clinic - with a young daughter named Frankie. Despite their relatively tender ages, they are both ravaged by the life they've eked out together and by the experiences they've had leading into their marriage. Dean, a high school drop out, comes from a broken home, where he never really had a mother figure. He never saw himself getting married or having a family despite falling in love at first sight with Cindy. He doesn't have any professional ambition beyond his current work - which he enjoys since he feels he can knock off a beer at 8 o'clock in the morning without it affecting his work - although Cindy believes he has so much more potential in life. Cindy also comes from a dysfunctional family, with her own mother and father not setting an example of a harmonious married or family life. One of her previous serious ...Written by
The older appearance of Dean is based on director Derek Cianfrance, who is bearded and has pattern baldness. The clothing of the younger Dean is also based on Cianfrance's style of clothing. See more »
When Cindy runs through the sprinkler at her dads, she turns back and her shirt is not wet. The shot goes to Dean and then comes back to her and her shirt is wet. See more »
[speaking about Cindy's ex-boyfriend]
I wish you'd seen him so you wouldn't feel so bad. He's fat.
What do I care?
I don't know.
What do I care if he's fat or not? What does that mean? Make me feel better?
I don't know, 'cause he's a loser.
What does that have to do with me? Whether he's a loser or he's fat or not. What the fuck do I care?
I don't... What?
What are you saying that for? That it would make me feel better, he's fat? So what? If he's in good shape then I wouldn't, I shouldn't feel good?
[...] See more »
The initial credits, showing major cast and crew, play over a montage of stills from the film and clips of fireworks. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. OK, so I was extremely surprised to be the only male in a theater with 30 plus viewers. I had not once previously thought of this as a chick flick. In fact, it is quite a weighty relationship expose' and that explains the lack of present men. What is surprising is that while the film is about the ever-so-slow crumbling of a marriage, there is no blame placed at the feet of any one person, as is so often the case in Hollywood.
You might have already guessed that this is no upbeat, loosie-goosie rom-com. Rather, it is a bleak look at a marriage that starts with good intentions and fades into misery. On the plus, we witness an acting clinic by two of today's absolute best ... Ryan Gosling as Dean and Michelle Williams as Cindy. Dean is quite the oddball romantic as he strums his ukulele and quivers "You Always Hurt the Ones You Love" in a bit of foreshadowing. Cindy, on the other hand, is a bit more ambitious and has dreams of medical school.
The two meet by happenstance in the hallway of a nursing home when Cindy is visiting her grandmother. Immediately, there are sparks and after Cindy's macho boyfriend proves his true rotten self to her, she becomes more enamored with Dean. When an unexpected pregnancy occurs, Dean is pretty quick to stand up for Cindy and they set off to build a life together.
Flash forward 6 years and Dean has changed very little, while Cindy just seems totally beaten down. They both cherish their precious daughter Frankie (played by newcomer Faith Wladyka) but their relationship is nowhere, gone, kaput. Even an attempted one-night getaway to a themed hotel doesn't provide the relief they need. Instead, it's the final straw. When Cindy repeats "I'm done" ... we don't doubt her at all.
Director and co-writer Derek Cianfrance does a tremendous job with the details and creating the personalities of these two people. Every relationship requires work and failure can be predicted when one gives up and the other pretends all is fine. This one probably won't save any marriages, but it is worth seeing just to watch Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in action.
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