Movie review: Take This Waltz

From the July 12, 2012 edition

Don’t be fooled by the names on the movie poster. “Take This Waltz” is a lot more of a heartbreaker than a comedy.

In fact, funny folks like Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman are responsible for some of the most gut-wrenching moments.

Writer-director Sarah Polley handles her actors well — probably because she was one in a former life. There are some bumps along the way, but there’s a lot to love — and discuss — here.

Things kick off with what seems like a chance encounter we’ve seen in romantic comedies time and time again. Margot (Michelle Williams) crosses paths with Daniel (Luke Kirby) a few times. Sparks are clearly flying.

But after a sweet and flirty cab ride, Margot, who has clearly been caught in a moment, blurts, “I’m married.” And she, in fact, is married to a sweet and loving guy (Rogen).

Polley walks a fine line here. The chemistry between Margot and Daniel is undeniable, but Margot’s husband isn’t the typical unappreciative or abusive lout.

Williams — who repeatedly proves she’s one of the finest actresses working — takes us into her sticky moral dilemma. It’s not an easy one, and sometimes her character makes painful mistakes. And Rogen has shown dramatic chops within his comedic roles before, but never like this.

Frankly, “Waltz” is a challenging film, but it’s one worth exploring.