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Take This Waltz (AF)

1/10

Stars: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman, ,Jennifer Podemski, Diane D’Aquila

Director: Sarah Polley

Some 85 minutes into this eminently missable (in fact, I’d recommend paying to miss it if you have to) B comedy drama, comedienne-actress Sarah Silverman reviewed Take This Waltz absolutely perfectly when she said: “Enough of this bullshit!”

I agree. Absolutely.

Except that had I been bright enough to come up with SilvermanÂ’s sage summary first, IÂ’d have uttered it aloud much, much sooner.
PolleyÂ’s shallow screenplay has 28-year-old Toronto suburbanite Williams, who is married to cookery writer Rogen, meet rickshaw-pulling (yes, that appears to be a urban Canadian profession) neighbour Kirby and they fall in love. So far, so routine (apart from the rickshaw, that is). That said, apart from some lurid and inappropriate sex scenes involving aspirant artist Kirby (incidentally, just where did he get that out-of-his-league-and-income room?) thatÂ’s all, folks.

As far as I was concerned, thatÂ’s too much, too.

It would appear from the overlong and presumably deliberately out-of-focus opening scene that Polley was aiming for an art movie. If, indeed, that was the case, then sadly it would appear she doesn’t really know her cinematic arts from her elbow. Where her debut movie Away From Her, which saw Julie Christie plunging into the horrors of dementia managed to be both moving and true, little in Take This Waltz rises above the level of “seen-it-all-before” genre cliché.

PolleyÂ’s direction is unable to put any emotional flesh on the disjointed skeleton that is her screenplay. Her sole achievement is in the casting of Williams and Rogen and of Silverman who plays the latterÂ’s cynical sister.
Despite screenplay and direction, the film boasts three superb performances from the three leads. Sadly, all their work is wasted on a movie that curls up and dies on the screen in front of you and cries out for a fast-forward button – or, even better, a ‘STOP’ switch!

Alan Frank

Canada 2011. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Technicolor.
116 minutes. not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 17 Aug 2012