We have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Blue Valentine in theaters. Because – let’s be honest – the world is long overdue for some new Ryan Gosling sex scenes. You can only watch The Notebook so many times, and The Gos doin’ it with Michelle Williams is our idea of indie-sex heaven. So it was with obvious excitement that we plopped down in a midtown screening room, eager to get our NC-17 sex on. And enjoy some superb acting! But mostly, SEX.
There’s been some ferocious debate over why the MPAA awarded the film an NC-17 rating, and we are ready to report back to you exactly how much of Ryan Gosling naked there is in this puppy. Servicy!
Unfortunately, we don’t think the MPAA awarded the NC-17 rating because of explicit Ryan Gosling peen (yes, we were disappointed too). In fact, we’re starting to think the group simply has a grudge against depressing cinematic sex.
For reals, those looking for some intense, breathy bone scenes should look elsewhere. (Might we suggest Love and Other Drugs?) Blue Valentine details the deterioration of a couple’s relationship, and their failed attempts at love-making highlight the crumbling of the marriage. That’s right – orgasms are few and far between.
The story is told over a 24 hour period in which Dean (Gosling) and Cindy (Williams) ship their kid off to Grandpa’s house and head to a terrifyingly tacky Poconos hotel to revive their already-dead relationship. (Numerous flashbacks take the viewer through their past, from their initial meeting to their wedding day.) The scene that earned the movie its notorious NC-17 rating is cringe-worthy in a “we’ve all had sex this miserable” sorta way. Yet nothing about it is explicit.
Fueled by vodka and conflicting emotions, Dean and Cindy go at it on the floor of their hotel room and end up arguing mid-thrust. Cindy gets a little violent, the whole thing turns into a fight and no one cums. It’s as anti-climatic as drunk hate-sex is in real life. But apparently the MPAA is more comfortable with flashes of Jake Gyllenhaal’s peen (like we said, you should seriously see the R-rated and skin-filled Love and Other Drugs) than they are with awkward, angry unfinished intercourse.
Of the other three sex scenes in the move, two are just as uncomfortable. The first introduces the viewer to Cindy’s college boyfriend as he takes her from behind in a passionless hump-fest. It’s all butt cheeks and slapping sounds, but it’s purely R-rated. The second takes place in the aforementioned creepy hotel room, with Dean attempting a little cunnilingus in the shower (he’s ultimately rebuffed by Cindy, but not before we get a good glimpse of Michelle Williams’ enviably perky boobs). The final intimate moment occurs in happier times, with Dean once again going down on a giggly, adoring Cindy at the start of their relationship. He’s a lazy lush of a character, but the one thing the dude’s got going for him is that he never hesitates to put his mouth on his lady.
Gosling and Williams both deliver wonderful performances (Michelle, in particular, is brilliant) but sadly, the purpose of the sex scenes is not to get us lady-viewers off. The terrible sex foreshadows the end of Dean and Cindy’s relationship before they’re consciously aware of it (ugh, isn’t that always the case?). The MPAA would be wise to drop their weird sexual hang ups and the NC-17 rating. If they can’t handle one fictional couple’s miserable sex life, how will they ever handle their own?