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'Blue Valentine' Got You Down? 9 Functional Movie Couples

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 02/12/11 12:39 PM ET   Updated: 11/17/11 09:02 AM ET

The film "Blue Valentine" is both a critical darling and a scourge of censorship, but everyone seems to agree on one point: Its gritty depiction of a crumbling marriage is both realistic and devastating.

As the relationship between Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) deteriorates from a playful romance into a stagnant pool of disappointment, the viewer feels viscerally every slight, every emotional blow the characters level at each other onscreen.

As your heart is being torn out chest, you wonder, "Who killed the marriage? Dean or Cindy?"

The answer: both of them. And neither of them.

In contrast, the following movies feature happy, functional couples who show us that it takes two to make a committed relationship work.

"The Kids Are All Right" (2010)
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This family dramedy centers on the relationship between Nic (Annette Bening), a worrisome doctor, and her wife Jules (Julianne Moore), a free-spirited stay-at-home mom to their two teenagers. The film shows how these two women grapple with communication problems resulting from their differing personality types. Moreover, though, it shows the role of intimacy for a long-term couple. Infidelity is presented in all its complexity. The characters dissect the events leading up to the betrayal and resist casting one person alone as the guilty party. Recognizing that your partner is a fallible, fragile human being is a more realistic and healthier gateway to resolution than mere finger-pointing.
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