There is no denying that both Gosling and Williams gave brilliant performances, very moving, heartbreaking and convincing. Their little daughter, Frankie (Faith Wladyka), was adorable whenever she was on screen, also a brilliant adaptation of a little daddy’s girl. Not your conventional family you see in happy films, this is 90% doom and gloom with aspects of happiness, not a film to go watch if you need uplifting.
The character of Dean is very protective of his wife and a loving father for little Frankie who he shares a heart warming bond with. You see his personality utilize within the first 10 or so minutes. At the beginning I originally thought it was Jason Lee from ‘My Name is Earl’, he looks like your typical old hillbilly but in a 30 yr old man’s body with a receding hairline. Although he swears quite a bit he is careful not to do it in the presence of his little girl. Immaturity but in a child friendly way, as well as being an emotional dedicated family man is the summary of Dean, with his moving and decorating job.
Cindy on the other hand is shown as a sort of sensible and serious woman who lacks love for her husband anymore; even though in the flashbacks she shows such sincere and captivating love. Right from the start you see Cindy almost loosing the glimpse of love she once shared between her and Dean. She, herself, is established as sort of a 'slut' (No nice way of saying that really, sorry) in one part of the film when it sort of shocks the audience as she doesn't seem the type at all.
Overall although the flashbacks were fun and nice to watch put side by side with the rest of the catastrophe of love, I still found myself checking the time all throughout the film, which for me, is a bad sign. There was a beginning continuity error that bugged me quite a bit, with the cigarette for example; I’m one of those observing people and it can be a curse. Though, the credits were lovely and I was relying on the music to make me feel the certain emotions the director which to conveyed. I did notice the song Dean plays of the Ukulele was titled “You Always Hurt The One You Love”, it really does sum up the whole film explaining why it was the trailers backing track. Although I found it to be dragged out a bit too much I can't hurt the film because it was true, deep and full of emotion.
Result: It still does manage to get a 7/10 from me; personal opinion.