Blue Valentine, A relationship is charted from its promising beginning to its sad collapse in this independent drama from Derek Cianfrance. Dean (Ryan Gosling) meets Cindy (Michelle Williams) when they’re in their late teens; he’s working for a moving company, she’s a college student visiting her elderly grandmother at a home for the elderly. Cindy is dating Bobby (Mike Vogel), her boyfriend from high school, but as she gets to know Dean better, a mutual attraction grows between them. Years later, Dean and Cindy are married and have a daughter, Frankie (Faith Wladyka), but they’re clearly not as happy as they once were; Dean loves his daughter but feels distant from his wife, they have to look after an elderly relative (John Doman), and when Cindy bumps into Bobby while running errands, it’s clear he still holds a grudge against her. Dean and Cindy go away for a weekend together at a hotel, but it doesn’t take long for them to realize that the magic isn’t coming back. BLUE VALENTINE received its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
The Hit List, A disgruntled man creates a hit list with a stranger during a drunken night out and must then race to try to save those he marked for extermination as the bodies begin to pile up and all fingers point to him.
No Strings Attached, Lifelong friends Adam (Ashton Kutcher) and Emma (Natalie Portman) attempt to avoid falling in love after falling into each other’s beds in this comedy exploring the complexities and quirks of having friends with benefits. Adam was a typical, hormonal 14-year-old when he first came on to Emma at summer camp — and got shot down in flames. In the years that followed, however, Adam and Emma continued to cross paths until, eventually, they both caved to their animal instincts. Despite an intense session of earth-shaking sex, however, Emma makes it clear to Adam that the last thing she wants is a committed relationship. And thanks to the fact that Adam’s father (Kevin Kline), a fallen television star, has just begun dating his son’s ex-girlfriend, the horrified bachelor has developed an aversion to monogamy as well. At first their casual stance on sex works great for both; Emma can focus on her career instead of allowing her emotions to dictate her decisions, and Adam can play the field without fear of hurting her feelings. Over time, though, a funny thing happens — Adam begins to develop feelings for Emma that he never had for any of his countless conquests. Before they both know it, love has reared its ugly head and they’ve gotten too emotionally involved to cut the relationship off cold. But is commitment in the cards for the couple that always swore it would never get serious, or has the time come for them to finally part ways once and for all?