It reads 88% with tomatometer. I agree on the level that this film is as raw as it gets. Meaning it actually could happen, or in fact is happening to lots of married, co-habiting, common-law couples.
Dean (Ryan Gosling) has a good point that perhaps men are more romantic than women, i.e., they love based on a primal instinct. He continues to claim that a girl wants to know how well his potential mate can support her and her family first before even committing to a date, guess it means they tend to be cerebral about love. Plausible.
Right at the start, I suspect this will be a mis-match, a girl, Cindy(Michelle Williams) in University studying medicine ends up with a chance occurence stranger, Dean, that happens to be in the same place. Cindy likes a part, whacky, of him, but he loves her at first sight. He believes that there is love at first sight, and if that someone you meet by chance gives you warm fuzzy je-ne-sais-quoi-déjà-vu then she has to be the one. Cindy also comes from an verbally abusive father; hence, her view of love could be distorted as well.
Anyway, the film portrays the kind of love they had at the beginning and how it has evolved: two minds no longer meet.
Perhaps, purposefully the conversations between Dean and Cindy are linear and rhetorical to amplify their differences; however, it gets a bit frustrating as nothing really comes out of it. Dean is Dean, and he rightfully believes that; hence, he doesn’t understand why Cindy is rejecting him, cause in his mind, he thinks that if someone loves him since day one, she should be the same day 2160. Unfortunately, the opposite of Dean is Cindy, she continues to reconcile with the mistakes she might have made, and doesn’t know how to get out of it. So she buries herself with work and taking care of the kid. Plausible.
Nonetheless, if someone keeps asking, “what do you want from me? what do you want me to do? Tell me, I’ll do it”. The answer should be easy and clear, “Ciao bello, Hasta la vista!”