(KCBS) – KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews Blue Valentine starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling and Country Strong starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw.

Listen to Jan’s Review:

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An old showbiz saying is “dying is easy, comedy is hard.” That goes along with the many depressing, dreary dramas out there..it is far easier to show downbeat and grim than uplifting or fascinating. Blue Valentine (rated R) brings us the story of two people and their collapsing marriage. Interspersed with the coldness at the end of the marriage is episodes of courtship and the reasons they ever got together in the first place. Michelle Williams plays a nurse, and her attraction to Ryan Gosling’s housepainter is at first understandable. But then we see her stuck way down inside a marriage to a loser, and we hope she has the strength to get out. No..that would be Hollywood that makes movies about real women, not just victims or vixens. They are both caught in a downward spiral, but neither are interesting enough to really make us feel satisfied with the ride. Yes, the sex is graphic. But who cares when the people are boring?

Who knew a drunk, drug addicted singer could look so healthy and glowing? Gwyneth Paltrow stars as the weeping willow of country singers in Country Strong (rated PG-13), sprung too soon out of rehab to get her back on the road. Paltrow begins with some promise, but the cliches in this melodrama make it all painful and eventually too shallow to truly enjoy. I love backstage stories..the monster of fame has made Coal Miner’s Daughter, A Star is Born, All About Eve and Crazy Heart to name a few..terrific movies to peek into that bigger-than-life world. This time the plot is too murky, the characters too cliched, and Tim McGraw, the guy who should be singing, doesn’t until the closing credits. Corny and contrived.

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Jan recommends these films to see right now: The King’s Speech, Inside Job, The Social Network, Made In Dagenham

Jan recommends these films to rent right now: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, The American, Toy Story 3

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