Take This Waltz

This second feature from the promising Canadian writer-director Sarah Polley is set in a sunny, vibrantly cozy Toronto, where the complacent marriage between a freelance writer (Michelle Williams) and a cookbook author (Seth Rogen) gets upended by the perfectly available fantasy man (Luke Kirby) who happens to be their neighbor. Making up for strenuously lyrical dialogue and some pat indie quirk, Williams is terrific as usual; it’s a pleasure to see why so many emotionally alert directors find her so inspiring. But Polley can’t quite manage the mature temperament of her previous feature, Away From Her, possibly because that film derived from a supremely disciplined Alice Munro short story and this one’s an unruly original. It’s too gingerly done, with Rogen’s gift for raunchy realness gone all but unused, and even Sarah Silverman, as a disruptive alcoholic, seeming nearly inert. Not at all a loss, just not enough — the limply dramatized equivalent of an advice-column platitude about choosing self-fulfillment over relationship chaos.