Ryan Gosling's five-year Blue Valentine preparation

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Michelle Williams & Ryan Gosling are paired in this 2010 drama film about a failed marriage. Dean (Gosling) and Cindy (Williams) are first shown at their modest Pennsylvania home about six years into their marriage. He's a house painter, she's a nurse, they have a daughter who's about five, and the marriage is unraveling. Then Dean and Cindy are shown as they were back when they met, went through a courtship and got into a sexual relationship. From here it's left to the viewer to guess how things must have gradually gone wrong.
January 15th, 2011

Ryan Gosling had been making notes on relationships for five years to prepare for 'Blue Valentine'.

The Canadian actor - who has been romantically linked to Hollywood beauties including Sandra Bullock, Blake Lively and current co-star Michelle Williams - was first connected to the film five years ago, and admits he couldn't stop thinking about how his own experiences could influence the role.

He said: "It made me think about everything. When you're making a movie like this, you wrack your brain to think about your experiences. I had five years to think about it, I had a 'Blue Valentine' file in my brain, so every time something happened in my life or someone else's life, I would ear-mark it and put it in the file. "

'Blue Valentine' reflects on a couple's love in past and present moments in time, with Ryan's Character, Dean, trying to save his marriage with Cindy, played by Michelle.

One of the things Ryan - who dated his 'The Notebook' co-star Rachel McAdams for three years until 2007 - learned from his research was how different movie relationships are to real-life.

He joked: "They're not like they are in the movies, that's for sure!"