Cert: 15 Runtime: 94 mins Director: Ira Sachs Cast: John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Darren E. Burrows, Cheyenne Jackson, Charlie Tahan and Harriet Sansom Harris
I believe the world is a better place if people aren’t lying.
John Lithgow and Alfred Molina married in a movie? That sold me from the start! Love Is Strange received some great reviews since it release. Since it’s available on demand it was worth a viewing. What is it all about? After nearly four decades together, Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) finally tie the knot in an idyllic wedding ceremony in lower Manhattan. But when George loses his job soon after, the couple must sell their apartment and – victims of the relentless New York City real estate market – temporarily live apart until they can find an affordable new home. While George moves in with two cops (Cheyenne Jackson and Manny Perez) who live down stairs, Ben lands in Brooklyn with his nephew (Darren Burrows), his wife (Marisa Tomei), and their temperamental teenage son (Charlie Tahan), with whom Ben shares a bedroom. While struggling with the pain of separation, Ben and George are further challenged by the intergenerational tensions and capricious family dynamics of their new living arrangements.The two lead performances by Lithgow and Molina feel very natural and real as does their chemistry as lovers. Even though the two share little scenes together (being separated throughout most of the film), you can tell that Ben and George are genuinely in love with each other. The scene where the two hug is quite touching.
While Marisa Tomei gives a natural well layered, good performance as a mother who feels a little bit disconnected from her family. Her best scene is when she complains to her husband about how he’s too soft on his uncle Ben. Darren Burrows is also another good standout as Joey, Tomei’s son in the film who has a bit too many problems that he’s hiding from his family.Some of the shots in Love Is Strange are nice. The opening sequence with a shot of the legs of the two main characters Ben and George sleeping together in their bed was well done. While there’s another nice quiet scene where Ben is shown painting. The short scene consists of little dialogue and just music played in the background.Love Is Strange doesn’t really tackle the gay subject matter all that much, but it doesn’t play it up either. Very few times throughout the film is the word gay actually said, and because of this, I appreciate Love Is Strange.One of the best things about the film it’s score. Although the score is very limited and small, it consists of classical music, primarily that of a piano. This helps to give certain scenes a nice feeling. Additionally, the use of classical music in the film makes sense considering that George is a music teacher himself.Love Is Strange is a very quiet and understated film. While not perfect, the film is helped by its lead performances and is overall enjoyable to watch.