Love is strange

The story is simple enough: After having been together 39 years, Manhattanites same-sex couple George and Ben (Alfred Molina and John Lithgow) are getting married. The wedding is attended by loving friends and family members. George works as a music teacher at a Catholic private school, and everyone at school, including parents and students, were aware of his relationship with Ben. But, with the wedding’s announcement making it official, George gets fired. They have to sell their apartment, and while waiting for an affordable place to live, Ben goes to live with his nephew Elliot (Darren Burrows), his wife Kate (Marisa Tomei) and their teenage son Joey (Charlie Tahan) and George with boyfriends Ted and Roberto (Cheyenne Jackson and Manny Pérez), who are two cops. Everyone is happy with these arrangements, with the understanding that it is a temporary solution. But the sale of the apartment brought less money than expected, as there was taxes and some additional costs. “Like something out of Kafka”, says George. Kate is an author who works from home, but she’s not working much because she has to entertain Uncle Ben. Similarly, after a while, Ben’s presence starts to annoy young Joey. At Ted and Roberto’s place, George finds it difficult to relate to the younger couple. Their main subject of conversation is Game of thrones, and George has difficulty sleeping because Ted and Roberto party all night. Some time, all a film needs is a good story/screenplay, great acting and, of course, a director who knows how to channel everyone’s talents. Love is strange is such a film. Molina and Lithgow are so touchingly real, with Lithgow showing how Ben’ separation has affected him, and caused some health problems. Marisa Tomei reminds us here how good she can be. And Charlie Tahan is a marvelous find. Director Ira Sachs has a great eye for small, subtle gestures and details that make this love story so believable and real. A beautiful, not to be missed film.

Rémi-Serge Gratton

 

Love is strange 

 
 
Directed by: 
Ira Sachs
 
Screenplay by: 
Ira Sachs
Mauricio Zacharias
 
Starring: 
John Lithgow
Alfred Molina
Marisa Tomei
Charlie Tahan
Cheyenne Jackson
 
94 min.
 
Rated 14A
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