After longtime partners Ben and George get married, George is fired from
his teaching job, forcing the pair to stay with separate friends temporarily.
Love Is Strange (2014)
Directed by Ira Sachs
Written by Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias
Starring Alfred Molina, John Lithgow, Marisa Tomei,
Charlie Tahan, Darren E. Burrows, Christina Kirk
Love Is Strange provides ample opportunity for talented character actors Alfred Molina and John Lithgow to really own their characters. I believed their relationship and their chemistry the entire time. Unfortunately, that's pretty much where this film stops. Everything around these two actors' performances is dull and forgettable, with a super abrupt ending that skips any and all emotional scenes that could be had. It's almost like the filmmakers went out of their way to avoid showcasing any raw, emotional moments. Most of the time, we're just watching people dismiss and be annoyed by these two characters while they hunt for cheaply-priced real estate.
Ben (Lithgow) and George (Molina) are longtime partners who finally tie the knot after forty years together. Regrettably, this open display of George's homosexuality gets him fired from his job teaching music at a Catholic school. With half their income gone, Ben and George must now sell their apartment and find cheaper housing, and they're forced to stay with separate friends while they hunt a new place down. Ben's nephew and his family are accommodating but irritated at Ben's presence, and George's gay cop buddies are too loud and vigorous for George to be comfortable. The entire film consists of these two missing each other and trying to find an apartment. Frankly, it's boring. There are so many different avenues they could've taken with this film, and it feels like they chose the most mundane path.
The ending comes out of nowhere and completely skips what could've been an unforgettable scene. The ending flashes forward to a few weeks after Ben's death, where George is living alone now. Ben's impending death is hinted at briefly earlier in the film, but never did I expect him to die off-screen, especially since the entire film is built on the foundation of their relationship. Despite great performances from Molina and Lithgow, Love Is Strange is a forgettable drama that never goes as far as it could've.