Movie Review – Love is Strange (2014)

Director: Ira Sachs

Stars: John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Darren Burrows, Charlie Tahan

After George (Molina) and Ben (Lithgow) get married, what should have been a joyous occasion quickly turns sour as George is fired from his job teaching music at a Catholic school. Unable to pay for their apartment, Ben stays with his nephew while George stays with his friends as they look for a cheaper place, but the stress and tension get to them all.

Molina and Lithgow are really good here and carry the film, although it feels like it’s more Lithgow’s film than Molina’s. Love is Strange does make some conceits in order to tell the story it wants to, for example George doesn’t even apparently consider taking his former employers to court for his dismissal. The story isn’t really about activism. It’s more about a relationship and how people deal with unexpected circumstances. There are other relationships in the film and these have their own problems…buuuuut they’re only hinted at and there’s not enough time in the movie to properly compare and contrast all the different types of relationships.

It’s actually quite a pleasant movie to watch. It’s soothing in a way, but it gets towards the end and it basically falls apart. There are a few subplots introduced that don’t go anywhere, like two kids stealing French books, tension between a man and a wife, and other tension between two gay cops that George is living with. It feels like there are parts missing from the film and I’m sure that Sachs is trying to say something but I’m just not at all sure what it is.


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