6.7/10
11,360
74 user 191 critic

Love Is Strange (2014)

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2:13 | Trailer

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After Ben and George get married, George is fired from his teaching post, forcing them to stay with friends separately while they sell their place and look for cheaper housing -- a situation that weighs heavily on all involved.

Director:

Ira Sachs
2 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alfred Molina ... George Garea
John Lithgow ... Ben Hull
Darren E. Burrows ... Elliot Hull (as Darren Burrows)
Charlie Tahan ... Joey Hull
Cheyenne Jackson ... Ted
Manny Perez ... Roberto
Christina Kirk ... Mindy
Marisa Tomei ... Kate Hull
Tank Burt ... Doreen
Christian Coulson ... Ian
John Cullum ... Father Raymond
Harriet Sansom Harris ... Honey (as Harriet Harris)
Adriane Lenox ... Principal
Jason Stuart ... Officiant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Bell David Bell ... David
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Storyline

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 bunk bed. 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. Written by Sony Pictures Classics

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | Greece | Brazil

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

18 December 2014 (Greece) See more »

Also Known As:

El amor es extraño See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$117,276, 22 August 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,252,580, 7 November 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben's paintings were done by painter Boris Torres, who is also director Ira Sachs' husband. See more »

Goofs

When Ben, Kate, Elliot and Joey are eating pasta, Ben has a cut above his right eye. When they switch back to Ben, there is a band-aid on the cut, and he had not left the table at all. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ben: My glasses. I can't find my glasses.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fake or Fortune?: Lowry (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Canto Domino
Written by Giuseppe Pitoni
Performed by The Trinity Youth Chorus
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User Reviews

 
Nothing Strange About This
13 September 2014 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. In a remarkable opening 6 to 8 minutes, we see John Lithgow and Alfred Molina prepare for, execute, and celebrate their official marriage after almost 40 years together. During this sequence, we quickly understand that Ben (Lithgow) is the emotional one, and George (Molina) is the pragmatic, balanced one. The brief ceremony is filled with love, admiration and happiness, and leaves us with no doubt that these two are dedicated to each other.

Director Ira Sachs (Married Life, 2007) also co-wrote the script with Mauricio Zacharias, and the film excels while Lithgow and Molina are on screen together. It comes across as a contemporary version of the 1937 Leo McCarey film Make Way For Tomorrow (with Beulah Bondi) and highlights the obstacles faced by an elderly couple who face financial hardships, New York real estate misery, and the not-so-welcome generosity of friends and family.

The gay component is not played up, rather the story is told in straight-forward manner as the couple is split up, and deals with loneliness and unease as they feel out of place living in a party house with friends (Molina) and sharing a bunk bed with a typically awkward teenage boy played by Charlie Tahan. The boy's parents are Marisa Tomei and Darren Burrows, who face their own marriage and parental issues.

The happiness of the opening wedding ceremony quickly dissipates into misery for all characters. The only happy people are the grown men playing a Game of Thrones board game. Literally everyone else is unhappy, or at least disinterested.

Although conflict is ever-present, the Catholic Church is the closest to a real villain. John Curran plays a Priest in the terrific scene in which Molina is fired (because of his wedding) from his Catholic School teaching job. The poor town of Poughkeepsie takes a couple of shots as well, but mostly it's the pent-up frustrations of Tomei, the passive-aggressive approach of a few other characters, and the crazy teenage mood swings of Tahan's character that keep Ben, George, and we as viewers quite uncomfortable. See this one for the performances of Lithgow and Molina, and for the beautiful Chopin piano throughout.


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