6.7/10
11,114
73 user 190 critic

Love Is Strange (2014)

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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:

2 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... George Garea
... Ben Hull
... Elliot Hull (as Darren Burrows)
... Joey Hull
... Ted
... Roberto
... Mindy
... Kate Hull
... Doreen
... Ian
... Father Raymond
... Honey (as Harriet Harris)
... Principal
... Officiant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site |  »

Country:

| |

Language:

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Release Date:

18 December 2014 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

El amor es extraño  »

Filming Locations:


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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:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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 George advises the young girl playing a Frédéric Chopin piece on the piano (supposedly without sufficient feeling), that she should let the music take her somewhere, surprise or even overwhelm her, he says that this is as important as "knowing the difference between a half-step and a semitone". Fact is, a half-step IS a semitone; there is no difference at all. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ben: My glasses. I can't find my glasses.
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Soundtracks

Nocturne No. 8 in D-Flat Major, Op. 27
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Idil Biret
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Belies its title
16 January 2015 | by See all my reviews

"Love is Strange" seems intended as a slice-of-life, but it's more frustrating than intriguing, inspiring or uplifting.

While there's nothing to complain of about the mise en scène or the acting, it doesn't add up to anything. Most of the main events happen offstage, so it neither shows nor tells, just implies.

Many loose ends are never tied up. What happens to Vlad? What happens to Elliot and Kate's marriage? The pace is slow enough that the alternative movies running in your head are more interesting that what's on screen. There's sexual tension between George and Ian: what if they had a fling? How would Ben react? What if Joey WAS gay? What if Ben tried to help him come to terms with that but was misunderstood, with catastrophic consequences? What if Vlad was and Joey was just going along with him? Or if they really were doing drugs - and Ben found evidence?

What happens about the letter George is composing or rehearsing while Dovie Currin is playing the "Raindrops" prelude (and much better than he gives her credit for)? Does he send it to the parents of his former pupils? Do they petition the school, or demonstrate? We never know.

But my biggest disappointment was that the film completely belied its title: None of the love in the film is strange in any way. Love often IS strange, and some very good movies have illustrated that.

I'd call this a broken movie. I suggest you watch until they say goodbye outside the Waverley Diner and Ben goes down to the subway. What follows adds nothing.


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