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.
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
My partner and I were really looking forward to this movie - a story about a loving mature gay couple dealing with some harsh realities, played by some wonderful actors. While I found the acting to be generally good, the writing and direction were uneven and confusing. First the good: the two leads are wonderful and understated playing the gay couple who've been together for 39 years, now facing the realities of being temporarily homeless, and separated from each other. Now the bad: the whole premise of the movie, that this couple found it necessary to each find separate temporary living arrangements while trying to find a new apartment, stretched all credibility. I found this unbelievable, especially when they had the option to live together with a relative outside the city. For some reason, they felt it imperative to live separately in the city even though neither was now employed. The whole movie seems so contrived that it seems the writers chose almost any situation to advance the film so that it got to the ending that they had written, whether it made sense or not. The idea of two late 60s/early 70s men with no apparent savings/pension/income to be able to maintain their condo for at least a little while also stretched credibility - instead they selfishly share their predicament with relatives and friends and crash separately with them. The writers/director have created a story with so many holes and illogical story paths that I found myself annoyed and angry with the characters. John Lithgow's character seems oblivious to the fact that he is becoming an imposition to his nephew's family, especially to his nephew's young 15 year old son with whom he is sharing bunk beds. While I hardly expect everything in a movie to be sewn up neatly by the end, the writers introduced characters and story lines that the viewer was lead to believe mattered- but were dropped and never resolved. Who was the young boy's friend Vlad? What was behind the tension between the nephew and his wife? Why did Vlad and the young boy steal French lit books? What's up with the disco/party cops? Why the extended sob scene of the boy in the stairwell at the end? Has the movie become about him? A considerable time is spent on each of these items in the movie and yet there are no answers, and they don't seem relevant to what the story should have been about. A different director, one who was not also the writer, might have helped make this a better movie. I also couldn't help but think that this was a 2 hour movie that was cut to 90 minutes and the answers were left on the floor somewhere.
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