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
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 »
My glasses. I can't find my glasses.
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"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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