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
Nearly as good as the 1937 version, Make Way For Tomorrow Dir. By Leo McCarey!
My wife and I were both moved and touched by this sweet sad drama of romance near the end of life's long and winding road. When a couple really complete each other's life it is a joy even when things turn rougher because that very important someone is there, next to you to divide the sorrows and multiply the joys.
But when circumstances beyond their control force them to separate briefly friends and families who offered to help become tested, tried and like most of us will fail at some point.
We are big fans of John Lithgow (we grew up near his home town and he's a local legend) and the great Alfred Molina and Marisa Tomei. The script, direction and performances were all like the music and art used in the film – wonderfully filling in all the colors of life.
As for it being a remake, the great comedy director Leo McCarey (Laurel & Hardy films, the Cary Grant screwball comedy The Awful Truth, An Affair To Remember, etc.) wanted to make a film about the problems of old age. Here is the plot description of Make Way For Tomorrow (1937), "At a family reunion, the Cooper clan find that their parents' home is being foreclosed. "Temporarily," Ma moves in with son George's family, Pa with daughter Cora. But the parents are like sand in the gears of their middle-aged children's well regulated households. As the days become weeks and then months, everyone gets stretched until they must except being separated permanently and go out for one last fling before saying goodbye forever."
Both films are wonderful dramas that ask us to treat each other with more compassion and civility – and to be prepared for the end.
Leo McCarey was nominated for an Oscar eight times and when he won Best Director in 1937 for The Awful Truth in his acceptance speech he said thank you but it was for the wrong film (meaning he thought he should have won for the more important feature Make Way For Tomorrow.)
I recommend seeing them both and then go and hug everyone you know and cherish while you can.
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