Probably the most memorable line in the movie, Love Is Strange. It certainly brought the audience to a loud laugh, but then again, we were in Manhattan watching this tale of love and marriage which takes place in The City. The film’s main story is that of Ben and George who after 39 years of togetherness, get married and then things go down hill. George loses his job at a Catholic school but not his faith and without his steady income, the couple is forced to sell their apartment. Homosexuality is not the subject of the movie, real estate is. The couple is forced to go separate ways while they look for another affordable apartment. They call a family meeting and put their dilemma out on the table. This being New York City, no one has any room to accommodate the couple. That is except for Mindy who lives in Poughkeepsie and has an extra bedroom. True to NYC island mentality, they all think living in Poughkeepsie is unthinkable, not remotely feasible. That’s when the fun begins…Ben moves in with his nephew and his wife and their son in Brooklyn, George moves in with friends who just happen to be a pair of gay cops leading a rather boisterous life, partying night after night, filling the apartment with hordes of people.
The secondary story involves Kate (Marissa Tomei), wife of Ben’s nephew and writer who works from home and their son. One of the funniest scenes and one I wholeheartedly related to, was where Ben keeps starting up a conversation with Kate who is trying very hard to finish writing her book. Ben is quiet for a moment and then asks her yet another question. She is so frustrated, she almost loses it. Joey, Ben’s nephew is tolerant up to a point; His world is getting smaller as Uncle Ben takes over part of his bedroom, and intrudes on the already cramped space in this small two bedroom apartment in New York. He (Joey) has developed a friendship with Vlad, who although may be the same age as Joey is light years beyond him in street smarts and this is cause for concern to his mother and father.
Actually as I’m writing this, I think the real story in the movie is STRESS. Ben and George are totally stressed out because they are separated and each is living in someone else’s home. I think it’s George who says that when you live with someone you get to know them much better than you would want to. Kate is stressed because her husband Vlad is never home so she is the only one who deals with Joey and Ben. Vlad is stressed because he’s a filmmaker and well that comes with its own set of issues, George is stressed but for the most part he internalizes it until one night when he just bursts through the door to see George and bursts into tears.
The firs word out of my mouth when the movie was over was “Arty” – the film was arty, it was low-key and slow-moving, no micro sound bites here. John Lithgow and Alfed Molina are point and counterpoint personalities and each one brings his best to Love Is Strange.