Actors: John Lithgow, Alfred Molina
Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: January 13, 2015
Run Time: 94 minutes
Love is Strange is a quiet meditation on the nuances of a seasoned relationship. It is so quiet, in fact, that despite the wonderful performances and intelligent screenplay it fails to have emotional resonance. Although it is still a nice respite from the onslaught of mindless
blockbusters, I couldn’t help but wish that a bit of that excitement had been
transferred into this film. Respect can only go so far in entertainment, and
then the drama needs emotional resonance or some sort of dramatic scenario to
pull a film like this out of its singular note mood.
Making it clear that their performances will carry more significance than the narrative from the opening sequence on, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina play a pair of seasoned lovers whose lives are suddenly turned upside down when they decide to get married after 39-years of dating. Though this action initially seems simply to be symbolic in nature, it results in George (Molina) losing his job as a music teacher at a Catholic school. Unable to support themselves living in
income as an artist, the newlyweds are forced to sell their apartment and
attempt to find someplace more affordable. Manhattan
Despite just being married, the couple is forced to live apart in various homes of supportive and understanding friends and family members. Rather than leave the city where they can live together, George moves in with two friends and former neighbors (Cheyenne Jackson and Manny Perez) and Ben ends up sharing a bunk bed in the home of his nephew (Darren Burrows) and his wife (Marisa Tomei). While simultaneously using the time apart from each other to examine the dynamics of their relationship and what being married means to them despite their physical separation, Ben and George are exposed to different family dynamics with each of their surrogate homes.
The DVD special features for this understated romance include an optional commentary track with Lithgow, Molina and director and co-writer Ira Sachs. There is also a generic making-of featurette and a Q&A with the cast and director from the LA Film Festival.
Entertainment Value: 6/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7.5/10
Historical Significance: 6/10
Special Features: 6.5/10