Love is Strange is a deeply moving Romantic Drama which sees an old male homosexual couple fall on hardship as their love for each is put to the test at home and work. Playing the couple are ever quirky John Lithgow, as Artist Ben, alongside smouldering English Actor, Alfred Molina (George)- a catholic school music teacher.
It opens with Ben and George getting married after four decades of being together. Their wedding is simple yet charming- much like the apartment they share in lower Manhattan. Matrimony then turns to suffering- George loses his job due to interfering parents disagreeing with his newfound marriage, and shortly thereafter the happy couple are forced to sell their apartment and take up residence at friends’ houses. Ben moves in with nephew Elliott, Elliot’s novelist wife Kate and their awkward teenage son Joey; George, with two free spirited young cops.
The distanced couple stick out like sore thumbs in their new homes- Ben’s aimless mumbles and irregular sleeping pattern distract from Kate’s writing and Joey’s sense of privacy, while George, unable to get some peace and quiet amid the partying cops, resorts to buying take-out food and locking himself away in his bedroom. Treasuring the small , sneak-away moments they have together, Ben and George cuddle, exchange long, loving glances and reminisce on the past over cocktails and wine.
Un-accustomed to seeing on-screen gay relationships, I felt certain that Love Is Strange would make for uncomfortable viewing, but to my surprise I strangely warmed to Ben and George and felt their relationship expressed a pure, good natured sense of companionship. The film, it must be said, leases new life into a genre long governed by code and convention, replacing the “couple meet- get together- have a tiff – then live happily ever after“ cliché with a much more believable, if not melancholy tale of temporal love.
It carries powerful performances, some beautiful, meditative sequences, and at no point stoops to cheesy melodrama. Love is Strange is still at UK cinemas and definitely worth a watch! Check out the trailer for a snapshot of what’s on offer!