29 September 2019 | rooprect
Finally, a love story about normal people
I use the word "normal" to mean "real world normal", meaning NOT perfect. These people have issues, they don't know necessarily what they're doing with their lives, they are on medication, the film begins with a suicide attempt. And yes, in the real world this is certainly more normal than chasing through an airport to a swelling symphonic soundtrack and declaring a perfectly rehearsed monologue to the person you love, followed by rapturous applause from everyone at the gate. "Two Lovers", while lacking in the sort of clichés and melodrama that makes theatergoers all starry-eyed, delivers one of the best love stories I've seen on the big screen.
Don't be fooled by the title; this is not a steamy tale of infidelity and illicit passion. It's about a person who is faced with a mostly theoretical choice between 2 lovers. We've all been there. Whether you're married, in a new relationship, playing the field or just dreaming "what if", in matters of the heart there's the sure thing, and then there's the crazy impulsive route.
Jonquin Phoenix plays "Leonard", a man whose life recently underwent an upheaval and who simultaneously meets 2 women: "Sandra" who is the sure thing (Vinessa Shaw) and "Michelle" who is the crazy route (Gwynneth Paltrow). As the relationships slowly develop (very slowly, at a real world pace), we start to see the conflict not in terms of passion & romance but in terms of life choices.
Refreshingly, Leonard is a character who knows what he wants from the beginning, so the audience isn't insulted with annoying "what should I do" scenes. Rather, Michelle is the one who represents the unknown, speculative bet in Leonard's world. As the story progresses, all of Leonard's actions are consistent with his feelings, and it's just a matter of seeing how things will play out. Again, this is such a great, unusual, non-Hollywood approach to love stories which, if you really analyze your own experiences, is probably much more in line with the way you handle yourself.
Despite this stability of the main character, the story remains unpredictable right up to the final minute. No sappy airport chase scenes here, but I guarantee you'll be riveted in the final act. If you want to see a story that you can apply to your own love life, regardless of your situation, check this out for some deep insight.