25 November 2014 | rubenm
Heartfelt story of human interaction
There is only one thing I didn't like about this film: the title. It's so bland. And it doesn't even have anything to do with what this film is about. It's not about a strange love affair, but about a very normal one.
Apart from that, I liked everything about 'Love is Strange'. It is a film about how people live, love, talk, help each other out, appreciate each other and sometimes work on each other's nerves. Maybe that doesn't sound too exciting, but it's enough to keep on watching, and be moved by what you see.
The film tells the story of an older couple, who are forced to leave their Manhattan apartment after one of them is fired from his teaching position. They temporarily move in with relatives and neighbours, until they have found a new place of their own. The film shows the interaction between civilized and polite people who are all perfectly willing to help each other, but nevertheless are increasingly annoyed by the uneasy situations caused by the arrangement.
Some scenes are funny in an understated way, and make you softly chuckle in your seat. Others are emotional, but never melodramatic. I think the word that best describes the general mood of the picture is 'heartfelt'. The director does a perfect job in balancing the emotions. Some scenes are very elongated and show little action, which gives an intense effect in combination with the wonderful and very prominent soundtrack consisting of piano pieces by Chopin. The music has a special meaning, because it is the music that one of the lead characters teaches his piano pupils.
The couple is gay, but that doesn't really matter. The film could just as well have been about a straight couple, with some minor script changes. But the couple fits in perfectly in the liberal, open minded, intellectual New York circles where the movie is set. (The sort of people who think it's almost impossible to survive in Poughkeepsie when you're used to Manhattan). In fact, those are exactly the same circles Woody Allen prefers for his films, and sometimes 'Love is Strange' reminded me of Allen's best films, like 'Blue Jasmine', minus the usual neurotic behaviour by the lead characters.