19 November 2014 | comicman117
Strong Performances Help What Could Have Been An Average Film
Love Is Strange is a good quiet film that's elevated by strong performances from its leads (John Lithgow and Alfred Molina) and supporting cast. The film is also a well-made "gay" film, dealing with the subject of same-sex relationship without making the characters straight-up stereotypes. Love Is Strange is a good movie overall, even if the film is real nothing special.
Love Is Strange tells the story of gay lovers, Ben played by John Lithgow a painter and George played by Alfred Molina a music teacher, who finally tie the knot after living together for some time. Only things get complicated when George is fired from his position as a music teacher. This forces the two to live separately from each other, with George living with two cops played by Cheyenne Jackson and Manny Perez), and Ben living with his nephew played by Darren Burrows, wife played by Marisa Tomei, and their son played by Charlie Tahan, as the two try to look for cheaper housing.
The two lead performances by Lithgow and Molina feel very natural and real as does their chemistry as lovers. Even though the two share little scenes together (being separated throughout most of the film), you can tell that Ben and George are genuinely in love with each other. The scene where the two hug is quite touching. While Marisa Tomei gives a natural well layered, good performance as a mother who feels a little bit disconnected from her family. Her best scene is when she complains to her husband about how he's too soft on his uncle Ben. Darren Burrows is also another good standout as Joey, Tomei's son in the film who has a bit too many problems that he's hiding from his family.
Some of the shots in Love Is Strange are nice. The opening sequence with a shot of the legs of the two main characters (Ben and George) sleeping together in their bed was well done. While there's another nice quiet scene where Ben is shown painting. The short scene consists of little dialogue and just music played in the background.
Love Is Strange doesn't really tackle the gay subject matter all that much, but it doesn't play it up either. Very few times throughout the film is the word gay actually said, and because of this, I appreciate Love Is Strange.
One of the best things about the film it's score. Although the score is very limited and small, it consists of classical music, primarily that of a piano. This helps to give certain scenes a nice feeling. Additionally, the use of classical music in the film makes sense considering that George is a music teacher himself.
Love Is Strange is a very quiet and understated film. While not perfect, the film is helped by its lead performances and is overall enjoyable to watch.