"Sometimes, when you live with people, you know them better than you care to, that's all." So says John Lithgow's Ben to Alfred Molina's George in Love Is Strange, co-written and directed by Memphis filmmaker Ira Sachs. Ben and George have been a couple for 39 years. They are now, finally, newlyweds, but their happiness is cut short when old bigotries emerge, and a lost job results in the couple also losing the Manhattan apartment they've shared for 20 years. Forced to live apart, depending on the kindness of old friends and family, the line is whispered regretfully over the telephone, in the dark, and functions as a kind of one-sentence summary for this and every other film Sachs has ever made. The irony, of course, and one of the many things that makes the love Sachs examines in his 2014 film so very strange, is how much we can miss those same people when they aren't around anymore.
Those who missed their opportunity to see Love Is Strange on the big screen in September can catch it in a one-night screening at the Brooks on Thursday, January 8th, at 7 p.m.
Love Is Strange runs just under two hours but covers a lot of ground. It's a film about aging, coming of age, friends, family, the melancholy side of Chopin, and the cold, hard facts of New York real estate. It's a study in awkwardness and a real showcase for veteran actors Lithgow and Molina.