User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18

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  1. Sep 3, 2014
    6
    Despite strong performances all around, believably heartfelt chemistry between the leads and beautiful cinematography, "Love Is Strange" nevertheless never reaches its potential. The film incorporates many plot elements that are never fully (nor satisfactorily) resolved (many of which don't feel genuine to start with). Sadly, this disappointing offering doesn't fully make use of the resources it has available to it, coming across like a missed opportunity to chart territory that has never been adequately explored on screen. Expand
  2. Aug 23, 2014
    7
    "Love is Strange" stars John Lithgow, Alfred Molina and Marisa Tomei in this story of a marriage of two men who have lived together for 39 years and, under the newly enacted New York law, are able to formally solidify their relationship in a more traditional manner. The problems the two encounter could befall any married couple so this is really not a gay movie but the story of a married couple who happen by chance to be gay. It is also the story of true love and the caring and affection that only beautful relationships can bring about. Unfortunately, this lovely and sensitive story, told in a better way, would have made a better film. One can only blame the writers, Ira Sachs (who is also the director) and Mauricio Zacharias and/or the editor for preventing this movie from realizing its potential. The continuity and ease of understanding are significantly absent from the film so that the viewer must assume and imagine that which could easily have been shown in an added scene or two. This is even more disturbing when you have such fine performances given by Messrs. Molina and Lithgow and Ms. Tomei all of whom are exemplary in the roles they play. I give the film a 7 simply because too many questions are posed for the viewer to try to answer and too many inconsistencies exist for the viewer to follow. Had these writing/editing problems been solved, the film would indeed be worthy of a much higher rating. Expand
  3. Sep 24, 2014
    6
    John Lithgow and Alfred Molina play a New York couple who've been together 39 years. When they finally get married, one of them loses his job at a Catholic school and they're forced to temporarily separate and live with friends or family. The movie sensitively explores the challenges that they and their hosts face. There is conflict and drama, but a surprising amount of objective, somewhat tedious observation. The unexpected breaks in the storyline undermine the narrative momentum. The actors all do a fine, understated job, but the emotional core is missing. Expand
  4. Aug 22, 2014
    9
    Likely the first must-see film of the year. Molina and Lithgow are simply outstanding in this love story that doesn't quite go the way you'd expect it to. I'm definitely interested to see where this director's career will go.
  5. Sep 2, 2014
    8
    Love is Strange is made in the style of a Woody Allen drama, but not as strong as Woody's best work. Lithgow and Molina are wonderful as the two geriatric gay men who have lived together nearly 40 years, only to have to separate temporarily when one of them loses their job. They each move in with a different family member, and each one has different problems with their new living arrangements. Some of the camera shots seemed exceedingly long to me, and some of the characters and storyline felt underdeveloped, but I still enjoyed the film overall. Not a film I would want to see again, as the various family members were very annoying. Expand
  6. Sep 21, 2014
    7
    A very good movie that could have been excellent. It is a love story of two gay partners of nearly 40 years living in New York. After they get married, one of them who works as a music teacher in a Catholic church, gets fired once his marriage becomes public. They are forced to move out and, while looking for new living arrangements, they live separately with their relatives. The movie is sincere and sensitive, acting is top-notch. The script could have been better. While most of the movie look authentic and true, some episodes are not realistic. Nevertheless we might see this film in the Oscar list, at least in a few categories. Expand
  7. Sep 13, 2014
    8
    Slow-moving and uneventful, Love is Strange still manages to be a tender, heartfelt slice of life masterpiece with incredible performances and true love that will make you think about your own relationships.
  8. Sep 4, 2014
    9
    Perhaps one of the most honest and true love stories ever brought to the screen. With Ira Sachs' direction, this film soars through life's challenges and are upheld with truly wonderful performances from its cast.
  9. Sep 5, 2014
    5
    “Love Is strange” could have, and would have, been an excellent movie. By no means is the movie a long one, running one hour and forty minutes, but seems much longer. Director Ira Sachs, who isn’t an amateur by any means, includes ’artistic’ scenes that aren’t necessary, which slows the movie down , instead of concentrating and telling a bit more of the two main characters stories.

    Ben,
    (John Lithgow), and George, (Alfred Molina), could be any couple who have been together for 39 years. The film opens on the day of their marriage, which has separated them from being ‘any couple’, celebrated with family and friends. The two actors are completely believable in their roles from how they interact with and towards each other, warts and all. Unfortunately George teaches music at a Catholic school where they know about the couple but with the marriage George has made a public ‘statement’ and he is fired. Ben is retired and to get the movie going they are forced to separate, temporarily, after they have to sell their condo.

    George goes to live with the two gay policemen, Cheyenne Jackson and Manny Perez, living on the floor below them who party, always have the TV going and play loud music while George likes peace and quiet. Ben moves in with his nephew, Elliot, (Darren Burrows), his wife, Kate ((Marisa Tomei) and their teenage son Joey (Charlie Tahan), the latter given a ‘red herring’ storyline. Elliot is very seldom home, Kate works from home and being a teenage Joey and his friend Vlad, Eric Tabach, want to be alone in the former’s room, where Ben sleeps in the lower bed of a bunk bed, though why, being an only child, there is a bunk bed is never explained. Ben is use to George always being there for him, to listen to him and fill the many needs he has.

    As we get to feel the loneliness, the strain of living apart between George and Ben, we understand Ben’s saying, “Sometimes when you live with people, you get to know them better than you want/care to.” Through many small moments we get to know the deepness of the men’s relationships and, though on a smaller scale, the relationships of others.

    There are no big dramatic moments in “Love Is Strange” on screen but two major developments take place off screen robbing the audience which would have added much more to the film than the 3 not needed artistic scenes.

    The actors are all first rate but it is the natural performances of Lithgow and Molina that make this a film worth seeing. I am sure they will be remembered come award time. They make their small moments all seem meaningful, allowing us to get to know them as individuals and as a couple.

    “Love Is Strange” is one of the better gay themed films but more than being a ’gay’ film it is a film about love between two people and is for all old married couples, young couples or singles who want to be just that.
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  10. Sep 17, 2014
    5
    What starts out promising to be an unusual examination of old age between two married gay men soon veers of into a different area entirely by introducing sub text about familial responsibility. The film has an air of artiness about it which is undermined by pedestrian plotting and drawn out scenes which lead to obvious conclusions. Fine actors John Lithgow and Alfred Molina provide some lovely moments, but in all honesty both have been better. This is rather surprising considering the possibilities these roles afforded them. They come across as just to knowing. Only Marisa Tomei really impresses in what could have amounted to a nothing mother role. In her hands she manages to build bricks without straw and is quietly brilliant.
    The film is also not served well by a score that tends to embalm the drama rather than eking out its subtleties. Following the demise of a key character emotions are evoked successfully, but the subsequent ending is stranger than the love story in this earnest little drama ever is.
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  11. Aug 31, 2014
    10
    Mike and I saw "Love is Strange" today at an early show in Evanston, and we think it's a great film that deserves all the great reviews it's been getting. It's a touching story of an aging gay couple who find themselves having to live with relatives and friends after the breadwinner loses his job as a music teacher at a Catholic school, because he made it public that he married his partner of forty years. Marisa Tomei's performance as the neice in law is a great performance. Alfred Molina and John Lithgow actually have screen chemistry because they are good friends in real life. The tenderness portrayed in this film is accented by the classical piano soundtrack. It's scares me that many people in the real world become desperate after losing their jobs, that this story comes off as almost true to life. Mike and I were touched by how gentle this couple is to each other. It's certainly a film about gay marriage that the American public should watch, if they only stop being so discriminatory to be more open minded. This is a great film, and I loved it like a great realistic novel where you get to know the characters, and care for them deeply. This is one great film!

    I just spent the last hour on www.metacritic.com/movie/love-is-strange reading raving reviews from all over the country about this movie. They all love the simple details of this romantic realist story about a couple going through difficult times, that many critics say this story is deeply human and universal, and shouldn't be seen as just a "gay marriage" movie. It's more than that. It's a deeply human story! It's soundtrack of classical piano make the simplest gestures of these characters heartwarming and heartbreaking, as when John Lithgow's character reaches out an grabs Alfred Molina's character(George) in a public place at a music concert. The music is so romantic, but the story is so real, and when these characters sweeten up to each other, we wish the best for them, and it breaks our hearts. Critics love this movie, and for a good cause. This is one expertly described film. The performance by the nephew becomes more and more moving as the film goes on. The path of love never did run smooth, as Shakespeare wrote in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and that's so true for this movie. Go see it if you can.

    Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.
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  12. Sep 20, 2014
    8
    Terrific character driven film. Molina and Lithgow are so intimate and credible as a longtime couple.
    The story is hard to bear, as NY real estate realities impinge on both characters lives, splitting them up.
    We then explore their situations, neither comfortable. You feel these characters in their bones and how they miss each other. A wonderful love story, as each tries to make a life
    apart. This film moves slowly but with great force. I wish we had more American films like this. Expand
  13. Oct 21, 2014
    8
    Time. Patience. Frustration. Love. Acceptance. -- these are the things that Love Is Strange concerns itself with, and Ira Sachs explores them all with an effortless script that so wonderfully leaves room for interpretation of each.
  14. Oct 6, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. My husband and I were SO looking forward to seeing this film and just as disappointed. Were Lithgow and Molina in great form? Yes. Does this make it a terrific movie? No. I'm not an idiot; I appreciate movies that feel "real," as if the viewer had dropped in to people's lives at some important moment. But, these particular people? Who cares. Afterwards, my husband and I went to dinner and got hysterical, trying to make sense of what we had just seen. Spoiler alert: Why would Alfred Molina's character NOT know the details of his co-op mortgage and why would his real estate agent allow him to make such miscalculations in the sale? Why don't these men have any friends of their own age? Why would two people who just got married, split up, albeit temporarily, for ANY reason. They could have become pet sitters for affluent out-of-town New Yorkers, for God's sake. Why does an only child with no friends sleep in a bunk bed? Why would two boys steal books in French when they could have taken them out of the Public Library? And, WHY OH WHY would someone, whose life-partner has a heart condition AND one arm in a sling, stand and watch their beloved walk down steep subway stairs and go, by himself, back home, after having a drink? Puhleeze. AND, any New Yorker knows that a rent-controlled apartment cannot be handed over to anyone new, unless they are a family member who has lived in the apartment for years and received mail there. Building management companies watch those rent-controlled apartments like hawks, waiting for the residents to die so they can bring the apartment up to current value. What the heck? Do none of those details matter when writing a script? And, as we sat there, my husband and I came up with a number of gay actors who could have played these parts. Are critics too scared to negatively review a film about such a "precious" topic? And, frankly, having known and loved many gay male friends, where were their outrageous senses of humor? It would have kept this slow-moving film from being, ultimately, a complete downer. Expand
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Oct 3, 2014
    40
    Love is Strange doesn't really have any sort of sense of urgency about it. To the contrary, it feels rather mundane, as their problems -- while both unfortunate and unfair -- feel relatively small when put in perspective.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Frankl
    Sep 22, 2014
    80
    Sachs and Love Is Strange co-writer Mauricio Zacharias craft an intergenerational love story believably told and immaculately acted.
  3. Reviewed by: Nathalie Atkinson
    Sep 18, 2014
    75
    Throughout, Sachs is quietly observational – the film’s emotional power coming from its rich but unshowy performances.