Love Is Strange: Old-Fashioned Gay Melodrama, Well Acted by Lithgow and Molina

Love Is Strange, director Ira Sachs‘s melodrama, is a sensitive, well-acted but an extremely old-fashioned film–despite its new theme of gay marriage and its central gay characters.

Technically speaking, the film is only one notch above TV Movie of the Week, a possible result of the low budget and also Sachs’ lack of sharp helming skills.

When the story begins, Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) take advantage of New York’s new marriage laws and tie the knot after being together for 39 years.

Unfortunately, their joy and happiness is short-lived, as the Catholic school where George teaches does not approve and the administrators reluctantly fire him.  As a result, the couple is forced to split up while they sell their apartment and look for cheaper housing.

George moves in with two friends (Cheyenne Jackson and Manny Perez) while Ben ends up across town with his nephew (Darren Burrows), his wife (Marisa Tomei) and their teenage son with whom Ben shares a bunk bed.

While struggling with the pain of separation, Ben and George are further challenged by the intergenerational tensions and capricious family dynamics of their new living arrangements.