After Ben and George get married, George is fired from his teaching post, forcing them to stay with friends separately while they sell their place and look for cheaper housing — a situation that weighs heavily on all involved.
A slow and simple film depicting the strength you can find in a relationship when life throws obstacles at you, and the difficulties faced in gaining perspective and understanding while making small but necessary sacrifices for family. The film is crisply shot, lots of long and artistic cinematic shots, set to a tinkering piano backdrop in lower Manhattan – it is a very mature affair and a breath of fresh air.
Molina and Lithgow were outstanding in every scene they shared, there seemed to be a genuine tenderness and you felt their love for one another. The topic of same-sex marriage is still a relatively contested issue in the states as I understand it, but at no point did this become just about that. It was almost a given that they would get married, it was normal, it happened, people got on with it and celebrated it. I think this was the correct choice to go down that path, and a far stronger message than making that moment controversial. It demonstrated that really there is no difference, and while it is a big deal, it really only should be a big deal for those actually involved. The controversy as it were, was brought up in a different environment, showing that the battle is not nearly over.
Marisa Tomei and Darren E. Burrows played the supporting roles well, and acted as a great second dimension to the film as they struggled to handle their sons behaviour as well as Lithgow occupying their living space temporarily. The tension in this instance was accentuated by the situation they had been placed in; little mannerisms and quips chiseled and grated away. As the viewer you are torn, initially it started out quite funny to observe, but looking on at this situation you can relate to it, you feel both sets of frustrations and end up being able to empathise with both sides. People like this are only human, and so unaware that these things are getting to you that it continues and gets worse. Once you have this feeling in your head, it is difficult to shake it off and regain perspective.
It is a tender yet bittersweet tale, an expertly told story regarding the importance of family, the trials and tribulations of marriage and above all else, how nice it is to find ‘true love’. This is not your typical romantic drama, nor is there anything ‘strange’ about it.
Available to rent from Amazon now at Curzon cinemas.