After a nearly forty-year relationship, art painter Ben and music teacher George are finally able to tie the knot. However this romantic step has far-reaching consequences: for the Catholic school where George works it is sufficient reason to fire him. The couple can no longer afford their apartment in Manhattan and are forced to sell up and look for affordable rental accommodation, an almost impossible feat in New York. While trying to arrange this they need temporary accommodation. George moves in with a couple he knows. Ben ends up with his cousin Elliot and Elliot’s wife Kate, where he has to share the bunk bed with their irritable teenage son. While Ben and George are both struggling to deal with the pain of their temporary separation, and their relationship is being put to the test, it soon becomes apparent that they are not the only ones who have a problem with the new living arrangements.
With humour and honest intimacy, director Ira Sachs manages to avoid the pitfalls of a sentimental sitcom. Love is Strange is a subtle and touching portrait of a modern marriage. Actors John Lithgow and Alfred Molina portray Ben and George so well and convincingly that you would willingly offer your own house at the drop of a hat to help them out. A wonderful feel-good movie that provides a charming portrait of life in New York City. (AB)