By Francine Brokaw
Debra Winger and Tracy Letts star in the drama “The Lovers,” a movie about love and marriage. It’s a look at one couple who are not happy in their marriage but are not ready to call it quits.
Mary (Winger) and Michael (Letts) have been married a long time. Their son is in college and as empty nesters they feel more is needed in their lives. Mary has a lover. And Michael has a lover. Their respective lovers are pleading with them to end the marriage so they can be together all the time. Mary and Michael each decide to tell the other that they want out of the marriage after their son’s upcoming visit.
Then, unexpectedly, Mary and Michael rediscover the love they once shared and while they both continue with their affairs, they also reconnect with each other. So Mary is carrying on a passionate relationship with Michael and Robert (Aidan Gillen) while Michael is carrying on with Mary and Lucy (Melora Walters). The question viewers will undoubtedly have is whether they will – and should – stay married or split up once and for all. They seem to be rekindling the spark they had years ago.
The film is intense and slow moving. It isn’t something that will keep everyone’s attention. There are some cute scenes, especially once Mary and Michael start their re-romance. But on the whole it’s a pretty sad comment on the characters. They aren’t happy with each other and they aren’t happy without each other.
A bonus feature takes viewers behind the scenes of the film. When all is said and done, critics have been very kind to this movie, but I cannot be that kind. It is not something I would recommend to the average viewer. If, on the other hand, films focused on inner relationships with an entire cast of dysfunctional characters are something you enjoy, then definitely seek this out. It is an interesting look at love and marriage, and two people who simply cannot break apart yet they cannot stay together. What will they do?
“The Lovers” is available on Blu-ray and DVD.