Film Review: The Lovers

The Lovers
Directed by Azazel Jacobs
Starring Debra Winger, Tracy Letts, Aidan Gillen, and Melora Walters


And they were happy forever … but not in the real life, right? The Lovers tells the story of an elderly married couple who have both had adulterous affairs outside their relationship. They’re just waiting for their son to come home again so they can tell him that they are finally separating. But suddenly, their relationship suddenly reignites — and everything changes.

Debra Winger and Tracy Letts play a duo that lived together for many years but don’t seem to know each other anymore. Watching the two of them in the same room is like watching a sex scene with your parents. Despite the qualities that suggest they’re total strangers, the movie reveals the duo are exactly the same: both engaged in secret affairs, experiencing problems at work, and disenchanted with life. Even the people they’re cheating on each other with are part of the same sphere: Winger’s character is entangled with an apparently unsuccessful poet and Letts’ with a lonely ballet teacher.

One of the best things about the movie is that you can’t guess the ending until you see it. And, though a glance at the film’s synopsis might suggest viewers are in for a heavy story, the film’s delivery is funny, fresh, and contemporary. Along with the composition of the characters, the clean photography and music work to turn a delicate theme into a renewing narrative.

The switch from almost-separated-couple to impetuous lovers might be seen as too unrealistic, but it’s not as far-fetched as it seems. Although this couple may have born in the 1950s, this story could be easily lived by people of any generation in long-term relationships.

Interestingly, the film resonates with the spirit of moment-to-moment dating trends: when we live in such a fast-paced world, where anyone with an internet connection can find a date by swiping right, it’s easy to replace “the one” by another, newer “the one.” The Lovers suggests that we may just need a third perspective to show us that what we have is worthwhile. But this contentment lasts only until the next moment of doubt — which for the titular lovers presents itself at the movie’s climax.

Every relationship has its ups and downs. Some people say it just takes time to manage; others say it takes other people— there’s no formula. But whether you watch the movie and try to make your own deep conclusions about love and loss or just want to laugh with some silly moments and great interpretations, The Lovers is a film you’ll love every moment of.