There are films that you forget the moment you leave the theater. There are movies that linger in your mind for days. And occasionally, there are lovely pieces of cinema that leave you quietly weeping in the theater and make you want to invite everyone you know to Go See It!
But for Love is Strange, you can’t. Because this tale of love separated by Catholic hypocrisy and the trails of one family trying to cope with a lack of privacy (and the greater problem–a lack of communication) is rated R. Only in America would a scene of two men in a loving marriage sharing a bed and a few chaste kisses warrant a protection from teenagers seeing it alone! Please, go enjoy wanton violence and destruction in Transformers (PG-13!) but stay away from films that might increase your understanding of gay love.
Stepping down off my soap box. Please take your teens to see this. There is a subplot involving a moody teen that will interest them with an amazing performance by the young Charlie Tahan. His scene at the end of the film will break your heart. This quietly affecting story of long-term love; a partnership that has survived the test of infidelity but now must face homelessness, is a far-better life lesson than the teen soap operas The Fault is in Our Stars or If I Stay. John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are endearing and Marisa Tomei is the working mom who must try to navigate this challenging situation. Beautifully-acted with no need for car chases or mysteries, director Ira Sachs has crafted a wonderful movie. Love is Strange deserves to be seen by a wide audience.
Rating: 4 glasses of wine
Bechdel Rating: passes