The Lovers is basically a perfect movie, at least from where I sit on the couch and watch movies. Everything clicked into high-gear with this one, from the skillful leading performances by Debra Winger and Tracy Letts, to the observant writing and patient direction from Azazel Jacobs, who after some sterling work on HBO’s underrated Doll & Em, has stepped up his game even further, crafting a decidedly adult movie for these increasingly infantile times. This wasn’t exactly the film I thought it would be, so as a result, I’m not going to get into any major plot specifics, outside of stating that Winger and Letts play a long-time married couple who are experiencing a very interesting and challenging period in their relationship, with side entanglements in full swing, and a visiting, college-aged son with new girlfriend in town for the weekend.
This is a dark, deeply layered, sexually provocative film that asks some bold questions about life, lust, passion, and what the word “love” truly means. It explores sex with the older-set in a manner that not many recent films have, or at least that I’ve seen. I love how Jacobs continually challenged my expectations of what I assumed would go down with this narrative, and I find myself gravitating more and more to smaller films like this one as opposed to whatever is being offered up on 4,000 screens on any given Friday. Honestly – there’s nothing “wrong” with this movie – you either dig it, or not. This is perceptive, hilarious storytelling that isn’t afraid to punch you in the gut from time to time, and I absolutely loved every millisecond of The Lovers. That Final Scene!
Review by Nick Clement