The Lovers bills itself as a comedy.
I say "Hold on.....a comedy?"
How about a powerful drama with some smirk inducing moments. That's closer.
Debra Winger (Terms of Endearment, Urban Cowboy) is Mary, a wife of many years going through the motions, dispassionate about everything to do with her husband Michael, superbly played by Actor/brilliant playwright Tracy Letts. Don't get me started on how jaw-dropping his stage play "August Osage County" was on Broadway, I'll still be talking hours from now. The man is a modern day O'Neill in my opinion, a genius. Okay, back to the movie at hand.
Winger and Letts are both fantastic here with the smallest nuance of their spousal interactions. They dont fight so much as co-exist. They don't care enough to despise each other.
All their passions are saved for their current affairs, both of which they've hidden from their significant other.
Mary is in a passionate affair with a younger writer Robert, superbly played by Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger for all you "Game of Thrones" fans out there). Robert loves Mary and aches for them to be together all the time, but he does so more respectfully and quietly than Lucy, Michael's unhinged emotional tornado of a mistress.
Lucy is perfectly played by Melora Walters (Big Love, Magnolia) who smashes every emotional note from depressed to manic, often in the same moments.
When our spouses suddenly find a spark between them, their surprise and happiness in the resurfacing of old emotions is powerful to watch.
As promises to leave their spouses pass on the calendar, all four people are forced to examine what they really want in their lives.
A visit from Mary and Michael's son (a great Tyler Ross from TV's "The Killing" and "Zombieland") serves as a turning point for all the players.
The course these people take is nearly always unpredictable, surprising and filled with moments that are joyous and shattering, just like real life.
I don't know Writer/Director Azazal Jacobs, but he certainly took me on a journey here. I knew I had really grown to know these characters when some of their actions made me so mad I wanted to stop watching.
It's not a Hollywood romance, it's real life.
It's not a comedy, but it's pretty brilliant in all the right exasperating, dramatic and powerful ways that an independent movie can be.
Adult, frank and rather depressing, it reminds me a bit of Paul Thomas Anderson's "Magnolia" and Todd Solondz' disturbing "Happiness" in exploring the socially unacceptable and uncompromising ways that love can express itself.
The Lovers get an A.