The Lovers is A Crazy Family Affair

Debra Winger and Tracey Letts. Credit: Photo by Robb Rosenfeld, courtesy of A24

The Lovers gives us a new approach to marital themes in a way that is sure to resonate with audiences.

Written and directed by Azazel Jacobs, the film stars Debra Winger, Tracey Letts, Aidan Gillen, Melora Walters, Tyler Ross and Jessica Sula.

What we had already known from the trailer was that both spouses, Michael (Letts) and Mary (Winger) in a marriage were having an extramarital affair.  Their son is coming home and bringing is girlfriend with him.  Both spouses don’t want to tell each other the news until after their son goes leaves.  Of course, it doesn’t work out that way because this is the movies: anything that can go wrong, usually does.

While both spouses are cheating on each other, they start falling in love with each other again.  It just happens out of the blue when you least expect as Michael and Mary find the passion once again but both Winger and Letts just let it play out as we see where their chemistry takes us.

As Michael cheats with a ballet teacher (Melora Walters), Mary is spending time with a novelist (Aidan Gillen).  They spend so much time with their lovers while claiming that they are spending “late nights at the office.”  Only they aren’t.  Soon they find themselves making love to each other and spending more time, thus having to “cheat” on their lovers.  It’s not until they go shopping for food prior to their son’s arrival that Michael realizes Mary is cheating on him.  This really sets the stage for future madness.  What’s going to happen?  Do they stay married or separate?

Jacobs gives us his own take on marriage through The Lovers and it’s a fun ride.  I chose to screen The Lovers over King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and I’m so glad that I did.  He gives us a couple that’s two-timing on their lovers that they are two-timing with.  In what other crazy way could you see such a story on the screen?

“I’m in my 40s now, and I see a lot of people around me splitting up. In a sense, I think writing this film was my way of protesting that,” Jacobs says, “by looking at a love that finds a way to go on even when it appears to have evaporated. I’m also always interested in stepping outside my world and observing people in situations that I’m not in. I was really curious about how a long-married couple functions when their affairs have actually become the routine of the marriage. Michael and Mary have become completely comfortable with having outside lovers, to the point that feeling love for one another becomes an act of subversion.”

I went into this movie expecting that the two would get divorced by the end of the movie.  They split up but the ending is something that’s unexpected.

Premiering during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, A24 launched The Lovers with a limited release on May 5, 2017 before expanding.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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