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Love Is Strange | 2014 | R | - 3.2.5

After 39 years as a couple two gay men (John Lithgow and Alfred Molina) finally marry. That's when one loses his job teaching at a Catholic school and the couple must sell their apartment and one man moves in with two gay policemen (Cheyenne Jackson and Manny Perez), while the other joins his nephew (Darren Burrows) and endures the ire of the nephew's wife (Marisa Tomei). Also with Charlie Tahan, Harriet Samson Harris, Christian Coulson, Eric Tabach and Christina Kirk. Directed by Ira Sachs. [1:38]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - Two older gay men who have just been married sing "Baby, You're the One" at a piano; they hug several times and kiss each other at the end of the song for several seconds and they hold hands. Two married men talk about their fidelity and one man apologizes for having had affairs with other men, but reminds his husband that he was always honest about the affairs; the other man says the affairs were obvious from the sexually transmitted disease the unfaithful man caught and the black eye the unfaithful man received from one partner and had to explain when he got home; they walk along a sidewalk, and stop and kiss on the lips twice, with a loud smacking noise.
 In a lower bunk bed, two clothed men lie side-by-side, talking and caressing each other's faces before they go to sleep; one man says that the teen boy who owns the bed would not appreciate him breaking the bed in attempting "to shag" (we not see any act). Two men lie beside each other in a bed, the first man rises and removes his T-shirt (we see his bare side and part of his chest and abdomen in profile) and the camera cuts to the shower, where we see the man's chest.
 A man kisses another man on the cheek at a party and later, the second man tickles the first man's bearded chin. Two men dance at a party and kiss each other on the cheek; an older man tells a younger man that he and his family call two gay police officers (who are also his relatives) at the party "The police women." A teen boy and a teen girl kiss briefly on a sidewalk, then ride their skateboards side-by-side down a quiet street. A husband and his wife sit in bed; he kisses her cheek and goes to sleep.
 A man lies on his back in a bunk bed and wearing long pajama bottoms and shirtless (we see his bare chest). In a shower scene, we see the shoulders, arms and partial back of a younger man with tattoo designs.
 A teen boy enters the home of another teen boy and says, "I found some cool naked pictures'" (we do not see the pictures). A man takes an older man to look at an apartment for rent, where the younger man says his boyfriend broke up with him, but now does not want him to take a job in Mexico City; he says he is going to Mexico anyway. An elderly man asks a teen boy if he's ever been in love and the boy says that he is not gay and the man says he did not mean to imply such; the boy describes watching a teen girl windsurf at the beach and finding the girl watching him one day as he rode a jet ski; the man asks if he will say "hello" the next time he sees her and the boy replies that he does not know and the elderly man says that he should.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - An elderly man gathers his easel, paints, and stool from a rooftop and struggles with a rusty door to a stairway; we see the door close from the outside as he enters the staircase and we hear a muffled thud before we see a physician in a waiting room speaking to the man's family; the doctor states that the man damaged a shoulder joint and actually fainted on the staircase, so he needs a referral to a cardiologist; we later see the man with his arm in a sling and a scratch on his forehead while he tells someone on the phone that he needs surgery.
 A male teacher fired from a Catholic church school for marrying another man argues briefly with his priest and then leaves the building. Several family members argue about living arrangements for their two aging uncles who have had to sell their apartment and one woman shouts loudly at another woman as the scene ends. A woman speaks sharply to an older man and one night after dinner the woman shouts about having to be in the apartment all day, taking care of him and her teen son, while she really wants to work on her book writing. A teen boy shares his bedroom with his great uncle, but shouts at the man and demands privacy when the man enters the room one night. At a family dinner a man shouts at his teen son for stealing books, but the boy shouts that neither he nor his friend stole any books and he shuts himself in his room. A husband and his wife argue about having a man stay with them. A man at a party remarks to an attendee that he is miserable, waiting for everyone to leave so he can sleep on the couch.
 An elderly man with his arm in a sling walks down a staircase to the subway at night and the screen fades to black and the camera cuts to a teen boy visiting the elderly man's husband in a new apartment and the teen apologizes for not attending the funeral of the elderly man, wanting to remember him as he was when he was alive; the widower says that he thinks that is a good idea and we later see the boy grieving.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 9 F-words and its derivatives, 1 obscene hand gesture, 2 scatological terms, 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (stupid, gay), stereotypical references to men, women, teenagers, senior citizens, gays, the Catholic church, real estate agents, social services workers, workaholics, artists, writers, 5 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, I Still Believe Jesus Christ Is My Lord And Savior, God Bless Him, Speak Of The Devil).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man demands to know from his teen son whether he or his teen friend uses recreational drugs and the son shouts that he does not use drugs. Men and women at a party at an apartment drink wine and champagne, two men at a bar drink a scotch and soda and a vodka and 7-Up, we see a few men and women drinking mixed drinks and bottles of beer at a bar, one family dinner features glasses of white wine (no one drinks), a family dinner features glasses and a bottle of wine and a man drinks, two men and a woman drink wine, men and women dance as they drink from beer bottles and glasses of mixed drinks at several apartment parties, and a man pours clear liquid from a pocket flask into a short glass and we learn that it is turpentine used for mixing oil paints. A woman lights and smokes a cigarette in her dining room while talking on a phone.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Gay marriage, civil rights, prejudice, discrimination, Christianity, Catholic doctrine, loss of income, finding a home, aging, theft, illness, death.

MESSAGE - Some people have died before enjoying their civil rights.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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