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Two Lovers (2009)

August 29, 2009

8/10 Straight Playas

Caught this on a plane last week, had no expectations going into it, and was totally impressed by everything about it. So thanks, Aer Lingus, you guys are alright.

Two Lovers is about a bipolar thirty-something guy living in his parents’ apartment, struggling to figure out what to do with his life when these two women walk into his life and things get complicated. One woman, the daughter of his father’s business partner – a good girl, someone to settle down with, a sure thing. The other woman, a neighbor in his apartment building whose boyfriend is married with children and continually jerks her around – a risky bet, but he’s crazy about her all the same.

And that’s what it’s about. Pretty simple premise, but then again, juggling lovers and emotions amongst three people at the same time isn’t a very black-and-white affair (pun intended, I guess).

I think one of the big reasons I liked this movie is because it’s essentially about one of my favorite movie topics: real people with real problems. True love and broken hearts are two things that will never go out of style, and it’s great to come across a movie like this that makes it feel so genuinely, painfully real.

The script is unpredictable, the characters all have their own credible hangups, and the actors really make it all come together beautifully. Not counting her bit role in Iron Man, it’s nice to see Gwyneth Paltrow back in the game here as the woman with the two-timing boyfriend, especially since she’s doing a great job of slowly convincing the world she’s fucking nuts in real life. And this woman, Vinessa Shaw, who I can only really remember as one of the women who gets brutally messed up in The Hills Have Eyes remake, is good too as the other woman caught up in the love triangle. So props to you, ladies.

But the real wonderful surprise in all of this is Joaquin Phoenix. Maybe I just need to go watch more stuff he’s been in aside from Walk The Line and Gladiator, but damn, he is one hell of an actor. This is the best I’ve ever seen him, and even though I’m not bipolar and have no idea what that must be like, he does a freakin’ great job of capturing and expressing the subtle change from anguish and elation that his character is constantly going through.

And that whole thing about him being done with acting so that he can pursue a rap career as MC Hobo Stylee? Total bullshit. He’ll be back.

I guess that Two Lovers is great because, more than anything, it’s a breath of fresh air. It’s not sappy, everything about it feels very honest and heartfelt, it had me completely invested and sympathizing with the characters, and even though it’s probably not the most happy-go-lucky date movie of the year, I just totally enjoyed myself with this movie. Maybe not enjoyed, but I was pleasantly surprised all the same.

So go check it out. Joaquin has a kickass breakdancing scene in it, too. And I know how much you all love watching famous people breakdance.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2009 11:51 am

    I reviewed this and thought the same thing except at times by the end I felt his decision of who he wanted to be with was a little too clear. But overall good movie and good review.

    • August 31, 2009 9:30 am

      Thanks, man. The ending actually had me thinking long after the movie was over. Thought it was pretty ambiguous how he was feeling and what he was going to do next even after he proposed. Idk, I liked it. Good movie though.


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