Azael Jacobs' "The Lovers"




I saw Azael Jacobs' "The Lovers" a few weeks ago at a morning screening over at the Loews Boston Commons. The fact that I didn't really write anything about it until now is somewhat of a curiosity, but don't be fooled by my tardiness,  Jacobs' film is inherently a total and utter pleasure. It starts off as a been-there-done-that American middle class depiction about, gosh, unsatisfactory suburban angst, but eventually, surprisingly, finds its groove as it goes along. 

The plot is simple: Husband and wife both have affairs, they eventually discover about each other's marital backstabbing, which, consequentially, brings a new found spark to their marriage. Like all marriages, it can never be as simple as that, finding that spark back in the blink of an eye, there will always be ups and downs in trying to reattain your marital footing. 

The long-married couple are passionately, at times dispassionately, played by Tracy Letts and Debra Winger, both finding the coldness, warmth and wit needed to pull off the whole thing. They're both on the brink of calling it quits, but the aforementioned spark that happens feels so real, almost euphoric in a way, that you too feel the endorphin rush that must be criss-crossing through their brains at that very moment. We've all had it in our lives, the feeling of adulation, lust if you will, shared with a member of the opposite sex. Your heart beats faster, your libidinous urge is on high-cruise control and you just can't wait to see each other again. The twist here is that happens at the expense of the couple's "lovers," who happen to be bewildered and, do you blame them, frustrated by the outcome of the situation. 

Jacobs, who directed 2011's vastly underseen "Terri," brings the same warmth to character that he showcased in that beautifully realized film. Although vastly younger than the characters he's depicting, Jacobs is 45, his knowledgeable approach to the subject matter is impressive. With each passing film, "The Lovers" is his fourth feature length venture, he showcases an independent vision that seems all too rare at the multiplex these days. 

Archive