Rental Review: Two Lovers

Last winter I saw a preview for a movie that looked surprisingly real. A story of a man left by his fiance, and walking through life just trying to numb the pain. Sounds uplifting, no?

When I returned home from the theater I added it to my Netflix queue and now, almost a year later, it arrived in that perfect, red envelope and I finally got to take it in.

"Two lovers" stars Joaquin Phoenix as a depressed man, trying to move forward with his life after a devastating break up. He lives at home with his overbearing, Jewish parents who want nothing more than for him to enter their family dry cleaning business. Things are just getting better for him all the time! They have also decided they'd like for him to date the daughter of their business partner, Sandra.

Joaquin's character, Leonard, is going through the motions when he meets Michelle, a beautiful, damsel in distress who seems shiny, new and exciting. Leonard befriends her and begins to fall in love. He is finally happy about something and he wants that feeling to continue forever.

In the end, Michelle disappoints Leonard, leaving him back at square one. He takes comfort in Sandra, his family's choice for his partner, and decides to let her take care of him, even if she doesn't make his world turn upside (in a good way).

This story about a man searching for a spark, for something to ignite him each day, is painfully true to life. Joaquin Phoenix easily becomes the downtrodden Leonard and you can palpably feel his desperation. I have loved Joaquin since seeing "Inventing the Abbotts" and I would pretty much see any movie he is in.

Gwyneth Paltrow plays Michelle, a self deprecating beauty. It was interesting to see Gwyneth in such an unsympathetic role.

Leonard's other love interest, Sandra, is played by Vanessa Shaw. A lesser known actress who plays this part flawlessly.

"Two lovers" is what I call a "slice of life" movie. No frills, no happy ending, just a raw, genuine look into the lives of a cast of characters. If you can handle the pain, watch and admire these three incredible performances.

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Molly Galler

Welcome to Pop.Bop.Shop. My name is Molly. I’m a foodie, fashionista, pop culture addict and serious travel junkie. I’m a lifelong Bostonian obsessed with frozen confections, outdoor patios, Mindy Kaling, reality television, awards shows, tropical vacations, snail mail and my birthday.

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