Two Lovers (2008)
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Leonard (Joaquin Phoenix) is a charismatic but troubled young man who moves back into his childhood home following a recent heartbreak. While recovering under the watchful eye of his parents, Leonard meets two women in quick succession: Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), a mysterious and beautiful neighbor who is exotic and out-of-place in Leonard’s staid world, and Sandra (Vinessa Shaw), the lovely and caring daughter of a businessman who is buying out his family’s dry-cleaning business. Leonard becomes deeply infatuated with Michelle, while mounting pressure from his family pushes him towards committing to Sandra. Leonard is forced to make an impossible decision between the impetuousness of desire and the comfort of love, or risk retreating back into heartbreak.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 158
- Fresh: 130
- Rotten: 28
- Average Rating: 6.8/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: If Two Lovers winds up being Phoenix's last movie, at least it offers posterity incontrovertible proof that, once, he was a contender.
Fresh: What elevates Two Lovers beyond the mundane is the strength of the performances.
Fresh: Gray guides his strong cast to a resolution that is both surprising and entirely realistic.
Rotten: Like watching one of those theatre productions in which the child characters are played by adults. Unbearable.
not my cup of tea
i guess this film is supposed to be nakedly honest and liberatingly raw, but to me these characters are unreal. they're too helpless, shy, sad, and vulnerable. don't get me wrong. i love jesse and celine from 'before sunset'. but this feel sless like a story about troubled love nd more like a story about troubled brain chemistry. i'm sorry, but these people won't sem real to people who've never had a breakdown. this type of life is too remote from most people's lives, even the most humane mainstream people. this film is deep only if you think shyness is deep. i find a stylized, biting film like 'closer' deeper because it's closer to my experienc eof heartbreak, which is a bang and not a whimper. So, to me, this isn't realism. It's artificial. I don't know people like this. I feel cheated because I can't identify with these characters. I'm a jock lawyer. I have a heart. I like heartfelt films, but I need characters like me.
I didn't experience the shallow uselessness of half these reviews, nor the brilliant loveliness the other half reported. It's sort of in between. The characters (and their problems and neuroses) are a little too ordinary/boring but it isn't the train wreck "Love & Other Disasters" was, for example.
Naysayers, remember this film before pronouncing the next interesting romance/drama too unrealistic.
gets under your skin
Seems like a simple story but is really more than that. Beautiful filming.