The Lovers

Bear With It


05 May 2017| No Comments on The Lovers     by Sean Chavel


Tracy Letts (the playwright turned actor) and Debra Winger (the scarcely performing uber actress) play a flatlined married couple who have to get tired of their extramarital lovers before they connect again with each other. The Lovers is a wry and dry comedy that I didn’t like as much as found reason to commiserate with it from time to time. For anybody that has ever looked at their long-term mate, then asked with self-pity, “How did I ever choose this person?” then this film could resonate, if to a limited degree.

No wonder these two are having affairs, because at least when they are with their lovers there’s some spark in their own personalities. Letts and Winger are never more unattractive than when they happen to share the same room together. The first tense, and stinging funny scene, is when Letts’ character Michael arrives home to see his wife Mary in front of the TV with a glass of wine. Each one seems they can’t wait for the other one to stop talking so they don’t have to talk anymore to each other for the remainder of the night. They’re not slinging barbs at each other – this isn’t “The War of the Roses” (1989) – but it is a sorry sight of hypocrisy to watch these two fake cordiality. “I hate you” seems like a more likely aphorism than “I love you,” though no such thing is ever spoken.

It’s by miracle that these two click again, happening on a morning where they accidentally kiss each other. The irony of the story becomes this: the married couple is now cheating on their lovers by having an affair with each other! They are now the lovers. The semi-graphic sex montage would be full-on graphic if the actors weren’t wearing clothing. Both Letts and Winger are suddenly in a marriage renewed, even ardent with each other. However, in the same moment individually and unbeknownst to one another, each are supposed to announce their separation once their son returns on a visit from college with his pretty, well put-together girlfriend (the son is already bitter over them). Do they want to break it up with their lovers and remain married?

Writer-director Azazel Jacobs is hardly a fiery stylist but has talent drawing intimate stories of human interest (I recommend his 2011 film “Terri” which does strike quite a few emotional chords). With “The Lovers” I had my moments of at arm’s length amusement but it doesn’t get under my skin like I wanted it to, and like I hinted it before, it’s a little too dry. Yet I had a few moments of human recognition with it.

97 Minutes. Rated R.


Film Cousins: “Carried Away” (1996); “Unfaithful” (2002); “The Secret Lives of Dentists” (2002); “45 Years” (2015, United Kingdom).

Lovers-2017_ FlickMinute_Indie-Film

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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