‘The Lovers’ is a love story in reverse – an affair that goes backwards. I like its idea and concept. I like its stars, Tracy Letts and especially Debra Winger. They play a married couple on the verge of finally separating, each with their respective lovers. But you know what they say – you always want what you cannot have. So they have become attracted again to each other, to the point that they are ‘now’ cheating from the people they are cheating with. I know it sounds complicated, but it’s really not – these characters are probably more attracted to the idea of being with the ones they shouldn’t be with. It’s kind of a cute – but serious – concept. But somehow the screenplay betrays it – it should be funnier or more serious, and never gets off the ground. Both actors try to work around that, and because of their efforts we get a half-baked affair instead of a Sylvia Weinstein creation.
I have a friend who saw this movie and absolutely hated it, saying these people are despicable and the whole movie is one hundred minutes of wasted time. I wouldn’t go that far. As a matter of fact, the movie isn’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’ enough to warrant that kind of passionate reaction from me. Sure, I think it’s a little bit of a wasted opportunity, but I just shrugged it and went to my next movie.