Whatever happened to Debra Winger?
After winning fame in “An Officer and a Gentleman” (1982), and “Terms of Endearment” (1983), Winger’s big screen appearances were sporatic. Tinsel Town gab suggested she didn’t want to play the “Hollywood game”. Obviously the actress is cautious in picking roles, and seems to be making somewhat of a “comback” in this romantic comedy for seniors, playing a woman struggling to cope with conflicting desires.
A husband and wife, each embroiled in a secret, extramarital affair, are sent reeling when they suddenly fall for the least likely person imaginable–one another–in this bitingly delicious grown-up comedy that enters the fray where family, love and attraction become madly tangled. Michael (Tony and Pulitzer Prize Award winning playwright Tracy Letts) and Mary (three-time Oscar nominee Debra Winger) are long past passion,never mind patience, after decades of turmoil and tedium in their marriage.
Each is now contentedly distracted by a lover on the side. And each fully intends to call it quits on the other after one last family get-together with their collegiate son. Michael has his hands full with a fiery ballet teacher while Mary is canoodling with a playful novelist – and both have grown bemusingly accustomed to claiming “late nights at the office.” But when the dried-up spark between Michael and Mary unexpectedly, indeed feverishly, reignites, it sends their plans into chaos, forcing them to navigate the gleeful new complications of having to “cheat” on their respective lovers. It all sets the stage for a collision of betrayals and agendas that builds to a laughable conclusion.
“The Lovers” candidly and comically explores just how strange–yet familiar – the bedfellows of love, marriage and enticement can get.
Despite the infidelities, Mary and Michael share a suppressed but lingering attraction. So it’s just about inevitable that one day, out of nowhere, they would find themselves reigniting their passion. And that’s when things get really complicated.
It’s one thing to cheat on a spouse, but to cheat on a lover is relatively uncharted territory. As Mary and Michael sort out their feelings, they must deal with an untimely visit from their judgmental son, Joel. and his peppy girlfriend, Erin.
“The Lovers” acknowledges that romance isn’t limited to people in their 20s and 30s. Working from his own screenplay, director Azazel Jacobs demonstrates a feeling for the ways in which the need for comfort can be compromised by the impulse to break free. Its about an affair –but an affair that heats up, unforeseen, between a disenchanted, dreaming-of-divorce couple who are each already having complicated, adulterous affairs with two other people.
“The Lovers” isn’t about people waking up to their lives—it’s about a couple in their 60s still trying to figure out where true satisfaction might lie, and leaving plenty of emotional wreckage in their wake. This fascinating tale of domestic upheaval is all the more transfixing because it’s committed to not being a heroic one. Though a complicated reflection on love and sex, its not a ponderous lecture on the soul-stifling suburbs, nor is it an essay on sexual repression. The film’s sex scenes are refreshingly frank, but not needlessly graphic, therefore avoiding discomfort.
Is romantic comedy dead? The mixed-up mix up in “The Lovers” affirms the genre still breathes, but plots about upper aged star-crossed lovers are few.