I admit that this latest work by director James Gray took some warming up to, but once I did, I began to feel the kindness of this story and sorry that I had resisted for as long as I did. “Two Lovers” is certainly not the most conventional of love stories but that is the difference that lends to its charm.
Leonard, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is a brooding, troubled, 30-ish man who is facing some problems getting his life together. Still living at home and working in his father’s dry-cleaning shop, Leonard is under far more scrutiny by his parents than seems to be necessary and it is wearing rather thin.
Despite his “Sad Sack” appearance, Leonard manages to attract the attention of two beautiful women but only one, Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), has gotten into his blood. Michelle is a neighbor and a party girl who is mixed up with a married man and offers excitement that can’t be found in the dry cleaning business but only takes Leonard so far before applying the brakes.