‘Lovers’ rekindle sparks

May 12, 2017 GMT

I’m not saying a great film cannot be made about an aging­ husband and wife who are cheating on one another and about to announce their plans to split after their college-age son visits with his new steady girlfriend. But “The Lovers” is, as they say, not it.

Written and directed by Azazel Jacobs of the offbeat cable TV series “Doll & Em,” “The Lovers” — oh, the irony — begins in medias res as the diminutive dancer Lucy (Melora Walters) sits by the side of a bed, her feet dangling well above the floor, weeping because her very tall married lover, Michael (actor-playwright Tracy Letts), who is pot-­bellied, bald, white-haired, raw-boned and scruffy, explains how he will finally break it off with his wife.

Meanwhile, using the exact same words, Michael’s wife, Mary (Debra Winger), says the same thing to her exasperated lover, the handsome but whiny Robert (Irishman Aidan Gillen). Trouble is Michael and Mary suddenly find the old — and I mean old — fulfillment in each other’s flabby limbs. Things come to an angry head when annoyingly hostile son Joel (Tyler Ross, who looks nothing like Letts or Winger) arrives with girlfriend Erin (Welshwoman Jessica Sula) and can’t wait to get ticked off. All the action is accompanied by a “live” orchestra playing the waltz-like compositions of Jacobs’ collaborator Mandy Hoffman.

(“The Lovers” contains nudity and sexually suggestive scenes.)