Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Reel estate

Love Is Strange is strange—it's more about the tragedy of New York real estate than it is about love. A pair of longtime partners get married, and in a twist on the term "marriage penalty," one is fired from his job teaching music in a parochial school. The loss of income forces the husbands to sell their apartment—to little gain because of a surprise, severe flip tax (how they could reach final sale without knowing that penalty is bemuddling). Separated by the need to couch-surf with space-straitened friends and relatives, they are nearly reunited by a miracle—the sudden, not-bloody-believable offer of a spectacular $1,500-a-month rent-controlled apartment on flossy Morton Street! No matter how false the details, the movie's overarching aching message rings with sorry authenticity: New York eats its old.

Next up: My Old Lady, a real-estate comedy set in Paris!

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