While much attention for the most anticipated movies of 2017 has been pointed toward big tentpoles like Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 or Rian Johnson‘s Star Wars or even John Wick: Chapter Two, there’s plenty of other, smaller movies to get excited about in between those exhilarating mediocrities. There are at least two – Terence Davies‘ A Quiet Passion and James Gray‘s The Lost City of Z – that will likely show up in my top ten list for 2017, as well as many others I’m sure. Then there are smaller, stranger delights like Ben Wheatley‘s raucous, ridiculous Free Fire, Romanian juggernaut Cristian Mungiu‘s Graduation, and Asghar Farhadi‘s The Salesman, which will show up throughout the first half of 2017.
Even more intriguing, naturally, are the ones that have yet to be screened at all, and at the very top of that list, for me anyway, is Azazel Jacobs‘ The Lovers, a dark romantic comedy from the director behind HBO’s wonderful Doll & Em and Terri, the best teen comedy of this decade thus far. The story is simple: Tracy Letts and Debra Winger play a married couple who are on the brink of divorcing in the hopes of starting new romances – represented by Melora Walters and Game of Thrones‘ Aiden Gillen – but then start falling for each other again.
It’s a spare template but from the evidence of the film’s new trailer, which you can take a look at below, Jacobs and his actors will find plenty of ways to inject the familiar outline with radical, inventive streams of dialogue and physical performance, as well as some subtly expressive bits of framing, editing, and camerawork. The thrill of watching that, of seeing a group of smart people take an easy premise out for an imaginative spin, is as joyous and admirable to me as anything involving a Baby Groot, which is no small feat mind you.
The Lovers will arrive in theaters on May 7th.
Here’s the new trailer for The Lovers:
Here’s the poster for The Lovers: