Two Lovers

  • Directors: James Gray
  • Producers: Donna Gigliotti, James Gray, Anthony Katagas
  • Writers: James Gray, Richard Menello
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Isabella Rossellini, Elias Koteas, Moni Moshonov

The film starts with Leonard (Phoenix) walking along a foot bridge over the Sheepshead Bay creek in Brooklyn with dry cleaning when he drops the clothing and jumps into the water in an attempted suicide. He changes his mind and surfaces to be helped by random passersby. After walking home to his parents apartment and his mother seeing him dripping wet it becomes evident that Leonard has had emotional problems and had tried to kill himself before.

His parents tell him that a potential business partner and his family are invited for dinner. When they arrive Leonard finds out that he had been set up with the other families’ daughter, Sandra (Shaw). He hits it off with Sandra and tells her how he had been engaged several years before but the relationship broke off because genetic counselling showed that he and his fiancee could not have had healthy children.

A few days later, Leonard meets a new neighbor Michelle (Paltrow) in his apartment building hall. He is immediately attracted to her and spends time with her and goes out on the town with her and her friends. He finds out that she is dating a married partner in her law firm, Ronald (Koteas). Leonard later meets Ronald and Michelle for dinner at an upscale restaurant in the city. He goes home upset but then Sandra surprises him at home where they have sex. The next day he tells Michelle he no longer wants to see her and becomes further involved in a relationship with Sandra.

Two weeks later Michelle calls Leonard and meets him on the roof and tells him that had broken off the relationship with Ronald and is going to San Francisco. Leonard tells her not to go because he loves her but agrees that he will go with her the next day. He buys two tickets online, buys an engagement ring and packs for his trip. The next day, during his parents New Year’s Eve party, he ducks out to the courtyard to meet Michelle where she tells him that she isn’t going to San Francisco because Ronald had left his wife and will marry Michelle. Distraught, Leonard heads out to the beach apparently to kill himself. As he steps in the ocean, he drops a glove that Sandra had bought for him earlier. He picks up the glove, returns to the party, and seeing Sandra gives her the ring.

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