Two Lovers

Rated 2.0

Joaquin Phoenix plays a young man, living with his parents (Moni Moshonov, Isabella Rossellini) after a broken engagement and two suicide attempts, who becomes involved with two very different women: a neighbor (Gwyneth Paltrow) being kept by her married boss (Elias Koteas) and the daughter (Vinessa Shaw) of his father’s business associate. Director James Gray moves away from the crime dramas that made his name (The Yards, We Own the Night) into a moody drama of romantic confusion. Gray has worked well with familiar genre conventions before, but this time the conventions harden into clichés, and they defeat him. The script by Gray and Ric Menello plods along in a sort of mopey fog, closely observed and convincing but rather dreary when all is said and done. Performances are excellent but uninvolving.