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In 'The Lovers,' Debra Winger's intensity is too much for goofy grab bag of a movie

The movie stars Winger and Tracy Letts as a deeply dissatisfied husband and wife. 'The Lovers' is pitched uneasily between slapstick comedy and stark drama.

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Debra Winger and Tracy Letts in 'The Lovers.'

Courtesy of Robb Rosenfeld/A24

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Debra Winger, who, in “The Lovers,” has her first starring film role in almost 20 years, is always a welcome sight, and one hopes, despite the rampant inadequacies of this film, that she will continue to grace the screen. Before she essentially dropped out of the movie business for a long stretch, she was perhaps the most gifted and galvanizing actress of her generation. Just look at her performances in such films as “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Terms of Endearment,” “A Dangerous Woman,” “Mike’s Murder,” “Everybody Wins,” and “Shadowlands.” 

In “The Lovers,” which is pitched uneasily between slapstick comedy and stark drama, she is playing opposite Tracy Letts as the deeply dissatisfied wife of a deeply dissatisfied husband. Director Azazel Jacobs knows what he has in Winger, but her intensity is too much for this goofy grab bag of a movie. Grade: C+ (Rated R for sexuality and language.)

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