“You can tell a lot from the opening scene of a film. First, there’s no music. Two people are asleep in bed. The camera pulls back to reveal a gun and then the man holding it. The loaded, cocked, and is pointed weapon is seconds away from changing the realities of everyone in this room. But wait, there’s the sound of an animal stampede, which parents in the audience will identify as young children rising for the day. Suddenly, our stone-cold killer is a mess of snot and tears. Soon he’s just a jogger on his way home in a small rural town that is just starting to awaken for the day.
“This is the beginning of The Killing of Two Lovers, starring Clayne Crawford as David, the almost murderer. The information trickles in from there. David and his wife Nikki (Sepideh Moafi) are separated, and Nikki is living in the family home with their four kids. They have agreed to see other people, but David is having a very tough time adjusting to this new normal. He wants it to be over quickly, but it’s obvious that Nikki wants something more. She finds it in a new man played by Chris Coy — the two [who] almost met their maker at the start of the film.
“This story is one that is playing out all over America, in working-class families. Some are forced into odd relationships because of financial barriers to divorce or separation. Others face a housing and/or logistical problems. Whatever the case, the couples need distance to heal but can afford to have that distance. This leads to misplaced emotions and especially sticky situations when one starts dating again. That’s the part of The Killing of Two Lovers’ audiences will relate to.
“In fact, this film is like a working-class version of A Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach’s wildly popular film about a marriage breakdown in upper-class circles. A Killing of Two Lovers is like Baumbach’s narrative, but dipped in whiskey and dried to the tune of ‘Famous in a Small Town’.
“It is much more relatable to moviegoing audiences. The two men ending up in a fight that leaves one of them badly injured is, unfortunately, more common amongst these audiences and actually make the arguments in A Marriage Story appear tame. David and his gun end up making one last and important stand before the fate of this marriage is decided.”