Perhaps because I am "older" I really appreciate the story-which is a free-text poem, narrated by Alan Rickman and portrayed by Emma Thompson with Rickman. This was originally aired as part of a BBC series, and is more like a 1-act play in duration and feel. It is, in my opinion, a beautiful story, sad but engaging. Alan Rickman could do no wrong as an actor. His character is not very likable, but somehow the bitterness is so understandable simply due to his facial expressions, body language and narrative abilities. Emma Thompson is lovely and graceful. And totally believable.
The story is a familiar human theme. A former couple reunite after 15 years over a lunch, apparently organized by "He" (the characters have no names). "He" is obviously anxious and eager to again meet his former love. "She" arrives, lovely and erudite in her maturation. She too is obviously a bit nervous, but hopefully positive about the meeting. Almost as soon as she takes her seat, the meeting begins to turn sour.
Expectations from "He" are too well-covered by the bitterness of love lost and a life of unfulfilled aspirations. "She" wants to connect on a level reflecting growth and a well-lived life with what was once positive in their relationship. He is stuck in the past bitterness and anger. She cannot - and has no desire to - go back other than to recall and perhaps reconnect with that which was good. As the lunch progresses, She reaches out but is thwarted at almost every proffered gesture. He only reaches inward, ordering wine and then drinking most of it as if to gain some kind of courage. In reality He only devolves further into the bitterness until he becomes only that. His internal soliloquy throughout the production is heartbreakingly selfish and lost. In the end they part. Again not well, and finally.
I love this production. It is beautifully done in every aspect. The story line is not everyone's cup of tea. But I recommend it highly for anyone who has ever had the experience of "losing once or twice".