The Remains Synopsis

Ten years ago, Theo and Kevin were two of the first men in America with the legal right to marry each other. Now the pair is maintaining a long-distance marriage—Theo works as a lawyer in their hometown of Boston, as Kevin pursues a professorship on the West Coast.

Their union was always one of merging opposites, which is on display as their respective families gather for a dinner party. Theo’s mother Trish starts the conversation by telling him that she just saw the Justice of the Peace who officiated his wedding and nearly teared up. Len, Theo’s father and a philosophy professor at Harvard, cautions her not to get too sentimental before starting a familiar but heated argument about a play that Trish recently reviewed—a conversation Len manages to tie to his most recent book on Hegel.

Kevin’s family dynamic is based less in literature and art; he and his sister Andrea mostly talk family—her kids, their brother, and so on. Andrea is a blue-collar single mom, twice divorced, with a quick, profane tongue and unstoppable impulse towards forgiveness. Kevin was adopted into her family by two alcoholic parents with whom they no longer communicate. They love each other fiercely without saying it very often (they’re from South Boston).

In the collision of backgrounds and baggage that make up their relationship, Theo and Kevin had always found their way. But when things get rocky in the age of Grindr and “the divorce epidemic,” it’s hard to say whether it might be healthier to separate or weather the storm—particularly when one’s marriage feels like a beacon of social progress to others.

As Len, Trish, and Andrea weigh in on the institution of marriage, the function of sex, and the nature of human tragedy, Theo and Kevin anxiously interrogate the decisions that led them to the current state of their relationship. Ultimately, one question lingers: after a decade of partnership, when the initial flames burn out, what in a marriage remains?