Friday, December 2nd, 2022

Queerguru reviews SPOILER ALERT the queer heartbreaking movie of the year that you SHOULD NOT MISS


In 1981 the CDC published its first article marking the first official report of what would later become known as the AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) epidemic, and by  1985  it was a full-blown global pandemic.  That was also the year that Buddies the first American film to dramatize the subject of AIDS was released.  It has a  story about friendship and love, but also most importantly presented the facts about AIDS known at that time.

As the disease spread it was accompanied by an avalanche of movies: some were excellent like Jonathan Demme’s ‘Philadelphia‘  in 1993 which not only picked up 2 Academy Awards but because of its wide distribution was the first time that many of the general population became aware of how our community was being affected by the sheer devastation. 

By the time Queerguru’s Editor was part of the Programming Team of an LGBTQ+ Film Festival in the mid-2000s there was no escaping the torrent of queer movies that centered around the whole subject.  Even after the introduction of protease inhibitors in 1996 meant that  AIDS was no longer an automatic death sentence we were still being offered new films that actually exploited both fear and ignorance for the sake of making a few bucks.

I am mentioning it now as we LGBTQ+ programmers and film critics had a responsibility not to censor, but knowing how sensitive this topic was ……. especially with those still grieving from their losses …..  we shouldn’t support poorly conceived films that play heavily on people’s feelings.

The tough part of moving forward with new queer films, is with a such traumatic history for those is us who survived the AIDS pandemic, is how do we deal with stories revolving around death?  After seeing A SPOILER ALERT, I think its star and producer Jim Parsons may have just cracked it.

This very true story is NOT about AIDS but a love story between two gay men in their 30’s (?) living in NY, when life throws them a real bum hand.  Parsons very quickly optioned the rights to an acclaimed, bestselling memoir by Michael Ausiello, the moment he read them.  He plays  Auseill the President and Editorial Director of TVLine.com,  and as these are the glorious days when talented out gay men get to play gay men on screen, his partner Kit Cowan is played by Brit (hottie) Ben Aldridge.

The two actors have such electrifying chemistry on screen and they give such authenticity as they fall in and out (and in again) love over the next 14 years. Neither of them is a perfect partner but it is impossible not to get swept away by the very realness and depth of their feelings for each.  All of their compelling story is woven into the actual 11 months between Kit getting a diagnosis of terminal cancer.  and his passing.  (Look out for when Michael has a fab moment in the hospital when he has his inner Shirley MacLaine meltdown!)

It means that Kit must finally come out as gay to his parents  …… played so tenderly by the irrepressible Sally Field and Bill Irwin.  Michael’s lack of parents is not really an issue as like all gay people he and KIt enjoy their own ‘chosen family’ that will always go over and beyond.

It is one of the best mainstream’ queer movies this year. and  I am thrilled that as such gets a US theatrical release starting December 2nd.  With a script by Dan Savage and David Marshall Grant and directed by Michael Sholwater, but I cannot help wondering after the rush to criticize the ‘disappointing’ success of Bros simply because it failed to reach beyond an LGBTQ audience.  In my mind that would be a great tragedy as the men’s relationship shines so bright in this present political climate which wants to stop us from loving who we want to.

Make no mistake as wonderful as it is, it’s still a  heartbreaking story.  There is no escaping the sheer pain of losing a loved one  ….. and dare I say that those that still deal with survivor’s guilt from not dying from AIDS ….. will need more than one box of kleenex. 

In the film, life goes on for Michael, and its  a tribute to the love that he shared with Kit, that he has both the strength and will.



Michael Ausiello


Review : Roger Walker-Dack

Editor in Chief : Queerguru 
Member of G.A.L.E.C.A. (Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association) and NLGJA The Association of LGBT 
Journalists. and The Online Film Critics Society. Ex Contributung Editor The Gay Uk &Contributor Edge Media 
Former CEO and Menswear Designer of  Roger Dack Ltd in the UK    
one of the hardest-working journalists in the business' Michael Goff of Towleroad

Posted by queerguru  at  14:19


Genres:  comedy, dramedy

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