Parting Glances

Ladymol's Review

This should be an excellent movieóit has all the ingredients. I did enjoy parts of it, and was interested enough in the characters to want it to work out. But itís very dated now, which worries me considering itís only 1980s (that really shouldnít be dated, should it?). The acting is okay. So why isnít it excellent? Thereís just something off with the plot, but Iím not sure what it is. Michael and Robert are a couple almost into their 6th year. Robert works for the World Health Organisation or some such thing and is on the eve of a two year sabbatical to Africa, leaving Michael. Marty is a rock musician dying of AIDS who was Michaels first love.

The story takes place over the night before Robert leaves and the day of the trip. Nothing really happens. Thereís a lot of talk, a mix of characters introduced at various parties and things.

I think the major fault of the film is that it really only has one thing to say, and in saying it itís rather pleased with itself. It just doesnít have the depth necessary to pull it out of the mediocre. I got quite cross with both Robert and Michaelóthey seem to have it all, but donít appreciate it.

Worth watching, but not really up there in the top league.

Cerisaye's Review

I didn't know anything about this movie so I had no expectations, but I really enjoyed it.† Itís about three guys.† Michael & Robert are a couple, and Nick (a very young Steve Buscemi) who is Michaelís best friend, though he also turns out to have been his ex, so itís complicated.† Robert is leaving for Africa, something to do with his job, but Michael doesnít want him to go.† Nick is dying of AIDS, and Michael thinks Robert is running away because itís easier than having to be there for him when he loses Nick.†

AIDS isnít the issue, but living as nice, happy human beings, gay, straight or inbetween.† The movie is unsentimental and allows Nick to be angry and funny, not a victim, but determined to go on enjoying life to the end. The fact the main characters are gay doesn't matter, they just are.† As one character succinctly puts it, ĎYour dick decides what kind of sex you likeí.† The focus of the story is love, friendship, and compassion.

Michael is closer to Nick, than Robert, who's more involved in his career- and possibly staying safe from the disease that's made sex dangerous.† Michaelís relationship with Nick is caring and compassionate, though clearly some of that is down to guilt over his relief that itís not him who has the virus.†

Nick, a successful musician, is dying but heís more alive than most people.† In one of the most moving scenes, Michael confesses to Nick heís the only one heís ever really loved.† Flashback sequences show them mischief-making at the Fire Island home of a queenish author whose dire sci fi porno novel Michael is editing.† Like a game of cowboys & Indians, a pair of Peter Pan characters whoíve never grown up.† And now, Nick never will.

Itís an insightful look at life & love, with realistic characters, humour and strong performances.† Robert & Michaelís relationship is sexy and playful, believable because itís far from perfect.† Robert has the looks of a Ken doll, but heís lacking in the things that matter most.† His trip to Africa therefore seems like an easy way out.† So thereís interesting tension.† We see Michael interact with Peter, a cute twink in a record store, clearly tempted even though he says heís got a boyfriend.† Life must go on after all, so maybe Peter, representing a younger generation whoíve never known the freedoms enjoyed so briefly, between gay lib and AIDS, is Michaelís future.

The film though made in 1986 doesnít look too dated, though a word processor is too expensive at $4,000!† Itís well worth checking out.† I particularly liked fag hag artist friend Joan who has the boysí best interest s at heart.† Recommended.