Spoiler Alert MOVIE REVIEW: Jim Parsons and Bill Aldridge’s Movie Is An Unmissable Heartbreaking Gem

Michael Ausiello’s enduring love for Kit Cowan goes through many ups and downs, it remains till the end

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Spoiler Alert MOVIE REVIEW: Jim Parsons and Bill Aldridge’s Movie Is An Unmissable Heartbreaking Gem
“This was  not how it was meant to end,” a voiceover says  as we see two men in a hospital bed, one with tubes running out of his body, the other just holding him.

The sheer emotional power of that visual (one love, two lives, one going. The other bracing himself for the inevitable…) is heartbreaking. It reminded me of Ryan O'Neal clinging to a  dying Ali MacGraw in the classic Love Story.

So is Spoiler Alert as manipulative and  moving as Love Story? Yes, with the difference being that the lovers here of the same gender. This difference makes no difference to the  emotional honesty of the film. 

Yes, a lot of the stuff in this boy-meets-boy story has been done to death (no pun intended). Miraculously the  storytelling avoids that impending cloyingness which is the destiny of all films with a dying hero, by a wide margin.


A lot of the credit for this goes to the two lead actors Jim Parsons and Bill Aldridge, especially the former who plays Michael with an endearing mix of uncertainty and determination. Parsons, who had so far done mostly comic roles, gives Michael Ausiello on whose memoirs this fabulously emotional film is based, a whole lot of personality beyond the groin. His enduring love for Kit Cowan (Bill Aldridge) goes through many ups and downs. But the love remains till the end. Kit’s end.

Veteran Sally Field (she has worked with director Michael Showalter before in the crackling Hello, My Name Is Doris) as Kit’s mother anchors the show in unexpected ways. In one of film’s most humorous episodes, Kit asks Michael to ‘de-gay’ their apartment as his parents are coming to visit. That  sequence leading up to Kit confessing about his homosexuality, is  a masterclass in intelligent writing. And  hats off to the screenwriters David Marshall Grant and Dan Savage.

Like the director Michael Showalter’s earlier highly acclaimed film The Big Sick, Spoiler Alert   is also set in a hospital for a large part. This is where Kit breathes his last in one of the most moving and real death sequences ever filmed.

Seconds later there is a shot of  Michael alone in bed, his hand reaching out to emptiness next to him. This is where I broke down completely.
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