Journalist Michael Ausiello embarks on a rollercoaster ride of emotions when Kit Cowan,his partner of 14 years, is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Runtime: 110 minutes
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stars: Ben Aldridge, Sally Field, Josh Pais, Antoni Porowski, Nikki M. James, Jeffery Self, Winslow Bright, Allegra Heart, Sadie Scott, Scott Burik, Supriya Ganesh, Eleni Yiovas, Shunori Ramanathan, Kate Pittard, Paco Lozano, Christine Renee Miller, Erica Cho, Brody Caines
Director: Michael Showalter
shrjmfmth - 7 January 2023 Beautiful romance My daughter and I watched this last night and absolutely loved it! It had adorable funny moments and of course the heartbreaking moments. I am 66 years old and married almost 47 years so I felt the loss from the mothers viewpoint - losing her child and also from a partners viewpoint. I didn't think of it as LGBTQ+ movie - I felt like it was just a beautiful love story where opposites attract and then sometimes heartbreak and tragedy gets sent your way. I loved how Sally Field showed her anger through someone cheating in a race instead of how unfair she felt it was her son had cancer. To me just a lovely but heartbreaking story.
dwr246 - 13 December 2022 What Happens When Happily Ever After Meets Terminal Cancer I've been waiting for a gay romance that I could really identify with: one with likeable protagonists who form a loving relationship and aren't tortured about their sexuality. This film checked all of the those boxes for me.
Based on Michael Ausiello's book, Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies, the film depicts the author's relationship with his husband Kit Cowan. The two meet when Michael (Jim Parsons), who works as a journalist for TV Guide, accepts an invitation from his coworker, Nick (Jeffery Self) to go out clubbing. Michael, a self proclaimed "former fat kid" is out of his element at the club Nick takes him to, but eventually, he locks gaze with a handsome man on the dance floor, who comes over and introduces himself as Kit Cowan (Ben Aldridge). The two strike up a friendly conversation, and Kit reveals that he is a photographer. Eventually, Kit induces the shy, bookish Michael to join him on the dance floor. Taking a break from dancing, the two are starting to look like they might leave the club together when Kit's friend, Nina (Nikki M. James) drunkenly interrupts them, and then proceeds to get sick. Kit apologizes and is getting to leave to take Nina home when Michael, thinking quickly, gives Kit his card, not really expecting to hear from him again. Much to Michael's surprise, Kit does call him again, and the two embark on a somewhat cautious courtship, awkwardly working their way through their first sexual encounter, where Michael's body image threatens to derail the entire process, and Kit's first visit to Michael's apartment, where Kit is shocked to find every surface is covered with Smurf memorabilia. Still, they persevere until Kit comes down with appendicitis, and his parents (Sally Field and Bill Irwin), to whom he is not yet out, come to visit. Causing Kit to beg Michael to "de-gay" his apartment. Michael somewhat hesitantly does so. And the ruse works until Kit's mother catches wise when Michael offers to get some sheets for her and her husband. She demands to know who Michael really is, and Kit comes out to his parents, introducing them to his boyfriend at the same time. Fortunately for both Michael and Kit, Kit's parents are less upset about Kit's sexuality than they are that Kit hasn't already told them. Kit and Michael then move into an apartment together. Decorate their first Christmas tree together, and take a picture in front of it, setting up the pattern by which they mark time in their relationship for the next thirteen years, until they announce to their friends over Christmas dinner that they have decided to temporarily separate due to issues in their relationship. However, as Kit is leaving the apartment, Michael notices that something is wrong with him, and Kit reveals that he hasn't been feeling right, and he will be visiting the doctor tomorrow to find out what is wrong. Michael asks to be kept in the loop, and when the diagnosis is revealed, it brings about changes in their relationship that few could have predicted.
Michael Ausiello was heavily involved with the making of the film, so one supposes that the storytelling is pretty accurate. And Ausiello does and excellent job telling his story, creating characters that you care about and route for, and along the way exploring how relationships start, stop, and deal with crises. He shows his own interest in television by using the medium of a fictious family sitcom to divulge information about his past, a device that is slightly overused. He also makes the somewhat odd choice of pulling out of the story at the moment of Kit's death to depict it as part of a series and Kit as an actor in it who is being interviewed by Michael to help show Michael's acceptance of what is happening. It works, but it plays with the momentum of the story arc in an odd way. In the end, he posits a somewhat unusual take on happy endings and happily-ever-afters.
The acting is first rate, which is little surprise, given the cast assembled. Jim Parsons once again proves himself to be an actor with great range, giving a totally believable performance as a nerdy, shy young man who comes into his own as a result of his relationship and his ability to care for his ailing partner. Ben Aldridge plays Kit with charm, charisma, and a commitment that make you route for him even when his behavior is somewhat questionable. Sally Field play Kit's mother with considerable charm and clear-sightedness. And Bill Irwin is stalwart in his portrayal of Kit's father. The supporting parts are equally well handled, resulting in a film without a weak performance.
Visually beautiful, the film uses New York City as a backdrop for the story, taking side trips to the Jersey Shore and rural Pennsylvania that are equally visually appealing.
The overall message, that life goes on after "and they lived happily ever after" is a very powerful one, so no relationship really can ever live happily ever after since one of the partners must die at some point, unless they break up. Ausiello opts instead for exhorting us to celebrate the here and now, which he does with great success as he tells his story.
This is a film that will make you laugh (frequently), make you cry (unashamedly), and ultimately make you glad you came along for the voyage. Many thanks to Michael Ausiello for sharing his story with us.