Love and Human Remains | Chicago Reader

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Even when Quebecois filmmaker Denys Arcand is handling someone else's material, as he is here—Brad Fraser's adaption of his play Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love—he has an annoying habit of glibly overgeneralizing about the Way We Live Now, invariably erring on the side of pretension. This is his first film in English (1993)—shot in Montreal but clearly set in an English-speaking Canadian city that isn't Toronto—and, like his earlier Jesus of Montreal, it has a fair number of likable details and interesting characters. The film basically concerns sexual uncertainties among gay characters who experiment with straight sex and among straight characters who experiment with gay sex, and the focus is on the relationship between a gay actor turned waiter and a straight book reviewer who used to be lovers and now share an apartment. Many interesting notations about them and the characters they become entangled with are ultimately skewed by some guff about a serial killer that's somehow supposed to sum up everybody's problems—which strikes me as desperate dramaturgical rhetoric. With Thomas Gibson, Ruth Marshall, Cameron Bancroft, Mia Kirshner, Rick Roberts, Joanne Vannicola, and Matthew Ferguson.

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