Love! Valour! Compassion! | Chicago Reader

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Movies that break taboos that still need to be broken may be inherently valuable, and this adaptation by Terrence McNally of his own play, while not taking full advantage of being on-screen, has elements we don't see enough of there. The story follows a group of friends through summer holidays spent at a house in the country, a setting that isolates the host and guests—gay men in couples of varying intactness—enabling them to behave in ways they couldn't ordinarily. Two of the guests are identical twins, but the use of a single actor (John Glover) in both roles is clunky, though not without subtext. Jason Alexander's performance as the flamboyant Buzz is impressive: he brings great depth to a characterization that's in many ways as shticky as his long-standing TV role. With its depiction of sexual affection between male characters, even more penises than there were pubic shots of Deborah Kara Unger in Crash (a hypocritically penis-free jaunt), and characters with AIDS who aren't treated as untouchable or asexual, this movie is good for the cinema and for the culture—that it's all in the service of schmaltz may be irrelevant. Directed by Joe Mantello (1997). 110 min.

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