Longtime Companion (1989)

R   |    |  Drama, Romance


Longtime Companion (1989) Poster

The emergence and devastation of the AIDS epidemic is chronicled in the lives of several gay men living during the 1980s.


7.5/10
4,999

Photos

  • Drew Barrymore and Balthazar Getty at an event for Longtime Companion (1989)
  • Michael Schoeffling in Longtime Companion (1989)
  • Stephen Caffrey in Longtime Companion (1989)
  • Bruce Davison and Mark Lamos in Longtime Companion (1989)
  • Patrick Cassidy and John Dossett in Longtime Companion (1989)
  • Patrick Cassidy in Longtime Companion (1989)

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2 December 2010 | mjneu59
7
| thankfully avoids the pitfalls of melodrama
The title is the newspaper obituary euphemism for a gay lover, and yet another discreet but frustrating reminder of how mainstream heterosexual society avoids confronting the AIDS epidemic. In an effort perhaps to offset public ignorance, Norman René's film of the same name almost resembles an AIDS awareness primer, dramatizing the deadly progress of the disease through the gay community since the summer of 1981, when 'safe sex' merely meant anything goes, but don't get caught. Like other American Playhouse productions the film is simple, unpretentious, and no less rewarding for being so straightforward. René and writer Craig Lucas have wisely resisted the temptation to make a 'Love Story'-style terminal illness melodrama, concentrating instead on the bittersweet pain and bravery of awkward hospital visitations and quiet deathbed encounters. Only the forced optimism of the final daydream rings false, unavoidably since the epidemic itself (still) has yet to be resolved by anything resembling a cure. The balance of the film is simply too honest to support such sentimental wish-fulfillment fantasies.

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