Love! Valour! Compassion!
1997
Eight gay Manhattanites meet at a picturesque lakeside country getaway in Dutchess County, N.Y., to reminiscence about life, share stories, reveal fears about commitment and discuss the omnipresent specter of AIDS. Jason Alexander ("Seinfeld") stars as Buzz Hauser in this big-screen adaptation of playwright Terrence McNally's Broadway hit that spans three summer holidays: Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

I enjoyed this unshowy drama from start to finish, even if it did seem to run long. Here are six actors who have perfected their roles onstage, and are able to communicate years of friendship together; they communicate as much in body language as dialogue. John Glover won a Tony for his dual role and I can see why; the two brothers are such totally different characters that it becomes striking how much alike they look. I laughed the most at Jason Alexander's self-conscious queen, who endures his disease with gallows humor, but the material is known not for its laughs but for its gentle compassion and its honest depiction of eight gay friends dealing with the spectre of AIDS in thoughtful ways. For those who would identify it's a must-see; for the rest of us, it's merely a pleasant rental.

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