Brandon Theis (Gregory Harrison) and Nick Stark (Eric Roberts) have been lovers for years. Then Nick is diagnosed with HIV. Brandon promises to not leave him---but eventually does. He can't handle the HIV. A year later Nick is told he will die very soon of lesions in the brain. Rather than slowly become a vegetable and wither away, Nick decides to commit suicide. He invites all of his friends to a 2 day party--at the end, he'll take the pills and die. Brandon finds out and attends the party. But does Nick want him there and will Nick be able to forgive him before he goes? Strong, powerful movie. I saw it in a theatre in 1996 and cried my eyes out. I saw it 2 years later with a friend and we BOTH cried our eyes out! Saw it again tonight--cried again. This drama is harrowing at times and brings about questions about love, death with dignity, suicide, HIV...etc etc. But it never gets too maudlin and is always fascinating. Roberts is just superb as Nick. Strong, handsome, refusing to wither away. He also approaches his HIV condition with strength and humor--as he should. Lee Grant is (sadly) wasted as his mother. Harrison is so-so as his boyfriend. Usually he's sort of stone-faced but there were a few moments that the looks on his face made me break down. There's one scene of him and Roberts just looking at each other across the room--you can see the love, fear and hatred in their faces--it's just great. And Harrison really delivers during the last 30 minutes of the movie. There's a huge cast in this movie--Margaret Cho (hilarious); Marlee Matlin (wasted); Olivia Newton-John (just great); Bronson Pinchot (overdoing the bitchiness a bit); Bruce Davison; Roddy McDowall. There's the problem--there are too MANY characters! I'm still not sure who McDowell was and Sally Kellerman shows up looking great but--who is she? We're never told. Also, the party scenes are scattershot--the camera seems to linger around catching certain characters and snatches of their conversations. I also have a hard time believing that anyone has this many friends and they all keep quiet about him committing suicide. Still--problems aside this works. I think this film hit too close for director/writer Randal Kleiser. Supposedly he went through the same things with his lover. When this movie was released he couldn't promote it. It came (and went) very quickly. That's really a shame. It's a strong, powerful movie that should be seen by everybody. And Roberts gives out one of his best performances. The scene when him and Harrison kiss is heart-breaking. Well worth catching--an excellent drama. Just bring plenty of tissues--you'll need them!
It's My Party
It's My Party
"You won't leave me, will you?" Nick asks Brandon shortly after revealing to him the results of his last blood test for HIV. "I don't want to die alone." In spite of Brandon's protestations...
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June 29, 2019