Spoiler Alert! The Movie Review

Critics are idiots. I’ll give you yet another example. They all loved the gay rom-com Bros that came out months ago, and it wasn’t very good. The early reviews of this haven’t been all that positive, and it’s terrific. This is the romantic comedy (or tragedy) that Bros should have been.

The film opens with Michael (Jim Parsons) lying next to husband Kit (Ben Aldridge) in a hospital bed. They imply that this is the end for Kit, and the story wants to tell you about their happier times. Yet instead of the usual tropes and cliches, this felt realistic. We see how passion can sometimes wane. We see that if one person suspects another of cheating, they don’t have to smash everything in the house while screaming…and we’re left wondering, too. When Kit doesn’t seem thrilled by having his mom show up at his house (played wonderfully by Sally Field), she’s not some over-the-top buffoon. In fact, when she first lashes out at Michael, saying “Who is this?” – it’s done brilliantly.

It’s interesting that this is a couple we root for, even if they’re not the perfect couple. Michael is obsessed with TV. And Smurfs. He writes for TV Guide. He’s also a workaholic. Kit is a photographer that is more artistic, and has friends who hang out at art galleries. It’s sweet how Kit makes Michael feel better about his body and other things he’s not so comfortable with, like cutting loose on a dance floor. 

There might be a trope or two in the film (the bizarre female roommate that just stares at you, while devouring bagels), but even those bits are kind of fun. But then I love anything involving a bagel.

The montages of various Christmases the couple shares over the years, well..it’s December. Of course that’s going to work on us right now.

One of the small missteps I felt the movie had was when the fighting couple see a counselor. I thought his look was odd and his advice should have been a bit more detailed, instead of the simple line: “You guys love each other, but resent each other. You need time apart.”

My wife mentioned the movie reminded her of The Big Sick, a romantic comedy we both loved. And it did. Fun Fact: both are directed by Michael Showalter, who also did a romantic comedy thriller called Lovebirds which we enjoyed.

I also thought of (500) Days of Summer, which flashed back on various days of a relationship, and some not so pretty. And everyone will think of Terms of Endearment, in one wonderful scene that’s a tip of the hat to that film. 

So many times in this movie, there were scenes that I thought were going to be overwrought or corny, and instead they were perfectly executed. One of those would be the couple at a burrito place they frequented, after the cancer diagnosis. They just look at each other and snap photos. Their expressions tell us so much, without cheesy dialogue.

Another one of the missteps were the flashbacks that show Michael’s childhood, as if it were a sitcom. The first few times it was cute, since he’s obsessed with TV. Yet it got old, quick. It wouldn’t have, if those segments were written a bit sharper. 

I wasn’t looking forward to this movie, since I was so disappointed with Bros (and I think Billy Eichner is funny). I never thought Jim Parsons was funny (and his voice annoys me). It’s one of the reasons I never got into The Big Bang Theory. But Parsons knocks it out of the park here. His acting is terrific, and he breaks your heart.

There’s a scene in the hospital where he walks over and hugs Sebastian (Antoni Porowski of Queer Eye). He had been jealous of the good looking co-worker his lover had, and it just had me bawling my eyes out.

4 ½ stars out of 5.

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