Alive & Kicking

  • 1996
  • 1 HR 40 MIN
  • R
  • Comedy, Drama, Romance

A provocative pas de deux that stumbles long before the curtain falls. Tonio (Jason Flemyng), a handsome young dancer, keeps a steadily growing urn collection: He's already lost his lover, a host of friends and, shortly into the film, his mentor (Anthony Higgins) to AIDS. Tonio is himself HIV-positive, a fact which he refuses to let dampen his "go for it,...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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A provocative pas de deux that stumbles long before the curtain falls. Tonio (Jason Flemyng), a handsome young dancer, keeps a steadily growing urn collection: He's already lost his lover, a host of friends and, shortly into the film, his mentor

(Anthony Higgins) to AIDS. Tonio is himself HIV-positive, a fact which he refuses to let dampen his "go for it, regret nothing" attitude toward life. One night at a club, he meets Jack (Antony Sher), an overweight, middle-aged therapist who works with people living with AIDS. Jack's immediately

smitten, but it takes Tonio a little longer to see around what he perceives as Jack's physical drawbacks. It's an interesting premise that has a lot to say about the undue importance placed on youth and the body in gay culture, and screenwriter Martin Sherman, who adapted the script from his own

play, moves well beyond the simple "opposites attract" motivation underlying this relationship. The fact that HIV status may have something to do with why someone like Tonio would wind up with someone like Jack is an uncomfortable reality that isn't lost on Sherman. But between the setup and the

equally unusual climactic dance sequence, there's an awful lot of narrative thumb-twiddling. Entire scenes are simply gratuitous filler, while many crucial developments go unexplained: Jack suddenly faces on-the-job burnout, begins drinking too much and the romance starts to fall apart. It's not

really clear why any of this happens, except that the actors need something to do until the film is over.

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  • Released: 1996
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A provocative pas de deux that stumbles long before the curtain falls. Tonio (Jason Flemyng), a handsome young dancer, keeps a steadily growing urn collection: He's already lost his lover, a host of friends and, shortly into the film, his mentor (Anthony… (more)

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