Love! Valour! Compassion!

Hollywood goes for the gay BIG CHILL thing with this adaptation of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play. It's all about as white and bourgeois as you can get, but the film does take a few risks, and some actually pay off. Divided into three acts played out over three summer weekends -- Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day -- the film follows...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Hollywood goes for the gay BIG CHILL thing with this adaptation of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play. It's all about as white and bourgeois as you can get, but the film does take a few risks, and some actually pay off. Divided into three acts played

out over three summer weekends -- Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day -- the film follows the shifting relationships between eight friends who gather at the country house of Gregory (Stephen Bogardus), a celebrated but creatively blocked choreographer, and his sightless, much younger lover,

Bobby (Justin Kirk). Among the group are Perry (Stephen Spinella) and his longtime companion Arthur (John Benjamin Hickey); John (John Glover), a bitter English composer, and his current fling, Ramon (Randy Becker); Jack (John Glover, again), John's impossibly gracious, slightly dotty twin

brother, who's dying of AIDS; and Buzz (Jason Alexander), an unabashed lover of all things Broadway who's trying to cope with his own HIV-positive status. As good as McNally's screenplay is, it takes some time for things to settle down: For a while there, it looks as though Alexander is going to

"play gay" by doing an ill-advised Tallulah Bankhead impersonation, opposite Glover sucking at his queen-sized cigarettes like a pissed-off Bette Davis. None of this is exactly groundbreaking, but it also doesn't shy away from anything -- frank discussions about AIDS, Karposi's sarcoma lesions

shown in close-up, full-frontal nudity, actual passion between same-sex partners -- so credit should be given where it's due.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Hollywood goes for the gay BIG CHILL thing with this adaptation of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play. It's all about as white and bourgeois as you can get, but the film does take a few risks, and some actually pay off. Divided into three acts play… (more)

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