Longtime Companion (1989)
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The film faithfully depicts an era of gay life that shocked some people and was applauded by others. its frankness was one of its best features. it was not a soap opera but a slice of real life, both joyous and tragic. as thousands still die every year, apparently a lot of people missed the point. it had no apologies and its many relationships: brother and sister, partner and partner, friend and friend are as vital today as then. gay in those days was based on sexual experimentation, it is unfortunate that the results were/are so deadly. i really suggest young people today find this film and pay attention. and if you haven't seen this, rent it/buy it/watch it. you won't soon forget it.
This film is truely an excellent portrayal of companionship, and love.
Showing the world, that gay men are equal to straight as ever, and that everyone is exposed to life ending diseases. We learn that its important to love life every day, because there may not be a tomorrow. These are great rules to live by. Well Done!
***SPOILER ALERT!!!*** (If you haven't seen this film yet, don't go further!!!)
People talk about the ending, when the 3 remaining friends (Campbell Scott, Mary Louise Parker and Stephen Caffrey)are on the beach, you can't help but cry, because their friends had died from AIDS. In a way, it reflects what anyone that has lost someone close to them: If only the disease never existed, my friend would still be here. Poignant, touching and heartbreaking film. Bruce Davidson was robbed of a richly deserved Oscar.
This is a brave film, one that doesn't flinch from eroticizing the relationships or from the horrors of dying from AIDS. ***Spoiler***Watch in particular for the almost wordless scene in which Bruce Davison (rightly nominated for an Oscar) sits by the bedside of his dying companion.
The cast is nearly pitch-perfect, including Campbell Scott, whose own relationships with his lover and friends are challenged by his own fear and misunderstanding of AIDS. The scene where he visits one of his friends in the hospital but is afraid to use his friend's bathroom speaks volumes about the misperceptions of AIDS in the 1980s.
The movie ends with an epilogue that has been criticized as too hopeful, almost tacked on. I would disagree with that. The ending doesn't minimize what came before it, but holds out hope that with activism and attention to and funding for research, a solution may yet be found.
The unfettered filmmaking and straightforward acting (especially by the subsequently Oscar nominated Bruce Davison), however, keep both the story and the audience grounded -- there are several scenes that seemed so very real that my heart truly ached for these characters. In today's age of expanded understanding of the homosexual heart (that it is, in fact, in no way different from any other heart), the Longtime of Longtime Companion may not seem too terribly extraordinary; within the context of American cinema, however, I have a feeling that history will see this film for the landmark it truly is.