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It's okay. I'm just gonna wash your hair.
[embarrassed that Jane is watching him take a bath]
I'll wash my own hair.
C'mon, let me. I used to be a hairdresser once.
So, you didn't always do nasty stuff for a job?
No, not always.
That's good. That stuff's like underneath you, you know?
Don't mention it.
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More than anything else, this movie is about the relationship that can form between two people who are somehow flawed. The fact that it takes place against a backdrop of AIDS/drug addiction seems to be largely secondary. The movie depicts a drug addict (who happens to be HIV positive) and her relationship with a 15-year old boy who is in the throes of full-blown AIDS. The audience can see that both characters are in very similar points of their life, albeit for somewhat different reasons.
Samantha Mathis plays "Jane", a junkie prostitute who starts out incapable of accepting or giving love to another human being. As the story unfolds, we learn that she came from a good family, went to college, and has had support throughout her life. But, she fell through the cracks, and ended up in a desperate situation. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Tony, whose background is quite different. His brother and mother both died when he was younger, and his father has been incarcerated for most of Tony's life. Tony comes off as rough and uneducated. But, the audience really feels for him, as he's not just some street hoodlum... he's simply a victim of his circumstances.
The movie focuses on the give and take relationship that Jane and Tony have. Sometimes Tony is the strong one, helping Jane to see the weight of her decisions (her heroin abuse and prostitution). Other times, Jane takes on the role of a mother figure for Tony, helping a scared boy through a very rough time. Together, they seem to make a positive difference in each other's lives.
I gave the movie a rating of 7. Samantha Mathis really does an excellent job communicating both the desperation and the depth of love Jane is capable of. Gordon-Levitt does equally well showing us that Tony's intentions are honorable, but sometimes suffer the after being filtered through of the lack of opportunities he's been forced to deal with in his lifetime. Both of them show how human companionship can infuse even the most desperate of people with hope and warmth.
This movie is well worth your viewing time.
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