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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A good drama

10/10
Author: Yael (greenelf@netvision.net.il) from Tel Aviv, Israel
10 November 2001

This movie is one of those good dramas. No hype, just good emotional story. I like these kinds of movies where you can tell the actors were not rewarded for their great performances, it's not all Hollywood and glamour. It inspired me to write more, like I used to. I recommend it for all those for like good movies, and good dramas, not junk.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Touching and Heartbreaking

8/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
10 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After another OD, the junkie Jane (Samantha Mathis) finds that she is HIV-positive. When she leaves the hospital trying to raise money for a dose of heroin, she is followed by the fifteen year-old Tony (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who protects her in difficult situations. The boy helps her to get free of her addiction, and she finds that he is alone without a family and terminal with AIDS. They get close to each other and form a firm bond.

"Sweet Jane" is a touching and heartbreaking low-budget movie, supported by a realistic melodramatic story of addiction, friendship, illness and redemption and magnificent performances of Samantha Mathis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The plot is very simple and beautiful and works perfectly, based on two opposite characters that have in common a lethal disease. Jane comes from the upper-class, went to college supported by her parents, but lost everything with her addiction and is a cold person, without loving any person. Tony is an orphan born with HIV transmitted by his father to his mother, has no education but common-sense. He follows Jane believing she is an angel, but in the end he actually becomes her guard-angel, saving Jane from the drugs and making her a better woman. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Vivendo no Limite" ("Living in the Edge")

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Movie About Relationships

7/10
Author: Blake (blakeh) from Rockford, IL
3 October 2001

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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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Subtly wonderful...

9/10
Author: corky-27 from United States
14 September 2000

Tackling the AIDS issue on film is no longer something new or novel. In fact, many independent films of the 90's have tried, in varying degrees of success, to hone in on the horrific and mysterious ramifications of this terrible disease. Sweet Jane, which inexplicably has just now been made available on cable TV, is one of the winners. Perhaps realizing the limited appeal of this heartrending genre, director Joe Gayton goes for broke, but certainly not in an over-the-top fashion. He gamely depicts the desperate world of junkies, prostitutes and have-nots, but finds time to flesh out the human element in all of the moral decay. He occasionally inserts an otherworldly feel to the more sordid proceedings, effectively producing a counter-element to the more mundane (yet essential) exposition. Samantha Mathis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are simply wonderful as the mutually put-upon protagonists of this subtly powerful film. Mathis realizes the potential that we saw in "Pump up the Volume" a few years back, and Gordon-Levitt exhibits surprisingly mature chops for such a young actor. 4 and a half (out of 5) on the Corkymeter.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

All in its (melo)drama, a great film.

8/10
Author: Teemu Erämaa from Finland
4 April 2004

This is something I would've wanted to see when I was a teenager.

The extraordinary relationship between the two could've gone on forever.

The love in this film isn't the usual, but a strange mix of affection and pity. Still making a great Romeo&Julie -touch to it. Its like Holy Matrimony(1994) done much deeper.

There are flaws, of course. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been one of my favorite young actors, but I couldn't totally handle his acting in this film without drawing connections to the 3rd Rock´from the Sun. But somehow these flaws, like the old-fashioned dubbing in the end, just make the loneliness of the two greater.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely and totally realistic.

10/10
Author: acearms from San Antonio, Texas
24 October 2003

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Samantha Mathis performed outstandingly as the main characters in this totally realistic movie. Having witnessed the HIV, drug, prostitute scene for real because of a "wild" family member, I can relate to the hurt, rejection and fears portrayed. I watched this because I'm a fan of McNamara, but Joseph won my heart for his acting ability as well did Samantha. This should be a must see for all drug users. I gave it a 10.

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Touching, beautiful, but forgotten film

9/10
Author: snewhous from United States
24 July 2008

I rented this movie on netflix with my sister, and though neither of us expected to enjoy it, we were both quickly sucked in by the heartfelt, passionate acting. Both Samantha Mathis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt do a great job, Gordon-Levitt especially impressive despite being so young.

I feel like this film gave me the same deep satisfaction that a really good play can give you. The story is fascinating and moving, the characters are lovable and real, and when it ends, you wish there was more you could watch - a sequel, another movie, just something else with these characters. Luckily Mathis and Gordon-Levitt can be seen in lots of other great movies.

Definitely give it a chance - I won't spoil any of the surprises in the plot, but even at moments when you think it's going to be corny or dumb, it maintains an interesting and real atmosphere. There are interesting literary and cultural references dotted throughout the movie, and I think its a really well-written screenplay. Give it a chance and enjoy!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One of the BEST movies I ever saw

Author: Matt1567 from United States
7 December 2001

I was Very suprised on how GREAT this movie was.Well directed with great acting and OUTSTANDING story line.The story was OUTSTANDING its about a hooker who falls in love with a kid who has aids!Very moving. 10 out of 10

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Mildly good indie

6/10
Author: poyboy from Texas
12 November 1998

I saw this film when I was reviewing it for a film festival. There is fortunately some good acting going on here. I was especially surprised by the kid from Third Rock from the Sun, a show I normally shun like a dark alley. Samantha Mathis is also not bad, although her character is the least well-formed of the two. The story is an interesting, if not familiar one, slipping into melodrama a bit too much. The film definitely exploits the heroin chic that enveloped the indie world following Pulp Fiction and Trainspotting. But, its rather brave tackling of a doomed love in the shadow of AIDS should be commended.

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1 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Really, now.

2/10
Author: moteinmyeye from san diego
12 June 2002

Maybe it's just that it was made in 1997, or maybe whoever managed to get this up to a 7 has a soft spot for kids with AIDS. But really people, the maniacal laughter & mayhem during the withdrawal scene? Did you not see that coming? I'm surprised there was no baby crawling across the ceiling and sickboy addressing the camera. The acting was fine, sure. But to me this is just one example of a movie from a time when situations and subject matter could pass for cinematic language. Things happen, but that's it. There's no glue or motive that can be detected on screen, allowing the subject matter to use pre-existing emotional connections to furthur the plot, without the script doing it like it's supposed to.

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