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Nearing his 60th birthday, a movie producer discovers that he may have less than a year to live as a result of inoperable cancer. The effects of his disease take the toll on him and his distressed wife. However, his dysfunctional family are not told and their soap opera-ish life goes on. His son, a has-been actor, has to deal with a precocious daughter and a drug-addled ex-wife and sells AIDS patients insurance policies until he becomes attracted to one. His step-sister learns that her real father murdered her mother & then committed suicide. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Illness, death, and a family's reaction to it have been the subject of a multitude of films, but the potential there for high drama is so great that the vein could hardly be exhausted. When I first started watching "I'm Losing You" (and no, I didn't read the book) and saw Frank Langella's character receive his terminal bad news, I assumed the focus would be on him and how his family handled the crisis. I was surprised, then, when it turned out that the Grim Reaper was all over the place, stalking characters major and minor.
Which would have been fine if this film had been the great meditation on death and dying that it so obviously wants to be. Maybe there just wasn't enough time to thoroughly develop all the characters and plot elements, but I surely wouldn't have wanted a longer film. Consequently nothing in it really reached or impressed me. Particularly poorly handled, I thought, was Rosanna Arquette's character, whose mental breakdown and interest in/obsession with with a Jewish funeral ritual were not very well-explained, at least not to my satisfaction. The ritual, by the way, was interesting from a cultural and educational point of view, but as a part of the film it was my least favorite. I disliked Julie Ariola's pious character every time she was on the screen, for some reason. And I found myself again wondering why Arquette has such a hard time finding roles that are worthy of her.
Apparently many people found this film edifying, but I would proceed with caution. One thing proponents and detractors alike could probably agree on: if you're looking for a tear-jerker, go elsewhere. There probably wasn't a wet eye in the house when this film was playing.
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