Longtime Companion

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Longtime Companion

Like much of the Aids-related art now coming out of New York, this anodyne, apolitical movie about the impact of the virus on a group of well-heeled, white New Yorkers seems curiously remote from British experience. Longtime Companion (the euphemism for 'lover' in the obit columns of NY papers) opens on a Fire Island beach in the halcyon summer of 1981, just as news breaks of rare cancers in the gay community, and then leapfrogs through the following decade, taking one day from each year as a spot-sample of the HIV epidemic's grisly progress. Headed by Davison, Lamos and Caffrey, a stalwart cast of theatre actors attacks the bitty, anecdotal script with fair gusto and considerable conviction, building up an affecting picture of the collapse of a network of friends and lovers. But director René and scriptwriter Lucas spend all their energy avoiding sentimentality and pushing 'positive attitudes', when what the movie desperately needs is some larger perspective on the issues and the characters. The film is decent, no less but no more.

Release details

Duration: 99 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Norman René
Screenwriter: Craig Lucas
Cast: Stephen Caffrey
Patrick Cassidy
Brian Cousins
Bruce Davison
John Dossett
Mark Lamos
Dermot Mulroney
Mary-Louise Parker
Michael Schoeffling
Campbell Scott
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