Alive & Kicking [VHS]
From the Back Cover
Alive & Kicking is a lively romance between unlikely lovers-Tonio (Jason Flemyng), a narcissistic dancer pushing his body to artistic perfection, and Jack (Antony Sher), a therapist whose mind is mover agile than his body. This mismatched pair stumble along the rocky path of commitment in a poignant, often hilarious, always believable portrayal of gay courtship in the new "Swinging London." Alive & Kicking is the first screenplay by noted playwright Martin Sherman ("Bent") and the second feature to be directed by Nancy Meckler whose debut film Sister My Sister won critical acclaim around the world.
Top customer reviews
Although the AIDS element is a little dated, everything else about this movie is about as perfect and as timeless as a movie can be. And having a dated topic is no defect at all. If a movie is great it's great... period. Gone with the Wind, The Miracle Worker, and many others prove that. This is currently my favorite movie. I've watched it three times so far, and I enjoy it more every time. As many others have said, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Every single cast member was realistic in their performances. The script was not soppy, nor was it too overly optimistic. It showed the roller coaster life of those afflicted and the irratic lives of the people around them. Direction was strong, but not heavy-handed.
Perfectly balanced emotionally, meaning I didn't wet my pants laughing, but also didn't zoom into depression, sobbing and braiding a hangman's knot... the story will grab you, toss you around a bit, then leave you to think about the story and the characters.
5 Stars isn't enough to represent my feelings about this film.
Having also been an actor, I was impressed with the acting, too. Almost everyone portrays their character believably. Flemying was the most entertaining to watch because he portrays Tonio on so many different levels. The past keeps catching up with the future in him. The energy was right, the focus was clear, he was dynamic. Jack's repeated asking, "Why aren't you angry?" is fundamental. Tonio truly is angry and it comes out through his antagonistic behavior throughout the film. Jack, for all his perception, can't see it (yet) because Tonio successfully runs from it. Finally, when temporary paralysis stops his running, the anger catches up to him and he has time to admit it and reflect upon the past. Duncan (Voss) was the surprise. I loved his representation of the dignity of the past.
The message, living and dying with AIDS, is, albeit, a tired one. Can anything original be said about this subject? We've heard it all before. Thankfully this film deals with it from another angle. Some people really are tired of dealing with it, and those people are portrayed here. It is downright comical the way these people escape it by disco dancing, karaoke singing, and, of course, drinking.
Whether these people are likable or not is a matter of personal taste. I wouldn't choose them for friends, except maybe Vincent (Aiden Waters). He's adorable. But the film entertained me. I am not tired of watching it repeatedly. I think it is a well crafted film.
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