I never read Paul Rudnick' original play, a romantic comedy about life, love and AIDS nor did I see the original staging at the Minetta Lane Theatre (and if I did I have no recollection whatsoever), so either the material lost something in it's translation to the screen or I'm simply not overwhelmed by Mr. Rudnick's approach to the subject matter; I just find it a bit too sugar coated like frosted flakes for my tastes. Romantic comedies are not "my thing" so to speak; I find nothing comedic about "romance".
To paraphrase a line from Harvey Fierstein in "Torch Song Trilogy", when you enter into a relationship that you know deep down inside is going to fail (as they all too often do), and when it does you end up burning black candles at midnight, well, you got what you were asking for.
All that being said, I did in fact enjoy this film immensely, it's highly entertaining and it brought back many fond memories.
I must laud with great enthusiasm, Patrick Stewart's portrayal of "Sterling"; IMHO this is one of Mr. Stewarts finest screen roles.
At long last, he permits himself to let go of that "storm clouds on the horizon" approach to drama which can be a tad overbearing; in "Jeffrey" we're treated to a truly refreshing revelation of the full scope of his acting abilities ranging from camp to grief but without any of the hamminess that a lesser actor would fall prey to.
Also, in this case an all star cast is worth it's weight in gold; how could you say no to the likes of Kathy Najimi, Victor Garber, Christine Baranski, Olympia Dukakis and the list goes on and on.
Perhaps there are those of us who prefer the (very) angry Larry Kramer viewpoint on the AIDS pandemic, in which case I recommend something with real pitbull bite such as "Philadelphia" with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington or "Longtime Companion" with Bruce Davison and Mary-Louise Parker.
I'm a great fan of Mary-Louise Parker who is equally brilliant as "Harper Pitt" in the Mike Nichols HBO production of "Angels in America".