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Bill Sherwood's little film doesn't feature any big-name glamorous stars. The most recognizable names are Steve Buscemi (in fact, the spine of the DVD package reads "Steve Buscemi in Parting Glances") and Kathy Kinney, who has become known to millions for her hilarious character on "The Drew Carey Show." Kinney and especially Buscemi are excellent here. But so are most of the other actors. One thing that makes the film work so well is its use of performers who are not all movie-star beautiful. John Bolger plays a character who is supposed to be handsome, and he certainly fits the bill, as does Adam Nathan. But this movie is not just another excuse to display beautiful people. It has at its core an honesty that draws in the viewer and makes him/her feel like part of the proceedings. There is plenty of gentle humor and a few big laughs. There is also one deeply moving scene the sticks in the mind afterward like a revelation about the connection between people. Sherwood was a musician and there are many interesting and creative selections to be heard in the soundtrack. A couple of New York locations are used to good effect as well.
As far as the DVD issue is concerned. There aren't any real complaints. Picture and sound are as good as can be expected of a low-budget, independent film. "Extras" include text-only information about the making of the film. An interview with Buscemi, Kinney or any others would have been good. An irresistably charming and heartfelt film
I gave this movie four stars partly because I think five stars should be saved for really amazing, original, breathtaking movies -- something like Heathers or Being John Malkovich. There are, in my opinion, weaknesses in the script and production (the Fire Island prank at the end needs work, for instance), which hurt the movie as a whole.
But that doesn't mean I don't love Parting Glances, it's still one of my favorite movies, and holds up very well under re-watching. I suspect that most people who feel about a movie the way I feel about this one would rate it 5 stars, so take it that way if you wish.
I don't see this film as being about a breakup, but it's ambiguous enough that it could be, so I won't quibble. But I must disagree with folks who say how nice it would be if Sherwood had only lived long enough to make another movie. He had the time, but couldn't raise the money. I remember reading an interview with him somewhere, in which he told of getting calls from closeted Hollywood personnel who admired the film and were willing to throw him some closeted work - which he wasn't willing to do. If he didn't make another movie, it's as much because of the cowardice of the movie business (hence the joke I borrow from Demme's cowardly Philadelphia) as because of Sherwood's untimely death.
You might think a film about 24 hours in a man's life might end up being another "slice of life" shapeless slog-fest. Not in this case. The film has pace; there's nothing extraneous; nothing that doesn't add to your appreciation of the characters, whether it's a side bar discussion about a Flemmish painting, or a flash-back fantasy of a marauding romp around a Fire Island queen's swimming pool...everything contributes and moves the story forward.
It's a shame film making has lost Bill Sherwood. We can only wonder what else he might have created. Parting Glances is a beautiful legacy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
WIth all due respect...
I like this film more for what it represents and attempted than for what it actually is. As a social artifact it is invaluable. Read more
In early 1986, Parting Glances, a ground-breaker in its depiction of an all-gay world within contempo New York City, is now considered an important film in the history of gay... Read morePublished 10 months ago by R. Stephen Franks
From 1986...Steve Buscemi is terrific, Richard Ganoung is terrific and John bolger is terrific. I loved the quickness of the dialog and loved the story itself. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Russell S
I first fell in love with this film back in 1986, around the time it was released. They ran it on IFC late at night and I taped it while I slept. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Blake Fraina
of this picture and since my vhs/dvd player went up, had no way to watch it nowadays. Just saw it again after about 10 years and liked it just as much. Read morePublished on July 13, 2013 by JMRichardson
This film really blew me away - not because it was an over-the-top high-budget Hollywood blockbuster set to win an Oscar, but instead, because it a poignant comedy-drama on the... Read morePublished on April 21, 2013 by drakkar91
This is a genuinely touching, honest, and dramedy about human relationhips of all types. I've seen it three times in the past 26 years, and each time I derive more insight into and... Read morePublished on February 20, 2013 by ArtDC
The movie is ok, perhaps I expected something different. It's one that only needs a single view. I do not reccomend.Published on February 5, 2013 by James MCcormick