The late Bill Sherwood's quiet little 1986 feature film about the early days of AIDS has held up remarkably well, and it still seems much smarter and less sentimental than higher-profile "AIDS movies" such as Longtime Comp... more »anion and Philadelphia. It focuses on a couple, Michael and Robert, during a 24-hour period in New York City, as they prepare for Robert's departure on a trip to Africa. Michael must encourage his HIV-positive friend and former lover Nick (Steve Buscemi) to attend Robert's going-away party (hosted by The Drew Carey Show's Kathy Kinney), meanwhile trying to get Robert to stop avoiding Nick, the gnarly lead singer of a punk band whose video MTV has put into current rotation. Sherwood basically follows Michael around town, as he visits a record store, gets pursued by a cute young cashier, has dinner with a married couple, criticizes Robert for his callousness, and tries to nursemaid Nick, whose defiance against convention, pity, and a couple of bathetic Don Giovanni-inspired nightmares makes him the firm moral center of the film, rather than a victim. As Robert gets ready to leave, Nick plays a prank on Michael to test his devotion. Sherwood keeps issues unresolved and his characters very much alive. It's therefore a shame he didn't live long enough to make more witty, intelligent films like this. --Robert Burns Neveldine« less
"In the years since it was first released, "Parting Glances" has acquired a loyal following. Few movies dealing in a gay social context are as appealing, unpretentious, or--best of all--as emotionally genuine.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"
A film to cherish
mackjay | 10/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Parting Glances" was introduced to me by a filmmaker friend. I agree it's the best gay film ever made, the best AIDs film ever made, and tremendously touching at many levels. Whenever I watch it I think of my own life when I first saw it. Since that time I've lost my lover, his Dad, my Dad, my Mom, my best friend and virtually everyone who comprised my family. I, who never dreamt I'd be alone and never wanted to be alone, have known a lot of parting glances. Don't know where the filmmaker friend is now, but he parted too (I hope, at least, he's still making films). It's the same story so many people can tell. At least I/we have the movie."
Wonderful, compelling, compassionate, witty and wise
mackjay | 06/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Probably the best gay theme movie I've ever seen, if not one of the best movies I've ever seen. It feels like the companion piece to Andrew Holleran's novel, "Dancer From The Dance"... a must read. The characters are realistic, the situation is simultaneously realistic and poetic, giving the film its combination of poignancy and euphoric rush. To the straight viewer, if you want an insight into the gay mind space, and the sadness of AIDS, whilst affirming life, this is the movie. SEE IT!"
A LOW BUDGET MARVEL!
Bailey | Raleigh, NC | 01/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Parting Glances is a bit of life forever immortalized on film. It is truly endearing and real. It's mid eighties NYC, gay young America and early AIDS all rolled into a witty, intelligent film about real characters with umph. Parting Glances is special little film that sticks with you forever. Richard Ganoung, who has rarely been seen since is a gem, as is a young Steve Buscemi. This is what it is like to be gay! Most gay themed films can't even come close to this genuine, low budget gem."
Q: What do you call 1000 closeted Hollywood execs ...
Duncan Mitchel | Bloomington, IN USA | 04/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...at the bottom of the ocean? A: A good start.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."